When Paul had a business trip to Germany in 2017, I wanted to come along so we could spend a few days exploring Berlin. The cheapest fare I could find was on WOW, but that included only a 17x13x10-inch “personal item” that weighed 22 pounds or less. A carry-on bag would add $99.98 to the roundtrip price, and for a checked bag I would need to pay $139.98. That would add a lot to the cost of a four-day trip.
So I challenged myself to fit everything I needed into a backpack that met the size requirements. I’m pretty good at packing light, but I’m not about to spend my long weekend in Europe battling frizzy hair and dry skin, either.
Here’s what I brought:
For (attempting to) sleep on the plane:
Cosmetics, etc., packed in two quart-sized bags, one for liquids and one for everything else
Hair cream (in a 1.16 oz container)
Conditioner (in a 3 oz container)
Small eye drops
15 contact lenses (not skimping on these)
Saline nasal spray (I’m convinced this helps keep me from getting sick)
Toothpaste (travel size, free from my dentist)
Pill bottle with Advil, sleep aids and melatonin
Travel-sized tissues pack
Clothes, packed in three gallon-sized bags, compressed to get the air out
1 sweater that can layer over all of them
2 tanks that can layer under all of them
1 scarf, so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same thing all the time
4 pairs of socks/underwear/bras
1 pair of jeans
Two pairs of socks
Running shoes. The workout clothes are all packed inside the running shoes, and the running shoes are also my backup shoes in case the ones I’m wearing get wet.
Laptop and charger
2 Euro power adapters
Cell phone charger
Taking a personal item means I can’t also take a purse, so I got this mini Chala crossbody purse that can fit inside the backpack and hold my:
Euros and dollars
What I wore on the plane
Black fleece jacket with pockets
I did it! I could squish the bag into the size tester (barely!) and it only weighed 15.6 pounds.