Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Proof That It’s Possible to Pack for Europe in a Carry-On

This article has been syndicated to Her Campus from Chantel Emma by Chantel Petty, a Her Campus Blogger Network member. Read the full post here.

Packing for Europe in a carry-on can seem restrictive, but in reality, it will allow you to be more mobile as well as free you from the hassle of lugging around a heavy bag. I hope this guide will help you pack for your dream vacation.

1. Pre-Packing

Research the areas you will be visiting

Look into the local climates, as well as the activities you plan to do while you’re there. Also, keep in mind any specifics, such as that many churches have dress codes (for example, shoulders & knees must be covered). Knowing exactly the weather, events, and excursions you will be doing will help you eliminate unnecessary items. 

Gather all documents you may need while traveling

This includes passports, IDs, boarding passes, event tickets, etc. It is also wise to make photocopies of the documents in case they are lost or stolen. 

Lay out all outfits down to the jewelry and underclothing

This helps you visually organize, as well as see where you can mix and match clothing items. It also ensures that you do not forget anything. When choosing what to bring, keep in mind that lightweight materials will take up less space in your bag, and they’ll also keep you cool when you’re walking around all day.

Finding good luggage is just as important as what goes into it

For Christmas, I received this Samsonite, which I absolutely love. From personal experience, I have found that soft luggage is better than hard.

2. Packing


I have found that the best way to transport toiletries is in a bag with a hook. Many hotels in Europe have very little counter space, so a bag with a hook comes in very handy. I use this bag from L.L. Bean. I also fill these bottles with shampoo and conditioner to ensure there is no leakage, and they comply with the airline restrictions on liquids.


For a makeup bag, choose something that is small. Remember that since you will be using a carry-on, all liquids must fall within the restricted limits and be in a plastic bag to go through screening.


For me, packing in a carry-on would not be possible without my Ebags. The bags make the amount of items you can bring exponentially higher. Use the largest of the bags for your bulkiest items. Roll them as tightly as you can and place into the bag. These bags also help prevent wrinkling and disorganization.

Read the full post on Chantel Emma.

Jamie is a senior Writing, Literature and Publishing major at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is the Her Campus Life Editor, a National Contributing Writer, and Campus Correspondent of the Emerson Her Campus chapter. Jamie plans to pursue a career in the magazine industry. See more of her work at: www.jamiemkravitz.com