How I Traveled as an Uber Minimalist for 2 Months in Europe

Unbeknownst to the rest of you, I had a little mini challenge for myself this time around to Europe.

I wanted to travel with as little as possible. Specifically, one shoulder bag and one carryon.

…and not just ANY ol’ carryon folks, I’m talking about a laptop bag-sized carryon.

Crazy? Yes. Possible? Yes.

WHY? OH WHY!?!

I just wanted to give it a shot. To see if I could really survive for 2 months with one laptop bag that would hold everything I needed.

I also really hate carrying things on the rocky roads of Portugal and Spain — flat, paved and beautifully flat, they are not.

Europe is filled with roads that are difficult to walk on, much less a pain in the butt to wheel a carryon on.

Here are the pictures of what I carried:

 

The Laptop Bag: Tucano Tasca (apparently it’s Italian)

The Crossbody Bag: Roots Flat Bag (it isn’t shown on their site)

And this is a rough overview of what I packed in there.

MY CROSS BODY BAG

I put my passport, travel documents, papers and anything I might need right away. I keep it pretty light because it hurts my back if it’s too heavy.

I also pack my little pocket digital camera in there — the Canon S95 (WHICH I LOVE!!!) that is a lot like the Canon G12 in terms of its motor, but it doesn’t have the clarity and beauty of the ‘real’ camera which I use for tourist-y shots 🙂

I also put my Bose headphone set (ugh, it’s a monster) that also holds my iPod, eye mask, earplugs, and extra batteries.

TUCANO TASCA

I’ll start from top to bottom.

 

Behind where my laptop is hiding

It is a little slot that you can used to put over the handles of your carryon suitcase to wheel your bag around instead of having to lug it.

If you don’t have a carryon, you can zip up the bottom of that slot and it becomes a pouch!

Laptop Sleeve and Documents Compartment

It’s quite large. I put a Macbook Air 11″ in there and it is swimming!

In the front where you see a blue case on the right, it’s what I use to put all my adapters, chargers and cords.

I also have a black pouch that has my Canon G12 Camera, extra battery, cord and spare SDHC card.

To the left I have a zippered pouch with utensils just on top of the camera case.

Lastly, there’s also a hidden zippered compartment just in front (behind the Second Document Compartment), where I put my extra traveling money and house key.

Second Document Compartment

This is where I put my clothes flat packed in that little flat section:

  • 2 tank tops
  • 1 little dress
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 3 handkerchiefs
  • extra pair of pants
  • 1 extra pair of socks
  • 1 pair of flat sandals

In front of that section, you can see my toiletries in another blue case:

  • floss
  • sunscreen
  • contact lenses case
  • spectacles
  • extra contact lenses
  • 4 bottles of contact lens solution under 100mL
  • allergy pills
  • aspirin
  • gravol (motion sickness pills)
  • wet wipes
  • electric toothbrush (with its charger)
  • 1 mini tube of organic argan oil (facial moisturizer)
  • 1 GoToob 3 fl. oz. of Korres White Tea Fluid Cleansing Gel (facial cleanser)
  • 1 super small tube of liquid Benetint Posietint blush
  • 1 brown eyeliner pencil
  • 1 eyeliner sharpener
  • 1 CoverFX mineral compact foundation

(I went super minimalist — this is really the bare minimum I need to survive and I even brought makeup!)

In the very front

There is another smaller half pouch where I put a pad and a pen.

Oh yeah, it also has little pockets to the side of the bag, but you can barely fit anything in there (nothing like a water bottle), perhaps just a smartphone.

It seriously fits everything I need in there!

Sure, it’s a bit tight if I were to pick up oh.. say.. a cute dress a a souvenir 😉 …but it sure makes me think twice before buying anything on my trips!

As for my travel outfit, I wear my hat and my Asolo hiking boots, a pair of socks, long pants, a sweater and another top underneath.

It’s everything I needed for 2 months in Europe.

I throw the bags over my shoulders and off I go. It was pretty light.

What’s even more amazing is that the Tucano Tasca bag fits PERFECTLY underneath most seats on the airlines, trains and buses!!!!!!

I always had a problem trying to find the right bag that wouldn’t flop all over the place and travel while the plane is in motion, or spill everything all over the floor, and I think I found it.

Would I do that again?

Perhaps.

I’m thinking it’s a great thing for me to travel so lightly with a laptop bag (it’s much smaller than my first attempt at packing light with a small carryon), but if it’s to a place where I know I will shop (*cough* HONG KONG *cough* NEW YORK *cough*), then I’ll bring a wheelie carryon.

Read: Packing Lightly for Asia: Attempt #1 and Packing Lightly for Asia: The Final Cut

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.