This summer seems to be going by all too fast and all too slow at the same time.

Between further minimizing our possessions, packing, planning, holding garage sales, and seeing family we seem to have so much to do and not enough time.

It’s difficult for me to process exactly what all is happening this month. As I try to focus on getting smaller tasks done, I feel like the emotions from it all won’t hit me full force until July – when we’re moved out of our apartment and officially “nomads”.

One of the smaller tasks (that I’ve already been thinking through for months) is making a final packing list for our August – December travels in Europe.

As you know, we are packing in our Tortuga Backpacks, but we have also decided to bring a small rolling under-seat bag.

This will allow us to pack a few extra luxury items (I never thought I’d call shoes luxury items, but here we are…) and keep some of our heavier items off our backs. Check out the bag we chose here!



Although this list is subject to change a bit, I wanted to show you the travel gear and capsule wardrobe I’ve come up with.

Here we go!

Lauren’s Packing List:


Tortuga Daypack

Super lightweight and packable, this will be great for days when we go to coffee shops to work or for hiking outings.

Travelon Purse

I LOVE this purse. It has so many anti-theft features (RFID blocking, zipper clips, slash-proof), is the perfect size, and doubles as my wallet! Travelon has many different styles made specifically for travelers, and I cannot suggest this brand enough.



Although most of the places we’ll stay provide towels and linens, these pack down super small and will come in handy. Garrett and I both got an XL/Body towel, and I also got a S/Face size.

Power Bank

Selfie Stick

Click this link to see the one we picked – it folds up to be tiny!

Sleep Mask

I got this one and I love how soft it is!

Surge Protector

Tiny Bluetooth Speaker

It packs a punch! Plus, it’s kinda cute!



Compression Bags

I’m actually only bringing the smaller one – my raincoat fits inside nicely.

Packing Cubes

There are so many options for packing cubes, but I settled on these. I wasn’t sure which sizes I’d need, so they proved to be a fantastic investment! I will bring all three of the laundry bags since they lay flat (using one for a shoe bag), and the smallest of the cubes is perfect for my leggings and one pair of pants I’m bringing!

Cosmetic Bag

I won’t be able to put my makeup in it until after we arrive, but it will lay flat and contain makeup brushes, q-tips, and other non-liquid makeup products until I can use it at our destination.

Clear Liquids Bag

Although I won’t use the products inside, I found this durable & reusable quart-sized bag at Target and thought it would be so much better than using a zip-lock–and it is.

Door Alarm

This one is for the parents’ sanity…

Art Supply Case + Art Supplies



This is one of my “luxury” items that I can’t live without – I need it for design! It’ll go in the rolling under seat bag. I love that I can fit 24 colored pencils, all of my Tombow Dual Brush Pens, and multiple other pens in it and they will always be organized!

Passion Planner


I cannot begin to express my love for my passion planner. It helps me track my progress with my goals – both personal and work-related – and reflect on my progress each month. I got it as a Christmas gift from Garrett, and he knows he’s now going to get me one every year 🙂 This is the Academic Version, but I have the Dated Version with a brown cover.

Click here to flip through the inside of one!

Travel Journal + Washi Tape


Inspired by my sister-in-law’s travel journal she had to complete as an assignment for her travel abroad class in Italy, I decided to document our journey and create a souvenir all in one.

Although any journal will do, I love that this one is ethically sourced and uses recycled cotton for its pages. The paper quality is fantastic, and I’m going to use washi tape to preserve ticket stubs, menus, flyers, and other tiny souvenir-like items that would otherwise be lost or destroyed in my purse 🙂

Be on the lookout for details about my travel journal in a future article!


Laptop & Charger

I love how lightweight and versatile my laptop is <3

Kindle Paperwhite & Case


No way I’m going to give up my love of reading just because books are heavy.

A Few Other “Gear” Items:

Wireless Mouse


Ear Plugs

Phone & Charger (duh)

Camera (Nikon 3200) with bag and extra batteries

SD cards

Phone Tripod

Plug Adapter

Dual Voltage Straightener

First Aid Kit


Identification (DL, Passport) and two copies of each

Travel Insurance

Credit Card

Backup Credit Card

Charles Schwab Debit Card

Yellow House Tumblers (to bring a little bit of home with us!)

Coffee Supplies – check Garrett’s packing list for more detail on this – coming soon!


Hand Sanitizer


Tweezers + Nail Clippers

Bobby Pins

Hair Ties



Body Glide (ladies with chub rub, you HAVE to check this out!)

Kendra Scott Earrings

Toothbrush + Toothpaste

A Pillowcase – I LOVE mine from home and I can’t stand scratchy sheets, hopefully this will help




I live in my Chacos. They have a lifetime warranty, can be dressed up or down, have conformed to my foot over the years, and if I had to choose one shoe to wear for the rest of my life, these would be them. Although I originally thought they were ugly, (they probably are) as a teacher I learned that comfort takes precedent. So I could never think them ugly now.

And yes, my kids made fun of me for them.


Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe



These are bulkier, so I am planning on wearing them on the plane.

I knew I’d need something outdoorsy with a closed toe, and after hours of research these guys won out. I love that they’re waterproof, made for walking, and include a Vibram sole.

I also love the removable footbed since I have ridiculously high arches, and the ankle support they provide. I’ve always had weak ankles and after my surgery in high school have bad knees, (basically, I’m falling apart already) so good support is a must.

Dansko Lucille Boot

These are my cute shoes–no way was I going traveling without at least one pair.

Made with real leather, these are so comfortable they were my go to winter teacher shoe. They do have a bit of a wedge, but it’s so small it isn’t noticeable while walking around, and the rubber sole is a plus.

Sanuk Yoga Sling

I’ll only take these if I have room leftover, but I’d love to have a nicer looking sandal for date nights in warmer climates. These don’t provide great arch support, but the yoga mat sole makes them the comfiest pair of flip-flops I’ve ever owned.

Insoles (because I’m basically 80)


As I mentioned, I have high arches, knee problems, weak ankles, and to add to that I’m a weenie.

As a teacher on her feet every day, I quickly developed plantar fasciitis and went to a podiatrist this last year. He suggested stretches, prescribed an anti-inflammatory to help the plantar fasciitis go away, and these insoles.

I now put them in all of my closed-toe shoes and I’m never looking back. Just make sure you replace them every 8 months!




Two Old Navy 5″ Women’s Shorts – Olive & Gray

Two Nike Tempo Running Shorts – Black & Team Red



I cannot sing the praises of Fabletics enough y’all. If you click here you can get my coupon code and receive two of their amazing leggings (the only ones I’ll wear!) for $24!

I’m bringing FOUR of their leggings!

Two Black Salar Leggings

Two Salar Capris — Black & Patterned



Since they’re so bulky I’m only bring ONE pair! (crazy!) My favorite pair is a.n.a. Skinny Jeans from JCPenney.

Linen Pants

I found these recently and fell in LOVE. Are they pajamas? Are they adventure pants? Are they fancy-schmancy? They answer to all of the above is YES, and they are extremely comfortable while still lightweight and packable!



Two Short-Sleeved Basic V-Necks – Black & Olive

I couldn’t find the exact shirts I have, but mine are from Aerie and these look very similar.

Two Tank Tops – Black & Grey

Obviously, you could find these anywhere, but I love the fit and feel of these.

Open-Back Tank

Can be worn open or tied in the back, under a cardi, or tucked into a skirt. Mine is from Old Navy, cream with black stripes, and is currently unavailable, but you can find one in the same style here.

Graphic Tank & T-Shirt

–  for sleep & comfort days

Maroon Scoop Neck & Gray V-Neck Blouses

 (can you tell I’m an Old Navy addict yet?!?)

Black & White Patterned Lightweight Blouse

– see one similar to what I’m taking here.

Two Long-Sleeved V-Neck Tees – Black & Gray

Flannel Plaid Shirt

– see one like mine here.

Grey Cardigan

Floral Kimono

I got mine at a trade show but here’s one that’s similar!


Black Patterned Romper

Rain Coat

A great waterproof jacket with some warmth to it, I can deal with the bulk since it’s the only “real” coat I’ll be bringing. Mine is olive green.



I’ve done so much research on convertible clothing for travel, and even ordered a couple and sent them back because of the difficulty of styling them and the fact that they looked odd on my body type (I have a very short torso and thick thighs just like all the women on my mom’s side #WilsonCurse).

What makes this one different is that instead of wrapping or tying the garment different ways, you use their drawstrings at the top and bottom and simply tuck the sleeves in or put your arms through them…it’s super simple!

Look here to see all the different things I can do with it!

I’ll also be bringing 


5 or 6 pairs of socks (stuffed inside my packed shoes)

4 bras

12 undies

& a bikini.



Right now, it’s hard to imagine that this will be my closet for about four months.

I think eventually I’ll downsize even from this list (all the carry-on only peeps say it happens after your first few trips!) because my backpack will be quite heavy.

I am looking forward to the shift in perspective that has already begun and will hopefully continue – the shift from h̶o̶a̶r̶d̶i̶n̶g̶  collecting things to collecting memories and living as simply as possible with few luxuries.

Less than two weeks until move-out and a little over a month to lift-off!!!


Be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletters to keep up with the fun!

Pin It on Pinterest