Traveling in One Carry-on to Europe… Did it Work?

Earlier I had posted that Daughter and I each purchased an Osprey bag for our summer travel.  She chose the Farpoint 55 and I went with the Ozone Convertible 22 inch.  So did they work for us?  Would we truly be able to travel in one bag?

The short answer is yes… Hers worked extremely well and mine worked well.  I will be honest and say I never wore mine as a backpack.  I wheeled it most places and carried it when I had to. The bag was only 12 kg (26 pounds) when it was full at the airport on the way home.  I carried on the bag to Europe and checked it on the way back.


The bag was very easy to carry up the usual three flights of stairs to our hotel rooms.  And when I got tired of the cobblestone wheel noise I would also carry the bag by its side handle.  The wheels handled the streets with no issue and I found the bags telescoping handle to be comfortable and the right length to pull the bag by.

Now Daughter’s Osprey Farpoint 55 was slightly bigger than mine, she made a few purchases and still fit everything in on the way home. We also checked her bag on the way home because we had already checked mine so why not wait for both at the carousel. She never wore hers as a pack either in transit, just grabbing it by the side handles when walking or doing stairs.  Hers was under 10kg (around 20 pounds).


We never really walked more than half a mile at any one time so the pack aspect was not really utilized.  However I would add that I would rather carry my Ozone up three flights of winding steps than my bulky pilots case if I have the choice. It did really carry easily!

What was in my bag?

* 1 pair Columbia Sandals

* 1 black long skirt

* 2 pairs denim capri pants

* 1 pair denim skinny jeans

* 1 pair denim jeans

* 2 black t shirts

* 1 Navy t shirt

* 1 purple t shirt

* 1 beige t shirt

* 1 multi tank top

* 1 black button up sweater

* 1 black knee length dress (could have left behind, wore once)

* 1 nylon shorts for pjs

* 1 dry-fit type shirt for pj top

* 1 bathing suit

* 5 pairs Smart Wool Running Socks

* 11 days of undergarments

* 1 cheap umbrella

* 1 raincoat in a sack

* 1 empty blue EF backpack for day use in Europe

* 1 hanging toiletry bag

* 1 quart bag of 3 oz liquids fit in the special pocket in the top of the bag

* 8 Energy bars such as Cliff and Luna Bars

* 20 Single Serve tubes of Crystal Light

* Ziploc bag of band-aids, medical tape, mole skin, Aspirin, allergy pills, etc.  (Medical tape holds the band-aids on when you manage to stub two toes and remove most of the toenails. Priceless!)

Clothing fit tightly into Ebags narrow packing cubes.  I had a pants cube, a t shirt cube and an “other” cube.  A small cube held my bras, swim suit and pjs.  The beauty of the packing cubes was I would put the item I had worn into one end and pull a “new / clean” item from the other end.

And it did not take me much to pack up at night when we were moving hotels in the morning. Everything was in my bag but my pj’s, toiletry bag and liquids bags when I woke up in the am thanks to the cubes.  Daughter was also cubed, since we were not in the same room I assume she put the clothes back in them all the time.  Not sure!  She said they were working for her and when we came home her clothes were in the cubes at laundry time.   I am pretty sure the packing cubes will be used each trip from now on!  I purchased my packing cubes from Amazon warehouse deals and with a credit at Ebags from when I purchased my Osprey Ozone with them.

Also we each started with an empty water bottle tucked into the front pocket of our bags.  As the trip went on we would purchase a water and switch to using that bottle for the next day.  Single Crystal Light packs of fruit punch and lemonade were a nice change from plain water.

I had purchased another small tote bag to use as my personal item for $5 in Paris with the intent it would hold the 3 shirts and cookies I had purchased.  I was stuffed to the max in my Osprey so there was not going to be much souvenir room in there! I have done the cheap bag purchase on other trips and it works well for getting things home if I go shopping.

So I would say the both bags fit our needs, packing cubes are very helpful and I was glad to be lugging only 20+ pounds up the flights of steps!  One bag forced me to limit what I took.

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Traveling in One Carry-on to Europe… Did it Work?

  1. The Chaos Realm

    That’s a lot of stuff!

  2. Wow, we pack so much more than this for a four day trip to the beach. We will have three suitcases and a small bag for toiletries. I don’t travel that much. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Did you get good pictures?

  3. kim

    I’ve always been in awe of those who know how to pack well. I’m not one of those people.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I was NOT one of those people. I am a chronic over packer normally! But realizing there might not be an elevator made me read up and try to make it go. I was so glad I made it go!

  4. Jann Olson

    Sounds like you have this down to a science! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  5. Hello Author,
    I was googling for tips about travelling to Europe and I stumbled upon yours accidently but I am glad that I did. Thanks for the pointers on what clothing to carry during the travel. Often clothes take up a lot of space and you have helped me save some.

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