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Ladies what do I pack for my trip this summer?

I will be in Amsterdam 2 nights, three days and then off on a cruise down the Rhine.

I am bringing a carry on and a personal item with me.

I see that Europeans don't wear shorts ( ( I also don’t want to pack heavy clothes.

What clothes would you recommend ?

I was planning on wearing Keens sandals during the day and a nice sandal at night. T-shirts during the day and a nice top in the evenings.

I need to go shopping very soon.

Thank you.

Posted by
624 posts

No need to pack heavy clothes. Not sure of your age and style, but I do like J. Jill clothing for a casual but smart look. (currently they have a 30 % sale). Take some light weight cardigans and a light weight jacket. You are correct, most Europeans will not wear shorts unless they are at the beach. They also tend to favor solid colors (white, black, navy, grays) unless they are wearing a summer dress or cute top. Summer patterned skirts will work too. I am from originally from the UK - and will be traveling back next month from Missouri. I can't wait to get into some cooler temperatures! I have almost completed my shopping at J Jill for my trip. I will take one pair of light weight jeans. two pairs of sandals and a light tennis shoe. Several t-shirts, and one dress. and about 3-4 pairs of capris or hiking paints (that turn into capris). 2 light weight cardigans, a light weight fleece, a light rain jacket (columbia) and one for the heavy rain (Marmot) as I am going to Scotland. Hopes this helps.

Posted by
173 posts

I would suggest skirts instead of shorts. They are very comfortable in hot weather and look more fashionable than shorts. Dresses are also a good choice. I have a black tank style dress that I can layer different tops and sweaters over for different looks.

Posted by
2978 posts

Wear what you normally wear in the summer for similar situations. Lots of Europeans wear shorts in summer. They just normally restrict their use to the most casual activities. Don't wear them into churches. Knees and shoulders should be covered as a sign of respect, even if there are no guards enforcing the dress code.

Be careful in your choice of dressy sandal. Pavements in Europe can be very uneven. You don't want an injury. Go for a wedge rather than high heels.

Personally, I prefer a mix of lightweight slacks and capris to shorts. But that's just me.

Posted by
8384 posts

I pack a similar capsule wardrobe for each trip. I don’t go on cruises so everything I take is very casual. To me it depends on exactly when in summer you are going and what the weather is a few days out. I’d have options in case it’s unseasonably hot or cold.

4-5 SS tops - I use the cotton/modal blend from Lands End because I know they will dry overnight
1-2 LE cardigans. I have been doing black and cobalt. I have the tees in matching colors so it’s more twin set looking if I need something slightly dressy altho I’ll always have my athletic shoes on
1 LS dri-fit quarter or half zip top. This is a new addition this trip and I have worn it at least part of every day for the last 5 weeks of travel. I’ve been in England and Scotland and it’s been chilly the last few weeks with high temps in the low 60’s.
1-2 crop pants - If temps are hot then 2 pr. I got some poly ones on sale at Penny’s before I left this time and they did well. Dried overnight. They are kind of the same fabric as many travel pants are made of.
2 pr long pants - wear one on the plane. If the forecast looks to be chilly, 1 of these is a pr of cotton/poly blend jeans that I know dries overnight
3 scarves (no jewelry- I realized I just didn’t wear it as much as the scarves and even a bracelet or 2 adds weight)
2 pr Altra athletic shoes
Underwear, pjs, socks
Waterproof rain jacker

All colors of tees go with all pants and all cardies. Scarves go with everything too. The combo of each shirt with each pr of bottoms gives me 15 outfits (with 5 shirts and 3 bottoms). Adding each scarf to each is 45 more possible combos.

I travel using Rick’s 21inch rollaboard. I have a small day pack for my personal item. I pack my travel purse and wear a travel wallet cross body on the plane with my money belt.

Decant your shampoo and conditioner in to smaller containers. I have been checking my suitcase but I still get all my liquids into the 3-1-1 sized ziplock.

Have a terrific time!

Posted by
14399 posts

Take into account that you could have chilly and/or rainy days. I just glanced at weather for last July and August in A'dam - most days the high was in the low 20's, a few days only in the teens, rarely much above 25 - and some rain of course. It could also be warm and sunny. I don't know if the weather would change much as you go south. Weather is very unpredictable in that part of the world.

Posted by
178 posts

Thank you for all your input. I am having a bit of a freak out moment as I leave in less than a month. I am in my 30s and having not been to Europe in over ten years. I am wearing on the airplane black pants that are also going to be what I am going to wear if the weather is not great.

Skirts and dresses sound fine but they won't go with my keen sandals, so new shoes too. I am planning to bring a cardigan and maybe a blazer. A packable rain jacket does sound good and will see if I can find one that won't break the bank. All my dresses are more formal, maxi and I don't own any Capri's etc.

Would these shoes work with a dress ( I have them in gray. I wanted to mostly to wear sandals on the trip so my feet could breathe, but don't know where to begin.

Any recommendations from

Thanks again

Posted by
927 posts

Don't give up your Keen sandals! They are my travel shoe of choice, too. I think if you really wanted to, you might wear a skirt with them. But, what about capris?

As a second pair of shoes, I have taken these in summer:

They don't show in black at Zappos, but that is what I would choose if I found them. They are easy to wear, and they breathe.

Posted by
840 posts

Don't worry what you've heard Europeans where or don't wear. They used to not wear tennis shoes - hah - that's changed.
I wear my Keens and Merrill's with dresses but I did finally break down and buy a "nice" pair of sandals (Pikolinos) for my nice dresses.
I usually bring one pair of capris, one pair of jeans, 4 tops (a mix of short & long sleeve), a light weight jacket & one sweater but mostly it's dresses for me.

Posted by
227 posts

Wear what you like ! They'll know you're American no matter what you wear . Guys in tan Dockers really stand out and so does anyone in shorts in town ( except for beach towns ) . Go for dark colors b/c public transport and squeezing through crowds will get your clothes dirty fast . Count on rain with a poncho . They fold up small and when needed they'll keep you and a purse/bag dry . Your idea of scarves is great . Sandals on cobble stones may not be comfortable ; closed shoes better . Layers , layers to adjust to weather .
My packing list for Amsterdam is simple : Black slacks , jeans , 2 pair closed shoes , 1 dressy top and several simple tops , fleece zip-up hoodie , poncho , waterproof jacket with zip-out lining . Plus the undies and socks . And just in case : gloves ! It can get chilly . All fits in a carry-on . Money belt b/c Amsterdam has a lot of pick-pockets who seek out tourist areas , public transport is their favorite spot . Also , don't get distracted by a staged " accident "or " argument " . That's prime time for being a victim of a pick-pocket . Enjoy this beautiful city and its history , wishing you a great trip !

Posted by
840 posts

Oh ya - I always pack my light weight rain coat. My husband thinks I'm nuts but I've used it on most trips

Posted by
8384 posts

I would bring a cardigan OR a blazer. Not both. Definitely go with a rain jacket but make sure it fits over either your cardie or blazer.

First, the best advice I got here when I started light packing was to pack on paper first. Look at either my packing list or the lists of others and start there. You've decided on 1 pr of pants. So now pick 2 more or 2 skirts. Pick 5 shirts that go with all 3 bottoms. You'll have more mix and match options with skirts, in my opinion but I'm not a skirt or dress wearer. If you take dresses, you'll want ones that don't wrinkle and fold up small.

The Sketchers look fine but I would go out this weekend (or your next day off work) and see if you can walk 5 miles in them. Most people can do that kind of mileage in Keen's. Really, the Keens will look fine with skirts or dresses. Be really, really cautious about getting new shoes at this late date. If you are traveling in a month you want to make sure those shoes will not bother your feet if you are walking 5-7 miles on cobblestones.