Carry-On Packing for Two Months in Northern Spain

Pants

1 pair jeans | Hollister, jeggings, dark wash

I ended up gaining weight and buying a pair of boyfriend jeans here so maybe pack a size up if you anticipate this problem as well?

1 pair of leggings  | Lululemon Align legging, 7/8 crop

I did a lot of running during my first weeks here to get to know the area, so these came in handy. Later on, I met friends who were very active. So again, my leggings were a necessity during activities such as acro-yoga, parkour, telas, bouldering, climbing, and hiking. Traveling these were nice too at first, but like I said, I gained weight and sometimes you don’t want tight material around your stomach during an overnight bus ride. Later on I purchased high-waisted, wide-leg pants from Pull and Bear which I loooove for traveling. 

1 pants | Gap, green, tie front, synched bottom

These pants are wonderful. Somehow they manage to be both sporty and professional and casual and dressy all at the same time. Love these pants for their comfort and versatility. 

1 denim shorts | Levi’s cut-offs, thrifted

Levi’s are super ~in~ in Europe. I loved throwing these over my swimsuits and for casual, hot days. 

1 running shorts | Soffee running-style shorts

Good for running on hot days, throwing over a wet swimsuit, and hiking in the mountains. Waistline got a little tight by the end of my visit… but it’s safe to say that regarding every single pair of pants I brought, need I say more? The food is so good here and I was here around Rabajas, meaning I splurged on a few better-fitting pants ¯\_()_/¯

Underwear

20 pairs | various styles & brands

Underwear is an entirely personal preference so ladies (or any dudes informing themselves with this post,) I won’t tell you what to do. However, I brought about 11 thongs and 9 pairs of comfy underwear. I like a variety.

9 socks | short black athletic socks, a few “flat” socks

1 sports bra | black, Nike, thin straps

1 bra | strapless, black

I also brought along my favorite blue normal t-shirt bra. However, I ended up wearing the black strapless bra almost every day simply because I don’t like the look of straps popping out when I’m wearing a simple, loose top. Again, this is a personal preference thing, but I just love bared shoulders and collarbones and straps distract from that. (Like let’s just all go braless, right?) So anyways, my strapless bra is the next best thing. Also made for really easy changing when I was doing the classic “deck change,” (what I call changing in public.)

Shirts

3 tanks
  • black crochet-back tank

This was my most versatile item. PJs? Cute going out top? Off to class? Yoga on the beach? Sweating lots after bouncing from gate to gate in the airport? Goes with every clothing item I brought? Check, check, quadruple check and beyond. Even better? It only cost me like $5 at Plato’s Closet back home. 

  • seersucker sleeveless

Kind of wish I didn’t bother with this. Barely ever used this. Ended up buying a cute white crop tank, so for future packing I’ll bring this instead.

  • grey pocket tank

This tank is incredibly comfy, making for perfect daywear, sleepwear, or activewear. Not anything fancy, but hey, not every tank can do it all like my black crochet tank. 

3 short-sleeved
  • grey GAP loose tee

Perfectly comfy, goes with everything.

  • white GAP loose tee

I actually lost this item. RIP. Honestly, no clue what happened to it. Lost it like 1 month in. Great tee but hey I suppose it gives me reason to be on the hunt for the perfect plain white tee.

  • black scoop back tee

This usually is my “simple going out crop top” in the states but something about the simple cotton tight fit felt a little too casual. For the hot, muggy days (of which there were many,) the skin-tight fit felt constricting, it was not ideal to throw on over a swim suit, not an athletic fit (and wouldn’t be able to pass as so,) and, if I haven’t drilled this point in enough, the food was fabulous there and the last thing I wanted was something form fitting around my tummy after a big dinner!!

 

3 long-sleeved
  • white crochet bell sleeved

This was one of my favorite “going out” tops. Super fun fit, the bell-sleeve look was in, cute crochet details, a simple white which went with everything.

  • black wrap banana republic

This shirt is made with heavy fabric. This was nice for traveling on the planes and the cold days at first, but I don’t think I wore it once my second month there. There are quite a few perks to traveling with this shirt though: never wrinkles, dressy, super comfy material. Therefore, I would still consider this shirt, especially for a more formal, slightly colder trip.

  • black wrap ALO

Athleisure at its finest. Functioned well as a going-out top as well as a post-workout top and yoga top!

 

Jackets

beige light jacket GAP

This jacket makes any outfit seem sophisticated, but is comfortable and great to wear out, easy to throw in a bag, and is just the right weight to keep one comfortable on a chilly plane.

beige rain jacket

I own the best rain jacket. The pockets are enormous, and I mean throw-a-bottle-of-wine-in sized pockets. Great for when your carry-on personal item begins to overflow at security and you need extra space to toss items.

The one bummer about these two jackets is that they’re so similar color and style-wise. For the first few weeks when it was cold and rainy, I wished for my leather jacket to blend in with the Europeans, or my beige sweater for a more cozy look. At the end of the day, I am very happy with the jackets I chose to bring along. 

 

Dresses

striped cotton tank dress

I’m a striped dress addict. Naturally, when I stumbled upon a striped dress for 10 euros in H&M in Munich, I picked that up. I ended up wearing that much more than the dress I brought. This dress is so functional but I rarely feel very stylish in it. 

black shift tank dress

Wow this was a winner. Compliments handed out, can easily be dressed up, dressed down, moved in, lived in. I’m glad I decided to snag this at Old Navy around my birthday with my mom.

chambray button down tank dress

This dress requires hand washing. As someone who is too lazy to do such a thing very often and as a human being who sweats and spills and lives in her clothes, this was problematic. I actually bought an overalls-dress. A bit trendy, I recognize, but I really love the look, and in the future, will replace this chambray dress with the overalls-dress.

 

Shoes

green Nikes

Normally, I wouldn’t run in these. But these functioned well if I wanted to go on short runs, go hiking in the mountains, and race through airports. 

rubber flip flops

Another lost item. What ever happened to these? Not sure. Good thing these cost like $2 normally.

Birks

My old Birkenstocks, nicely worn in. Worked well.

 

I ended up purchasing a ridiculous amount of shoes. There were a super cheap pair of heels at Pull & Bear that I never wore, but am looking forward to wearing at home someday. Also, espadrilles were a big thing from Donostia, so I purchased a pair of nude espadrilles. And of course, I dropped some money on Birkenstocks for me and my family when in Germany. 

If I had space for one more pair of shoes at the beginning, I would have brought my nude flats, which never fail to match with anything. For this particular trip, I did not miss them at all. Reason probably being I purchased the nude espadrilles… but still. The lifestyle I had did not beg for the demure flats look.

 

Swim

White lace top

Navy bottoms

Black top

Black bottoms

 

I ended up bringing one more top and purchasing several more swimsuits. So for the future, I’d say bring a one-piece and two bikini sets. Swimsuits don’t take up loooots of space so usually I don’t worry about swimwear too much. 

In Spain, swimsuit tops are optional. So if you’re feeling bold, just skip the swimsuit tops. Furthermore, swimsuit bottoms are tiny compared to what I usually sport in the states. Bear in mind. I had fun investing in some of the Brazilian cut bikini bottoms.

 

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Prescriptions (3mo)
  • Face wash (I use Purity Made Simple face wash by Philosophy and it doubles as makeup remover. My skin loves this stuff, and I swear by it.)
  • Face lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Comb
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Diva Cup (Ladies if you want an environmentally friendly alternative to tampons and are considering the Diva Cup, I’d be happy to answer any questions about this!!)
  • Razor + trimmer
  • Lotion
  • Hair ties + clips (Extras are so important if you’re going surfing. I lost so many hair ties to the sea.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Kleenex
  • Microfiber towel

I actually purchased the microfiber towel there, but it was such a good purchase.

I left the hair curler at home and do not regret it one bit. 

Purse

  • Passport
  • Boarding passes
  • Itinerary
  • Phone
  • Earbuds
  • Journal
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • External hard drive
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Luggage lock + keys
  • Liquid toiletries
  • Money to exchange at airport
  • Deodorant (I tried the cute new Dove deodorant balls which look like a larger version of Eos lip balm. Great scent, compact, and functional. However, it did not last me two months. So maybe bring two of these or be prepared to buy more there.)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Portable phone charger charging cable
  • Phone charging cables (x2)
  • Laptop
  • Laptop charging cables
  • Work binder
  • Scarf
  • Underwear (always bring extra underwear in your carry on!!!)
  • Hammock (I wish I would have brought my smaller one. However, I like to travel with my hammock. It really does come in handy sometimes. At the very least, you’re never without a place to sleep.)
  • Sunglasses

 

Jewelry

  • Watch
  • Pretty studs

All I brought was my favorite Fossil watch and my favorite earrings. This gave me good reason to shop around markets for unique jewelry 😉 

 

 

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