Please sign in to post.

Critique my packing plan, please!

My fiance and I are going to Italy (Venice, Florence, CT) and Paris for 16 nights from late May to early June for our honeymoon. I'm taking a Kelty Redwing 40 liter pack, and fiance is taking a ~65 liter pack and has said I can put a bit of gear in his bag.

Here's my initial thoughts on clothing I'll be bringing. I'm hoping to keep toiletries to a minimum.

2 dresses (I'm really a dress gal - one black and one colorful/print)
1 knit skirt (probably black or gray)
2 pants - convertible hiking (probably prAna Monarch), black fast drying knit (Eddie Bauer Lily)
cropping leggings

2 tanks (one lighter colored, one black)
3 short sleeved tops
2 long sleeved tops (either two Ts or one T and one button down)

Patagonia jacket (wind/rain resistant)
lightweight fleece jacket
2 sweaters (one pullover and one cardigan)

3 bras
3 pairs of socks
4-5 pairs of underwear
1 set of PJs/nightshirt
1 swimsuit

1 pair of black closed toe shoes (either lace up Keens or MJs)
1 pair of sandals

Does this seem like too much or too little, and season appropriate? Anything I'm missing? Thanks! :)

Posted by
6988 posts

This is just my personal opinion but for the places you're going in late-May to early-June it will probably be quite warm. However, you should always be prepared for a change in the weather so I would take one sweater and the rain jacket, leave the fleece and one of the sweaters at home to lighten your load. Otherwise it looks good.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for your 2 cents, Nancy! Yes, that totally makes sense. I'm definitely going to take the pullover sweater out of my packing plan (since a cardigan can go with so many things) and I think I'll do a wait-and-see on the fleece, since I'm easily cold intolerant. I know layering can do wonders, though.

I also had it in my head that I really want to make this jacket (maybe as a sub for the fleece jacket?). I am pretty sure it won't pack too compactly, but it is versatile since it can be worn both open and closed:

Posted by
713 posts

Is this list in addition to what you will be wearing? I would ditch the fleece jacket and keep the rain-resistant jacket. You also don't need two sweaters. I usually bring one cardigan sweater in black or another neutral color to wear in case it gets chilly in the evening. A cardigan sweater over a long-sleeved top will be enough, without needing a fleece jacket on top. If you bring a button-down shirt, make sure it is non-iron fabric - you won't have to worry about wrinkles. I also bring flip-flops to wear around the hotel and shower.

Posted by
10 posts

Mary - this list includes what I'll be wearing. So, there will only be one pair of shoes in my pack, and I'll probably wear the black Lily pants with a few layers on top each way on the plane. And yes, definitely ditching the pullover, and most likely the fleece. The button down is just an idea; I don't actually wear a lot of them in day to day life, but I like the way they look. I'm currently searching for knit fabrics that travel well (wrinkle free, dry fast) to make my dresses and skirt out of, and have also been keeping an eye out for wovens with the same properties. Thanks for the flip flop idea; I was kind of...flip flopping on whether to bring some! :P

Posted by
1446 posts

I am cold intolerant and would never dream of traveling without my fleece! Even in summer evenings, I appreciate it. I also find it indispensable for the plane, as I always find it very cold on board. I also don't do well with AC. I travel with a Lands End lightest 100 weight Thermacheck zip-up microfleece - usually I decide to pack my black one (I own it in several colours), but I'm leaving with my lilac one this April ;-)

Posted by
191 posts

Congratulations on your impending wedding! Good choice to honeymoon in Italy. I didn't notice any pj's on your list, LOL! Seriously, there are a few things I would add: A pair of flip flops, to wear on beaches and in the hotels instead of slippers; a large microfiber towel and washcloth* and some kind of sari or pareo that you can use as a swimsuit cover-up or bathrobe as needed; a light weight scarf to change up your dresses or tops, and to cover shoulders if you want to go into a church you weren't expecting.

Like some, I would leave the fleece behind, and just layer a LS top, sweater and rain jacket if I was cold.

*Regarding the towel -- of course your hotels will provide towels, but this is for your daypack in case you encounter an irresistible creek to wade in, or happen onto a beach and also to blot out your laundry so it dries quicker. You can also use it for an extra blanket on the plane. Take the washcloth, because they don't use them there.

Hope this helps. Bon voyage!


Posted by
10 posts

Diane - Very thoughtfully noted. I'm sure I'll waffle back and forth on the fleece issue for a while.

Jan - Thank you! The PJs are there - nestled between the undies and the swimwear. ;) We are definitely planning on bringing a microfiber towel and washcloths; I actually have them on our Amazon registry right now! I was mostly focusing on actual clothing for this list, but those are important things to remember, too! I've thought about making a wrap skirt/dress that I could also use as a swim cover up, but I question the packability and might just take a sari I already have.
Removed from the list so far: pullover sweater, possibly fleece
Added: flip flops, coverup

Posted by
3696 posts

I travel with mostly dresses as well and my only comment would be instead of the black dress and black skirt take the grey.) I often will use my black dress as a dress, and then use the same sleeveless dress as a skirt by putting a top over it. Double duty... then you still have another color by taking a different skirt. I also might not take a colorful dress as that usually does not make it very versatile. I will usually keep all clothes neutral and dress up with colorful tanks or scarves. If you get cold easily I would keep the fleece and wear it on the plane. Just get a really cute one so it can be worn on chilly evenings as well.
Most of my travel clothes are from a company called 'comfy'... actually I wear the same clothes at home. Travel perfectly, nice fabric, most mix and match...
Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
13639 posts

I'll just comment on your long-sleeved shirt selections. I would go with one long-sleeved Tee and one button up that will go with your short sleeved Tees, tank tops and cardie. It sounds like you are pretty organized, but if you are looking for wardrobe combos take a look at The author of the blog is quite a bit older than you, but she has some terrific combos you could put together that are age appropriate for you. I believe it was last year that she did a capsule for for someone going to Florida on Spring Break. Some of her choices are way more expensive than I want, but she often does a basic wardrobe from LLBean and/or Land's End.

I hope you all have a wonderful honeymoon!

editing to add: Here is a link to the spring break wardrobe. Of course, you would need more covered up options for your cities than the short shorts she shows for the beach. Just thought this was a fun color combination!

Posted by
21 posts

You say you are a dress person, but have you considered the inconvenience of getting to your money belt when wearing a dress? It's much easier to access when you're wearing separates. I usually take 2-3 bottoms (all pants or 2 pr. pants & 1 skirt) and some short sleeved shirts and some long sleeved shirts (percentage of each depends on expected weather) that can be worn over the short ones for an extra layer. A colorful scarf can be used for color and to dress up for evening or to cover your shoulders as needed. All fabrics should be quick to drip dry without needing ironing. Paris may have some cool weather then, but you never know so a few light layers are the best way to go. Your original list is more than I would take. One rain jacket, one sweater or light fleece, and a long-sleeved shirt to layer over a short-sleeved one are the layers I would take. A sun hat for Italy is a good idea.

Posted by
416 posts

Looks like a great list to me! I took a black knit skirt on my last trip and got a ton of use out of it. I'll be taking it on this summer's trip too. I also really liked having a lightweight scarf with me. It was a good way to dress up an outfit or to tie around my shoulders in a church. I agree with those that have said to just take one jacket. Have an awesome trip!

Posted by
3171 posts

Hi, You have a good start and it is really a personal choice what you bring, but I'd change it a bit. If you are unlikely to wear it at home, don't bring it to Europe; i.e. the jacket you are thinking of making. I'd get rid of one of the dresses or one of the pants. I'd suggest sleeping in a large T shirt and using that as a bathing suit cover up or use one of the dresses as a coverup. I'd get rid of the fleece and just layer tank, T shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater, patagonia, etc. if it gets that cold. However, rather than layer too much, I pack a pair of nice leather gloves, no matter what the time of year, incase it is unusually cool and rainy…if my hands are dry and warm, the rest of me is warm and they take up little room. I pack a large scarf to wrap around me as another layer or for style. I'd save your fiancé's offer to carry some of your items for purchases made on the road. And, of course, you can always buy another layer in Paris or Italy! You're doing a nice job. Have a wonderful honeymoon. Wray

Posted by
1 posts

I took a look at the jacket you are pondering making, and if you get pressed for time, you could check modcloth's website---they have that exact jacket, for probably less than the fabric and notions would cost to create the jacket yourself :-) . I've been pondering your same question, since my daughter and I are headed for Europe for a month this summer….best wishes on your upcoming wedding!!! Have a fabulous trip :-)

Posted by
792 posts

Maybe you were only looking for clothing advice and if that is the case, ignore this. But have you thought about toiletries/medicines/books? That stuff can end up taking up room/weight too.

Posted by
328 posts

Since it is your honeymoon, I would make sure to have at least one dressy dress/outfit. I was glad that I had mine when we had a nice Anniversary dinner in Germany. Also consider some fun scarves. They will help dress up your outfit and keep you from getting bored with your outfits. Same with jewerly, some fun costume pieces will keep you from getting bored.

Enjoy your trip!!

Posted by
6895 posts

Hi, You've selected some wonderful places for your honeymoon! This is my advice if you're trying to cut back: I enjoy wearing dresses in Europe, and locals dress up more, especially in Paris. Keep the colorful one for some fun in your wardrobe! Since you'll be with your husband, you won't need to get into your moneybelt each day, or you can always switch money around in the restroom. It wasn't an issue for me. I'd change one of the convertible pants for a dressier pair of black pants for evening restaurants or colder days. Adding a couple of scarves can give you a lot of options for a top & black pants for dinners. And, I'd leave the 2 tanks and 1 long sleeved T at home; 3 short sleeved tops & 1 long sleeve are sufficient.

Enjoy Venice & Paris - two of our favorites!

Posted by
1054 posts

I'd also lose one of the sweaters. Would you consider 1-2 pairs of shorts? My girlfriend brougth a couple pairs when we were in Italy Sep-Oct. She wore them mostly the days we were in the CT and countryside village towns touring. Leave room for clothes you purchase too, she ended up buying sevearl leggings in Venice. A lot of girls when we were in Italy were wearing leggings.

Posted by
4 posts

I spend a lot of time living out of a very small suitcase. For dresses, I love (And yes, I also wear them at home!) They have a great sundress that is made out of a no-wrinkle knit that is reversible from print/black. It's a bit heavy but I love the way it hangs and I get two dresses in one--the pretty multi-print for day, flip it over and you've got a black evening dress for the opera! I also own a lightweight fleece (I think it's Columbia) and a lightweight rain jacket from Northface. I have found that doubling these up does the trick and I've worn this combo everywhere from Alaska to Venice. I would also make sure that my sandals were not the thong type...if the weather is cold you can wear tights and your sandals. (I guess you can also wear footless leggings, but I'm not big on that look. You've got to be prepared for any type of weather.

Posted by
1807 posts

I never travel without a pashmina shawl. Even in warm weather climates this can serve as a light blanket. I put it in my large carry-on purse so I have available on the plane, too. I have them in several colors, but usually take my black one.

Posted by
6 posts

Italy is not super hot that early. I would take one sweater and the long sleeve button shirt to layer over a tee. Certainly at least one long pant in case the evenings are still cool. I second the pashmina - for the plane, cool evenings over your dresses, chilly hotel rooms. Yes on the rain jacket. I'd take 4-6 tops and 2 bottoms in addition to your two dresses. The tanks might be good for hiking, but if you plan on seeing churches in the city you'll need to cover your shoulders. Flip flops make great slippers!!