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In Danger of overpacking for Sicily…leaving Saturday

Leaving on Saturday for Catania, and it looks like the weather gods are smiling on us! Starting the days low 50s and then up to 68 and sunny every day.

9 day guided tour. I was going to do carryon and weekender bag….but I can’t make it fit. We are not limited on size, and I can check if I want. Tour group is portering the bag.

When I thought it was going to be colder….we would all have coats on, and you can just change your shirt and scarf. But now, I’m doing lightweight jackets and sweaters…and they are so bulky.

I was planning to bring 1 extra pair of sneakers( wearing pair on plane) and they are huge and take up 1/3 of case. it’s risky to just have one pair of shoes.

Should I eliminate my beanie and gloves…although not much room?

I’m taking 2 old pairs of pjs which I plan to discard as we go. Doing 4 or 5 pairs of pants.

This summer when we trained all over France, I was so good with my small suitcase and tote bag only…..but sandals and summer clothes….and a washing machine made it so much easier.

To check or not to check is the question, lol!

Posted by
8542 posts

Checking is not a crime. But note that while the daily highs might be comfortable, It could be windy and rainy in places. And if your tour includes being up on Mt Etna, you might want thin gloves and a hat.

Posted by
3217 posts

That's perfect travel weather in my opinion. I think thin gloves and a hat are very important non-summer items. Pack them in your extra pair of shoes. They take up little room and help me to adjust to change in temperatures in the other three seasons. I almost never travel in summer, but rather in the other three seasons and always take a carry on size (21" usually) and a medium size (<12"X5"X16") personal item.

Take 3 pairs of pants, one of these is a pant that you could lounge in, but also wear in public if I have to do so. I once had a pant emergency and my two pairs then became one (although I bought another so that's sometimes an option depending on where you are). Take a jacket and a sweater type (sweater or fleece or warmer overshirt or vest), which you can layer with the jacket (you don't need to make them plural). Take 5 shirts at the most, short and long sleeve combinations. If you are desperate, or not, you can wash a few items in the sink or a home-made wash bag. It's easy to wash socks and unders if necessary. However, I bet one of the hotels has a laundry service.

I have never traveled with two pjs and I take the smallest of what I have. I'm of the carry in and carry out philosophy. I don't leave old clothes in other countries. Even if the company takes care of your luggage, it's just not necessary to have too much stuff (in travel and life, LOL).

Have a great trip!

Posted by
502 posts

Although I only take a carry-on size bag, I still check it because I hate dragging it around the airport and lifting it over my head. I take a smaller tote on the plane with important items and one change of clothes, just in case.

For nine days I would only take three pairs of pants, obviously wearing one. I would likely take about 5 shirts - wear one, put one in the tote, pack three. I would take only one cardigan that goes with everything, a warmer pull-over or jacket (maybe fleece), and one warm jacket - wearing one of these. A couple of scarves (I dislike hats, but that’s just me), maybe one of my cashmere ones that provide lightweight warmth. A pair of gloves and a small umbrella in case it rains after all! I always take two pairs of shoes. One nightgown works for me. Stuff smaller items like socks inside and around shoes.

Hotel laundry services are your friend. I wash out small items myself, but will have the hotel on a 2 or 3-night stand, wash larger items like pants or shirts.

I have been in Sicily twice, at the beginning of November and also in March. As a resident of Minnesota, I imagined that Sicily would provide a warm, Mediterranean respite from cold weather. NOT! Regardless of online weather predictions, I found that while some days were mild and only required a light sweater, evenings were always chilly and some days were downright cold - especially on windy days along the coast and up on Mt. Etna. I needed and used all my layers - long-sleeves, fleece jacket, and even a light-weight down jacket! My warm, cashmere scarf was appreciated, along with gloves. Maybe you will be luckier than I was in terms of weather, but bring layers in case.

Posted by
66 posts

Thank y’all for the tips! (And Stan for the validation!)
Keeping the beanie and gloves. They did fit in my sneakers!

We are not going to Etna sadly. 2 nights Catania, 2 Ragusa, 2 Palermo, last night Catania.
Stops in Ortigia, Agrigento and Cefalu. Yes, you never know how it will really feel outside.

Definitely bringing my packable puffer
Taking out 1 pr of pants and a sweater, lol. Not made much of a dent so far.

Posted by
3217 posts

Hmmmmm. If your bag is still too full, I'd have to ask what are the other items filling up your carryon? Do you have a lot of makeup? Or toiletries? Or a luxury item we can't guess at filling the rest of your bag?

Posted by
14098 posts

"But now, I’m doing lightweight jackets and sweaters…and they are so bulky."

How many jackets and how many sweaters? I'd wear one of either and pack one of the other. Do all your shirts go with your jacket and sweater choice?

Posted by
1407 posts

If you want to do carry-on, one thin nightgown takes up less space than two pjs and will last for 9 nights without washing.

Wear your warm layers onto the plane.

Roll your shirts and pants to pack them.

My guess is that you won't need a variety of jackets and sweaters, but just one of each. We usually travel to Italy in November and December, and I have rarely needed more than a cashmere cardigan, a vest, a wind or rain layer, and a scarf. Note where I live, but I am not at all "warm blooded".

I had to check my bag on my latest trip, and Delta did misplace it somehow --- first time that's ever happened to me, so I was glad it was on the way home not on arrival in Italy. If you do decide to check your bag, take a photo of the bag and its contents, bring two days worth of essentials and clothes with you onto the plane, and do something to your bag to make it not look like everybody's else's bag.

Posted by
66 posts

I think my problems have been solved with the loan of a 22” suitcase.

Will check, but bring all my essentials and change of clothes.

You never know when they will make you check anyway, last year air Canada made us check our little carryons, which I had so feverishly prepared so as not to check, lol!

I did pare down to 4 pants, 6 tees, 2 sweaters, 1 sweatshirt and a light jacket, sneakers, socks, underwear, pajamas, electronics, and hair straightener.
Don’t do nightgowns, so can’t make that switch. I’m wearing the sweatshirt, pants, tee and packable puffer on plane.

I swear Wray- no nonsense luxuries! My toiletry case is the medium foldable hanging case, and holds all toiletries, makeup and small amount of jewelry.

I may come back and say I could have done less, or I may be sorry I didn’t have more choices!

Posted by
261 posts

I’m going to Sicily in March and have been watching the weather too. I was surprised to see some high 60’s popping up and I don’t leave for another month. That said I did read that evenings can be cool so I’m planning on a fleece, a waterproof rain jacket, one cardigan type sweater that is a heather gray color and goes with everything and a packable puffer, hat and gloves as I am going up Mt. Etna. I always check my bag because I travel solo and hate lugging it around the airport (especially into the bathroom) and this trip I have to make two stops. I’m a little worried about my bag making it as I’m flying Delta to Rome then ITA to Palermo so I’m going to pack a few extra things in my carry-on tote. Fingers crossed. Sounds like you have it figured out, have a great trip!

Posted by
11302 posts

Take one lightweight jacket. Why do you need more than that?
4 to 5 pairs of pants? Again, why?A Dressy pair, plus two casual pairs.
Why discard pjs for the locals to have to deal with. Wash a pair, wear a pair, repeat.
Yes to a second pair of shoes. Maybe smaller than sneakers? Take your beanie and gloves. They don’t take up room.
Can’t you have laundry done in the hotels where you’re staying?
Ask the tour company how they expect you to wash your clothes.
I always pack the same way no matter the season. If you do well on your last trip then repeat what you did.

Posted by
14098 posts

"I may come back and say I could have done less, or I may be sorry I didn’t have more choices!"

Yes! This! I think it is very useful to do an analysis of your packing list after you come home. I suspect you still have one too many outer layers but you'll know that after you get home. And my choices may not reflect your tastes!!!

Posted by
760 posts

List all your stuff. When you get home and unpack, note everything you did not use. Make a note of the weather you had. In the future you will be more able to pack for a future trip.
Right now you have too many pants, too much outerwear, and - pjs?
You are not in danger of overpacking. You are overpacking.
As far as shoes, I wear a size 14. I use a RS original bag and I can get them in there with all my other stuff. Outerwear is a puff jacket and an REI rain jacket. Never a sweater. Those are way too bulky and who wears a sweater anymore anyway?
I have been to Sicily in March.

Posted by
391 posts

How exciting to be so close to your trip! Is the total trip 9 days? It looks like you only have 7 on the ground, which lessons the days for 'dress up' even more.

It looks as if you only have two questions: beanie and gloves? check or not to check?

However, we all want to provide unsolicited advice--and it all seems to come down to the removal of even more clothes. Perhaps you want different clothes so you won't be seen in the same outfit more than one day. I get that. Maybe use a scarf to switch up a look. Mix and match tops and pants for different looks. Unless it's going to be wet and muddy, or you will be overly sweaty (doubt at 68F) you should be able to wear most pants several times. I have a couple of pairs of cheap earrings I take on trips and just alternate.

Good luck, and have a good time!

Posted by
7365 posts

It sounds like you’re feeling better about what you’re bringing.

I’m in southern Spain now, and the weather is similar except we’re dropping lower in the evening. Here’s everything, including the plane outfit in case it helps: A Columbia lightweight raincoat that’s more like a windbreaker. Two 32 degree micro-thin long-sleeve tops. (I wore one yesterday as a top with my coat. And three 3/4 sleeve tops. I did throw in a long-sleeve T-shirt last minute because of the weather forecast. A pair of slightly thicker nicer navy pants and a pair of black leggings. I wore a pair of sneakers on the plane and packed my favorite Keen Rose style sandals with the sturdy tread. Added a cute necklace and one scarf….may come home with more accessories! : ). The micro-thin tops can be layered or double-layered when I’m out late.

I wavered between bringing an extra pair of pants but decided not to bother. Otherwise, it’s all fine. I will be in Spain for three weeks, Loving the fresh orange juice and beautiful scenery!

Posted by
7365 posts

Oh, I didn’t realize you’re leaving so soon. Don’t stress about packing; concentrate on having a great time!

Posted by
66 posts

Thanks all for your valuable insight and well wishes.

Heading out shortly and I’m satisfied with what’s coming. Suitcase and tote is very manageable! I did winnow out another bulky sweater and added a small scarf for variety. I’ve got a little room for holiday ornaments and watercolor print I hope to buy!

This is first winter trip, also with a tour group, which I usually don’t do. So I’m sure packing lessons will be learned. Caio!

Posted by
195 posts

Keep the beanie and gloves! I never leave home on a trip without them especially if the weather is expected to be breezy or generally unpredictable. In the early mornings they are a lifesaver before it warms up. I wore them in Alaska in August.

As others have said there is no crime in checking a bag.

Posted by
66 posts

Reporting back after trip.
Trip was AMAZING. Sicily in February was perfect.

22 inch suitcase was just right size, and I was so glad to have checked it. (Normally I do not check!) We had fast hauls through Rome airport for connecting flights, and dragging a suitcase would have been hard.

We did unexpectedly have to walk to hotel with luggage, due to street closures, so I was very glad to have a manageable bag.

In regards to packing:
I did not need beanie and gloves, but they took up almost no space.
The 2 fluffy sweaters were a mistake. It was quite warm. And they took up too much space.
I wish I had brought a sun hat…I bought a ball cap there
I wish I had brought 2 long sleeve tees rather than the sweaters
One of my lightweight jackets was white. It proved hard to keep clean and rewear. Glad for shout wipes.
4 pairs of pants would have sufficed. The black jeans I wore once to dinner.
The hotel laundry service was expensive. Didn’t need, so didn’t use.
My new balance 327 sneakers were the real mvp, very comfy and stylish.

My new favorite cocktail is a lemoncello spritz!

Posted by
7365 posts

Thanks for reporting back, and I’m glad you had a wonderful time!

Yum to the lemoncello spritz, too!