how to pack for Europe in a carry-on

I recently got back from a beautiful summer holiday in Italy. This was my first time traveling to Europe without checking a single piece of luggage. It was so liberating (fear of lost luggage, gone), that I told myself I'll never look back! I enjoyed the ease of moving from airport to train station to ferry without relying on my husband to help me — and, above all, landing at JFK after a 12 hour travel day (and not having to wait for luggage at baggage claim) was all worth the inconveniences of packing light.

1. folding method

Full disclosure, I tried a new packing technique by applying the “KonMari Method.” This folding method keep clothes as compact as possible and it has completely changed my view on travel and packing, and even at home organization (I am fully inspired by Marie Kondo's way of life but more on that later). When I first came up with the idea to carry-on I had my doubts but after an afternoon of KonMari folding practice and a little help from YouTube, I did it. Two cities and twelve days worth of outfits, five pairs of shoes, three handbags, one very large straw hat and my travel steamer (that I can't leave home without).

2. invest in smart luggage

Not all luggage is created equal. This trip my husband and I used carry-ons by Rimowa. Rimowa is an iconic brand, best known for their durability and a sleek design. A splurge, yes, but a worthy investment. Smart luggage, plus the KonMari method makes packing enjoyable!

3. pack what you love and can re-wear

Traveling light means rewearing clothes in new or unexpected ways. Whenever traveling, more than half of my luggage is filled with clothing I feel comfortable wearing and styling because it brings a sense of comfort. The remainder is filled with new purchases and favorite accessories. I find my best travel outfits are made up of old and new. For example, one night on Capri I wore my favorite The Row black silk dress with a new vintage black crocodile belt (to cinch the waist) and Loewe mules to dinner. Earlier in the day I wore the dress sans belt with leather flip flops and my new The Row pouch bag. Bottom line: have fun, be creative and don’t overpack.

— BK

what to pack: Miami edition

I love a quick weekend trip to South Beach. Only a 2 hour-something flight from JFK, and guaranteed sun and fun (i.e., long dinners, early morning walks on the beach, poolside margaritas, and for me, minimal makeup and hair care). 

Traveling to Miami, or any nearby beach destination, means I pack light. I like knowing what I will wear each night so the entire process is very formulaic. The daytime is spent laying out at the pool, beach or boat, so cover-ups (one or two options), swimsuits (two, max) and a reliable flat sandal can be re-worn throughout the trip, making packing and getting dressed easy.  

Shown below is my upcoming packing list, give or take a few other miscellaneous items like off-white jeans, denim jacket and a straw tote

— BK 


I plan on wearing this shirt with the matching shorts — an easy vacation look when paired with these silk slides and a slicked back bun.

Hunza G

This one-size-fits-all seersucker swimsuit is in one word: everything. Simple, practical (just enough coverage) and comfortable. Note: I have an abnormally long torso, so this style works on all body types.

Simone Rocha

This little flower pearl barrette is the best answer to humidity and post-beach hair — I plan on wearing it poolside to tame my wavy hair, or at night with a dress.

Acne Studios

I never leave home without an oversized white shirt. It doubles as an easy travel look, as well as a swimsuit cover-up. This one by Acne is my favorite, but if you're looking for something more travel-friendly, this shirt is a great option, too.

The Row

These slides can be worn both day and night. I always prefer an evening slide to a heel (because, comfort) and they take up a lot less space in your luggage.


These 70s style sunglasses are my new signature style, and I love wearing them both indoors and outdoors (obnoxious? maybe).


This knit polo dress is currently my favorite dress in my closet — the perfect cover-up, throw-on dress (who doesn't want to look nice on vacation, even at the breakfast table?) or nighttime (love the side slits) look that can be dressed up or down.


I've had this plastic bag (with the leather pouch) for a few months now and I am continually amazed at how functional and versatile it really is.

travel like brooke

no 1. travel uniform

When traveling, I look to basics and avoid wearing anything that is white, wrinkles, or requires dry cleaning. In the warmer months, fitted black cotton tees are my go-to because they're comfortable and still look polished when tucked into straight-leg denim or loose black trousers. I'll also throw a sweater or lightweight jacket around my shoulders if needed, and opt for an easy leather slide like my Hermes Oran or a Chanel ballet flat

Toteme tee, Brock Collection denim, Celine sunglasses, Goyard tote, Hermes slides

no 2. carry-on bag and essentials

I always travel with my Goyard St. Louis GM because it doubles as the perfect carry-on and destination handbag, and the matching pouch can hold my boarding pass, cards and passport. My en-flight essentials: a good book, headphones, large bottle of water and my travel size Amorepacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy for post-flight hydration. 

no 3. never leave home without

Celine sunglasses and my camera.  

Toteme  knit dress,  Celine  sunglasses,  ATP Atelier  slides at Le Sirenuse

Toteme knit dress, Celine sunglasses, ATP Atelier slides at Le Sirenuse

no 4. packing strategy

When packing, I always envision my outfits (including accessories) in my head, and ensure that everything I pack is well thought out. Otherwise, I will end up with a suitcase full of pieces that I don't end up wearing. I try to pack as minimally and strategically as possible so I can save room for important things, like shoes and a travel steamer. 

no 5. best packing tip 

There is nothing worse when traveling than not having the right outfit for an occasion, which is why I plan my outfits according to my itinerary. My best tip is to be prepared and pack one or two additional outfit options (like an easy dress or two-piece set) for any last minute changes or events. 

— BK

what to pack: Amalfi Coast edition

Next week I'm off to the dreamy Amalfi Coast. Whenever I go on vacation I like to invest in a couple new pieces that help inspire and set the mood for my travel wardrobe. The backdrop of the Amalfi Coast is rich in vibrant colors so I'm definitely feeling inspired to play up my otherwise neutral looks. Recently I've been loving marigold, cream, and even rust tones — and I'm always big on comfort so anything lightweight, linen or easy, breezy (two-piece sets) has caught my eye.  

So, how do I pack for three cities in two weeks? Keep it simple by mixing, matching and repurposing (and always take advantage of the hotel's dry cleaning service). As much as I love shoes, the streets of Amalfi and Capri are not made for complicated footwear. My goal is to pack only a couple pairs of shoes (flat slides or espadrilles only), but I'll be sure to pick up a pair of handmade leather sandals while on Capri. Right now I'm loving these leather slides — they are so comfortable, and can be worn with just about anything.  

I did purchase a few new dresses and kaftans that I love, but I mainly focused on chic, loose trousers and high-waisted skirts so they can double as daytime and nighttime looks. For example: a skirt paired with a one piece swimsuit and leather slides by day, or a silky tank and espadrille wedge by night. 

As for accessories, I plan on keeping things very simple by packing: a wooden clutch, two straw totes (one small and one large), two pairs of sunglasses (I like options!) and two pairs of gold hoops (both small and large). 

 — BK  



knit dress






one piece suit


cotton wide leg trousers


straw tote


linen dress


gold hoop earrings


knit tank top


denim pencil skirt