Italy Part 1 – Packing, Planning, and Traveling to Europe


Look at that smile from my Ellie!!


Recently, Thomas and I went on an amazing 10 day trip to Italy. To say the least, it was incredible. I will be posting about the trip in it’s entirety soon, but in this post I wanted to talk about WHAT to pack and some tricks I picked up along the way on how to stay organized.

Packing for any trip can be such an overwhelming and daunting task. It’s honestly my least favorite part of a trip and sometimes the thought of packing makes me not even want to go away. Between your clothes, makeup, toiletries, shoes, and hair products, even packing for a quick weekend getaway can turn into a huge project! Then you throw a couple kids into the equation and you start to feel you need a vacation FROM your vacation.

When I was preparing to go away, I couldn’t find one good reference on what you need to bring when you are traveling to Italy (or Europe) or to any destination for longer than a week. We were in Italy for 10 days and traveled to three different parts and I didn’t know what kind of shoes to bring, or if I should include work out clothes for actually working out or just walking around the cities and towns or maybe more fashionable clothes for walking around? What about dresses or jeans, going out outfits or dinner outfits, pjs, etc.? As a result, I completely over packed (as I tend to do but that’s a different story!). Regardless of my mistakes, I am hoping this post will help someone from not over packing, not stressing about over packing, and just being a bit more organized for your next trip.

* I went to 3 parts of Italy: Rome, Siena, and Amalfi Coast. It was summer. They were very different in terms of outfit planning which made it even harder to pack. I thought I needed a bunch of outfits for the city, wine country, and the beach, but what I learned is I could have worn the same type of outfit in all those places.

Here is a packing guide for traveling to Europe and some awesome packing tricks I picked up along the way.

What to Pack:

1.) 3 jean shorts (2 blue and 1 white) Literally wore jean shorts almost the whole trip. When we were in Rome and Siena it was hot and sticky but a dress for exploring the cities and touring the museums & churches and walking around while sweating just didn’t seem practical for the whole day. So I wore jean shorts and cute loose shirts.

2.) 1 pair of jeans you always need a pair of jeans (AND these 7 For All Mankind jeans are on SALE and one of my favorites!). I wore mine for a night out with a white, cute, flowy, summery shirt!

3.) 5-6 cute shirts to wear with jeans or jean shorts I packed the perfect amount of shirts. I wore them every day with jean shorts while exploring the cities. This one here was perfect for Italy’s hot summer days and it was super cute and now one of my favorite shirts!

4.) 2 long flowy dresses I brought 4 and only wore 2. Once out to dinner and another out around the town at night and this was only in the Amalfi Coast. Remember – Amalfi, Capri, Positano – all are beachy towns so a flowy beautiful long dress is appropriate for at least one or two outings. | My current dress is sold out, but this similar one here is beautiful and one of my favorites! Love this flirty romper/dress as well.

5.) 2 short dresses I brought 3 and only wore 1 and I say bring 2 just because I almost wore 2 but decided to go more casual for that specific night. You never know when your going to need a short dress so pack 2 just in case! | This one here is adorable, but not for a dinner… more like cocktails and out around town dress. This one here is perfect for dinner!

6.) 1 sweater or shawl If you are touring Rome, you will obviously be touring churches and a lot of churches require women to cover their shoulders, especially in the Vatican city. Also when you want to feel cozy, I love throwing on a big ol sweater or sweatshirt. I always bring at least one whenever I am traveling.

7.) 2-3 work out shirts and 2 work out shorts This will be plenty! I completely over packed on work out clothes. I over compensated in thinking I was going to work out way more than I anticipated. I also didn’t realize I would want to wear more fashionable outfits when we were out exploring rather than wearing gym clothes. When I’m home, I try to exercise 4-5 days a week and I’m in Lululemon 95% of the time, but I was on vacation and this vacation was not just a lay-on-the-beach type of vacation. We were touring, and walking, and exploring a whole lot which is exercise in of itself. And during these explorations, I didn’t want to wear work out clothes. However, if you really are the type that NEEDS to wake up and get in a good sweat in every day, then bring 4-5 work out shirts and 2-3 work out shorts.

8.) 2 pairs of pjs I SO over packed for this. I brought like 6 pairs of PJs and literally wore 2 pairs. I mean, such a waste of space. Heck… sleep naked to save the room in your suitcase! 😜

9.) 5 pairs of shoes I’m a shoeaholic. So when I say bring 5… I brought close to 8! 🤦🏼‍♀️ Yes. I wore all of them! BUT, realistically you need the following: running shoes for running or working out, a fashionable but comfortable walking shoe, a bootie high heal (SALE!!),  flip flops, and 2 pairs of sandals (one black and one gold or brown).

10.) 1 Panama hat – These hats are very in so I got one and fell in love. It really makes an outfit. Plus they were all over Europe so you blended in with the locals… 😉

10.) 3 Bathing suits 1 one piece, 1 fashionable halter bathing suit top, 1 tanning bathing suit (See 8 Bathing Suit Looks Every Women Needs)

11.) 6 Bras 3 Sports Bras, 3 regular bras (black, nude, strapless)

12.) Underwear I mean come on. 10 days = 10 new undies but I always like to pack an extra few just in case.

13.) Toiletries I am not going to get into this because I always bring all of my stuff. I hate not having my products which is why I always bring an extra (smaller) suitcase. Plus the extra suitcase has extra space for gifts or things you buy throughout your trip!

14.) Airplane outfit Lululemon black cropped leggings, loose shirt, and sports bra with a sweater because planes are always cold! Just do comfy for traveling. Going to Italy is an 8 hour flight so dress comfortably and take a sleeping pill so by the time you arrive you are all rested and ready to go!

Packing Tips and Tricks:

1.) You can’t always do laundry when you are traveling for an extended period of time, so what I love to do is throw a couple dryer sheets at the base of your luggage and in between folded clothes to help keep your clothes feeling and smelling fresh.

2.) Travel tight. Make the most of your space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. It saves a ton of room!

3.) Put all of your products that can leak inside a ziplock bag even if it has a lid. I once had one of my hair products top snap open and it ruined a bunch of my clothes and a designer bag… 😭 Ever since then, I use zip lock bags for every product… big or small!

4.) Take extra precaution to keep your liquids from leaking by sticking a piece of saran wrap between the lid and bottle. The change in altitude while traveling can wreak havoc on your liquids. As mentioned above, I also stick them in a plastic zip lock bag after to be extra safe. ( Can you tell I had a bad experience… 😉 )

5.) Store your bobby pins in an empty Tic –Tac container so they aren’t floating all over your makeup bag or purse.

6.) Roll your underwear and socks and tuck them inside of shoes and hats for extra room.

7.) Keep all your travel cosmetic staples in a ready-to-go cosmetic bag so anytime your traveling you don’t have to dig through your luggage and you have your favorite items on hand when needed.


If you like this, then please share!