What I Packed for Carry-On-Only Travel for 2 Weeks in Europe

Samurai Matcha
by Samurai Matcha

I went traveling through Switzerland, France, and Germany for over two weeks with only a carry-on bag and handbag. I had a stress-free and super comfortable trip because of it.

If carry-on-only travel is something you are interested in, stay tuned for a breakdown of everything I packed to go traveling to Europe with only a carry-on.

Why a carry-on suitcase instead of a backpack?

Why a carry-on suitcase instead of a backpack?

I mainly wore a kimono during my trip. To do this, I brought along two kimonos that were larger and bulkier than my usual clothes. My backpack could have been enough for this trip, but my kimonos would have been wrinkled. In a suitcase, I was able to fold it carefully and keep it in perfect condition and ready to go.

Also, I did not want it to break my matcha-making set, and it was safer in my light carry-on bag.

What are the advantages of small and light luggage?

Traveling with only a carry-on can make your life so much easier. You will not have to wait to receive your luggage or to get it checked in, and there is no risk of the airline company losing it. With a light carry-on, you do not have to worry about paying for the extra weight.

Outside of the airport, it means that you can easily go to your destination without stress. If your luggage is heavy, not only will it slow you down, but also be tiring to carry around. I would hate to miss my train because it took me ages to get my heavy suitcase up the stairs.

With smaller and lighter luggage, moving is easier and faster, so you can freely go to the sightseeing spots you want to visit.

What did I put into my carry-on bag?

What did I put into my carry-on bag?

Here is a full list of things I put in my suitcase while traveling to Europe:

  1. Two Montbell hoodies
  2. Three UNIQLO HEATTECH long sleeves
  3. Two UNIQLO HEATTECH pants
  4. UNIQLO sweatpants
  5. UNIQLO pants
  6. Two kimonos
  7. Down pants
  8. Montbell down jacket
  9. Four UNIQLO underwear sets
  10. Three pairs of socks
  11. Three moku towels
  12. Outdoor matcha set + other matcha tools
  13. Toiletry bag

I brought enough clothes to last me for three days. This is enough for me because there are many laundromats in each city. And if I cannot find one, I can just wash my clothes by hand.

Here is what I packed in my toiletry bag:

  1. Shaving cream
  2. Mini comb
  3. Razor
  4. Mini cologne
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Floss
  7. MUJI conversion adapter
  8. Type C plug
  9. MUJI S-shaped hook

I also brought some Japanese souvenirs: HIZOUDENRAI (my favorite matcha), sweets from Ghibli Park, matcha from Tobi-En, organic matcha latte, and a matcha stick. I added a mat for outdoor matcha and some aluminum hangers. This all came up to 8 kg exactly.

What did I put in my personal handbag?

What did I put in my personal handbag?

  1. MOFT laptop case
  2. Anker PowerPort III
  3. Anker PowerExpand Direct 7-in-2 adaptor
  4. Various cords
  5. MacBook Air
  6. Montbell folding umbrella
  7. Anker 511 Power Bank
  8. Earphones
  9. Sony ZV-1G
  10. Charger and battery
  11. Padlock
  12. Tenugui (Japanese traditional towel)
  13. Furoshiki (Japanese traditional wrapping cloth)
  14. Laundry sheets
  15. Hokkairo (Japanese hand warmers)
  16. Wallet

What did I put into my wallet?

I put my passport, money, and credit card in my wallet. As for my credit card, I mainly use a debit card because I can exchange money into Euros or Swiss Francs in the online bank, and use it at the actual place without any fee.

Carry-on-only travel

My long journey from Japan to Switzerland started on December 23. I headed to Nagoya from my village after work and then took a train from Nagoya to Tokyo. I stayed the night at a guesthouse and took a train to Narita airport the next day.

It is hard to believe that I managed to travel for two weeks packing only a carry-on, but it worked out great, and I absolutely recommend it.

Carry-on-only travel

I hope this list of everything I brought on my trip will help you plan your own journeys. Do you travel with only a carry-on? What do you normally pack? Share your must-haves in the comments!

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 1 comment
  • Hope Hope on Jun 12, 2023


    I take it as a personal challenge to only travel with a carry-on. 🙂

    If traveling 'informally' (no dress clothes) I pack: 3 jeans...5 shirts...5 underwear sets...5 pairs of socks...tablet+phone...misc. charger equip. for the tablet and phone. I can usually get away with doing laundry 1x/week.

    I always go with the mindset of...if I forgot it, there's usually a local store/Walmart to pick up necessary items and...if I see some "treasures-that-I-can't-live-without" along the way and they are too large to pack in my take-home luggage...I can always mail it home. 😉

    Have a great day!!