In this guide we will tell you how to pack light for 2 weeks whether you are traveling to Europe or elsewhere and no matter the season.
No matter when I am traveling I always try to pack light and not overpack. There are many reasons to pack light, but our favourites are listed below:
Why pack light?
There are many reasons why you want to pack light but our favorite reasons are:
You don’t risk losing your luggage
I have had the misfortune of losing my luggage once while traveling when I was heading to Uganda to go gorilla trekking. After this I learnt to always pack light and keep all my important items in my carry on.
Easier to travel around
Takes up less space at your destination
In Europe in particular you may be surprised by the size of the accommodations. The same can be said for cruise cabins too! So it is definitely worthwhile trying to limit the amount of luggage you are taking.
So now you know why you should pack light here are our best tips for packing light for 2 weeks.
How to pack light for 2 weeks tips and hacks
Pack a Capsule Wardrobe
When I am trying to pack light no matter the destination, I find the easiest way to do so is by packing a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is a way of limiting the amount of things you take, by making sure that everything you have works as part of multiple outfits.
Many people find it daunting when putting together a capsule wardrobe so we have plenty of guides to talk you through how to pack one.
The most limited of our capsule wardrobes has to be the minimalist one. But some people might find this too restrictive or challenging if it is their first time packing one.
However there are plenty of other capsule wardrobes in our back catalogue including :
- Sudoku Capsule Wardrobe (uses just 9 items of clothes)
- 4 x 4 capsule wardrobe (uses 16 items of clothes)
- Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobe
- Winter Travel Capsule Wardrobe
Otherwise you can use our 54321 packing list which can be customised by the destination to create a condensed packing list.
Stick to a Color Palette
Another way of ensuring you don’t overpack is to limit the color palette in the items you are packing. This way everything can be used easily together.
Limit Your Luggage
I always find that whenever I have a large piece of luggage there is a real temptation to fill it, even if I don’t need it. Therefore I try to limit the size of the luggage I am taking to make sure I’m not tempted to overpacking.
Also by packing carry on only, you greatly reduce the risk that your luggage will be lost in transit.
Maximise your Luggage Space
But if you are packing a smaller piece of luggage you will need to know how to pack your case efficiently to maximise your space.
There are lots of different methods to fold your clothes efficiently. When I am packing Winter clothes I like to use the bundle packing method however for summer and beach vacations I find the rolling method or the Kondo stacking method to be best.
Other ways in which you can try and organise your luggage and maximise your space is by using packing cubes and compression packs.
Utilise your Airport Outfit
When planning your airport outfit you should always pack for comfort first. However you should also think about how you can use your airport outfit to utilise space. I tend to wear my bulkiest items on the plan i.e. my boots, thick coat and bulkiest sweaters.
Plan to Do Laundry
If you are traveling for two weeks and want to pack light there is no getting around the fact that it is likely you will need to do laundry.
For instance if you use the sudoku capsule wardrobe you can mix and max items to create at least 9 different outfit combinations but if you spill something or sweat then you will need to do laundry. The same is true with the 4 x 4 method too.
You can either book an accommodation with laundry facilities, or travel with hand wash. But if neither of these things apply it is a good idea to research laundry companies in advance of travel.
Limit Your Toiletries
There are two areas which I find it tempting to overpack on and the first one is in my toiletries. I think because they are so small it is easy to think “it’s ok I’ll just add one more thing”. But the truth is these small things soon add up.
Also if you are travel carry on only then you will be restricted by TSA in the volume of liquids you can take through security.
The best way to limit your toiletries is to buy them at your destination (if you know that there are places nearby where you can buy them easily) or your can restrict what you take. We have created an essential toiletries checklist to help you limit what you pack.
Limit your Shoes
The other items I find it easy to overpack on is shoes. However I think that you can restrict yourself to only 2-3 pairs of shoes no matter your destination.
Ditch Bulky Knitwear
Although at home I love bulky knits, I tend to avoid these when traveling. They simply take up too much room in suitcases to pack light.
Instead I pack merino wool instead. Merino wool is equally warm and insulating however it is much thinner and compact to pack.
Think about dress codes
Before I put together my packing list I always write down any restaurants or tourist attractions such as churches that have a dress code. This way you will ensure you don’t have to buy anything extra on arrival but also aren’t packing things that you will not use.
Know what not to pack
Many people think about their packing list but don’t often consider what not to pack which is particularly important fo Europe I think. Many people worry about strict dress codes in Europe but the truth is there aren’t that many places that have them.
However I do think there are things that can point you out as a tourist i.e. fanny packs and socks with sandals to name just a few. Therefore iff you want to dress like a local it is worth thinking about styles in your destination which I think is more marked in Europe than elsewhere.
For more information on what not to wear in certain places check out the below destination specific posts:
- What not to wear in Paris
- What not to wear in London
- What not to wear in Spain
- What no to wear in France
- What not to wear in Italy
- What not to wear in Rome
- What not to wear in Amsterdam
- What not to wear in Venice
And there you have our ultimate tips for packing light for 2 weeks for Europe, Asia and more. Do you have any other questions about packing light? Drop them in the comments below and we will do our best to answer.