I’ve spent the majority of my twenties visiting some of Europe’s most famous cities, spending days at a time in cities steeped in history and culture. This year, John and I will both celebrate our thirtieth birthdays. In honour of this, we’ve decided to spend time travelling through central Europe for just over three weeks. As you read this, we’ll be flying to our first destination, Slovakia, before journeying by train and by plane to Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and, of course, Germany. 

As usual, I’ll be travelling with an on-flight suitcase. For the first flight of our travels, we are each limited to a carry-on luggage allowance of just 10 kg. I was recently challenged by Debenhams to travel light with cabin luggage for my trip. travelling light has meant planning an interchangeable capsule wardrobe with plenty of mix and match items. I’m no stranger to packing less (you may have read about what I packed in my Berlin and Copenhagen capsule wardrobes) however, with changeable climates and a three-week time period to plan for, this has certainly been a challenge. However, I think I’ve cracked it and today, I’ll be sharing what’s in my suitcase with you.

My first travel tip would be to travel with luggage to suit your purpose. As I’ll be travelling on public transport, I need something light, easy to carry and comfortable and let’s face it, I’m never going to fit everything into a backpack. As part of their travel light campaign, Debenhams kindly allowed me to select a new piece of cabin luggage from the Tripp range and I chose this Tripp backpack on wheels. Weighing 2.7kg, and measuring 48cm x 40cm x 20cm, it’s slightly lighter and smaller than most carry-on cases, and when it’s too heavy to carry on my shoulders, I can wheel it along with its pull out handle. Sounds too good to be true.

Debenhams also gifted me with a voucher to help me create the perfect capsule wardrobe. As I had a number of holiday items, I chose to buy basics that would mix and match. Tip number two, make sure you pack things that can be layered or reworked to create different looks. Plan for every eventuality…read rain. 
What’s in my suitcase?
// Warehouse vest tops // 2 for £10 c/o Debenhams //
1. A range of cotton t-shirts and vests. Easy to wash and easy to match.
// Oasis shortsApricot floral shorts :: c/o Debenhams //
2. Shorts. Last year, I didn’t pack enough of these. Lightweight and comfy, the more the merrier. How cute are these floral shorts? Sporting an elasticated waist, I’m sure they’ll come in handy. 
3. Who knows if I’ll be brave enough to rock a bikini? This beauty was reduced to half price in the New Look sale and was just too pretty to leave behind. Plus, it matches my costume and therefor matches everything else. Win!
4. Bottoms! For those lesser than picturesque days. I’ll be travelling in my boyfriend jeans, after all they match every thing and so does this midi skirt.
5. A variety of comfortable shoes with different contact points (ooer!) I’ll be travelling in a pair of white Converse, ye olde faithful. Four pairs is a lot but I won’t risk sore feet!
I’ve packed very little that you’d class as night wear, there’s simply not enough room! So, I’ve chosen dresses and pretty tops that can be dressed up at night and worn by themselves during the day. Some of them even double up as a beach cover up!
// Henry Holland daisy print top and Henry Holland white broidery shell top c/o Debenhams //

You’ll be seeing the dresses I packed in my outfit posts when I return, however at £19.75 I love the simplicity of this Henry Holland chambray dress. It’s very casual, but with a few tan accessories it could easily take me to sippin’ cocktails on a balmy evening.

I’m taking very little jewellery and choosing to travel in my beloved H&M coin necklace. However, these Primark necklaces were a steal at £3 and are so practical. Lightweight and on trend, I can see these getting plenty of outings!

Among these basics, I’ll be taking a lightweight rain jacket and a hooded jacket. If there’s one thing that can ruin a holiday, it’s rain. You can buy lightweight jackets everywhere these days for a few quid. Third tip, invest. 

The majority of the budget was spent on beauty, mostly skincare. My mantra is that if my skin feels good, then so do I! I suffer terribly from prickly heat and taking antihistamines just about controls my allergies, but doesn’t help my spotty skin. When I heard that Elemis Tan Accelerator helps sun sensitive skin and can help with prickly heat, I had to try it out (the fact that it may help me get a slight tan too might have swayed me!) It also boasts great reviews on the Debenhams site, however the proof really is in the pudding!

I’m also trying the Elemis Liquid Layer SPF 30 (which isn’t on the Debenhams site, but was £27 in store). Using sun creams can inflame my skin, trapping sweat in my pores and voila, prickly heat. I’m hoping the lighter layer will help my skin this year, whilst also offering protection. The Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel is a product I’ve had for around two months now. I’m undecided whether to take it or leave it. It offers undeniably fresh and clean feeling skin but I guess it’s yet another thing to pack. 

Ah Clinique. You too saw the Clinique minis as free gifts in glamour? For £2, I felt it was worth buying just for the mini moisturizer. Hopefully, it will last me the entire three weeks…

I’m keeping my make up very  minimal in the hope that my skin will already feel amazing from its Elemis pampering. I’m taking bareMinerals as my foundation to wear lightly in the day (if I need it) and for a heavier evening look, I’m choosing to use a smaller brush to build the coverage. I swear my bareMinerals to keep my skin looking fresh and illuminated. Another product I bought was the YSL Touche Eclat. It’s been years since I used this product, but I remember it being a wonder product. With so many early mornings looming, I guess I may be needing this one!

So, there you have it…the majority of what I’ll be taking on my travels. You won’t see any soap, shampoo, conditioner, body moisturizer, etc., as I’m choosing to buy all that when I arrive. After all, Europe has supermarkets too, so why carry it all? 

My biggest tip? Take a little of what you love, keep items varied with a similar colour scheme and you can travel for a week or a month!

So there you have it, how I manage to travel light… my case has weighed in at just 9kg for over three weeks! If you have any tips for travelling light, please do let me know @polkadot_pinky or join in the conversation using the #travellight hashtag . I’d love to hear your suggestions!

As always, much love,

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