On Sunday, I’ll be driving 6+ hours toward Filattiera, a small village in Tuscany, about 45 minutes inland from the magic Cinque Terre. On the way there, I will only have one person sharing the ride. On the way back, we might be up to 4 people in the MiTo. So we’ll have to pack smart for the week ahead.
What do you put in a carry-on when you go for a week of co-working in Europe?
No, I’m not taking the cat. Even though she’s hinting at it pretty clearly.
Let’s give the whole thing a bit of context: we’ll be living and working out of my friend Flavia’s family house, which means there will be no fashionista contest during the day. Objective here: comfortable and versatile. We all love the outdoors and there might be a few afterwork hikes in the pipe, but I don’t think the terrain calls for hiking boots, sneakers should suffice. There will be a day of touring the Cinque Terre. Here too, comfortable shoes and layers are must.
Quick look at the weather forecast: half a week of rain (great!) and temperatures in the low 70.
Put all of that in a shaker and stir well. What’s left:
What clothing to pack:
- 1 basic tank top – in case the temperature rises up suddenly
- 5 basic t-shirts – my standard uniform is jean + t-shirt. And they really don’t take much space.
- 3 blouses – for the days I feel like being a little fancy. Or if we decide to hit the town for drinks or dinner.
- 2 dresses – for the days you don’t want to think too much about what you’re going to wear.
- 2 pairs of jeans – one boyfriend for everyday, and one darker and skinny that I can dress up if needed.
- 1 lightweight jacket
- 6 pairs of socks
- 7 pairs of underwear & 4 regular bras and 1 sport bra
- 1 pair of yoga/running pants – for Cécile’s morning zumba or to get a run or two in if weather/terrain allow.
- 1 light scarf to keep in my backpack
- 2 sweaters – one super slouchy & comfy, the other one a little more dressed up
What shoes to pack:
- 1 pair of sneakers/walking shoes – because of the weather forecast, I’ll go with the leather version.
- 1 pair of running shoes – because I would hate myself too much if I had the opportunity to run and didn’t because I didn’t bring the right shoes.
- 1 pair of flats
- 1 pair of espadrilles – they’re a great alternative to flip-flop, they’re perfect to stay at home and they take up no space at all.
What toiletries to pack:
Since we’re not going there for a beauty contest, I’m going to go as light as possible on this one:
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Shower gel
- Make-up remover & face cleanser
- Moisturizer with SPF 30 minimum
- Hair ties
- BB Cream
- Black mascara
- Tinted lip gloss
And since I’m going there to work, let’s not forget the essential…
What electronics to pack:
- Smartphone – I am lucky, as long as I stay in Europe (and some close-by countries like Switzerland), my cell-phone and 4G usage are covered by my plan.
- Cell-phone charger – the USB cable is enough. I can use it in my car, and I can use it plugged on my laptop when I’m in the house.
- Earbuds – for listening to podcasts and music when I’m running, but also to do Skype calls.
- Laptop – well, of course. And since I work mostly on the cloud, I’m bringing my entire office with my just by bringing my laptop.
- Laptop charger – obviously… I generally only use the front part and tend not to haul with me the long-ass cable.
- Tablet – for reading, it’s luxury since I’m already carrying a laptop and a smartphone. But it’s always lighter than the three or four books that I’ll want to have on hand. Plus I can use the same charger as my phone, so that’s convenient.
- Camera – for higher quality pictures.
- Camera charger – more cords… I forgot it this summer when I was in the US for two weeks. I just used my camera less but it’s not that difficult to remember to pack the charger and it gives a lot more freedom.
I will also bring one or two notepads and a set of pens and pencils for my morning pages, and to give myself a bit of creativity when it comes to preparing classes (which is one of my work goal during this trip).
Okay, so now, what do we put this in?
Where to pack all that:
- 1 EasyJet approved carry-on luggage – I think that’s the company with the smallest size restriction, so that’s what I used as a reference when I bought my luggage. It’s a hard case, on wheel, basic luggage.
- 1 backpack – I love my Minaal Daily. It’s perfect to fit my entire work-life and take it with me everywhere I go.
- 1 clutch – I choose one with a shoulder sling that fits my phone, passport and a little money for when I’m leaving the house and don’t want to haul my backpack around. Plus it’s slightly more feminine… and I’m a proud girly girl… sometimes.
Now let’s play a game, will you? I’ll come back to this article after the trip and tell you what I really used and what I was missing. Stay tuned!