What to pack for a trip to Europe in the fall? This question bounced around my mind for months leading up to my Eurotrip2016 with my mom. I like to consider the clothing to pack with me months in advance so it gives me time to mentally prepare outfits and coordinated accessories. In October, I went to six European countries within two weeks with nothing but a carry-on bag and a personal item.
I knew I wanted a neutral color palette so that my outfits could mix-and-match easily. Since Southern California is pretty mild all year round, I needed some jackets to keep me warm during European fall.
Plus size packing 101 – Europe in October
Plus size packing in a carry-on suitcase
Packing for a two week trip in nothing but a standard carry-on suitcase is a challenge. Now, imagine having the same challenge of packing for two weeks overseas when all of your clothes take up twice the space. I use the rolling tactic to make the most space available in my suitcase. The real tip for a successful carry-on bag when you are plus size, is making sure you plan your outfit combinations ahead of time. Make sure your tops go with your outerwear and can be mixed with several bottoms.
The 6 countries I visited during my October Eurotrip2016:
- London, England – Read my blog post of my trip to London
- Dubrovnik, Croatia – Read my blog post of my trip to Dubrovnik
- Kotor, Montenegro – Read my blog post of my trip to Montenegro
- Mostar, Bosnia – Read my blog post of my trip to Bosnia
- Barcelona, Spain – Read my blog post of my trip to Barcelona
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands -Read my blog post of my trip to Amsterdam
The two largest items I packed were of course my plus size outerwear. Europe is freaking cold! October in Dubrovnik was much warmer than October in Amsterdam. Layering is the key to making your wardrobe work in Europe.
What I packed for my two-week European fall adventure:
- One white linen blouse
- One denim chambray
- One green-ish frocket tee
- One plain t-shirt
- One sleeveless blouse
- One long sleeved frocket
- One long sleeved army green shirt
- One long sleeved striped dress
- One pair of plain black leggings
- One pair of dark skinny jeans
- One plum pleather skater skirt
- One plus size cape
- One plus size military jacket
- One mens black hoodie
- One red flannel blanket scarf
- One pair of comfortable athletic shoes
- One pair of maroon heels
- One pair of black flats
- One pair of brown booties
- Bras & Underwear
- Toiletry & makeup bag
Downsizing from an American roller bag to a European suitcase
My first stop on our Euro trip did not start off well. I actually broke my suitcase getting off the London underground on the way to our hotel in Paddington. I avoided having to buy a new suitcase because I really thought I could fix it. My silver carry-on roller bag was a gift to myself on my 21st birthday before my trip to Singapore. It had lasted me 5 whole years before falling to its demise in London.
As a last minute desperate attempt to get a new suitcase without having to pay an arm and a leg for a Tumi at the cost of the British Pound exchange rate, I haggled. There is a slew of tourist goods shops outside of the Paddington Underground. Before closing up that night I went to each one of them to see who could give me the best price for a one of their “high quality” carry-on bags. Each started at the 50 pound mark, by the time I got to the last shop owner I got them to reduce the price down to 30 pounds!
That was my first successful haggling attempt. Before that I only ever succeeded in getting a flea market stand to give me $2 off a fake MAC pallet. This haggling practice proved necessary for our next stop: Dubrovnik.
My new European suitcase was much smaller than my American carry-on. I successfully got all of my clothes inside, plus made room for more!
Final notes about packing for Europe
- Unless you are big on night life and clubbing, forget packing the heels. I didn’t wear them once and they just wasted space through the whole trip. Call it wishful thinking.
- Save space in your suitcase by wearing your heaviest things on the plane. Have a designated plane outfit so you always know how much space you have available in your suitcase.