This Friday, I’m leaving for two weeks to go to Prague, Amsterdam, and London. I’m going with my best friend Abbi, who studied abroad in Prague for the last 8 weeks.
Being from Nashville, I’m no stranger to tourists. Go downtown to Broadway, and you can easily pick out who’s from around here and who has just seen their first “honkey tonk” and Boot Barn. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against tourists, but I do have a problem with sticking out like one. One of my favorite places to go for fashion inspiration is Pinterest, so I did a little research on European fashion and compiled my inspiration into this Pinterest board.
Honestly, in the past I allowed myself to overindulge while packing. So, for this trip, I’m taking on the challenge of only bringing one bag. A lonesome carry-on, plus my purse. So long to the days of a bag just for clothes and another just for shoes, plus one more little one for toiletries (and makeup). I’m condensing it down to a single carry-on; this AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack, actually.
LET’S GET PACKING
To be perfectly honest, I needed a little bit of help to make the change. Planning ahead isn’t exactly my strong suit, so I turned to my favorite travel blogger Helene in Between. She wrote an awesome post on travel tips to make packing a breeze that I referenced several times while getting my stuff together. By following her guidelines, I was able to easily pick out pieces to create a polished (but small) wardrobe for my time abroad with minimal planning.
Sticking to basics is key to making sure all your pieces will mix and match so you can re-wear things without wearing the same exact outfit. For my two week trip, I’m bringing 3 pairs of skinny jeans– black ripped, blue high-waist, and blue ripped. All three pairs of pants have a chic silhouette and can be paired with almost any top imaginable, making them easy to style and restyle.
The great thing about keeping your bottoms as basic as possible is you have a ton of freedom to play around with your tops. Since I’ll only be gone two weeks, though, I want to keep things pretty simple because I’ll be re-wearing them so close together. Packing with bold colors and prints is great to show personality, but they tend to be pretty memorable. I want to look like I’m not wearing clothes over again while actually wearing them over again, so I’m keeping prints to a minimum. You can easily style a plain white tee 3 different ways with a new look each time, but the same can’t really be said for your favorite cheetah print blouse with sequin detailing… If that’s your favorite, though, we might need to be having a different talk.
I’m packing 8 shirts in neutral colors that can be paired with any of my jeans. I’m also bringing a denim jacket for warmth and to help accessorize.
One of the key take-aways I got from Helene’s post is outfits are not made by the clothes themselves, they’re made by your accessories. Jewelry takes up much less space than clothing, so it’s easier to splurge and bring a few extra options to jazz up your looks.
I’m not a huge jewelry gal– it distracts me and I always end up taking it off and losing it. Recently, though, I’ve started to gain more appreciation for the aesthetic and level of chic it adds to any outfit. I’m going to bring my favorite star and moon choker, a pair of stud earrings, and my gold rings.
Although my first instinct is to throw every shoe I have into my bag, I think I can probably leave my rain boots, red high-top Converse, and nude pumps at home. I’m bringing two pairs– a blush pink pair of mules (Lucky Brand from Dillard’s) and my Birkenstocks.
I’m a huge fan of Birkenstocks– I think they’re super comfortable and can easily be dressed up (to an extent) for any occasion. Plus, they’re easy to throw on and go and can be worn in the rain. I chose the mules because I wanted a pair that would be comfy to walk around in but had a chic flair, and my Lucky Brand pair fit the bill.
While I wish I could live solely off clothes for two weeks, it’s a sadly unrealistic goal. I’m also going to be fitting my laptop, camera, toiletries, and plug adapter/converter. A few “comfies” will be coming along as well– a pair of athletic shorts, socks, and a couple of big t-shirts.
AND WE’RE OFF
Okay, not quite “off”… It’s still three days away, but I’m antsy with excitement! This will be my first time out of the country on my own. I travelled to France with my mom the summer before I started high school, but I didn’t appreciate things the way I should have. I’m so excited to not only travel around Europe and experience different cultures, but to do it with my best friend.
Have you been to Prague, Amsterdam, or London? I would love to hear any recommendations you have!