We are taking the Best of Europe 21 day tour from late July to early August. Will the weather be super hot? Any packing suggestions for women for that time of year?
I don't know where you live, but if you are from the United States, I would pack the same kind of clothing that you would wear at home in the summer, plus a light rain jacket and a sweater.
I have been in Europe many times in the summer and there were times when I needed a sweater every single day, sometimes with a jacket as well. Other times the temperatures were in the high 80s F.
It's impossible to predict, so do as you would at home--be prepared for most anything.
Thanks! We live in Frederick, Maryland, which makes us practically neighbors :) I've been looking at some of the travel blogs and they all seem to be late spring to early summer. I haven't noticed a lot of dresses or sandals in the photos. It looks like women are wearing capris and sneakers/oxfords. We were thinking of packing polartec half zips for extra warmth, but hoping to forgo waterproof jackets and shoes.
The Best of Europe tour in the summer weather wise should be very nice. The Netherlands, Germany, France will be like Seattle. Nice put not too hot. Mid 70s. Italy will be warmer. 80 or 90s. Switzerland you will need layers. I often travel in the summer and always bring one pair of sandals and then one pair of good walking shoes. Plus, I bring a light weight fleece and a water proof gortex jacket. Plus, capris-great for getting into churches when my knees need to be covered. Or a pair of black leggings. Easily can go under a skirt if I get cold or if I need to visit a church. Also, one skirt or dress for the evening or for the last group dinner. Tshirts will do it for the entire trip. Then a cardigan, fleece, etc when needed.
Thanks, Jen. That helps. I was hoping to get by with a travel umbrella, but I may rethink and bring a waterproof jacket.
I always take an unlined waterproof (not water resistant!) jacket with a hood and Gore-tex sturdy walking shoes. Remember that you'll keep your sightseeing schedule rain or shine and on several trips I've been very glad to have my hands-free rain protection. The jacket is also one of my layers for warmth. I take a thin fleece or sweater and a couple of long-sleeved shirts that can layer over t-shirts. Everything is a hi-tech fabric that can be washed in the sink and hung to dry overnight.
I took that same tour, July 2011. The temps were fiercely hot! The only country visited with cooler temps was Austria. Temperatures are very hard to predict, some summers are cooler while others are much hotter. I always begin checking temps, for places I am traveling to a week or so in advance of my trip date. That way I can pack more accurately. I always pack a light rain jacket, with hood, regardless of my destination.
A light rain jacket with hood will enable you to keep your hands free, while an umbrella will leave you one-handed (and an obstacle to others, depending on your height).
I always bring a light packable waterproof jacket just in case it rains. You've spent so much money on your vacation - will you limit your touring because you didn't want to bother with the one item that will protect you from the elements?
Bring shirts that can be layered: Think a button down shirt you can layer like a jacket over a cami or a short sleeve tee. That same shirt layers under a sleeveless dress. I also bring a very fine gauge light weight 3/4 sleeve scoop neck tee. I can wear this over other shirts like a pull-over sweater or I can wear it alone. A tank top with wide shoulders may be worn vest-like over another shirt (make sure it is on the looser side). Bonus - the bra straps don't show.
Fine gauge knit cardigans offer a way to control temperature - wear them on your shoulder, open, or buttoned up.
A scoop neck 3/4 sleeve silk long underwear top for when it gets nippy. It can be worn undetected under your street clothes.
Dress - A nice knit sleeveless dress may be worn alone or layered. Add in a pair of leggings for warmth if needed.
Shoes - one warm weather shoe and one cool/rainy shoe. A great choice is a leather sneaker and a pair of strappy sandals. That will also take you from casual to dressy.
Pants - How about one pair with roll-up cuffs? And maybe a dressy capri.
Skort - I like the Athleta "Whatever" skort because it looks like a skirt but is actually shorts. Dress up, dress down.
Scarf - A nice dressy touch, and needed if it gets cold.
So... 4 shirts (tank, button down, 3/4 sleeve tee, dressy) + 2 pants (one with roll up cuffs and one capri) + 2 sweaters + 1 skort, + 1 dress + 1 waterproof jacket + 1 scarf = 1 lightweight wardrobe prepared for anything.
Alice, Debra, and Zoe, thanks for making it very clear that the rain jacket definitely needs to be packed. I will probably get the lighweight kind that folds into a pouch. They are rain resistant, not completely waterproof though but light enough to carry everywhere. The gore-tex ones are super expensive and may not be a s compact. We are traveling late July - early August so I believe that should be sufficient. Do you agree? We are traveling as a family with two 13-year olds and we can each bring one along without any trouble.
Cindy, thanks for sending me your tried-and-true 'must have' packing list. That makes it so much easier for me. I feel like I've been obsessing about my wardrobe a little too much! From past experience, I know that packing less is the way to go.
Christine, that should be enough, especially if you take layering advice.
Have a great trip!
I've done this tour with RS during that season (late July to early August). Don't bring an umbrella, I'm saying this because a lot of the tour has half days where your going inside museums or churches. A lot of them won't let you take an umbrella or backpack inside and you don't want to be always checking it in.
For clothes layer, layer, layer. If you want to wear shorts or skirts one day, then make sure your top correctly covering what needs to be covered and pack a scarf. I'm saying this cause the Churches are really big on covering, no showing flesh from the knees up and cover those shoulders. There sadly isn't a lot you can do if there is a heat wave while your there, I've had it happen on my trip back in 2003. We just took bottle water everywhere we went and wetted our bandannas for the back of our necks.
The only place that was wet and cold was Germany/Austria plus Switzerland and a good waterproof jacket and walking shoes made it still enjoyable.
Definitely recommend the light jacket that serves as a raincoat or for cooler evenings. You may not need it in southern Europe but you will likely appreciate having it in northern Europe. And if it rains...you're good to go, and your hands are free. Plus, you can roll it up really tight and you don't have to worry about wrinkles.
Have fun on your trip!
I have a waterproof Marmot Precip jacket that may be more than you want to pay for your group, but look at Sierra Trading Post online. They may have some at a better price. It does fold up into its' own pocket pouch, but really I can roll it up smaller with out using the pouch. I also figured out the last trip that I needed a ziplock bag in my purse to put it in, in case I took it off when wet and wanted to stash it.
I have a waterproof Columbia shell. I bought it at Academy Sports Store for a reasonable price. I wear it for travel and when I walk the dog, if it is raining. It takes up hardly any room in my 17 inch rolling duffle bag. Another good thing about it, it takes up very little space in my day bag, too.
I will never forget how hot Rome was during our tour, and how thankful tour members were when we discovered a young man selling frozen bottles of water outside the Coliseum! Let's just say he was very busy.
If you're going to be touring in hot weather, I would definitely recommend a couple of washable dresses. I'm usually wearing dresses & comfy sandals for half of the trips in Europe when I'm in France or Italy, and you can't beat them when it's hot! They wash easily in the sink, and Europeans are generally dressed nicer than Americans.
Enjoy your trip!