How We Packed for a Year in Europe

We have had lots of people asking how we packed for a year-long trip to Europe.  The short answer is: we each took one pack and one smaller bag, and we did lots of research on what to put in them.

The long answer… well, I could talk for about five minutes just on how we arranged our bags. Which I did. In this video.

how we packed for a year-long trip to europe

Through my hacking creative editing, I have tried to spare you some of the extraneous details– and, ummm, some of my filler words– so hopefully now you’ll just get solid answers to your curious questions!  This was filmed in the few free minutes we had the morning we left our brother/sister-in-law’s house for the airport in Pennsylvania. No redo’s or second shots so we’re going reeeeal candid here.

And if you think how we packed for a year-long trip to Europe is still interesting after this, stay tuned for a post later this week on the style forecast here in London as well as what we actually put inside our bags!

EDIT: We’ve gotten lots of questions on travel gear, and here is my biggest recommendation: PACKING CUBES!!

I mention them in the video and they are a sanity-saving must. Below are affiliate links to our favorites that we are currently using. Thanks for supporting the brands we love and helping to keep us on the road at the same time! (:




  • Diane

    Well done … and you’ve given me some new things to think about in my own packing. Looking forward to the next installment.

    • Thanks Diane! The packing cubes are AMAZING.

  • packing posts are my absolute favorite ever, so i want to know exactly what you brought!!

    • Ahh!! Ok I’m working on it. Making those boards with all the photos of clothes.. those are hard! ha

  • Wow. I am impressed. I went to Italy for 10 days and had 3 large bags!!!

    • Haha thanks Elise! Everyone is a different kind of packer. While you may feel comfort in bringing stuff for every possibility, I’ve found it is freeing to travel light. But certainly I don’t mind traveling with an over-packer so I can use their stuff when I forgot something! 😉 By the way, did you enjoy Italy? Where did you go?

      • I am slowly getting over being an over-packer. I did great on our honeymoon with one large bag!

        We traveled from Rome all the way up to Lake Como and Milan. It was AMAZING. Pretty fast paced for only 10 days, but I loved every second of it. — except the mosquitoes in Florence. LOL

        • How fun! So glad you enjoyed it. Rome is my favorite city of all time, although I haven’t been in a few years! I’m hoping we make it this year. And I would not have thought of mosquitoes being a problem at all!! That’s good to know! Yikes.. haha

  • I have never traveled this long but I do say this is so cool! I’m the kind of person that takes everything with me even just out to the store so I enjoyed this!

    • The funny thing is, I’m that way normally on the day-to-day basis! I’m definitely the kind of person that carries a huge tote with everything from safety pins to a swiss army knife to eye glasses cleaner. haha

  • marlayoung

    I am a fan of packing cubes too!

  • Hey Hannah.. I’m sorry I’m just now replying to your comment.. It somehow got caught in my spam filter! But anyhow, the pack I have in the video is actually no longer sold. I’ve had it for many years so that style has been discontinued. I’m currently putting together a list of comparable alternatives though, and you’ll be the first to know when I post those!!