Real life one bag travel: travel blogger’s packing list in practice

Hi Frugalistas!  I’m just off the plane from Athens and the big travel blogging conference, TBEX.  What a time!  Lots of old friends to catch up with, lots of online friends to meet face to face, and lots of new friends made.  The conference was fantastic – I’ve come back with so many ideas.  And Athens itself – delightful, friendly and much cleaner than I remembered it.  I’ve so much content to share with you!  But before we start on Athens (and my airline reviews from this trip), I want to give you the low down on my packing list.  You may recall I was somewhat apprehensive about how my wardrobe would go down……

The weather started off quite warm and sunny, before a few days of cold and somewhat wet weather.  Then back to sunny, but not overly warm before my departure.  There was lots of walking and some casual evening functions.  Racing around quite a lot meant that I didn’t change for dinner in the evenings – so my dress wasn’t worn.  Thanks to my blogger friends (and a kind Emirates flight attendant) here is my packing list, as worn in Athens……


Jo Karnaghan eating a souvlaki in Athens

Day one was a food walking tour – and my first souvlaki. Wearing my light navy cardigan and navy skinny pants


Jo Karnaghan in Pireaus on a stormy day

I went slightly nautical for a day on a cruise ship (or maybe not). Striped Tshirt, purple cardigan around my shoulders, skinny blue pants and ballet flats


Day one at the conference - blue cardigan, long sleeved white Tshirt, black skinny pants and boots

Day one at the conference – blue cardigan, long sleeved white Tshirt, black skinny pants and boots (legs of the pants needed pulling down a bit – they aren’t actually that short)


woman wearing silver skirt and purple cardigan

Conference day 2 in my silver skirt, purple cardigan and scarf, with ballet flats


woman posing in front of the Acropolis in Athens - aForAthens Hotel

In the hotel breakfast room (yes, that’s the Acropolis!) in long sleeved white Tshirt, black jacket and black classic pants


woman standing in front of the Parthenon in Athens

The Acropolis a bit closer this time in outfit as earlier, with my trench and scarf tied to my bag


woman sitting in Emirates Business Class A380

Final leg home – Dubai to Sydney in black jacket, black long sleeved Tshirt and black classic pants

With 3 cardigans and a short jacket, three T shirts, and four bottoms that all matched each other I could have made a total of 48 outfits without repeating any outfit exactly.  That’s without taking into account different scarves or shoes.  The key thing is to make sure that everything you pack matches with everything else.  And the best part?  It fits easily into just one carry on bag!



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8 Comments on “Real life one bag travel: travel blogger’s packing list in practice”

  1. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary 02/11/2014 at 1:28 pm #

    It seems like you packed the essentials. I always have problems of packing too much – I always think ‘I should bring this, just in case!’ Hope you are having a great weekend! Happy November!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 02/11/2014 at 5:03 pm #

      “Just in case” can be a problem. It takes discipline to work out exactly what you do need to pack just in case.

  2. Lady Light Travel 05/11/2014 at 4:16 am #

    Now that’s a wardrobe! Your trip is proof that a capsule wardrobe can handle multiple conditions, climates, and events. I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip.

  3. Vanessa 11/11/2014 at 5:43 am #

    Yay team carry on!! Here’s what I learned about one bag packing on my TBEX trip. First, I should have taken one less pair of trousers but one more shirt. Trousers, especially jeans, can often be reworn and are less likely to have food spilled on them, whereas shirts I always want to be especially fresh (and I am very likely to spill food on them!!!). If I had made this one simple switch up I think I would have saved weigh in my pack and extended my laundry cycles quite a bit. The other thing I learned is never to take ‘special weather’ trousers when you are going to multiple weather zones. In other words, the capri pants so perfect for Greece were useless in Belgium and London in November. But if I had taken some special weather shirts (like tank tops) I still could have used them in other countries with cooler weather simply by layering them. Lessons learned, lessons learned!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 11/11/2014 at 7:09 pm #

      Great lesson Vanessa! For readers I think the key learnings are – always pack more tops than bottoms. Because they are closer to your face, people notice tops a lot more than bottoms, plus you can use the tops for layering when it’s cold. The other lesson is that pieces need to be versatile – Capri pants in London in November? No

  4. galanda23 11/11/2014 at 9:01 am #

    I enjoyed reading your post, Jo, and also enjoyed seeing your outfits. Lovely! Was that first class what I was seeing? I envy you!

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