Lauren Brumfield
lifestyle, design & travel blog



How to Pack for Ten Days in a Backpack

Happy Monday, readers! This morning I wanted to kick off the week with a packing post. Holidays are (finally) nearing & that means trips! Lots and lots of trips (and cookies). Speaking of trips... I've just returned to my flat in Bath after a ten-day vacation in which I took only a backpack. Checking a bag these days is just too expensive for my liking, and the hassle of lost luggage is something that I'd rather not risk if I don't have to. I was determined to take everything I needed, while also obeying the dimensions of a standard carry-on. But since I'm studying abroad and essentially already living out of a suitcase, my North Face Sweeper Backpack would have to make due. And due it did! I've outlined what I brought below::


+4 tees, 1 chambray, 1 button up sweater, 1 layering sweater, 1 dressier tank

I know. I was freaking out too. But it worked. Know that you'll have to rewear things. But when all you're doing is shivering/sight seeing, I guarantee things won't get that dirty. 

-Check the weather. There's no use packing if you don't know what you're packing for. Okay there is a use, but still. Check. Especially if you're going to places with different climates. I started in Geneva, Switzerland (a.k.a cold and rainy) and ended in Bilbao, Spain (a.k.a. wish-I-brought-shorts weather).

-Think boring. Tis true. Accessories come later. For now, stick with tops that will go together. The simpler the better. I always lean towards black- easy to match with, and generally dressier and nicer looking than that cotton periwinkle tee you're eyeing.

-Bring layers. Any how-to on packing will say this. Most mornings, especially if you want to be up and at 'em in the early hours, are chilly. Afternoons warm up. Restaurants and museums- chilly. Strolling through parks & catching buses to here & there- not chilly. Bring. Layers.

bottoms and shoes

+2 pairs of jeans, brown tall boots, black ankle boots, shower shoes

-I only brought two pairs of pants with me. Maybe you think that's gross, whatever. But honestly, you really can go longer than you think without washing jeans. I've noticed that the darker the wash, the nicer they look for longer. So I brought two pairs of dark skinnies, and never wished I had brought more. (Except for the shorts.)

-Shoes are always a tricky subject for me because "what if it rains and I need my rainboots? or what if I want to go on a run? or what if we decide to go on an impromptu hike? or what if these boots that I've had for years randomly give me blisters?" <--my thought process, ladies and gents. However, I somehow survived with two pairs of shoes. When you travel, wear your bigger pair of shoes. You'll save room! 

-If you're staying in a hostel at any point, puhlease make room for a cheap, basically weightless pair of flip flops for the shower. They will save your life. I stayed in a hostel for the first part of my trip, and found myself wearing them around the room too (because who knows when they've last cleaned the floor).


pictured: rain jacket, journal, infinity scarf, simple jewelry, dry shampoo

-Rain jacket over umbrella. You might think it will take up less room, but I found myself wearing my rain jacket as a layering piece more than a waterproof piece, so it was out of my back pack anyway. And in Spain, my friend Robin brought an umbrella as opposed to a rain jacket; I stayed dry, Robin's umbrella flipped itself inside out. If you have room for both, great. If not, jacket.

-Bring a scarf. Key word: a. As in one. Uno. I choose one of medium warmth, colorful but still matched everything I was packing and it did the job. I wore it normally, as a blanket and used it as a pillow. Very happy I brought it.

-Simple jewelry. Nothing too flashy or bulky, that way you can wear it all the time! I took one watch, one necklace, a couple sets of earrings and my three favorite rings. Maybe that seems like a lot, but I feel like I'm one of those people who spends a good five minutes in the morning putting on jewelry. Just keep stacking things on, can't help myself.

Hope you found this to be informative- Feel free to ask any questions below or shoot me an email!