As we near our departure date, I'm pretty certain we've finished up our For-Europe purchases. I told DJ last night that I have the same feeling I did in the last week before our wedding: damn the price, if you think you're going to need it, buy it. The good news is, I think I'll have a lot less buyers remorse about Europe than I do about our wedding! At least all the Europe stuff will be used again, unlike say... the 12 tiki torches we bought.
I've shown you my shoes for Europe and most of the clothing I'll be taking, but now let me show you most of the gear I plan to pack.
As I've said before, we're planning on traveling light, with carry-on sized baggage. I'll have the Samsonite roll-aboard I bought with the remainder of our wedding gift cards, and DJ will have his tiny little roll-aboard. DJ has a messenger bag he'll use as a personal item and I just purchased a purse/ small day bag which will be mine. It's been a kind of fun challenge to work through exactly what it is we want to take.
First, a sort of fanny-pack for the most important documents. There are pickpockets in Venice and Rome, and at train and air travel locations. It's inevitable that our pockets will be picked, so we might as well prevent loss of important items. Bastards better not steal my chapstick, is all I'm gonna say! Anyway, thus the purchase of the silky fanny pack, which you wear around your front and tuck into your pants/ skirt waistband. Into it will go the passport (duh), wallet (the little green flip'n'fold wallet is from Target), and any other important paperwork. My only concern with this item is that clearly I can't wear a full-length dress if I'll need to be getting into my pouch...
While it'll probably pretty warm in Italy, I'm anticipating cooler weather in France. The weather forecast for Normandy right now calls for highs in the upper '60's (F) and lows in the upper 50's (F), with wet weather a possibility. On the left is the North Face Venture rain jacket I purchased this spring. In the middle is an underarmour pullover I've had for a few years. The green square to the right is a big green scarf which I'll wear with my black Patagonia dress on the plane. The scarf will be a cover-up, blanket, etc. while in flight. The crimson 'Cougs hat will be just an accessory- I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone comments on the hat!
Below is my carry-on items. From left to right: inflatable pillow, new Jon Grisham paperback, the day-bag I bought, a bottle for water, eye mask, Neutrogena makeup-remover wipes, travel journal, goldfish crackers and granola bars. Both DJ and I are planning on sleeping from Minneapolis to Amsterdam, so the inflatable pillow, eye mask and ear plugs (not pictured) will be important. We've both also debated taking a Tylenol PM, just to make sure we're not miserable for the lengthy flight. The paperback and goldfish are my go-to plane entertainment items. I'll fill the waterbottle once we've cleared security. The granola bars will go with us because I get really bitchy when I'm hungry, so they'll be our first line of prevention for that.
Other gear not pictured includes guidebooks (we'll separate those between our rolling luggage), a file with all of our rental car, hotel, and flight reservation information as well as tentative train schedule information for Italy. Of course, camera, camera charger, extra camera memory chip, DJ's droid phone (on which we'll turn the phone mode off and just find wireless hot spots to use it as a small computer), phone charger. I'll want to have my glasses case/ contact stuff handy, as I'll take those out pretty quickly into our trip. We've also got handi-wipes, small packets of laundry detergent for doing laundry in hotel sinks, a mini-clothes line for laundry, shout wipes (I'm taking 3 white shirts to a country that eats pasta, you know how this story ends).
The spreadsheet for this packing is actually pretty detailed, but small, since we're trying to pack so lightly! I'll go over toiletries for Europe later.