Ultralight Travel Fashion: European Vacation

Have family vacation plans still on the agenda this summer?  Do you check all your bags or attempt ultralight travel, by carry-on only?

We have one last big vacation adventure set before school is back in session…an 11 day visit to Europe, taking in Paris and Switzerland!! Super excited to take the kids on a really fantastic journey, allowing them to see so many historical places and sights!

But, here’s the twist…we are all traveling with just a backpack for our clothes/toiletries and a small personal item!!! Say what?!?!

I know this sounds completely insane (and dreadful), to probably just about anyone alive (HA!). I am sure you are thinking, “Why in the world would you want to pack SO little, when visiting PARIS of all places??”.

Read on and I will tell you the reason behind the madness!!

Several years back, my husband and I visited London, Paris and Switzerland over a 10 day span and really loved the adventure!! We traveled light (carry-on size rolling suitcase and personal item each). But, getting from place to place quickly was much too stressful. I recall trying to reach our train before it left the station (in a foreign country 😳), RUNNING with our bulky (carry-on) belongings. It was at that moment we realized the next visit ‘back over the pond’ was going to be easier and paired down considerably, with the wardrobe choices 😉.  We both like the idea of the freedom that traveling with fewer items will bring…less stress, lending to a better and more fulfilling experience.

We did our best to pass along this mindset to our kiddos for travel expectations and they seem to be on board 🙌🏻

Now that you know why I am doing this, I will next show you HOW I am managing to pack for this journey using just a backpack and personal item.

In order to be successful, I knew a wardrobe selection that was mix and match was a must! Plus, having a piece or two for cooler temps was going to be needed.  AND, having something for workouts was a necessity too!

Here’s what made the cut for my packing list (plus toiletries, undergarments & socks):











I had so much fun making each outfit combo!  I was sure to select items that I could hand wash in our hotel rooms or send out for cleaning, if needed. The goal being to maximize each clothing article 110%!

Eyelet Tank //  Gray Cardigan //  Chambray Shirt // White Tank // Black Shorts
Sandals // Sneakers


White Tank // Chambray Shirt //White Jacket // White Tee //Cross Back Tank
Black Shorts // Sneakers


White Tee // White Jacket //Blue Tank // Skort // Sports Bra // Sneakers


Jumpsuit // Dress // Kimono // Sandals // Crossbody Bag


Chambray Shirt // Gray Cardigan // Dress // Sandals // Sneakers


White Tee /// White Tank // Eyelet Tank // Kimono // Chambray Shirt
Jeans // Sandals // Crossbody Bag


I suppose you are wondering what I will wear for Airplane travel too, right??  Here are the details.  I will have my passport on my body in a fanny pouch meant to be worn under your clothes.  For comfort, I shift it to the back once secured.  I just wanted to show you what mine looks like.  And the crossbody Tory Burch bag I am carrying is a few seasons old, so I linked the newer version.  This backpack is truly fantastic!  I am able to fit all my travel clothes, toiletries, & undergarments in this nifty bag, which will allow me to travel hands-free!!

I have selected my most bulky clothing items for travel day, leaving more space for packing.  These jeans are perfect…but they are actually jeggings!!  Super comfortable and have just the right amount of character with the distressing.  I selected a color denim that would work well with my other clothing selections, not too light but also not too dark.  A simple white tank and light-weight cardigan will be ideal for plane travel.  My experience is that it’s necessary to layer when traveling by airplane, shedding layers when needed.  My look, finished off a pair Saucony Jazz sneakers.  These puppies will be worked hard on this trip…TONS of walking, plus powering me through low-impact cardio workouts during our hotel stays.  So you better believe they are comfortable!

Cardigan //White tank //Jeans //Saucony sneaks // Crossbody bag //Backpack // Fanny Pack


Totally being honest, it was very challenging trying to narrow down my final selections, because, of course, I wanted to bring EVERYTHING…Lol!  Overall, I am quite pleased with the end result, and actually excited to try my hat at this ultra light packing process again in the future.  I will say, it’s much easier to pull this off in the warmer months, where clothing is thinner and more compact. But, that’s not to say it can’t be done with heftier pieces too 😉

Hope you enjoyed this post and I would be thrilled if it inspired you to test out light packing for yourself!

All the best,