Packing Wins and Losses

What I packed for 26 days in Italy and France:

Jean shorts
Two tie dye skirts
A black tshirt
A grey tshirt
Three printed tshirts
A dressy blouse
Three pairs of underwear
Two pairs of socks
A chevron infinity scarf
Pajama pants
Hiking shoes
Reef flip flops
Dressy sandals
Flip belt

The only thing I never wore was the dress blouse- we never went anywhere that it was necessary. Nights in Amalfi everyone was dressed to impress, so I could have. We moved every 3-5 days, so I did laundry at every stop in the sinks, except for a couple of Airbnb’s that had a washing machine. The flip belt was especially useful for carrying money and passports from town to town to avoid pickpockets. My reef flip flops broke on the last day in Paris, so I was grateful that I had the dress sandals to finish out the trip. The hiking shoes were so necessary in Lake Como- we had to hike up and down the mountain in order to reach our airbnb from town. Worth it.

Mophie charging block
Charging cord
Portable International Travel Voltage Converter

These were all super useful. The mophie charging block ensured that both my phone and my husbands phone were able to be charged throughout the day. My phone was our gps, so it was especially important that it stay charged. Headphones saved me on the long flights. The converter box worked in both countries with no problems- the cord was nice because there were few accessible outlets in many of the hotel rooms, so the extension could reach those. It also had outlets and USB plug ins, so we could charge all of our devices at the same time without worrying about blowing a fuse.

Reusable water bottles
Packable purse
Zip locks

The water bottles were perfect- Italy had public water fountains everywhere. In Rome, the fountains flow with potable water, and you could see people regularly filling bottles at almost every corner. There was even a small water fountain on a remote hiking trail, near an altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Paris and Nice had a few as well, or they were fewer and far between. I wish I had brought more zip locks, however. I only brought a couple, and they got dirty fast. One trick my husband taught me was to bury our valuables in a ziplock under the sand, which used one of our zip locks. We also took sandwiches to a lot of places to save money on food, which dirtied up the second. By the end we were making due with what we had, but it would have been nice to have more. My packable purse was very useful, although highly susceptible to pickpocketing, as it didn’t zip up. I fixed that by tying a knot in the strap so it was shorter and fit under my arm.

Things that I forgot to/ didn’t pack:
-A scarf or pashmina. This sucked when I went to churches in shorts and a tshirt. Most churches in Europe had a dress code for women (less strict for men) and I constantly forgot. One church charged me a euro for a paper scarf to cover my knees. I almost wasn’t allowed to go into Notre Dame, although I sweet talked a different guard after a shift change into letting me pass when I saw a number of other women go by in much shorter shorts. These were also available at a number of shops for 5-10 euros.
-sunscreen. In Amalfi, this ran 13-30 euros a bottle. It’s considerably cheaper in the US, and I probably could have gotten a larger bottle past airport security with little issue (as I did on the way back). Other towns sold it for as little as 7 euros later, but we needed it badly on the beach in Amalfi.
-dslr camera and accessories. I chose not to bring this because of space and theft concerns. That’s what insurance is for though, and I feel like I did a pretty good job of protecting my things while we were overseas. I would have been able to get better quality photos, especially at night, which would have been worth the hassle. Deeply regret leaving it behind.

Overall, everything I brought got used at least once. There were a few things I wish I had brought, that would have easily fit in my bag, and regretted not bringing. But beyond that, I thought I packed well.


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