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Would you be able to travel to Europe with only one outfit?

Clothes for Europe

A few months ago I read an article about a women, Clara Bensen, who travelled to eight countries in  twenty-one days with only the clothes she was wearing. She went on her trip with Jeff, a University professor she met on-line.

I read the article around the same time I was invited to go to Denmark with my husband. He was invited to speak at The DAPUG (Database Application Programmers Users Group), computer meeting about his recently published book, Coding in Dephi.

For our trip we will be met at the airport by our gracious host Jens and his wife Heidi;  we will stay with him and his family, and then we will be at a hotel for the conference. There are not many places we have to carry our bags. Just from the car to the airport terminal, and then from baggage claim to our host’s car. We don’t have to walk miles looking for a hostel shlepping our huge bags.

I don’t have to limit my clothes choices, I could take 50 pounds of clothes, the weight limit on the airline. But I am intrigued by the idea of traveling with only the clothes I am wearing. Do you think it’s possible?

Would you be able to travel to Europe with only the clothes on your back?

I don’t know if I want to be as radical as Clara Bensen.  But what is the absolute minimum needed. Right now I am planning on wearing one pair of shoes, my Doc Martens, black and gray leggings, a black t-shirt, a black vest, a sweater, and a denim skirt. I haven’t figured out the underwear or sock situation yet.

Jeans or a skirt?

One outfit or several? I want to avoid the stuff-everything-I-can’t-make-my-mind-up-about-into-the-suitcase-plan. I know there must be a happy medium. But, I tend to live in extremes, all or nothing.

What do you think? What do you think I should bring in my suitcase? Please tell me in the comments. I would love to hear what you think. Help me pack.

The destination is Denmark. The average temperature is 50%. Here is the link to the weather forecast. Weather Denmark

Here is Clara Bensen’s article in Salon about her trip if you would like to read it. Click here.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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  • La McCoy

    yep. that how I roll. Jamies. swim suit. and layers as needed.

  • Hallo from me. Ditch the skirt. Yikes. No one wears skirts anymore. You can dress jeans up or down with a jacket. Take a colorful silk scarf. It will make any jacket ‘dressy’ if you need to impress. Love the shoes. Funky. Three pairs of panties and socks. You can wash them in the shower every night. Three shirts, button down. Not T-shirts (it’s so american/south african and not at all classy, sorry). I’ll take two pairs of jeans one blue, one black. A white shirt is a must. A few bracelets. A nice bra to go with the shirts. Show some cleavage. You never know….

    This is advice from someone that still travels with the kitchen sink. Haha.

    • Hi Patricia,

      Okay, the skirt is gone and I found my black jeans. (Still haven’t found my camera, but the basement is sorted and getting cleaned.)
      The laundry machine is going non-stop today, and all is well. Hmm, now a white shirt. Everything I have right now is black.

      I don’t want to take the kitchen sink, I usually end up taking the bathtub, and then dragging it everywhere, crying, and only wearing a few things out of the mess.

      Cleavage? I will have to look very hard to find any of that.

  • All my overseas travel has been to Africa, so I will wade in carefully as I’m not sure what you need for Europe. I do like to travel very lightly, and I have nearly perfected the art of packing everything you need in a carry-on, so that you can stuff your 50 lb allowance bag full of gifts and essential equipment. Ditto everything Elsie says below: I stick almost exclusively to black and white, so it all goes together, and I buy stuff I can wash in the sink if necessary. I take scarves to dress up outfits a bit. I take light comfy shoes. I like to find out how people dress where I’m going, so I won’t be an ugly American. In the end, I don’t think you should worry about packing alot, take enough so that you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed. That way you can enjoy yourself!

    • Kathleen, I agree. Who wants to be an ugly American or South African for that matter. On our very first trip overseas we went to Paris. And I was ashamed of my clothes all the time. Never again.I still cringe when I thought about that trip.

  • Elsie

    Definitely think in layers. You didn’t say how long you were going to be gone. For a week I’d be taking 3 items to wear on the bottom and 4 on top, plus a couple of scarves. All items would match each other, so there would be a single color scheme. Black is my travel color. I would also have a spare pair of shoes. I’ve been in Copenhagen and my shoes got wet, I needed my back up pair so the others could dry. Have a great time! We love visiting Copenhagen.

    • Hello Elsie,
      Layers sounds like such a good idea. We will be gone for about nine days. I will have to pull out my colorful scarves. Black and gray are the two colors in my wardrobe, so everything should match.
      I hadn’t thought about my shoes getting wet. I like the idea of a backup pair. Oh, I had better waterproof my boots this week too!
      Thank you for the suggestions Elsie.

  • Christa Sterken

    i always pack too much, but if the weather is temperate like that? I would try and find one skirt, one pants and some scarfs with a few layering shirts. How often can you wash them?

    • Hi Christa,
      I always pack too much too. More than half I bring I never wear. This time I want to pack better. A big heavy suitcase feels like such a burden. Last time I went overweight on the flight back and the extra fee was so high.

  • Anastacia

    Hmm… You can get by with a black t-shirt, one pair of pants, and a skirt. Maybe have a large scarf or two to accessorize your outfit so you don’t look like you are wearing the same thing everyday. At least one extra pair of undergarments so you can wear one pair and Hand wash the other.

    • Hello Anastacia,
      Scarfs sound like a good idea, and it may be cold. Thank you for your suggestions. Two pair of undies sounds like a good idea, my mom taught me to put on a fresh pair daily. Some habits stay with us forever.