How to Get Cheap Airfare:
PRINTABLE PACKING LIST AT END OF POST
I always find cheap tickets through Google Flights ! If you open an incognito window (hit File and then New Incognito Window) they can't track what you're looking for and raise the rates on you as you search (they do that). Dublin was the cheapest country to fly into from Seattle out of the 5 countries I was looking into, so I booked round trip Seattle-Dublin for $450. (I have seen them as cheap as $350 Seattle-Dublin. Just keep an eye out!)
(Random Fact: overseas they say "$450 return" in stead of "roundtrip".)
If 2 of you are traveling and you find a good rate be sure to just up the number of passengers to 2 and book the tickets together. My friend and I booked separate and as soon as one was booked it bumped the next ticket up almost $200. So next time, we'll just have one person buy them both at the same time.
Iceland Air is one of my favorite airlines (next to Alaska Air and Southwest).
Everything I brought came to 26lbs- both backpacks and all camera gear combined!
However, as simple as two backpacks sound (we wore the small on the front and big on the back) after hours of walking in airports and doing public transportation you start to envy every person with wheels and I always swear I'm doing wheels next time.
We ran across these bags in the Dublin airport and we both agreed they were EXACTLY what we'd do in the future. You still get a backpack that's waterproof PLUS THE WHEELS. Do yourself and your back a favor (had to go to the chiropractor when I got home) and BUY ONE OF THESE!!!! or something with wheels on it.
Here's everything I had in my bags:
***SEE ATTACHED PDF FOR PRINTABLE PACKING LIST
-Spoon/Fork Combo I'm not joking putting this #1 on the list. Having a spoon/fork was something I used all the time and way underestimated how much I'd need this (especially since we made as many meals on the go as we could.)!!!
That way it's SO organized and you're not digging through a bag with everything in a jumble. Plus, it keeps everything compact and your bag smaller.
-One bigger cube for all shirts, leggings and jeans.
-One small cube for underwear, socks, hats- you know- the small stuff ;)
I bought these off of Amazon 2 years ago when I worked at a ski resort and- NO JOKE- have worn them every day of the year since then (that's not summertime). They have lasted so well and the leather looks great as it ages. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. They dress up or down well. I wore them out to dinner or hiked a mountain in Norway in snow. They've been phenomenal EVERYWHERE. I brought tennis shoes thinking I'd use them but only wore them once. Next time I'd leave behind the tennis shoes and do the whole trip with JUST THESE!!
-For outer wear I layered:-a waterproof, hooded coat with -THE BEST SWEATER I EVER OWNED! From "The Better Sweater" in Homer, AK. It's the ONLY piece of clothing I've ever worn that literally feels like a heater. It's sooo warm and cozy. It's lined with fleece and the outside is some kind of alpaca wool??
-and this black running jacket from Target that covers your hands and snaps criss-cross in the front so it covers your neck like a scarf. Brilliant. I wore this everyday, and as my base layer that I always zipped my wallet into. I'm wearing it in the pic below but you can't really tell. LOVE THIS JACKET!
-Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer This weighed almost nothing and smelled SO good so it's almost like perfume as well. I only brought one and it lasted well! You can also find them at the health food store for $3.
-3 long sleeved shirts (I think all mine were thermal, Costco sells two packs that are great).
-3 pairs of NZ Merino Wool Ice Breaker Underwear These aren't what you think- The wool is soft and they are made for travel and keep smell and sweat away, they hand wash well on the go and dry SO FAST! Buy some.
-Microfiber shower towel This came with a large and small. The large is so huge I'd only bring one next time to save space.
-Small Portable Charger for Phone This was lightweight and had three different adapters for three different types on phones- android and apple!! Amazing!!
-1 down jacket that compacts very small
-1 checkered flannel shirt
-1 loose fitted cotton shirt (also worn for pjs)
-1 floral non-wrinkle short dress (paired with the black leggings. My outfit for nicer outings)
-1 black t-shirt
-1 knee high socks (LOVED THESE, esp with the tall boots!!)
-2 black ankle socks
-1 pair wool socks-2 jeans (1 blue, 1 black.)
-1 sweater or comfy hoodie for around the house
-1 pair work-out leggings (also worn as pjs)
-1 pair of flip flops (for showers in hostels)
-1 lightweight water bottle (my brand was "BUILT", found at Ross for $7)
-1 wallet (which I always kept in the pocket of the closest layer next to my body, usually three layers in. That way I always knew where it was and it wasn't easy for people to find.)-1 small purse which I wouldn't bring again. You don't need it if you have a backpack and wallet.
-1 warm hat-Gloves ($7 at Ross)
-1 pack hand warmers
-Dr Bronner's 2oz liquid lavender soap (found for cheap in health food store, used for washing clothes and as shampoo.)
-3 oz travel container of conditioner
-dry shampoo, travel size
-Protein Powder for smoothies on the go.
-Small Nalgene bottle for smoothies.
-1 small makeup bag with mini toothpaste, floss, lotion, toothbrush, mascara, lipstick, and foundation. Just some beauty basics, ya'll.
-Curling wand. Curling my hair would last a couple days and made me feel pretty put together. haha!
-1 debit card
-1 credit card
-Cash (I took $600 but only used it in the US, I think, so you don't need that much.)-Small pack of cleaning wipes.
-Canon 6D ii (has wifi so I can send photos I take directly to my phone, so I didn't bring a laptop)
-Canon 35mm f/2.0-Canon 50mm f/1.4-128 gig card-1 battery and charger
-1 small travel journal
-pen-Passport & drivers license
-1 phone charger and wall cube-mini first aid kit from travel section in store
-copies of drivers license and passport
-gallon ziplocks (use these all the time, esp for meal prep) ***SEE ATTACHED PDF FOR PRINTABLE PACKING LIST