Traveling kind of sucks. I'm talking about the getting-to-your-destination part, not the wow-look-at-that-old/cool/
weird-thing part. Especially air travel, with liquid limits, getting to the airport super early, being squished in a seat for hours and always ending up with a cold. Seriously, I always end up with a cold.
To make air travel easier, I like to travel without checking bags. It's easier to check in, you don't have to pay extra, and you don't have to wait by a carousel at the end when you just want to be done. Also, it prevents me from over-packing.
A lot of people were shocked when I announced I would be taking a 16 day trip to Europe with just a carry on. I'll admit, I was a little worried as well. I've used carry-ons for week long trips, but never for that long. But we did it (Matt only took a carry on as well).
Clothes-wise, I tried to keep everything to a common color scheme, and to bring a lot of dark neutrals (less likely to show dirt than lighter colors). I also tried to limit patterns, so the clothes would match easier. I also made sure that I had clothes that wore well. I have some shirts that stretch out after wearing them for a day, so I left those at home. I wore everything about 2x, but nothing really seemed dirty to me. I took 7 pairs of underwear and washed them a couple of times throughout the trip.
Here's my packing list:
3 Tank Tops (dark gray, teal, pink)
3 T-shirts (light gray, navy blue, gray/teal stripes)
2 Shorts (black, pink)
2 Skirts (blue pattern, gray)
2 Sweaters (gray, mint)
2 Scarves (pink, navy blue)
4 Shoes (flip flops, sandals, heels and chucks)
Clarisonic (face scrubber)
Jewelry (4 necklaces)
Honestly, if I were packing again I would take generally the same things, but leave out 1 scarf (it was warm and I only used one as a beach/church coverup), and the sneakers (I was told to bring them for sites like Pompeii and Ephasus, but I ended up just wearing my flip flops). I would also take more tank tops and less t-shirts because I'm more comfortable in tanks. I was worried about getting into churches, but there were only 2 days where I needed church-dress, so it wasn't really a problem.
We did have to buy some things when we were over there (mainly sunscreen, since we couldn't fit that many travel sized ones, and I am really pale). We were also able to supplement the shampoo and conditioner with what we got in the hotels, and we used hotel soap the whole time. Not my favorite, but it was only for a couple of weeks.
Overall it worked out really well! We even had room to take souvenirs home, once we emptied out our toiletries. I will definitely not be taking a checked bag anywhere in the foreseeable future!