Packing List for 21-Days in Europe

Packing List for 21-Days in Europe  | kaileenelise.com - image via Unsplash

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.
(Martin Buber)

Hello from London! My Mister and I arrived Tuesday morning and have been enjoying the beautiful late-summer weather. One of my September Intentions was to travel here with just one bag + carry-on for each of us, and I’m happy to say that we did it!

This trip is a long one (3 weeks total) and it will take us to five different destinations. We are visiting London, Munich, Vienna, Paris, and Edinburgh. The weather forecast is a range of 40-70 degrees with chances of rain. So far it has been nice, and warmer than expected!

My packing list for 21-days in Europe

The process began a week before our departure and included one “test pack” that was followed by me adding several items to the list. My bags are heavy, but manageable. There isn’t a lot of room for souvenirs, but we try to take lots of pictures and I usually collect tickets, business cards, and other paper things from the places we visit.

The Actual Bags

We each have one of these Travelpro suitcases that we bought during an Amazon luggage sale. They are great little bags for travel because they meet all major requirements for overhead bins and you can really pack a lot in them!

I have a purse very similar to this one that I’m using as my carry-on.  For travel days, it gets stuffed with my laptop, iPad, Kindle, makeup, and liquids bag. It’s also great for carrying around when we are exploring, especially if we want to bring our umbrella and pullovers.

Electronics

I’m not very good about packing light when it comes to electronics, but that’s ok. I am willing to carry them around with me. While packing, I lay all my tech out and make sure the corresponding chargers come along.

A note on workout things: this makes me exercise more often while traveling. It isn’t a surefire solution, but it definitely helps. I was excited to bring my Fitbit for days when all we do is walk and explore, and my GPS watch + heart rate monitor for running.

Mini Medicine Cabinet

I got really sick when we were in Japan earlier this year. It was miserable when I ran through our medicine stash. I don’t plan on needing these things, but better safe than sorry!

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Razor + blades
  • Contact solution
  • Spare contacts
  • Q-tips
  • Lavender towelettes
  • Compact mirror
  • Nail polish remover pads
  • Nail file + clipper
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins
  • Wide tooth comb
  • Round brush
  • Curling iron
  • Hair products
  • Makeup bag
  • Rollerball perfume

As I mentioned in my packing tips for multipurpose trips, I collect sample sizes of my beauty products. I do not pack shampoo, conditioner, lotion, or a blowdryer since hotels usually have those for guests. My “liquid bag” is always busting at the seams, so I ask my Mister to carry the toothpaste and contact solution in his.

Jewelry + Accessories

  • Silver clutch
  • Small tan purse
  • Statement necklace
  • Everyday necklace
  • Nice watch
  • Earrings (5 pairs)
  • Black scarf
  • Blush infinity scarf
  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses

I just bought my first-ever statement necklace and am in love! It was a must-bring item, along with several pairs of earrings, and two scarves. These little things help keep me from feeling like I’m wearing the same outfit over and over.

Clothes

  • Nice long sleeve dress
  • Nice black sleeveless dress
  • Cranberry sweater
  • Black sweater
  • Two-in-one top
  • Cream blouse
  • Casual sweatshirt dress
  • Long sleeve pullover
  • Grey v-neck t-shirt
  • Black t-shirt
  • 2 black + 2 white tank tops
  • Exercise tank
  • 2 pairs of leggings + 2 pairs of jeans: one dressy, one casual each
  • Pajama/sweatpants
  • Underwear (6 pairs)
  • 2 everyday bras + 1 sports bra
  • Socks (2 running, 3 everyday)
  • Black tights
  • Black leather jacket
  • Olive green jacket

I really cannot imagine bringing any more clothes. In my first round of packing, I did not include the nice black sleeveless dress, exercise tank, or the extra pair of leggings. Those were impulse additions to my bag, but I’m hoping they will prove to be useful. There’s nothing worse that bringing something around with you to five cities and not wearing it, so I am planning to keep track of how well I’m rotating my outfits. Also, we are planning to do laundry a few times during the trip!

Shoes

  • Black boots
  • Black flats
  • Running shoes
  • Grey TOMS

I tossed my TOMS in at the last minute. They pack flat and are comfortable walking shoes. My boots and flats are brand-new for the trip… so, I should have broken them in before leaving. Guess that’s why I brought band-aids. Also, this is the blister cure we swear by. Ha!

Miscellany

  • Water bottle
  • Yoga mat
  • Pages from my day planner
  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Wite-out
  • Headphones
  • Lip balm

This is my collection of creature comforts that, for the most part, I would not travel without. This water bottle is very light and it filters the water as you drink it. This yoga mat folds up and fits nicely in the front zipper section of my luggage.

Taking a few pages from my day planner is more practical than bringing the whole thing. I just hold what I need together with a binder clip, then tuck it away in a small notebook. This pouch holds my pens, whiteout, lip balm, lavender towelettes, headphones (cord-wrangled with one of these), plus one packet of Emergen-C and EBOOST.

That’s everything!

Creating a packing list for 21-days in Europe is no small feat. I might have brought slightly more than I will need, but that’s hard to tell at this point. My bags are heavy to carry, especially upstairs and through uneven sidewalks, but I can manage it all on my own and it’s comfortably under the airline weight limits.

I hope this provides you with some inspiration and helpful information for your next trip… whether you are leaving for a few days or going on a long, faraway journey! Let me know in the comments, what are your top must-pack items?

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Running + 10K Playlist

Running + 10K Playlist | kaileenelise.com - image via Death to the Stock Photo

Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance — you can push yourself to extremes
and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations
or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet.
(Doris Brown Heritage)

Hello, lovelies! I hope you are having a beautiful Saturday morning. My Mister and I are up early and driving out to Gruene, TX to run in a 10K. It’s his first race ever… and my first since having back surgery in 2012!

I started running again in earnest this February. Wearing a heart rate monitor on runs and my Fitbit every day has helped with my motivation. When I created my Thirty Before Thirty list, I knew I wanted to do some sort of race. I had a half-marathon in mind, but with everything on my plate that wasn’t realistic. A 10K is nothing to sneeze at, but it is less than half of a half-marathon… so doable from a training standpoint.

My favorite runs this summer were through Central Park in New York City and up the “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia. I’m packing my running gear for our trip to Europe next week, so maybe I’ll collect a few memories while we’re there!

Today I’m hoping to go out there and have fun. I made the following playlist to keep me entertained and inspired. It eases into things with slower tempo songs, then picks up with a mix of dance and hip hop. I think it’d be a good playlist for cleaning house too! It has plenty of “explicit” songs, so maybe don’t play this one around kids or elderly neighbors… because this lady needs a few hard-core tunes for motivation!!

Click here to listen to my 10K Playlist on Spotify:

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings
The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
Florence + The Machine – Swimming
Tove Lo – Stay High – Habits Remix
Ella Henderson – Ghost
Beyoncé – End Of Time
Kanye West – To The World
Becky G – Shower
Flo Rida – Good Feeling
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Calvin Harris – I Need Your Love
Jessie J – Bang Bang
Pitbull – Fireball
OneRepublic – Love Runs Out
David Guetta – Bad (feat. Vassy) – Radio Edit
John Newman – Love Me Again
Icona Pop – I Love It
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
Lil Wayne – A Milli
Memphis Bleek – Like That

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

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Day 26 Whole30 Check-In

Whole30 Check-In | kaileenelise.com - image via Death to the Stock Photo

Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
(Greg Anderson)

I’ve reached the home stretch of my first Whole30. I am feeling happy and healthy, plus a little relieved and nervous.

Happy because I am doing it – no slip-ups, no excuses, no cheats, no major meltdowns. I am establishing new thought-patterns and letting go of habits that haven’t worked in the past. Happy because my clothes fit better. Happy because I feel good. Happy because I’ve had fun discovering recipes that will be great for meal plans even after the Whole30.

Healthy because I am fueling my body with whole foods. I’ve been drinking tons of water and no alcohol. I’m tired when it’s time for bed and up in the mornings when it’s time to wake up. Healthy because working out has felt like a natural extension of this new eating routine. Healthy because I am listening to my body and taking great care of myself.

Relieved because the end is near. It will feel luxurious to have a glass of wine with dinner, and it will feel nice to have a nibble of chocolate after. It Starts With Food (the book companion to Whole30) offers a full re-introduction to normal foods plan… that I will follow another time. My last day of Whole30 coincides with our departure for a 3-week trip to Europe. I’ll be navigating my re-entry carefully and swiftly.

Nervous because I’ll be diving from this extremely restrictive diet to dinners out and meals on the road. Nervous (and excited) to weigh myself — my reflection in the mirror looks stronger, more lean and toned. I am not going to tie any measure of success to my weight, but a girl gets curious after 26 days of hard work!

A few things that have made this Whole30 easier on me:

  • Working from home. I was talking to my Mister about how this hasn’t been that hard. He gently reminded me that working from home has helped me avoid break-room candy, office happy hours, and monthly birthday cake. If I were doing Whole30 from my old job, my resolve might have been tested more.
  • Empathetic friends. Last Friday, our friends invited us over for dinner. They prepared a Whole30 approved meal… including mock piña coladas that were sugar free. We stayed out way later than planned because it was such an amazing night!
  • Being a former vegetarian. These days I have no qualms about eating organic and pastured meats. My past life as a vegetarian helped me feel comfortable with being the weird one at a table, and it gave me a fondness for most veggies.

This experience has taught me that I don’t need to eat everything. I can decline, pick and choose, and eat based on my hunger.

I am hoping to remember this feeling: I will not “lose out” if I don’t eat every macaroon in Paris. All I need is one (or two!) for the experience. This realization is freeing… but scary. The thought that usually plays over and over in my mind is “I deserve that.” Now I know that I deserve to feel good, happy, and heathy… and no sweet treat can give that to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I will indulge again. I just plan to be more intentional and honest with myself about what I’m eating. In It Starts with Food, the authors say that food is either good for you or bad for you. There is no middle, gray part where food is neutral. This black and white explanation has been helpful. When I eat “bad for me” foods, I plan to acknowledge it as such and savor the treat… instead of dreaming about eating ten more!

I am already planning my next Whole30 for when we’re back from Europe. For now, I’m enjoying these last days of the program before we take off on our adventure.

If you are interested in Whole30, check out their website and pick up a copy of It Starts With Food — it’s a great read for anyone who is looking for a fresh perspective on heathy eating.

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

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