How I packed for one month abroad

Packed and ready.

Packed and ready.

How did I packed for one month abroad? I have just got home from an amazing one month overseas holiday with a friend. We went to London and surrounds, Scotland and France. I thought I would share with you how I packed and what I took away with me. You never know, you may pick up a few tips or….. learn from my mistakes.

Before I left, I set myself a challenge to pack light.  You see my travel buddy, Cherie, travels light. I mean really light! Last year she spent a month in Europe with only a cabin bag. I know!! How do you do that?

We were on the move pretty much every day except for 4 days in London at the start of the trip and 4 Days in Paris at the end. Our suitcases were our wardrobes for a month.

I have to say that I thought I packed quite well when I travel, but the truth is, I always come home with clothes I haven’t worn and things I haven’t used.

Knowing that I would be lugging my gear around Europe by myself, I set  a challenge for myself to take only the “essentials”. I knew I wouldn’t be able to travel as light as Cherie, but I could cut down on what I would normally pack. All those ‘Just in case’ items. I carefully chose essentials that all mixed and matched into several different outfits. This was really easy as my wardrobe consists of mainly neutral colours. I added a few different scarves to add a little detail.

I bragged to everyone about how sparingly I packed, one friend was horrified at how little I was taking and another friend was horrified by how much I was taking.

It seems the more seasoned travellers know the benefits of travelling without a heap of stuff!

This is what I took

Neutral co-ordinates

Neutral co-ordinates

Puffer coat

Puffer Vest


1 Lighter swing jacket

4 x Trousers, Black, Dark Grey, Winter White and Black Jeans

Black, Grey, Camel, Black/White Speckle, Grey/Camel Print Pullovers,  Camel Cardigan (4 light and 2 heavy)

Black Skivvy

Scarves: 3 x Silk and 3 x Wool

Large Wool Wrap (perfect for the plane)

Underwear, thermals


How I packed for a month abroad

How I packed for a month abroad

3 x socks

3 x pairs thick stockings

Leather gloves

Thermal gloves

Black boots

Black ballet flats


Make-up and toiletries

Small hairdryer

First Aid – drugs, Panadol, antibiotics etc. first aid etc.

Small bag of Jewellery,

Small cross body black bag

Large black handbag

Small clutch

Large travel wallet for passport and documents

I also took a back pack as a cabin bag. Stupidly, I took a computer, thinking all those hours in the sky could be used constructively. Well it didn’t see the light of day. Luckily I was able to leave it in London with my “Bestie” and she brought it with her when she met us in Paris for our last weekend.

Packing Cells

Bag packed with cells

Bag packed with cells

Another friend had given me some packing bags (cells), which she had used on a recent trip to Canada. I divided my gear into the different cells

Trousers and Tops

Underwear, socks, Scarves, Pyjamas, small hairdryer, jewellery etc.


One for dirty washing

I tagged each bag until I got used to what was in each cell.

I think this type of packing takes up more room in the suitcase, but it kept things organised and easy to find. This was great considering the type of trip we were embarking on.

The zipper section in the lid of my suitcase carried the my toiletry bag and ballet flats.

I had a back pack with my computer, big wrap, book and bits and pieces for the flight.

What Cherie took.

What Cherie was taking

What Cherie was taking

What did Cherie take? Well not much.

My husband was driving us to the airport and I was feeling really happy with my packing skills. That was until we got to Cherie’s. Out she came with her cabin bag and a small back pack. I still don’t know how she did it.


So how did I go?

What I used

What I used

Did I use every thing that I took with me? Well, no. While we were going into Autumn and heading up to Scotland, the weather was nowhere as cold as we expected. In fact I had to buy 2 t-shirts in London because it was so warm. My boots and ballet flats would have been plenty of foot wear except for the amount of walking we were doing everyday. Neither were up to the job and my feet, knees and hips were getting sore after only two days. So I invested in a pair of you beaut joggers. While not beautiful – they were the best thing I bought the whole trip. I wore my boots anytime we were in transit because they weighed more than the other shoes. Unfortunately, every time I went through security in an airport I had to take them off.  AAARGH!!!


What I didn't use

What I didn’t use

I did wear most of the outer wear that I took, but I could of easily managed without one of the trousers and one of the heavy jumpers and the cardigan. The winter underwear stayed packed as did the puffer vest and some of the scarves. Scotland though cold, wasn’t thermal cold. The  bag with first aid etc. had a pair of manicure scissors that were used once and that was it.   I guess you take some things hoping that you don’t need them like medicines and first aid basics. Manoeuvring a suitcase up and down subway steps at rush hour, across cobble stones, up narrow staircases in old hotels, rushing for trains was not fun and would certainly have been easier with a lighter load.

Hidden under a coat

Hidden under a coat

Hidden under a coat

For all the planning and coordinating of outfits,  most days I had a jacket or raincoat on, so it didn’t really matter at all what I had on underneath. We packed a lot into our time abroad and were on the go constantly.  In the end, practicality won over style on this trip. My next holiday I think, I’ll just get Cherie to come and pack for me.


This is a link to an article on packing lightly you may find helpful.



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