I was in Northern Italy for 2.5 weeks returning to the U.S. mid-September. I was in Milan, Turin and Lago Maggiore and attended a wedding, biked and hiked. The diverse activities combined with flying Condor from Seattle to Frankfurt and Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Milan and wanting to carry on my bags made packing a challenge. Condor’s hand baggage allowance is a 55x40x20 cm (21.6x15.7x7.9 in) suitcase and a 40x30x10 cm (15.7x11.8x3.9 in) personal item. Lufthansa’s is 55x40x23 and a similar 40x30x10 personal item. Both airlines have a suitcase weight limit of 8kg (17.6 lbs). Although I would be in business class for the Condor leg I would be in economy on Lufthansa between Frankfurt to Milan. Given reports of how strict Lufthansa is and how chaotic Frankfurt baggage transfer is I was determined to carry on my bags, especially since the wedding was at the beginning of the trip. I used an Osprey Fairview 40 liter backpack as my suitcase and a Fjalraven Kanken 15” laptop bag as my personal item. The Kanken laptop bag is technically 3cm too deep but it’s squishable and wouldn’t be full so I wasn’t worried.
Here’s what I packed:
1 cocktail dress for the wedding - 1 dress for pre-wedding activities and dinners - 1 sundress/pool coverup – Nightshirt - 4 undies - 2 bras - 3 pair no show socks - 2 pair ankle high hiking socks - dress sandals – Birkenstocks - 1 black Ex Officio hiking pants - 2 Columbia hiking skorts - 3 silk/silk blend tank tops - 2 short sleeve t-shirts - 1 long sleeve button up shirt/sun shirt - 2 belts - 2 electrical adaptors - several zip lock bags in different sizes - Pashmina scarf - nylon cross-body purse – hooded REI Goretex lined raincoat - cashmere cardigan - sun hat - coin purse - money belt - packable 30 liter duffel - swim suit - solid shampoo and conditioner - makeup remover - sunglasses.
Total weight of the Osprey backpack was 7.3 kg.
The Kanken laptop bag had my phone, mini-iPad, toiletries, charging chords, noise cancelling headphones, cash, cards and documents. I didn’t weigh it but my guess would be about 5 kg.
On the plane I wore jeans, a T-shirt, a long sleeve button up shirt, ankle height hiking socks and hiking shoes.
What I learned. Because the hiking pants were black with a slim profile and because the hiking skorts were in solid colors I did not feel out of place going to nice restaurants with them on. I was not “on-trend” but I rarely am. Besides, the current “look” is not flattering to a short middle-aged woman. A sundress can do triple duty: sundress, pool coverup and with a short sleeve T underneath, can be worn to a church. And it gives both the sundress and the T-shirt another look. The solid shampoo and conditioner I brought “just in case” were unnecessary and will probably be dropped from the packing list. The raincoat and cashmere cardigan were each worn once but I think they’re necessary evils. The pre-trip extended forecast showed rain in Lago Maggiore and cooler temps. Similarly, I didn’t need the extra long sleeve button up shirt. I did need to buy hydrocortisone for bug bites and but for a traveling companion having OFF, I would have needed bug spray. I don’t think I would bother to pack either of those items in advance since I think they are more “just in case” and are readily available anyways.
I’m really glad I did carry on even though I was tempted not to. One wedding guest’s bags didn’t make it in time for the wedding. Two days after arrival we saw the courier going up to the village with the bag as we were going down to the wedding in the taxi. Lufthansa left another guest’s bag in Frankfurt on the way home. It was eventually delivered.
To be continued.......