Guidebooks + Giveaway Winner

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 25, 2013

Happy Monday!

It was a big weekend of planning as we finalized our to-dos and must-sees for the Europe trip. Our strategy was to ask friends and family for advice first and foremost, but we also relied on an effective combination of guidebooks, TripAdvisor and Yelp to round out the itinerary.


We all know that I am a Type A personality, so to say that I enjoy list making and day-by-day scheduling would be an understatement (in fact, it’s scheduling by the hour). HOWEVER – I also know what they say about “best laid plans,” which is why I am also looking forward to the randomness and unpredictable opportunities that will come about as we roam the city streets.

(Note: I almost unintentionally typed “Rome the city streets.” The puns come that nerdily naturally.)

Now the packing begins. The weather is looking lukewarm and potentially rainy at this point, which makes sense during early spring. I probably won’t have many opportunities to wear warm weather clothes, but that didn’t prevent me from stocking up on these candy-colored finds on a recent trip to Le Tarjay (practicing my French…). Considering I have exactly one pair of shorts to my name that cannot also be used for exercise, I figured it would be a good idea to have a few more options in rotation once summer arrives. I heard it can get hot here in Arizona…


There is no Instagram filter on those – they are just that bright! The $20 price point didn’t hurt, either. I might bring one of them in my suitcase, but nothing is guaranteed. Space is at a premium when you have a carry-on, which leads me to my question for today.

Since my mind is currently filled with one of two thoughts – the first being all the projects I have to finish up on this side of the ocean before we leave, the second being the fact that I have yet to start packing – I’m going to keep this post short. But I am wondering if you have any tips on how to pack light. I tend to end up packing more than I need to with the excuse that I like to be prepared, but that’s not an option this time around. I need to fit 10 days worth of “stuff” into a suitcase small enough to fit on the plane. Any and all advice is welcome!

I’m already a fan of only bringing “one of each” type of bottom (shorts, jeans, nicer pants, etc.) and know that rolling clothes rather than folding them can save space. Also, only two pairs of shoes. If there are any other hidden tricks of the trade from light packers, I’d love to hear those, too.

Last but not least…we have a winner!

Thanks again for the sweet comments on my five year blogiversary post. After using, I’m happy to announce that the giveaway winner is Cindy!! Congratulations – I will be sending you an email with more details shortly!

Cindy Giveaway Winner

I’m not sure if I will be able to blog again before we leave. I won’t be blogging while we’re there, but will post the occasional photo to my Instagram when I have access to Wi-Fi. I am so excited!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!




1 Erica March 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

ohmygosh! Have so much fun!!!!! Please instagram! Love the shorts.
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2 Cara (Twinthusiast) March 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Re: packing light – you’ve already nailed the two most important things – simple bottoms to go with everything and limited shoes. I’d recommend things that can layer (a nice cardigan, a pashmina scarf) that you can take on and off. Also, it’s always helpful to steer clear of anything that screams “I’m an American tourist!” like white tennis shoes, college sweatshirts, etc. My last tip for Europe travel is to always dress nicely wherever you go. This separates you from other tourists, and can even get you access to better attractions (one time my family was invited to a private baptism presided over by a cardinal in the Florence cathedral simply because we were dressed nicely). It pays to go beyond a tshirt and shorts in Europe – plus your pics will be better too! And since you ALWAYS look cute, I don’t think this will be hard for you 😉 but I do try to pack nicer things for my ever-casual Jim when it comes to Europe travel. BON VOYAGE XO
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3 Shannon March 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

i’m a little behind the ball, but have a fabulous time on your trip! and congrats on 5 years :)
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4 Shel@PeachyPalate March 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Have an amazing trip! Is it your first time to Europe? Are you coming to Ireland?
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5 Megan (Braise The Roof) March 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Have so much fun!! Wear your bulkiest/heaviest stuff to travel in, I always find that helps with being able to cram more stuff into you suitcase.
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6 Lynn March 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Hi Jenn,

Have a wonderful time!! Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers did an excellent post about what to pack for Europe:
It breaks down items that you may need and how to re-purpose them during the trip. If you need restaurant recommendations email me. I lived in Florence for a year and have been to Rome a number of times.

7 Beth March 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Congrats Cindy! Well played.

8 Melissa @TryingtoHeal March 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

your trip will be amazing! As far as packing light, just take the essentials and if you need something, just buy it while you’re there! :)
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9 GiGi Eats Celebrities March 27, 2013 at 1:41 am

Man do I need a vacay!! So jealous! I want to goooooo! My parents are going to Italy in June. Ugh! So jealous!
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10 Don March 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

Travel light? I usually am the same way – I pack for every contingency and usually use every pound of space I am alotted (including stuffing a lot of stuff in my trenchcoat pockets). If you are interested in traveling light there is a good article on Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Workweek blog that gives his list of essentials. Been meaning to put that to use some day, when I get tired of carrying a massive backpack!

11 joelle (on a pink typewriter) April 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

Hope you’re having fun on your trip!!!

12 Yolan E April 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Enjoy your trip Jen. Look forward to hearing of your many adventures on this blog!

13 Virginia S. April 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I have got to get back to Europe, it’s been several years, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

14 Jennifer April 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

I do love those shorts

15 Bill April 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Enjoyed the post. Packing. I hate it. Anyway I smiled when you wrote,”rolling clothes saves space.” My daughter taught me that. She learned it from her Grandfather and it does seem to work. Be well.

16 Skechers Go Walk December 11, 2013 at 6:38 am

I love reading books in spare time. Reading books is a good hobby for adults and children but they generally hate reading novels.They like reading story books as they feel it interesting and good time pass. Books are the true friends of man. They always tell you truth about everything.

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