Whether you’re traveling to Italy with Taylored Tours or on your own, you’ll find that Italy has such incredible architecture, cuisine, landscapes and culture. You will be surrounded by history, friendly smiles, and the sights and smells of some of the most delicious food and wine you’ll ever taste. It’s truly a destination you’ll always remember! So it’s no surprise that it is difficult to know what to pack for your trip to Italy. I compiled this list with some of my must-haves for an amazing Italian adventure.
If you pack carry-on only, you need to keep toiletries to below 100ml, or you can buy certain toiletries once you get to Italy. Things like toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner can be easily bought in Italy, or you can pack travel size or decant your own from home. Other things to pack include toothbrush, deodorant, shaving items, hairbrush, hair ties, cleanser, moisturizer and makeup. For makeup, I keep it simple and pack foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and make-up remover wipes.
It’s hard to simultaneously pack light and ensure that you have everything you need for a destination like Italy. These packing cubes from Shacke Pak make that task immeasurably easier, and provide travelers with an excellent way of compartmentalizing their travel items while still keeping them accessible, and they ensure that you’ll be packing to the right dimensions of your suitcase or bag. They’re made of a tough, water-resistant Nylon that will keep your items safe and your packing cubes in good shape through many adventures. My packing cubes came with an extra bag for laundry…perfect for separating your dirty laundry while on the trip. Another tip…I put a dryer sheet in with my clothes in the packing cubes. Here’s a video on how to use packing cubes: https://youtu.be/Gg1ehzP2jdQ
Power Adapters and Converters
Standard US electronic cords do not fit into Italian outlets, so in order to keep your phone and other electronics charged you’ll need a power adapter specifically designed for Italian outlets. These allow you to plug your electrical device into the Italian wall socket, but they do not convert the electricity to the American 110 volts. If your appliance is designed to run only on 110-120 volts, you are likely to see smoke, if not fire, from this potent miss-mating. For your hair dryers and flat irons, you will need a step-down power converter to safely step the voltage down from 220 to 110.
While in Italy you’ll likely be away from a power source for extended periods of time. A nifty external USB power bank solves the problem. It means that you can charge your phone, camera, iPad or any USB device while you’re out and about or on your long International flights. I always pack one in my purse when flying.
Dual Voltage Hair Dryers and Flat Irons
You can always wear a hat, but if you insist on having lovely locks while in Italy, here are a few suggestions for dual voltage travel flat irons and hair dryers. The HSI Flat Iron Dual Voltage Glider features high quality ceramic plates and the temperature is fully adjustable between 140-450°F to give greater control for any hair type. The hair straightener’s floating plates have curved edges that provide extra flexibility to curl, or straighten your hair. The Conair Compact Hair Dryer gives you drying power with features that make travel convenient and easy. It has a folding handle and dual voltage for worldwide travel.
In much of Italy, the water can be amazing and in many villages, towns and cities they have quaint public drinking water fountains which offer a free way to fill up your water for the day. With this said, there are some places that may heavily chlorinate the water and other locations where it might not be so safe to drink from the tap. For this reason, I always recommend bringing a filtered water bottle to bring peace-of-mind and to save buying bottled water in plastic which is a big environmental pollutant. I pack this in my carry-on so I don’t have to buy the pricey bottled water in airports
The most important thing to remember when packing shoes for Italy is the cobblestone streets. Wearing and packing heels is just not necessary as it’s a difficult place to walk in them. I encourage everyone to pack light and try to pack no more than 4 pairs of shoes, but 2 – 3 is best. For walking around cities, I would recommend ballet flats or flat boots. For hiking in Cinque Terre, I would recommend a comfortable pair of hiking shoes/boots or sneakers.
For whatever reason, Italians don’t really wear shorts- so opt for jeans or a skirt. A good rain coat is a must. Wearing black or earth tones will go a long way on this trip. Not only will you blend in more and draw less attention to yourself through avoiding bright colors, but if everything in your suitcase belongs to the same color family, you can mix and match clothes with a lot more ease. This allows you to have more outfit options on your vacation! Modesty goes a long way in this country. Don’t think boring and severe…think elegant, classy. And remember, you’re not heading to the gym. You’re in a country where beauty is appreciated and valued. It’s also important to remember that the best clothing to pack is what makes you feel most comfortable. Look nice, and have fun while doing so!
If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you’ve undoubtedly been warned about the danger of pickpockets. It is important to be vigilant because thousands of tourists are victims of pickpockets each year — and no one wants to spend their hard-earned vacation trying to cancel their credit cards, replacing their passport, and finding alternative means to access money. Pickpockets almost always work in groups. One or two people will do something to distract you while another member tries to take your stuff. Once the theft has occurred, the thief who stole the item will often hand it off to someone else and they’ll all run in separate directions. This makes it very hard to track the culprit. Trains stations are large, crowded, and full of confused tourists with their hands full of cumbersome luggage — which is exactly the kind of environment pickpockets love. If you want to be extra safe, you can get yourself a specially designed “pickpocket-proof” backpack, bag, or purse. The best anti-theft travel purse is a cross body bag that you wear close to your body and can hold with your hands when in crowded places. A more theft proof purse will also have added features like slash proof fabrics, locking zippers and RFID panels.
Other Essentials to Pack in Your Carry-On
Unfortunately, sometimes travel plans don’t go the way you planned them. Whether your flight gets pushed back, canceled, or your checked bag gets lost. Hopefully this won’t happen, however, if it does happen, you’ll be happy you are somewhat prepared for it! I always pack an extra pair of undies, deodorant, and mini disposable toothbrushes with toothpaste in my carry-on. Pack yourself some snacks because there is nothing worse than getting hangry while you’re sitting on your plane en route to your destination.Remember your medication and pack them in your carry-on or purse. If your luggage gets lost, you would have a bunch of hoops to jump through to get another prescription on top of trying to get your checked luggage recovered. Save yourself the headache and just throw it into your carry-on even if you know you won’t need it on your flight.I usually keep a package of travel wipes in my carry-on. If you think about it, hundreds of people are sitting in that seat and you don’t know the last time it’s been sanitized. Gross!And last but not least, make sure you have any important travel documents and any valuable jewelry packed in your purse or carry-on bag.
Ciao! Have a great trip to Italy!
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