How I Packed My 5 Day Trip…Into a Backpack?

(Picture courtesy of Go-Today)

With the looming deadline of my Dublin trip (T-minus 2 days!) I figured it was about time for me to quit procrastinating on packing, and start getting my life together (ha).

Normally I am the over-packer, the person who fits two extra outfits into the suitcase because there’s room (and who knows what could happen!) and ends up buying so many souvenirs on the trip I am forced to sit on the suitcase just to yank the zippers closed.

This trip will be the first of it’s kind for many reasons: Not only is it my first time in Europe, but it’s also my first time staying in a hostel. Due to my paranoia of things getting stolen since I have no idea who the 5 other people in my room will be, I was focused this time on bringing the bare minimum of goods necessary to both not wear the same things everyday, and make it easy to lock up my luggage under the bed while I’m out exploring.


While I was packing, I divided my contents into things that I cannot lose, and things that can be replaced. All of my important items are packed into my Vera Bradley Hipster-style crossbody (Which is a godsend of a bag to bring on vacations, and has an outside pocket that fits my passport for easy access while I’m in the airport) and my replaceable items are in my Jansport backpack that I normally carry across campus at school.

The items in my purse are as follows:

  • Essentials: Passport, wallet, phone charger, backup phone batteries
  • Airplane Necessities: Earbuds, snacks, pens
  • Necessities For Where I’m Headed: Umbrella, outlet converter plugs

Overall a fairly light list, but once I’m past security at the airport, I will be purchasing water, coffee, and a few additional snacks for breakfast/dinner.

Dublin can be compared to Seattle: always misty and rainy. The umbrella is self explanatory.

Since I’m only charging my phone where I’m headed, I don’t need an outlet voltage converter (since phones & their respective chargers operate on dual voltage), but if I was bringing a curling iron or such, I would need it. Remember, wall outlets are differently shaped across the world, so if you plan to travel outside of the U.S., you must buy the adapters. The set I own can be found here, a fairly cheap set manufactured by CONAIR, that I purchased at Target, but is also sold at Walmart.

The items in my backpack are as follows:

  • My RN Exam book (Since I will be taking the test in February and need to study!)
  • A pair of jeans
  • Underwear, socks, bra
  • 3 shirts, 2 camis
  • A small makeup bag with my bare-minimum of makeup and toiletries
  • A Ziploc bag with my liquids (for airport security)
  • A bag of snack food containing: 5 granola bars, 4 bags of fruit snacks, 2 snack-size bags of almonds, a snack-pack of shelf-stable salami, and some chocolate
  • An additional Ziploc bag
  • An additional drawstring backpack

This is where my packing and airplane outfit build off of each other; I’m gone for 5 days, but since I will also be wearing leggings, a cardigan, my jacket, and a scarf on the plane, I have enough items to make outfits without being seen re-wearing something a second time.

As you can see above, my clothing is packed into Ziploc bags, rolled up. This is both to keep my clothes from any rain or insects I might come in contact with, and to conserve space while keeping everything organized.

My “snack food” bag doubles as my midday meals and/or light breakfast while I’m gone, which is a big money saver. Although I do plan on experiencing as much of the culture as possible (I’m only 2 generations removed from Ireland!) spending at least $10 each meal starts to stack up over time- this comes out to at least $150, if not more!

My snacks will account for about 4 meals, saving about $40. This may seem small, but that’s $40 more I can spend on souvenirs and clothes!

Speaking of clothes, the extra Ziploc bag and drawstring bag are for my travel home. I anticipate myself bringing home a lot more than I came there with, so I want to be prepared with something to stash it all in! Dublin is one of the more fashionable cities in Europe, so I plan to bring some of the European fashion home with me!


And there you have it! I’m finally one step closer to leaving! All that’s left is hammering out the itinerary, and boarding the planes. Maybe some Duolingo of Irish along the journey so I can remember more than just uisce, the word for water?

Buille faoi thuairim mé beidh orainn a fheiceáil!



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