Destinations, Europe, Journal, Lifestyle

Backpacking Europe: Packing List

July 10, 2014

I never thought I could do it… But…

I did!

I managed to fit everything into one 25 liter bag for two months of traveling. 

How? You ask…

It’s simple–a miracle.

And a really awesome backpack.

My entire life now fits in this backpack below.


[Full disclosure: I also have a purse, which I was able to put a few items in. I also have a camera bag, but only the camera fits in there].

For those of you who may have read my previous post about my packing list to Europe, this list is slightly adapted and significantly lightened. My first list was based on the decision to have a home-base in Spain as we traveled, therefore we brought one suitcase between the two of us, and one backpack each.

Now, we are going to be traveling a lot more frequently, so we decided to cut out the suitcase entirely, and only bring backpacks.

It has been a good challenge to figure out what things I actually like, and what I can live without.

It was starting to become SCORCHING hot in Spain, and it is rainy and a bit chilly today in Paris, so I’m hoping what I chose will do the trick!

Important note: For all you fellas out there who have been super stoked to hear Dennis’ detailed packing list–he’s diligently working on a step-by-step outline of his outfit choices for you [color coordination, textures, etc.]… So, settle down for a minute. Don’t get your undies in a bundle and be patient. [ ;) ]

So, here it is.

Summer Euro-Backpacking List:


  • 2 pairs of jeans (blue, black)
  • 1 running pullover
  • 3 cotton long-sleeve tops (grey, black, striped)
  • 2 pairs of shorts (black jeans, black)
  • 2 pairs running shorts (black)
  • 3 t-shirts (black, grey, white)
  • 2 athletic tanks (black, grey)
  • 7 tank tops (black, grey, white)
  • 2 dresses (maxi and knee-length, both black)
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 swimsuit top
  • 2 swimsuit bottoms
  • 6 pairs of socks


  • Nike Free running shoes
  • Vans sneakers
  • Havianna’s flip flops
  • Seychelle’s sandals


  • 3 necklaces
  • 2 cuff bracelets
  • 2 pairs of earrings


  • Makeup bag
  • Toothbrush/paste/floss
  • Contacts & solution
  • Glasses
  • Mini shampoo, body wash, etc.
  • Hair straightener
  • Curling wand


  • Macbook Air
  • iPad
  • Camera
  • HTC One phone


As I did last time, I still kept a neutral palette, so that most things will coordinate.

I wore one pair of tennis shoes on the plane and strapped the other to the outside of my backpack. I rolled all of the clothes really tight before I put them in my bag, and it all fit easily! A 25 liter bag is not huge by any means, but it somehow magically fit!



We sent a box of things back home from Spain, and got rid of a few of our cheap clothes to get us down to one backpack each.

The only other things that I think I will want is one cardigan and a mini-hairdryer.

Side note on the hairdryer…

Last week Dennis and I went to the beach with our friend Andrew in Spain. I had been chirping in Dennis’ ear about wanting to get a functioning hairdryer since my last one almost started my hair on fire.

So, Andrew came up with a friendly wager. The water was absolutely FREEZING that day [one guy next to us said it was way colder than in Norway…apparently that means it’s cold] and Andrew suggested, if I stay in the water for 45 seconds, Penny-Pincher Denny would not be able to have a fit about me buying a hairdryer.

When Dennis shook on that bet, I bolted into the water and floated right up to my neck, letting the seconds [seemingly minutes] tick by. I had lived through ice bathes as an athlete in college, so this just brought me right back there.

Every painful second was worth it when the timer struck 45 seconds. Fully a popsicle, I dunked under the water and then ran out [seemingly in slow-mo], audibly hearing the victorious Chariots of Fire soundtrack in my head with each step.

I will rightfully get to claim my prize soon. Hopefully, there will be enough room in my bag :)

So, there you have it–my full backpacking list.

Is there anything you would add or do differently?

Today, I wish I had a pair of boots because of the rain, but I guess my Vans will have to do :)

xo Kelsey


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  • Reply Casey July 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Girl you amaze me. All those neutrals will look (as the French say) TRES CHIC!!!! Penny Pincher Denny is my new favorite nickname. Still waiting on the #likeaboss pic to come my way. I got my absolute favorite pair of boots in Paris. I will let you know the name of the store… What challenges could you take on to get Dennis to buy you a pair of French fashion boots?! ;-) I’ve got it… Crepe food challenge!!!

    • Reply Kelsey Heenan July 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Haha Case you are awesome. That pic is coming your way soon…classic Denny. OH! Let me know the name of the store. I’ve done some research on stores that I want to go to, but recommendations are always WAY better than plain internet searches. I will very willingly take on ANY crepe challenge that comes my way for a pair of boots. I am very competitive…especially when it comes to boots ;)

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