I get a lot of questions about how to pack when going on an extended trip. The trouble with traveling for 6 weeks at a time is that you can’t take 6 suitcases with you. Especially if you will be travelling to multiple destinations. It’s not so much of a problem if you will be travelling to 1 or 2 destinations and staying at each one for an extended amount of time. However, if like husband and I you travelled for 6 weeks as follows: California -> Nashville -> Nice -> Barcelona -> London -> Paris -> The Cinque Terre -> Lucca -> Sorrento -> Positano -> Rome -> California, you bet your buttuci you will want to have packed as light as possible.
My general rule for packing for extended trips is to bring a few options in each category that pretty much all go together.
(Black Maxi – Anthropologie, Leopard Shift – J. Crew, Trench – Cartonnier via Anthropologie, Leather Jacket – Anthropologie, White Tee – J. Crew, Blouse – Konrad & Joseph via Anthropologie, Chambray Shirt – Madewell, Striped Long-sleeve – Anthropologie, White Blouse – Equipment, Boots – Frye, Sandals – Sam Edelman, Leopard Flats – J. Crew, Bag – J. Crew Brompton Hobo, Cuffs – Anthropologie, Watch – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Black Skinnies – AG, Jean Shorts – Madewell, Jeans – Pilcro)
Depending on the season I might swap out a couple things, for instance – If I’m going in spring or summer, I swap the black jeans for white ones, and pack some more cotton and warm weather items.
Once I have a good base of “Everything goes with everything” pieces, I add in a couple of fun and colorful items so things don’t feel too boring or monotonous. ie:
The last thing I do is pack doubles of a couple of items (like the white v-neck, or a couple white tank tops) that I know I will use a lot, so that I don’t have to do laundry quite as often.
And don’t forget to use an online travel checklist specific to the place you’re going. A good one for travel in Europe can be found here. You don’t have to stick to it like it’s your last lifeline, but checking against a list like this can be helpful to make sure you’re not missing anything important.
Any questions? What am I missing? Help me out here, folks!
On our last night in Europe, husband and I took a long stroll through Rome, with dinner in the Jewish Ghetto (once you eat there, it’s hard to want to eat anywhere else). It feels pretty amazing strolling down the street and coming upon ruins that have been around since before Jesus walked the earth. We don’t exactly have that sort of history lying around every corner in California.
(Dress – J. Crew – Jacket – Anthropologie Biker Melange Jacket (old), Sandals – Sam Edelman (old), Bag – J. Crew Brompton Hobo)
And that, my friends, brings us to the end of #HashtagEuro2012…. I hope you’ve enjoyed travelling through Europe with husband and I. I’ve certainly enjoyed reliving each stop through photos and memories.
So, husband. Where to next?
On our last full day in Europe, husband and I visited the Vatican, and just walked around Rome exploring the city.
“OOH! It looks like I’m in the giant land in Super Mario Brothers – take my picture!”
Husband at lunch – we had a TO-DIE-FOR meal in the Jewish Ghetto (one of about four in a two-and-a half-day period) – Mark Zuckerberg lunched there the same day with his new wife! How crazy is that?
Fried artichoke – this was SO GOOD
(Top and Bag – J. Crew, Pants – Levi’s, Sandals – Sam Edelman)
We spent our first morning in Rome exploring some ruins and visiting the coliseum. It’s pretty amazing to think that not that long ago people were watching fights to the death as entertainment. Hunger Games anyone? What I wouldn’t give to read that book again for the first time. It would be like seeing Lost again for the first time. Or Friday Night Lights.
Our last stop on #HashtagEuro2012 was Rome. Lucky for us we met a lovely girl in Positano who had studied abroad in Rome for a few years, and was kind enough to shoot us an email with tips about her favorite spots in Rome. Let me tell you, suckers, having someone who actually lived in the place you’re going telling you where to eat and spend time makes all the difference in the world. I’m talking “We didn’t like it at all” to “It was one of our favorite stops” difference. We only had two full days in Rome, so we made our time count while we were there. Night one, after we arrived and checked in, we headed out on a 45 minute-ish walk through the city to Trastevere for a late dinner. Inhabited since 700BC-ish, the area has maintained it’s charm and character amazingly well. Cobblestone streets and tiny restaurants tucked into nooks and crannies. You have no idea how fun this is to write, it’s like reliving it. But for free this time.
Our everyday picnic lunch
The view from our terrace
Husband – looking good – waccah waccah!
The view from the top of town
I wish I could’ve taken these home with me, but alas – at 800 Euros, it was a no-go
And you, lovely lady, would have been so happy hanging on my wall
Long walk on a rainy day
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…by way of Sorrento.
After Lucca, husband and I hopped a train to Sorrento, where we arrived late with nowhere to stay and ended up in this hostel:
Sorrento was beautiful (check it out in the pic above), but after all the big cities we had been in, we were ready for a glass of wine on a small terrace overlooking a teeny town, so we hopped a ferry to Positano, Italy. Positano is a small village on the Amalfi coast – with a population just under 4,000, and a single road that weaves through the entire village in one large and weaving loop, it is the stuff dreams are made of. I know I sound cheesy, but I can’t help it, it’s just the perfect place. Our bed was rock hard, we had no lights and no hot water in our B&B for almost three full days, and it rained almost the whole time we were there (including one 2 am storm that kept us out of bed watching the torrential downpour and lightning from our terrace for about an hour), and still I just felt like I never wanted to leave. I mean, Justin and Jessica stayed here once upon a time, so you know it’s gotta be good.
Our first full day in Positano we decided to pretend it wasn’t rainy and cold, and threw on our beach duds, and walked on down (you can walk anywhere in this town in 10 minutes). This day we left the camera in our room, so sorry for the grainy iPhone shots, but fear not! I have some awesome shots of Positano to share with you at a later date!
If we’re ever rich, I want a villa here. And one in London. And Africa. And Costa Rica. Well, looks like I’ve spent all of our imaginary money already. Whoops.
It’s funny. You lug around a huge camera for an entire trip (along with hood and flash) and then you get home and realize your favorite pictures you took were with your phone.
So, here’s some of my very favorite travel moments from the first half of Tour-de-Euro through the scope of my phone (and husbands, of course)…
Wanna catch em as they drop? Check out my Instagram – I’m misspomp
We spent our last morning in Monterosso al Mare getting some last minute pastries and cappuccinos and sending postcards home to our fams.
And then we hopped a train for this place:
We had heard about Lucca the night before from a couple of friendly waiters that said they visit the city about once a year. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans, and then in 180 BC it became a Roman colony. Sheesh man, THAT IS BEFORE JESUS! That is REALLY stinkin’ old.
There is a giant wall built around the city that was originally made for military use as defense against intruders, but now serves as a promenade that surrounds the whole city. Husband really wanted to do this:
MISTAKE. This thing HURT, and I mean it HURT BAD. We only rented it for an hour, and I had to take a break before the end because the seat was so stinkin’ uncomfortable.
(On Husband: J. Crew, On me: Dress – Anthropologie, Chambray – H&M, Bag – J. Crew, Sandals – Sam Edelman)
Here’s the deal: I wasn’t a big fan of Lucca. Now, this is just one ladies opinion, so feel free to totally disagree, but here was my overall impression:
The architecture is beautiful, and you can feel the history just walking through the town, which is great. I think that 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago, it would probably have been an awesome place to visit, but there were a LOT of tourists (I realize we were 2 of them, but still), and when you see a beautiful old building from medieval times and it has a Game Stop in it, it just feels wrong.
So, we stayed for only 1 day, BUT, we had a great meal and met some really nice people that we really enjoyed talking to, so I guess it was a success!
After recovering from our late night out and day of hiking, we spent our second full day in the Cinque Terre checking out the 4th and 5th towns – Manarola and Riomaggiore. It was a sunny, beautiful day (although a bit windy and chilly at times), and there was nothing better we could have done than ambling along the coast (and eating lots of yummy things along the way).
(Pants and tank – J. Crew, Leather jacket (a couple shots below) – Anthropologie)
I never met a statue I didn’t want to mimic
The hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore is known as the Via Dell’Amore – “Love Walk” – couples fasten padlocks to this chain-link fence and throw away the key to symbolically lock up their love.
We stopped here on the Via Dell’Amore to picnic…. A baguette, prosciutto, brie, pesto, and a nice bottle of red wine… life doesn’t get much better than that.
Husband – “Let’s go down by the water”
Me – “Okay”
I titled this one “Consequences”
And another highlight of the day – we had the best gelato of the entire trip in Riomaggiore. I mean, of the ENTIRE TRIP. We stopped at Gelateria Centrale, and had Fragola (strawberry) and Fior di Latte (literally translating to milk flower) gelato that would have literally blown my socks off – had I been wearing socks.
If you have a good gelato place, I’d love to hear about it, I’m willing to travel pretty far for a delicious gelato.
And don’t forget to check out my Instagram! I’m Misspomp. Come on why don’t cha!