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I was up half the night fretting about what to pack!

Please tell me I'm not crazy! Or if I am, tell me there are like souls out there.

We are on Best of the Adriatic in June. For the first time I'm considering taking a couple of pairs of shorts to Europe. I'm not really a shorts enthusiast. And then I fret about how many sleeveless tops vs tees. Then I want something suitable for "evening". All in my rolling RS carry on!

Argh! Anyone else ever lay awake over such silly things?! Only once have I got packing perfectly right.

Posted by
3933 posts

You will get more yeses than noes. I have even been getting in the car to the airport with different jackets/sweaters trying to decide. Once I wore them both on the plane.

Posted by
4853 posts

I am delighted that you are "fretting " about packing!!!! So much more fun than fretting over real life. And yes, I start packing weeks in advance so that I have plenty of time to pack and fret and repack when it gets close enough to see the weather.

ETA: and to Barbara's point, I bring a few extra items to Denver - my midway destination - so that I can fret a bit more there!

Posted by
8520 posts

Sorry that this has become such an issue for you. I guess we all get excited about our trips in different ways.

I have taken this tour so let me add to your “.list”. Insect repellent wipes. I needed them several times. If you get the individually wrapped towelettes you can keep a couple in your purse and be prepared for when the need arises.

Swimsuit. I’m not usually a swimmer, but when I saw those waters off of Korcula, I really regretted not having brought mine.

Lanyard for phone for boardwalks at Plitvice. They get crowded. If you have your phone out taking pictures, an extra “safety” lanyard will help keep disaster from happening and keep your phone handy.

A good waterproof jacket. We had great weather until an absolute downpour In Dubrovnik.. people ended up soaked completely through.

This is a great tour and I know you will have a great time.

Posted by
1579 posts

Lol Barbara! - I recently dropped my sister off at the airport and as she got out of the car ripped off her cardigan and decided to leave it behind.

Catherine, I'm also glad to be fretting over fun stuff! Real life for us is pretty good these days (though now aging, ailing parents are part of my daily concern).

Carol Now Retired, I'll look for insect wipes. We always have fewer options on insect repellent up here than you have south of the border. Definitely taking a swimsuit as we both love to bob in the sea. And Chris already ordered a phone lanyard! (I use a small camera with a wrist loop). I was considering leaving my jacket behind but it sounds like I'd better bring it!

Posted by
1579 posts

Forgot to mention we were informed the company photographer will be on our tour taking photos for promotional materials. How cool is that. As a thank you, she will do a portrait of us, and at end of year we get a disc of the photos she took.

So I need my slimming pants.

Posted by
2857 posts

It’s not silly. A little obsessive maybe but not silly. Last year I stressed for weeks about packing. I must have done ten test packs.

This year not as much stress. Only two test packs so far. But I’ve rewritten my packing list more times than I can count.

I woke up early this morning thinking about how to rearrange my tote to make it a pound lighter.
I leave in a week. So I have time for more test packs and deranging.

Posted by
4290 posts

Lol. If I don’t fret, there is inevitably something essential I forget. Once I left my glasses at home for 6 weeks. So it was either contacts or blindness. Most of the time I find I thought about it - and just didn’t guess right….

Posted by
10334 posts

Instead of shorts, how about a couple of skorts? They are just a cool to wear as shorts are, but maybe more acceptable in some places. On my first trip to Europe it was summer and there was an intensive heat wave occurring. I brought 2 skorts and wore them most days until the weather finally cooled off.

Posted by
346 posts

You are NOT crazy!!

We're going to Europe for 5 weeks September through October, which means it will be hot when we get there and might be cooler at the end. I've already started on my capsule wardrobe just to make sure everything (still) fits and that the colors go together. Plus shoes.

If you don't like shorts then try capris. I would advise against skorts, unless you wear underwear and not use the panty option. I tend to wear my bottoms several times before washing and skorts can be iffy. Because we're going into many churches, I won't take any sleeveless shirts, just to keep it easy. I have three long sleeve "travel" shirts from EB that have roll-tab sleeves and drape nicely, 4 short sleeve button up shirts (2 from Orvis, 2 from Costco, all shirts fold compactly), and two t-shirts (one striped). I love my Athleta Brooklyn Ankle pants which can be dressed up or down-plus a lighter color pair of pull-on ankle pants form LLBean, and probably one pair of shorts. I'd like to take a skirt or dress but am having trouble with that one. Now to figure out the sweater/jacket option. I have a beautiful Pack-n-Go Jacket in spice from Orvis but it's water resistant, not water proof (maybe this doesn't matter?) and I have a couple of golf jackets to choose from that are lightweight and easy to pack.

I'm taking Keen Elle Backstrap sandal in Brindle/Birch, which are comfortable and cute, and am thinking about taking my Naturalizer Selah slip on tennie in turtle dove. They are leather/suede and are waterproof, but, heavy. Still thinking on this one.

To help overall packing, I create lists and add to them when I think of it. I'll have the wardrobe finalized by the middle of August. And all of this will fit in a carry-on plus one day backpack.

Hope you have a great time!

Posted by
1579 posts

Horsewoofie, I've never actually test packed. Normally about a week before I lay out all my possibilities and make the hard choices of what to leave behind. Its hard to keep the cat hair off it for the week! I think this time I'm a bit more stressed as I'm out of town from Tuesday night to Saturday afternoon the week prior (and probably taking things I'll want on my trip), leaving Sunday free, then I work Monday through Wednesday.

Andrea, I have a nice denim skort I was planning on bringing. I wish I could squeeze into my linen one. In 2018 I wore it all over the BO, and it was perfect, if a bit odd as we hiked around alongside serious hikers in lots of purpose made clothes with their hiking poles.

JS, I always wear undies with my skorts. Never occurred to me not to! At this time of year I'm in capris (actually I prefer more of a crop length - slightly shorter than ankle pants). I recently purchased bottoms that are the length that we used to call either clam diggers or pedal pushers. Pretty sure they are making the journey. The sales clerks had never heard either term. I'm taking a white denim jacket instead of a sweater. I've taken similar many times and despite the warnings of white, I've never regretted it.

Posted by
366 posts

@Andrea, I think the "pedal pushers" are called "skimmers" now if that helps you look for them. I am also not much of shorts person, so I usually pack capris or skimmers if it's going to be warm. Key for relieving packing stress is a list (I put one in Google sheets, easy to change it as needed, and then refer to it on the next trip) and at least one practice packing and weighing. This really helps with if/how something will fit. I like to keep the overall weight of my carry-on at 20 lbs or less if I can. And I would not worry about "evening" outfits - most people will wear whatever they wore during the day...

Posted by
183 posts

I normally do not fret over packing. And I did not fret before my recent trip to Switzerland. However, I have found that despite years and years of successfully wearing my large LL Bean backpack on this trip it was uncomfortable. I wore it one time. My husband carried it when we changed locations which was just four times. I can't expect him to do this again.

.I will have to become more minimalist to save my and my husband's backs. I admit to doing so kicking and screaming. So now I am fretting about how to pack for my autumn trip to Bavaria. On this last trip I do know I packed way more toiletries than I needed. As far as clothes go I came out about right. Except for two pair of slacks, one I wore on the flight over and the other I never wore. I had purchased a pair of Columbia "Performance Fishing Gear" just above the ankle length slacks and wore those every day.. I could wash them in the evening and they were dry by morning. I need to be thinking more along those lines for the next trip. Also, I took five thick books and read all five. Guess I'll need to read more books on my phone in the future. I also took a coat which I've taken on every European trip since 2013. I did not wear that coat once after arriving in Switzerland. I did wear it on the way to the airport as it was snowing (on April 25 no less!). It lived in my large backpack for the remainder of the trip. I do know I will need it on the upcoming trip. I think packing for a trip is an ongoing process and always will be.

I will be re-reading the packing posts before the next trip to help me along in my choices. I want to make decisions re packing lighter sooner rather than later to put a halt to the fretting. So thanks to all who have contributed to the packing threads. I will be thinking of you often in the next few weeks.

Traveler Girl

Posted by
1679 posts

Crappy Tire, MEC, and SAIL all have the Ben's Deet wipes in Canada:

I prefer to avoid DEET, so I like the Natrapel wipes, which contain Picardin (Icardin). In the past, I've ordered them from the US. However, it looks like there's a similar option in Canada now. Yay!

I'm not a shorts enthusiast, either. I've gotten by just fine without them in my travels, including Croatia. Something I like, that can work for evening or day, is a caftan or mumu. I suffer from the heat, and I find these keep me cool. Here's an example: I also bought a really inexpensive one in Croatia. I was there in May 2021, and I was tired of being too hot.

Posted by
2857 posts

On this last trip I do know I packed way more toiletries than I needed.

Therein lies the weight problem for many of us. Toiletries and drugs. Age and allergies are having a field day. That weight and bulk declines during the trip to be replaced by souvenirs. But 5 books Travelergirl! Yep, you need to use Kindle or web books. I'm leaving guidebooks, guidebook pages and paperback novels at home to save weight (there's a whole recent thread about that). There are lots of online options, ie RS website/audio app, transporation/sightseeing apps, maps, every website you can imagine,

Posted by
1307 posts

I LOVE fretting about my packing list -- LOL! I really do! (I just booked a month in Paris in the Fall and have started a potential packing list which will see dozens of revisions over the next months.)
I live in the SF Bay Area where it is rarely hot enough for me to want to wear shorts so I don't even own any. What I do have are a few pairs of linen long pants and skirts which I love. To me they are a bit more versatile than shorts since they are a little nicer and can be dressed up pretty easily.
It's always fun to read these threads and see what other women are packing.

Posted by
799 posts

No fretting here. And if you travel enough you will get that way. I have a list. It is the same for every trip I have been on. Almost anywhere. And my bag is about 18# including the bag weight, which is a RS original bag.
No fret because no one else knows you. You can wear the same things. Even on a tour. You will learn that no one is really thinking about you in a critical way. You are simply there.
Why fret about shorts. Just bring a couple pairs.

Posted by
531 posts

I start a packing list months in advance and it's typically a 'save as' from my previous trip. I do this to learn from my mistakes--like what worked and what didn't work last time. I then fine tune the list as the trip approaches.

Posted by
43 posts

Hi Andrea! Not to add to your choice stress but… you may want to check out Miik ( clothing. It’s a Canadian company with all items designed/made in Ontario. I wore Miik on the RS Turkey tour and always felt put together and comfortable. Cheers!

Posted by
7395 posts

Yep, you’re crazy!……because you’re sounding very familiar- LOL!

I’m also doing the same tour, same month, but beginning with two weeks in England, so I’ve weighed everything that might possibly be a lightweight washable item that will work for cooler or warmer temperatures that I like to wear. Right now it’s three dresses, one black pant and three tops with one linen button down in case of too much sun or to add in the evening. I also like scarves, so I’m bringing 2-3. This is one more dress and one more scarf than I normally bring for a 3-week trip, but this one’s a month, so I want a little more variety.

I would pack whatever you like to wear normally. If you don’t normally choose shorts, you won’t like opening your suitcase to find shorts and will probably opt for your other clothes. I never bring anything I only half like or think I “should” bring. I like to wear summer dresses in Europe; others don’t like to bring them - no wrong answer.

I already have a custom packing list, so I just tweak the description of which dress, which shirts, etc. for this trip. Currently I’ve packed my backpack two times and walked it around the neighborhood to make sure I’m okay with the weight (11.5 pounds filled) and feel of it. My swimsuit has been in my backpack and then taken back out and placed next to it - haven’t made the final decision, yet.

Posted by
848 posts

A pair of capris and a skort versus shorts. Athleta has a tall option so the skort is not really short. Love my skort and it rinses out and dries quickly. You could also do a lightweight skirt or dress.

Posted by
1625 posts

2 Sleeveless, 2 Tees and 2 blouses. I usually wear an open knit cardigan over my tanks for a more finished look, for slight warmth and to cover my meaty arms. I made the mistake of only taking one last trip, which got lost on day now I take two, they roll up small to stuff in my purse during the day if I get too hot, but can be thrown back on to enter a church or at night.

If you don't like shorts, then take a dress. The skort idea is good too, my local Costco had some really cute ones recently.

Posted by
1579 posts

So many great suggestions! I made a list, as suggested, and it has eased my mind. Needs lots of hard eliminations though. I also finished unpacking my summer clothes and found a few more possibilities I had forgot about. My stylish 25-year old niece is coming over to help me put together some looks.

BB, thanks for finding those insect wipes. Perfect errand to send DH out on. I like the idea of a muumuu, or indeed any skirt or dress, but they just aren't me. Besides, I'd then need to take special boxer short undies because I suffer the dreaded chub rub.

Horsewoofie and others, toiletries definitely weigh me down. I'm particular on brand. And like many of us, more prescriptions are coming with us every time we travel.

Thanks Mary Lou for the suggestion on that sustainable clothing retailer.

I definitely am taking one pair of shorts for the happy hour cruise. If there's no shade on that boat I don't want my legs to roast. Been there done that too many times. And with the heat in general, I might be grateful for them. Luckily the destination is very casual. I'm used to considering the attire requirements for sightseeing in places like Italian churches. DH is relieved that for once he can wear shorts just about all the time when in Europe.

18 days til we fly!

Posted by
8520 posts

If it is the same company for Happy Hour Cruise, you will have cover. They use one of the water taxis.

Posted by
43 posts

Andrea, I am so excited for you. We are planning to do this same tour but not until September 2024! Happy packing and travels!

Posted by
195 posts

If packing extra clothes makes you happy go with that, it's your vacation. I love taking extra shoes, and have some, i.e. All Birds and Tevas, that don't weigh a lot so I can still do carry on. It's the weight that matters more than the amount of clothing items. Also, because I am cold on airplanes, I layer up with leggings or shorts under jeans and two tops with a jacket and a scarf. It sounds strange but no one can tell, and it keeps me warm. I even took a warm wool ski hat to Greece and wore it a few times on cold blustery days. I just keep it in my day pack.