Just prior to the end of the Before Times, my wife and I spent about six months traveling and living in Europe and the UK. We learned a lot about extended trips and being nomadic, but the most common question we get about the trip is how we managed to pack for multiple seasons and climates.
We each had a medium carry-on bag, and the equivalent of a briefcase. Both of which were small enough to fit in the relatively tiny overhead shelves of European trains, and not be too much of a burden for carrying through cities. (Once we arrived overseas, we didn’t fly at all, our transportation was by foot, train, ferry, ship, or taxi.)
You’ll find plenty of sites with advice about luggage and what to wear and pack. But the one tip we learned — and never saw documented elsewhere — can be summed up in two words: fast fashion.
That is, we didn’t carry clothes for the three seasons during which we travelled (Summer, Fall, Winter). We bought and discarded clothes along the way. And the best and most useful of those came from the chain store Primark.
Primark, based in Ireland, is known for inexpensive clothing that doesn’t last long, which is perfect for this kind of trip. As the seasons change, replace what you’re packing. Doing this also removes anxiety from the laundry quandary — when your clothes are temporary and cheap, local laundry service or wash-in-the-hotel-sink becomes less worrisome.
How inexpensive am I talking? A whole outfit for less than the price of a meal! For example, I bought $12 jeans, $8 shirts, and a $22 jacket that I ended up bringing home and now wear for doing yard work.
Even if you’re not going on a long-term trip, packing light is always a good idea. And returning home with fewer clothes than you left with opens up room in your luggage for gifts, souvenirs, or other treasures you might find along the way.
An unanticipated bonus is that now, when we look at photos from our trip, not only do the locations bring up happy memories, but so do the long-lost clothes that we are wearing.
Yes, Primark is for travelers. Get a list of their locations from their website and bon voyage.