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Packing for Rain

I'll be in Europe from June 12-July 17 and will be in Greece, Italy, and France. For this time of year, is it worth packing anything (small umbrella, light jacket, etc.) for rain?

Posted by
1455 posts

Since you're going to be in Euopre for almost a month, it couldn't harm to pack a light jacket, such as a windbreaker, as it an get cool at night... even in the summer.

Posted by
1871 posts

We always bring our rain jackets. you can use it to layer for cooler nights, or if you do encounter rain.

I took a compact umbrella last trip, but didnt' use it. If your rain jacket is good, you should be OK without an umbrella.

Caution - don't get sucked into buying an umbrella from the roving vendors! They are JUNK! and you will pay a premium. these guys seem to come out of the woodwork when it starts to be prepared with your own rain jacket.

Posted by
864 posts

I always take a light wind breaker and my handy dandy light travel umbrella (mine's from REI). If you wear glasses that "mist gets in my eyes" as the song goes isn't so bad but that "mist gets on my glasses" is a pain.

Posted by
1449 posts

I always bring my waterproof breathable rain shell (no liner) when I travel. Its a windbreaker on cooler days, and when it rains it comes in handy. Since you live in WA, REI will have plenty of models to choose from if you don't have one already. I'd skip bringing an umbrella; if there is rain people will magically appear on the sidewalks selling umbrellas for 5E.

To me, the secret of traveling comfortably and light is layers. In colder places or times of year I bring that same rain shell, just wear more layers underneath it. This gives me the flexibility to adjust easily; if its warmer or I'm walking quickly, a layer can come off, I can unzip something, etc. And when its really cold the air trapped in multiple layers keeps me warm.

Posted by
213 posts

I always take a light breatheable/waterproof jacket plus a small travel umbrella. I've been caught in drenching rains when I've been glad for both. They take up very little space in my carry-on. As another responder said, avoid the street vendors. But you may find a shop that has an umbrella with images of a city you are visiting on it. When my travel umbrella broke in a heavy storm a couple years ago, I found a "Salzburg" umbrella that made a nice functional souvenir.

Posted by
689 posts

I still have my 5 Euro umbrella I bought from a market vendor during a downpour in Sarlat, France, 3 years ago. So they aren't all bad. I'm not a fan of packing for every single situation that might arise--I'd rather just buy an umbrella if it's pouring. I like my parka for our Seattle drizzle but in heavy rain--where water just rolls off your waterproof parka and soaks your pants--I like an umbrella.

Posted by
12132 posts

I always pack my unlined Goretex to use for wind, rain or layering when it gets cool.

I don't pack an umbrella. If I decide I need one, they are readily available and cheap there.

Posted by
2193 posts

On several trips, I had a compact umbrella in the backpack but never needed it, so it really just ended up taking up valuable room. On a recent holiday, I left it at home to save space and ended up purchasing one from a wandering street vendor in Venice. He wanted 5 Euros, but I told him I only had 2. As I was standing under a store awning and was dry at the time (bargaining power), I negotiated and got it for 3 Euros. It was sort of junky, but it worked for the rest of my vacation, and we both got something out of the deal. As previously mentioned, these “entrepreneurs” will appear with a stash as soon as it starts raining. When it’s dry, they’re selling worthless trinkets spread out on blankets that can be quickly collected when the police stroll their way.

Especially if you’re checking luggage or have extra space in your carry-on backpack (or tied around your waist), I like the idea of a light jacket. As for the umbrella, just get one anywhere as described if needed. Otherwise, a little refreshing rain isn’t always a bad thing.

Posted by
206 posts

You won't need an umbrella if your shell/waterproof windbreaker has a hood. :-)

Posted by
258 posts

I take a light windbreaker with hood with me when I travel. My first trip to Europe I took a small umbrella and never used it. Needless to say it doesn't make the pack anymore. If a huge storm pops up or something I would just buy it from a vendor. Then you can have memories of your travels when you use it back home.

Posted by
934 posts

I have a GoreTex jacket that folds very small and a goretex hat.They take the place of an umbrella,take little room and the jacket can be worn at night if it is cool.An umbrells is nice but takes room.

Posted by
53 posts

Hi, I'm in Rome right now...It rained on us while in Florence for several days
and once while in Rome...I packed a cheapy fold up umbrella from the Dollar
Tree and that worked just fine with my lt. wt. nylon jacket.

Posted by
188 posts

I take both--mine are very small and lightweight--to keep the rain off the glasses! One note is that the umbrella is way cooler than the jacket--something I preferred one hot, humid July in London.