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Carry-On Only Packing For Two Weeks in Europe

July 23, 2019
Carry-On Only Packing List for Two Weeks in Europe_ Tiny Ambitions

I don’t know about you but I love seeing inside people’s suitcases to see what they’re packing for their travels. If you like that kind of post, then hooray! This post is for you. This post is also for me to help me organize before our trip so it’s not a last-minute scramble.

If you’re an over-packer by nature, the title of this post alone probably stresses you out. Spoiler alert: that stress is only going to get worse once you see how much (ahem, how little), I’m actually packing for our two-week vacation in Europe.

I’m actually a little stressed about it too because, even for me, my packing list seems very short. My reasons for that are a) we have laundry facilities halfway through our trip so I’m really only packing for one week and b) I don’t have a ton of summer clothes so there’s not a lot to choose from in the first place.

My partner and I are going on a two-week vacation this summer for the wedding of a friend in Italy. Since we live in Canada and we don’t know how many opportunities we’ll have to get abroad, we are extending our trip to include a couple of days in Scotland and two days in Ireland.

I don’t think I really need to go into too much detail about this but travelling carry-on only is just better. I travelled carry-on only to St. Lucia last year and it was glorious. This trip, with the 1789732 flights we’ll be on, plus Italy’s historic (and cobblestoned streets), we’ll be carrying all of our luggage on our backs. Aka, we’ll be using backpacks.

Before we get into the list, here is a brief itinerary for our trip to give you an idea of what the clothes I’m packing will need to accomplish.


  • Italy (Naples, Capri, Salerno)
  • Scotland (Aberdeen, Shetland)
  • Ireland (Dublin)


  • Wedding
  • Sightseeing
  • Eating
  • Relaxing


  • Lightweight
  • Natural materials
  • Easy to pack
  • Versatile/convertible

The most important consideration for this trip was packing clothes for the wedding, while simultaneously making sure they could be used during the other parts of our trip.

The Backpacks

Part of the reason why we’re using backpacks for our trip is because our luggage is in dire straights. There are only so many repairs I can make on a zipper before it’s structural integrity becomes compromised (five, the answer is five). When we went to Nova Scotia, we made a stop at MEC (like the Canadian version of REI) and found two packs that will be perfect for us. We wanted packs that were zippered, black and didn’t look like travel backpacks.

My Pack

My Partner’s Pack

  • MEC Outpost Pack
  • Clamshell/suitcase opening
  • 34L
  • This pack is legit amazing. I wish I was tall enough to carry it without falling over.


*the following list contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission, to help Tiny Ambitions running, if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you. 

White T-Shirt

Because, obviously.

Kosan Travel Dress

This dress was a Kickstarter purchase and I paid extra for express shipping to get it here on time. It has FOUR different hidden pockets, can be worn three different ways and is sweat-wicking and has UPF in it. It’s beautiful and I love it. and I cannot wait to wear it to the wedding.

Olive Green Dixperfect Suit

It’s so unlike me to jump on a mainstream trend (I’m normally years behind lol), but I really wanted to give this one-piece a try. If I don’t like it for swimming, it can always double as a chic bodysuit underneath my black flowy pants.

Black Convertible Lululemon Pants

These pants were a steal from eBay (affiliate link) and are light and comfy in Tencel. They can also be worn two ways (wide leg and skinny leg), depending on how I’m feeling.

Twisted Hem Green Top

For when I’m feeling a little fancier and want something flowier to camouflage all of the carbs I will be consuming in Italy.

PacSafe Convertible Backpack

This is the only ‘purse’ I’m bringing and it will hold all of our daily essentials. It converts from a backpack to a crossbody pack which I absolutely love. Plus, it’s anti-theft meaning our belongings should be safe inside it.

White Linen Tank

Italy in the summer is apparently an inferno, so lightweight, moisture absorbing linen is a must. This tank was also a Poshmark purchase and it’s been great for the uncharacteristically hot weather we’ve been having in northern Ontario.

Black Lululemon Suit

I brought this two-piece to St. Lucia last year and wore it every single day. I wish I owned seven of them. It has UPF in it too which will help protect my vampire pale skin.

Black Clark Slides

These will be my wedding shoes and lazy day shoes. I wouldn’t want to wear them on heavy walking days because they are leather and my feet tend to sweat.

Black Jumpsuit

It only took me two months but I finally found a jumpsuit on Poshmark that fits my apparently freakishly long torso. I’m looking forward to wearing this on its own on a day of sightseeing or with a t-shirt underneath, a la Fleabag.

P.S. Poshmark recently launched in Canada and it has become my favourite way to clear out my closet and shop for excellent quality used items. If you want to check it out, install the free app using this link and use my code TINYAMBITIONSBB to get C$15 off your first order.

Jean Jacket

I will be wearing this on the plane and during any chilly nights we have. It actually annoys me that I have to pack a jacket but with the temperature differential between Italy and Scotland, it seems unavoidable.

Tie-Dye Skirt

Frankly, I added this in at the last minute because I realized I only had one separate bottom (not including the jumpsuit and the dress). But, it’s high-waisted and super comfortable so I’m not mad about it.

White Allbirds Wool Runners

Lest you think I paid full price for these wool runners, never fear. I got them used off eBay for $20 (seriously). These will be my mainstay on flight days and heavy walking days.

Reef Champagne Slides

These rubber sandals are beyond comfortable and will be perfect for beach days or very hot walking days.

Other Items

  • Eyemask & earplugs (because, sleep)
  • Pair of yoga tights
  • Underwear & bras
  • Shapewear
  • Pjs
  • Phone, charger & adaptor
  • Make-up kit (keeping this super minimal)
  • Brush/hair accessories
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Reusable water bottle

Things I Plan to Buy While We’re There

  • A sun hat (I wanted to pack my favourite blue wool hat, but it’s so massive that that isn’t really feasible.
  • Some kind of scarf (partly to be a second layer on cooler nights, and partly because I am obsessed with scarves)

Given that we’re going for two weeks, this list does not seem that big. And, it’s kind of freaking me out a little. But, I honestly don’t know what else I would pack. So, that must mean I’m doing it right?

Do you think I’m packing enough for two weeks abroad? What’s a travel must-have for you?

P.S. Because of our travel plans and some other exciting projects I’ve been working on, I’ll be taking the rest of the summer off from blogging and podcasting. If you want to stay connected, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Image Credit: Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

  • Megan August 14, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    So I just realised that we’ve been following each other for a little while now on Instagram but I haven’t yet stopped by your blog! So hey 🙂 Also, I am a serial over-packer so I am very impressed by your minimal packing list!

    • Britt August 14, 2019 at 8:13 pm

      Oh hey! It’s so hard to keep track of people’s online spaces sometimes, so I completely understand.

      And thanks! I was worried that I wasn’t packing enough. But once we landed and I saw everyone else struggling with their massive suitcases, I knew I’d made the right choice!

  • Lou July 29, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Take a waterproof jacket! You’ll need it as an extra layer quite probably in Shetland. And the UK is a soggy place (I live here!). You could get one here when you arrive – good practical souvenir!

  • theluxestrategist July 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Fun post, Britt! One thing I never regret bringing, no matter where I go, is a sweatshirt. It’s nice to feel cozy and there’s always, always a situation where A/C is blasting (hotel rooms), or the weather turns. I also have a really thin waterproof jacket that has come in handy several times. I’d definitely look at the weather forecasts again for the Northern Europe leg and make sure you’ve got enough layers!

    • Britt July 24, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks, Luxe! I know I’ll probably need a sweater but I’m hoping to nab one from a secondhand store while I’m away (my list of stuff to buy keeps growing lol). Normal highs for Italy right now are 30-35. Shetland is at 18 lol so that will be a challenge.

  • Betts July 24, 2019 at 4:38 am

    Sounds like plenty of clothes but I reckon you’ll need a rain coat or umbrella or something for wet weather in the UK. I live in the North East of England and it’s rare to have 4 dry days even in summer.

    My partner and I travel hand luggage only with our 2 kids, even done it for skiing, so it’s definitely possible. We’re traveling by train this summer which worries me a little more as we may have to carry all our stuff plus the kids at times. Hopefully not too often though!

  • Laura July 23, 2019 at 9:02 am

    A little optimistic for Irish weather, even in summer!

    • Britt July 23, 2019 at 9:06 am

      You’re absolutely right! I’ll just wear all of my layers at once when we’re on that leg of the trip.

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.