Carry-on packing for 3 week rail trip across Europe

Packing for 3 week trip

After last year’s drive around Europe ( and blogs around that time), we decided we wanted to do something similar again but this time by rail (and the occasional plane ride). We leave on Monday and are flying first to the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine.

Each of us is taking only a carry-on (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and we have to pack enough stuff for 3 weeks.  With such a small amount of space, you have to make choices. Extra pair of shoes or second pair of trousers? I’ve educated the children about how you can make a pair of underwear last four days (front, back, inside out front and back), but I think we’ve all decided to prioritise underwear…

My luxuries are the iPad (can’t be compromised and it also has all my books), iPod and iPhone. Steve Jobs would be pleased. 1 pair of jeans, waterproof and jumper; 2 pairs of shorts, swimwear, and shoes; and 6 shirts, socks and boxers are the other things in my bag. We will be looking for a launderette every week or so.

Lorna is jubilant that her carry-on is only half full, but I noticed that there’s a pile of stuff waiting to be packed which looks slightly larger than that which she has already packed. Nevertheless, she has done better this time; she once took 25 tops for a 7 day cruise….

It’s not been a problem for Tilly or Nancy. They are quite happy wearing the same top for the whole summer. Initially, Tilly wanted to take her riding protector (which is slightly bigger than the case), multiple pairs of jodhpurs (she has 7) and riding hat. There will be little horse riding this holiday. [Incidentally, for those interested in horses, here is link to Tilly’s latest video of last week’s horse riding holiday –

Because we are taking 3 flights, I’m utilising all the toiletries I’ve purloined from hotels over the last few years. Each person has a sealed see-through bag with containers under 100ml each and 1000ml in total.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sarah on July 31, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I’m sure trains allow you to take bigger bags! Have a really great time. We want to hear how good Ukraine is for travel.


  2. Yes, but planes don’t (and they charge high fees these days for checked baggage). Most importantly however, we all have to carry our own bags (rule of the trip)


  3. Posted by Anonymous on July 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    The bag size constraint is a problem, especially as employees get a bonus for making you oput it in the hold if its a smidgeon oversize, but the wight allowance is generous. I am packing a heavy hammer (which I can dispose of to knock off the support on your mother’s new case. It could also be handy for hammering down items so that they take less space. I am considering my Barbour, with its poacher pockets, as my allowed coat.

    I did consider going by rail but it was over £500 one way! I also considered BA which was cheaper but it was too early a flight. Have a great holiday.


  4. Posted by Lisa on August 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Looking forward to your posts as you make your way through the holiday. Watched Tilly’s video – so grownup!


  5. Posted by Marilyn Bishop on August 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    All my tubes and lotions are only 100ml but is there an overall total of 1,000 ml on Easyjet. If so I might have to rethink my clear plastic bag. On one of the list of instructions it says you can’t put in aerosols, sun tan lotion, mascara, toothpaste or lipstick. Is this true. If so I will have to rethink very hard – how can I manage without a lipstick? Send me an email soon please.


    • You should be fine, Mum. We had lip salve, toothpaste and lipstick. We decanted suntan lotion into small bottle. As long as the containers aren’t too big and as long as they fit into clear bag, they don’t seem too concerned


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