The biggest thing in my bucket list is finally coming true! I have been planning to travel to Europe since I was a teen, but so many unforeseeable events kept happening. I won’t delve into the personal details, but it seemed like every year there was something big that kept preventing me from going. When 2018 kicked in, I had a gut feeling that this was going to be the year. True enough, things fell into place. After months of research and preparation, “Project: Europe or Bust” is good to go!
What makes this solo trip different from the rest? For one thing, I am using a 55-L backpack for my 30-day adventure instead of my usual overweight suitcase. I learned from the backpacking community that it’s actually faster to hop on trains, sleeper buses, ferries, and even budget flights when all you have is one big backpack instead of a rolling suitcase.
My itinerary: 11 cities, 7 countries, 1 backpack!
As we say hello to KateWasHere’s first official vlog [Cue applause… Thank you!], watch me pack for my 30-day Euro trip:
As a newbie backpacker, it was a serious struggle for me to narrow down my vanity products. In case I run out of products mid-trip, it’s the perfect excuse for me to splurge on France’s famous beauty pharmacies. Here’s what I’m packing so far:
As an eco-friendly traveler, I’m not a fan of buying sachets and single-use plastic packages, but if you have lots of samplers and sachets that you got for free (Don’t buy!), travel is the best time to use them. You need only a little at a time, and they won’t eat up space. Just make sure you dispose your plastics in proper waste segregation bins. My toiletry bag is full of samplers and other personal skincare faves that I transferred into travel-friendly reusable containers.
Kikay Kit (Makeup Kit)
L-R: Sephora Travel Makeup Set, Purple Tree Miracle Balm (perfect multi-purpose moisturizer for the lips, hands, and cuticles), L’Oréal Liquid Eyeliner, Happy Skin Perfect Brows Long-Lasting Liquid Pen, L’Oréal Brow Artist, Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip (travel size), Majolica Majorca Lash King Mascara, L’Oréal Infallible Pro Matte Powder, Revlon Colorstay 2-in-1 Compact Makeup & Concealer, shu uemura Travel Brush Set, Pro Studio Exclusives Makeup Sponge, Browhaus Travel Eyelash Curler (discontinued), and Happy Skin Hologram Pouch. As a former beauty editor, I struggled with cutting down my vanity products. This is already half of what I normally pack!
L-R: Giga shampoo bar, Sip Burrito eco set, Daiso travel water bottle, and collapsible cup from EcoMNL. Other eco-friendly items I packed but not pictured: eco bags to wrap and segregate my stuff, and cotton buds made from wooden sticks (not plastic!).
About The Backpack
Deuter is a German brand recommended by many travelers I met on the road. I purchased the Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL in Arctic/Navy (Women’s Fit). The design is made especially for the female anatomy. I bought this from Chris Sports for ₱7,191 (they gave me a 10% discount). Special thanks to the guys from Deuter Mall of Asia and BaseKamp for helping me choose a backpack.
When I was trying out the different backpacks at the store, the biggest difference I noticed about the Deuter SL Women’s Fit is that it doesn’t hurt your breasts. The regular men’s fit has bulky, chest-centered straps that constantly hit the breast area—ouch!
The biggest dilemma I had was narrowing down all the stuff I wanted to bring. I spent days cutting down all my makeup, toiletries, and other girly essentials. I learned to pack light! I even left some space in the backpack for my shopping—pasalubong, of course.
1. Use packing cubes and eco bags to help compartmentalize your stuff.
2. Keep it light in the bottom and heaviest in the middle. This will balance out the bag and keep you from injuring your back.
3. Practice packing your stuff. Arrange the items carefully like a puzzle. Utilize all areas to make sure you’re not wasting any space.
4. Adjust accordingly. Before running off, adjust every strap of the backpack to fit your hip and back frame. For more backpacking tips from Deuter, click here.
It’s time for the biggest backpacking adventure of my life!