Please sign in to post.

packing Lists

Do the recommended packing provided by Rick Steves include the clothing one wears flying to (and from) Europe or just what you pack in your suitcase (overhead bin sized, of course).

Thank you,

Diana Madden

Posted by
8021 posts

Thus list is.just what you pack and it is just a guideline. The list may or may not suit your exact needs. No harm in making some adjustments. We most often come home with unused clothes even.

The RS packing list is a good starting point. But, you will need to modify it for your needs. Don't get too hung-up on packing like Rick. I'm sure Rick doesn't pack this way every single time. Figure out what size suitcase is appropriate for your travels first. Then, get down to making your own packing list. Then, get it to fit in your case and prune as necessary.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you, I understand that the list is a guideline, but generally the clothes count (4 bottoms, 7 tops, a jacket, a dress, 2 pairs of shoes) is pretty consistent across travel blogs, etc but I’m trying to clarify if those numbers include what one wears on the plane to Europe (I’m dreading spilling on one of my two pairs of pants while flying over Greenland). I know this is a dumb, obsessive question, I wore a part of my clothing count when I went to France, Germany and Warsaw in 2016 and it worked out fine, but I felt overburdened but my tote of plane entertainment so trying to pare down this time (Italy 👏🏽). Also, this is a solo launch so I’m probably overthinking (meeting family there a couple of days in).

Posted by
13682 posts

For myself, I would count the pr of jeans I wear on the plane as one of the 4 bottoms. I actually only take 4 if I’m going when it’s hot and I have a pr of capris in there otherwise 3 pr of long pants works for me.

When you say you worry that something will spill on one of your 2 pr of pants, what are your other 2 bottoms? If something does spill you can easily sink wash that pair.

In fact, I usually plan to wash my travel clothes the first night. I fly from a teeny airport in N. Idaho so have a layover or 2 and then perhaps 10 hours on the plane so I’m feeling pretty grungy by the time I get to the hotel. The last few trips I’ve worked it so I was in the 1st hotel for at least 4 nights so plenty of time for several loads of wash to dry, lol!!

If this is something that will worry you, take another pr of pants.

Editing to add: I don’t take a dress and don’t take 7 tops even for a 6-8 week trip. I DO usually take 2 cardigans (black and cobalt) because it makes me happy, lol!!

Posted by
5697 posts

Understand how you feel -- my white sleeveless top didn't make it past even the first meal on the plane without spots, but it got washed in the first hotel ( and I did have a spare in my personal item.) If it's going to make you nervous, pack the extra pants and figure out what else to leave home to keep your suitcase weight down.

Posted by
11178 posts

My packing list includes what I will wear on the plane, usually my heaviest items. So when I list 3 pants (which is what I take whether for 10 days or two months), only two will be packed. FYI the rest of my list is 5 tees, two blouses, a cardigan, a hoodie, and a jacket. Varies little by season in number count, only in weight and type of fabric.

I will substitute a dress in hot weather but we don’t go to Europe in hot weather.

Posted by
1194 posts

I include what I’m wearing as that is a part of my capsule wardrobe.

I usually take 5 tops, 3 bottoms, 1-2 cardigans, and a dress. I take 2 pairs of shoes.

I expect to wash clothes on the trip.

Posted by
6113 posts

There is more debate on packing on this forum in one day than I have ever given consideration to in total over 30 years of travel!

You don’t say where and when you are travelling or your style of travel, so no one can advise what YOU need for YOUR trip, as everyone will be different. We don’t eat in Michelin stared restaurants, but do have the odd meal in restaurants where shorts aren’t suitable, so we need smarter clothes and shoes. What we take depends on how hot it will be and how we are going to spend our time but as we always take one large 20kg check in bag between us plus a carry on bag each, trying to squeeze belongings into a small bag isn’t an issue. We stay in apartments not hotels, but I still try to take enough stuff so that I don’t have to wash whilst away, as I am on holiday and want a break!

Half our weight and bulk isn’t shoes and clothes, it’s ancillary stuff such as laptop, iPads, camera plus numerous lenses, charging wires, kindles, first aid kit, sponge bags, beach towels, sun screen, anti-mozzie stuff etc.

Even if we have been somewhere before, with the changing climate, it’s hard to get the balance of clothes right for the weather.

Posted by
26480 posts

I believe nearly all packing lists include the clothing worn on the plane. I travel for the entire summer with 4 bottoms and 5 tops, plus a fleece layer, a rain shell, and one set of polypro underwear for extra warmth (not often needed). Only one pair of shoes.

Do not be tempted to pack your suitcase with clothes and wear a bunch of layers on the plane to save space/weight. When you're changing hotels on hot days, you'll need to fit all those extra layers inside your suitcase.

You won't want to spend time at each hotel unpacking and hanging up tons of clothes, yet the stuff you leave in the suitcase may be quite wrinkled when you get ready to wear it. If you ever do. People who take tons of clothes often realize they are carrying around a bunch of stuff that is not being used. That is not a happy discovery; there are lots of stairs in Europe, including in some railway stations where you may need to make quick transfers.

Posted by
166 posts

I pack two pairs of converitble pants (legs zip off) and five shirts, but I plan on wearing one of the shirts and a pair of pants on the plane ride over. Just to be complete, I take 5 pair of underwear and 5 pairs of smartwool socks, again wearing one of each on the plane trip. I only take one pair of shoes (Merrell Moab hiking), one Fleece jacket and one rain shell. This may seem pretty minimal but over the years I have found that it is most important to dress comfortable and pack light. I use a Eagle Creek Packet Folder for the pants and shirts and packing cubes for socks & underwear. Hope this helps, have a great time on your trip!

Posted by
1213 posts

Yes, count what you wear on the plane. And if I was you, pare it down to three bottoms total.

Posted by
308 posts

I generally pack a little lighter than the RS packing list. I am traveling in Europe now and I have three pairs of pants, two long sleeved shirts, and three short sleeved shirts. I also have a light rain coat and one extra pair of shoes.

Posted by
2592 posts

My challenge is packing shoes. They’re rigid so don’t moosh down. We just got back from 2 weeks in WA & OR. Everything is a test pack now getting ready for Italy next year. Hubby, who won’t go to Italy, will only wear jeans so he had to check his 24” suitcase. Jeans take up too much room. I took 2 pair leggings, 1 pair white jeans (never again) and, because they were having an AZ spring, a couple pairs shorts, 7 shirts 1 of which is now a no and 2 dresses. My Europe packing list currently has 3 pair leggings, 1 dress, 7 shirts, 1 pr sandals, 2 pr shoes.

Electronics, camera, drugs, 311 bag go in my carryon tote along with my small cross body bag and packable backpack.

I keep my packing list on my phone so it’s handy and easy to edit.

Posted by
5697 posts

Like horsewoofie, I also keep my packing list on my phone ... and I check off each item as it is used. Becomes a personal challenge to re-use items and see how many unnecessary things I had packed. Better packing next time....

Posted by
23 posts

LOL @LauraB I do the same thing! I check things off my packing app as I pack and then reset the list so I can check off again when I wear them. It is interesting to see what doesn’t get used/worn.

Posted by
1625 posts

I include the clothes I wear on the plane on my list because those clothes will be worn many times during the trip and go with other outfits. I layer as much as I can on the plane so I have more room in my suitcase. On top is a Bra (one of the 3 I take), tank top (one of the 4), long sleeve shirt (one of the two) worn over the tank (This allows for a quick disrobing due to a hot flash), jacket (1 of 1), scarf (one of 2). Bottom, leggings (one of one), shoes (one of 4).

Posted by
58 posts

@travelingtulls do you have an actual packing list app, or do you just use notes? Inquiring type A minds want to know.......

Posted by
2581 posts

I have a hand-written master packing list that gets me through any kind of trip, whether overnight for business or 2 weeks in Europe. 3 columns--purse, carry-on/tote and suitcase. Most of the items are obvious, but still, as I'm collecting things in the week prior to travel and then again as I'm actually filling suitcase, etc I refer to it. I have yet to forget anything, so this works for me.

Posted by
5697 posts

I use the OneNote app that came on my Samsung 6 -- love the little checkboxes! And makes it easy to move items to the Things I Decided to Leave Home section (so I can see later if I regretted my decision.) Not to mention Things Lost on the Trip and Things I Bought.

After the trip I annote some unused items with "take next time anyway"