Friday, December 8, 2017

Time to Zip It! My Travel Case, That Is: One Carry-On, Five Weeks in Europe

 I'll be heading to the airport in a few hours, so it's time to show/tell you what I've packed before I zip the bags closed. I'll be away for five weeks: three weeks and a bit at our daughter's (with laundry facilities!) and then ten days involving train travel and four different hotels. If you're curious about packing for carry-on-only travel, you might also like to check out this post, where I've collated links to earlier trips.

Temperatures will be warmer near Rome, our main destination (currently mid-teens, Celsius, but could dip below 10). When I land in Paris, it looks like rain, perhaps heavy rain, and quite cool-ish, although not quite freezing. Going through the Swiss Alps, though, might be quite chilly, and I'll be glad of the cashmere, merino, down, layers, although we'll mostly be in the train or hotel. Turin is holding out the possibility of greeting us with snow for our overnight visit. . . . So comfort was definitely a consideration, even while wanting to be dressed well enough for Paris and Rome and Zurich.

Above, my Rimowa carry-on, the contents neatly controlled in Eagle Creek packing bags. I love these very thin, light bags for the way they allow me to unpack and repack easily if I'm only staying one to three nights at a place, and especially if I'm doing a sequence of short stays.
 But I realize that this method doesn't let you see what I've packed, so for the first time, I've written lists of what each bag holds (I think this might be useful for me as well): In the red bag above, I've packed: A navy velvet dress; black microfibre pants; black floral print silk blouse; black lightweight cashmere cardigan; black tights; black merino knit pencil skirt. And yes, that's a lot for a bag that size -- they have a slight compression effect, very handy, and in the corners you can see my black runners

The blue Eagle Creek bag above holds my new black cashmere turtleneck, as well as a silk scarf.

In the corners of the compartment you can see my black runners (stuffed with underwear, socks). You can't see the electrical adaptor, nor my sunglasses, nor the three picture books and little dress I'm bringing my g'daughter. I've also slipped a couple of exercise resistance bands for the workouts my trainer planned for me (30-minute circuits that can be done with very little equipment to keep me on track with fitness goals even while I'm traveling). I've also found room to tuck in a mini-paintbox.

Below, you can see that I've packed a small, light cross-body bag for days when my shoulders can't deal with my larger one. Along the outside edges I've packed my black-gold metallic Oxfords, one stuffed with my red scarf, another with a small fascial-release ball.
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 And another red bag in this compartment, as you see above,  holds my running/exercise gear -- sports bra, running tights, and long-sleeved technical T. It also contains a pair of jeans, a lightweight paisley-print merino pullover, and a cat-print ivory sweatshirt. This last item is a bit of a wild card for me -- I rarely include sweatshirts as they're just too bulky for my purposes and really, cotton isn't a versatile fibre for winter. But I suspect the lifestyle I'll be stepping into at my daughter's home might require something a bit more relaxed, even, than my jeans and sweaters, and a sweatshirt is much easier to launder than a cashmere or merino pullover.  . . 

The green bag holds toothbrush, dental floss, hair pick comb, etc. and will also hold all the liquid cosmetics currently sequestered in a zip-loc bag for security screening. I decided I have enough room to bring along that little roller you can see in the top right corner -- I just KNOW I'm going to miss my big foam roller so much!

I haven't bothered photographing my backpack with its contents, but it's a very manageable daypack with zippered compartments that organize my MacBook Air, my iPad Mini (both in lightweight cases, the latter in an M0851 pouch that doubles as a clutch).  I have the iPad loaded up with e-books on both the Kobo app and on my OverDrive app (with Vancouver Public Library books), so I don't need to pack print books. I have a Uniqlo down jacket in its very small pouch packed in here -- doubles as a neck pillow, very handy. A small pouch with my knitting: a few rows of a soon-to-be sock on wooden double-point needles. The adaptor for my iPhone. My Moleskine notebook. And a wool beret and mini-umbrella.

There, I'm ready to go, right?
Here's what I'll be wearing, as snapped in a changeroom the other day. A pair of skinny jeans because they work so well with boots -- and yes, I've decided to take these Fluevog boots, despite their definitely-not-neutral acid-green. I've just been enjoying their comfort so much lately (and honestly, always getting positive comments from complete strangers) that I decided to take a chance on them for travel. Wearing them here with the Aritzia sweater that's also been getting so much play because it's simple and comfortable and chic enough. Just barely enough, maybe, for Paris, but it will do, especially when worn underneath this coat (scroll down) which is also coming along.

Oh, and the new sweater I tried on in that changeroom, and bought, and packed?
I know, you can't really tell with all the black, but mmmmmmm, like wearing a hug. . .

And speaking of hugs, here's a big good-bye hug for all of you, and I'll post soon from a city full of Christmas sparkle. xo
p.s. as usual when traveling, I'm likely to post more on Instagram than on the blog. Feel free to Follow me there or just pop in for a look occasionally.

p.p.s Am I forgetting something? Anything? Better not tell me now, right? ;-)

16 comments:

  1. Bon voyage! I will be following....looking forward to each dispatch!

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  2. Big hugs right back to you!

    And that grey sweater is plenty chic for Paris...more current than a lot of fuss and bother. (also Rome...nb sprezzatura) Your wardrobe sounds perfect.

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  3. Have fun! Your packing list sounds great and the cashmere divine...a cozy choice for the flight...like a warm hug!

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  4. Hugs and kisses!
    As my mother wears all black now-she could do with two pairs of trousers and two sweaters-and she always look very chic ,if not colourful.
    My suggestion would be (no,don't be afraid :-)) to borow a sweatshirt or two from your daughter,if needed,when in Rome. You could cook,playing on the beach or something and it could be nice to change
    Enjoy your stay!
    Dottoressa

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  5. Hugs to you too Frances .. I love wearing a black cashmere polo neck and black jeans with boots ...always feels stylish and oh so cosy! Can't wait to hear about your travels, especially your Swiss train journeys and of course your family Christmas near Rome.
    Buon Viaggio Frances.
    Rosie

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  6. You are a packing ninja!! I love the green boots too. Have a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to following along on your travels!

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  7. Bon voyage! Sounds like a wonderful mix of family and personal time.

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  8. Safe travels! I look forward to follow your journey.

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  9. I'm so impressed by your packing, Frances! I could learn a few things. Looking forward to your posts from the trip. Safe and fun travels!

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  10. Another great packing job Francis! Safe journey, I'll try to look at your instagram now and again to keep up with you. Have a wonderful time with the family.

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  11. Some inspirational packing tips, especially for colder weather travel. Love that you've managed to include so many fitness-maintenance items. The stretchy elastic bands are great - I'm signing off from my wonderful personal trainer in Edinburgh prior to the start of our move north (more soon) and have asked her for gym-free exercises, as gym access won't be so easy. These wide stretchy bands feature large and my goodness there are some tough exercises with them!

    What a huge changing room! Is this a standard Canadian size?

    Adding an Instagram post request to the others above - photos of Turin please! Love this city!

    Bonne route!

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  12. You are a packing genius. Wow! Love that grey sweater on you - very becoming. Have a wonderful time!

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  13. Perfect- so organized and seems right for the specific damp chill of European winter. And- the camera! We'll be treated to photos! IMO it is important to mood to have a few bright touches.

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  14. So great. To me the green boots are a must. Otherwise our rational packing risks boredom. I should try those cubes, never have, and I think they must make life easier.

    I hope you are having a wonderful time in Paris today:).

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  15. Lovely hair. I think your clothes are a lot smaller than mine and that's why so many of them go in such a small bag.

    ceci

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  16. Great boots. I have some Haflinger felt slippers in that colour!

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