We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 14,773   Posts: 190,626   Members: 6,656   Active Members: 263
Welcome to our newest member, basil.bourque.


No announcement yet.

2 weeks in Italy - planned list, feedback requested

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    2 weeks in Italy - planned list, feedback requested

    So I decided to type out our packing list as it sits today, we leave in 2 weeks. This will be our first 'light' packing trip. We usually pack heavy but where we are going, bags with wheels are not going to be easy to manage and I remember when Greece (similar terrain) killed me and my bags. So I decided to buy 2 aeronauts and 1 synapse 25 for this trip (go dyneema). I'd love any feedback on this planned list.

    And I should say I'm a really bad overpacker, I tend to just throw stuff in my luggage. Like my last trip, I think I took 20 pairs of underwear for a week long trip.

    This list is for me and my husband:

    2 Aeronauts
    1 travel friendly purse (packed)
    1 Synapse 25 (packed until in plane)
    1 Eddie Bauer packable backpack (packed)

    Various packing cubes to pack all the stuff below
    2 Ultra-sil compression bags (I figure this will be for dirty clothes, especially on the way home)
    2 reusable shopping bags
    2 combo locks, 2 caribiners

    2 Passports (and a copy of each)
    2 Driver’s licenses
    Money - Credit cards (1 Amex, 1 Visa, 1 Atm - for each of us), Euros, US dollars
    Note: Call credit cards, bank to avoid fraud alert
    1 Money belt, 1 neck wallet

    For plane - (put into backpack, take out of bag before putting in overhead)
    2 jackets
    1 scarf
    Earplugs (2 sets)
    2 Inflatable neck pillows
    2 Klean kanteens
    2 toothbrushes
    toothy tabs
    Deodorant wipes
    travel brush
    Lip Balm
    Small hand lotion
    Nuun or other electrolyte
    Mojo, Lara, Luna bars
    Peanut butter packets (don't need this in backpack, put into 3-1-1 bag)

    Ipod, Iphone, Blackberry & charger (Note: activate international access)
    Camera & charger
    electrical outlet converters/plugs
    mini flashlight

    Hotel information for all hotels
    Travel insurance information
    Rick Steeves Rome guidebook
    Small italian dictionary
    2-3 books
    2 pens
    2 mechanical pencils
    small notebook

    Non-drowsy allergy pills
    Daytime medicine pills
    No JetLag pills
    Bandaids, neosporin
    travel sewing kit
    toilet paper

    Sunscreen (face and body)
    BB cream
    face lotion
    Shampoo bar
    Conditioner bar
    Face and body soap bar
    small mouthwash
    Deodorant crystal
    Body powder
    small gel deodorant
    Tiger balm
    Diva cup

    2 inflatable hangers
    1 travel wash line
    pocket detergent
    small quick-dry towel

    Clothes Me:
    2 scarves (1 in backpack)
    2-3 headbands
    wedding band

    1 pair of sandals
    1 pair of sneakers (wear)
    1 pair of ballet flats
    4 pairs of socks (wear 1)

    3 bras (wear 1)
    6 pairs of undies (wear 1)

    3 pairs of capris (wear 1)
    1 pair of pants
    1 skirt
    1 dress
    1 long sleeve shirt
    1 3/4 length shirt
    1 cardigan wrap
    4 short sleeve shirts (wear 1)
    4 tank tops
    yoga pants
    sleep shorts


    1 pair of flip flops
    1 pair sneakers (wear)

    4 undershirts
    6 pairs of underwear (wear 1)
    4 pairs of socks (wear 1)

    3 pairs of pants
    2 pairs of shorts
    3 long sleeve shirts
    4 short sleeve shirts
    swim trunks

    I am getting ready to travel Italy soon as well! However, my list is quite smaller than yours. I will be following your thread as well to make sure I haven't missed anything.


      You can definitely edit your clothes haul. You have, in pants/capris/skirt/dress at least 6 bottoms. You can halve that, I think. I did 2 weeks in Italy last November with one skirt, one dress (actually a long black tee I wore over leggings), one pair of pants, and a pair of leggings. I mixed and matched everything. Also, downloading the guidebook and dictionary to your phone or Kindle will save a lot of weight.
      I think my best advice is Don't Schlepp Books! They're heavy. I love books, don't get me wrong, but that's what Kindles are for when traveling. You'll be so much happier traveling with a lighter load. Have fun!


        Melissa, I hope you enjoy!

        Rocks, I will definitely reconsider the pants. I may drop the yoga pants and a pair of capris. I'm also undecided on the dress. It'll be nice but I can get a similar function out of the skirt.

        As for the books, my husband is not into having a kindle but we have books from the thrift store that we can even leave as he read them... somehow. I thought about using the guidebook in the kindle but I find flipping pages to stuff much easier.


          My rule ( and a pretty standard one for light travel) is the rule of 3 - three tops, three bottoms, three undies. Since this is your first attempt you might allow yourself a bit more, but not much. Remember not to take any " but i might need it" stuff. If you don't take it and you need it, buy it there.

          I agree with Rocks - 6 bottoms and 10 tops are definitely too much. Try to cut it in half. Is your clothing quick dry? It is worth the investment to have at least some quick dry pieces. Also, do a full pack of what you plan to take and then schlep it around on your back for an hour or so to see how it feels. I usually find that very motivating! I aim for about 15 lb total weight. What is the carry on limit if the airlines you will be using? Stay WELL below that. Remember that you will probably want to bring some stuff back with you and you do not want to have to check your aeronauts.

          Are you using packing cubes? They make packing and unpacking so much easier! You will love the feeling of freedom of not having to wait for bags and being able to manoeuvre more easily. How are you getting around Italy and where are you going? Is this your first trip there or a return visit?

          Rip apart your guidebook and take only the parts you need.
          Last edited by jannilee; 04-13-2014, 08:40 AM.


            This will be our first time to Italy. We are traveling on United (direct flight there) and Lufthansa (connection in Germany on way home). We will be in Rome, Naples, Amalfi. Travel is by train or bus. I was also thinking that we would probably check 1 Aeronaut on the flight home depending on how much stuff we buy.

            I didn't think about ripping apart the book though, that is a good idea. And most everything we are taking is quick dry so I know it can be washed and we are preparing for that but being the first time, the whole thing makes me a bit nervous. And yeah we will be having packing cubes that go with the Aeronaut.


              We are also planning a 2-week trip to Italy. This seems like a lot to pack. We're using one Tri-Star and a bag the size of an Aeronaut. There will be daypacks inside these two bags for use after arrival. I would agree with previous comments about less clothing; something like 2 pairs of pants and 1 pair of shorts, 3 pairs of rinsable travel underwear, 1 long sleeve shirt and 2-3 short sleeve (bonus for rinsable). We use rain shells and down sweaters that pack small, and avoid books.

              We've done other light trips, and are paring down even more. Our last trip involved a motorcycle trip, which involved dragging along a huge bag with helmets, jackets, boots. That bag got delayed and we barely got it in time to start the tour. Never again!!


                I think you can skip the toilet paper unless you are really nervous about it for some reason. Take a look at your toiletries and see if there is any way you and your husband can use the same products so you're not carrying duplicates; also see if you can replace the shampoo/conditioner/soap bar with an all-in-one bar; Lush and Chagrin Valley make them and they work well.

                As far as electronics go, try to take the bare minimum of chargers and cables. It's unlikely that all your devices will run out of juice simultaneously. If you can find cables that work with multiple types of devices, so much the better. For instance, I figured out I could plug my PPUClip into my iPhone charger and thus leave my entire camera battery charger at home. Finally, check your devices to be sure, but it doesn't look to me like you are taking anything that will require a 240V charge converter. All you'll need is a plug adapter for Italian sockets—leave the others at home.

                I agree with the rule of three, or perhaps four as an upper limit, for everything including undergarments. I will say that you may actually want the yoga pants. Depending on where you're flying from in the US, you could be on the plane a very long time, and knit pants with an elastic waist can be much more comfortable. If you wash them right away, they could also double as your pj pants.

                Finally, try to eliminate anything if you have already got an item that serves a similar function. For instance, do you need a hat and two scarves and a buff (I am sort of guessing that a buff is a neck wrap head thing?)? Short answer: no; longer answer: you can decide if each item performs a unique function, and thus, if you need all of them. Do consider packing only one scarf. Scarves are EVERYWHERE in Italy so you could buy one as a souvenir and wear it.

                FWIW, I went to Italy in the middle of winter with 12 total pounds of electronics and clothing in an Aeronaut, so even less than jannilee's recommendation, and I can assure you I'm way larger than she is. The important thing to know about Italy is that unless you are on the extreme end of clothing sizes, you can pretty much pick up anything like T-shirts and such at Bennetton, and tights and socks at Calzedonia, so don't worry that if you didn't bring enough that you're stuck. I guarantee that your happiness will increase as the weight of your bag goes down.

                PS: unless your jackets are Gore-Tex, you may want to tuck in an umbrella because it can rain at a moment's notice anywhere near the coast.

                PPS: Even though the water is safe, sometimes it doesn't taste very good. It is quite possible that you may find it easier to simply buy a couple of bottles of water, fill as needed if you find the tap water palatable, and then replace whenever they get nasty. I almost always end up drinking acqua frizzante the whole time, anyway, and my KK goes unused and unloved.


                  I think either somehow I screwed up my previous post or it is waiting for moderation, in either case. Yeah, I forgot the yoga pants I want to bring aren't cotton so they might be better to take and I could leave the sleep shorts home.

                  I also read that public restrooms in Italy don't have toilet paper which is why I was planning to bring some to carry along.

                  I may also just leave the scarves (depending) and then try to buy 1 while I'm there.

                  I didn't think about ripping apart the guidebook which would probably be a good idea.


                    Just want to say good luck on your first packing light voyage! It will become a fun challenge as you try to cut more for each subsequent trip. Don't fret if you don't get it perfect the first time. I've been at it for years and years and still look for improvements.

                    Scarves, especially from a place like Rome, are the best souvenirs, in my opinion.

                    Also, I loved the Rick Steves Rome guide - the trick about exiting the Vatican was worth the price of the entire thing!


                      @Leena, sorry—your posts automatically go into moderation for a while when you're new. Those posts should appear for you and everyone else to see now.

                      I suppose it's possible that the restrooms won't have toilet paper; however, I have spent over 100 total days in Italy and I have never used a public restroom. I would always use the restroom in restaurants, cafes, museums, etc. If you're at the train station or airport, there will definitely be toilet paper. Like I said, if you're nervous about it, no harm in taking some.

                      I totally agree with readmore: packing light involves a long process of refinement. The important thing is to have a good time (which is so easy to forget when you're in the throes of planning!) and take note of what you used, what you didn't, and what you wished you had had. Packing for each trip, whether it's short or long, is a learning experience for me. I think that by simply typing out all the things you plan to take, you're well on your way.


                        Having done 2 round-trip long hauls in six months, I definitely recommend packing either yoga pants or light pj bottoms to wear on a long flight (I think you'll find a decent percentage of the flight doing just that, and comfort trumps fashion on 12 hour plane flight). I'll also add that depending on what class you are traveling in, you may get amenity kits which will give you things like ear plugs and minis of toothpaste.

                        I'll also add I brought my insulated KK along for a trip to London, and other than getting coffee in the airport on the first leg of my flights, I didn't use it during my trip.

                        And one more thing I'll add, although it may be TMI for some guys - packing a sports bra to change into on a long haul flight is definitely worth it for the comfort factor.
                        Last edited by Vecturist; 04-13-2014, 04:51 PM.


                          You guys are going to have a great time. We drove down to stay a week in Rome in Feb. What a great time! You're going at a perfect time since it shouldn't be too hot yet. It will still packed, though. Our first couple nights there we went to the major piazza's, Spanish Steps and Trevi and they were zoos. Then one morning we woke early for no reason and decided to walk about. That was the best! You have the whole city to yourself at 6am; it was so cool! Beware the cost of cafés at Piazza del Popolo, got totally shafted there. The locals go to Trastevere (west of the river) for the restaurants. There is this cool little Biblio Café (little green kiosk library) on the north side of the river between Piazza Navona and the Castel Sant' Angelo. Very good espresso and brioche for breakfast. We hit that every morning on the way to the dog park. The neighborhood just a couple blocks west of Navona, where we stayed, has a bunch of nice little eateries. Piazza Fiori, 300yds south of Navona, always has a market going. Through Eternity Tours is highly recommended. .... jeez, there's just so much. https://www.facebook.com/dana.durand...9124379&type=3
                          [2004] Brain Bag (w/Lg. A45 Packing Cube, Snake Charmer, Q-kit & 2 Brain cells)
                          - [2010] Aeronaut45 (w/Absolute, 1lg/2sm Packing Cubes, Travel Tray PCSB, Passport Pouch & 3D clear cube)
                          - - [2013] Co-Pilot (w/S.O.S. strap, Cache, Clear Org wallet, 3D mesh cube, whistle, Sm. COP's & Q-kit)
                          - - - [2015] Tristar (traded for A30)
                          - - - - [2016] ID, Aeronaut30 (w/Absolute & Lg. Aether cube), Side Effect
                          ___________________________________________ "Be excellent to each other."


                            Dana - Those pictures are lovely!

                            And regarding the klean kanteens, I read a review of Platypus bottles, so I'm ordered 1 to try. We generally travel quite a bit, although in the last few years its been mostly domestic (US) travel. I figure having a bottle that can be packed fairly flat might be a bonus.


                              I've been to Italy a couple of times and never had issues with toilet paper - as Badger says, use the ones in restaurants and museums and you'll be fine. For peace of mind, you could pack a couple of pocket packs of Kleenex instead (and replace them in Italy if they get used up) - they can be used as TP if needed and are less embarrassing to carry around

                              I usually wear bamboo yoga pants on long-haul flights - very comfy, though (for me) a bit heavy for sleep wear in a warm climate. OTOH good quality ones can be worn during the day at your destination if you're going really casual.
                              Work EDC: SE + S19
                              Leisure: SCBs, FJN, Swift, lots of YSSs
                              Travel: WF + Pilot or SA, with SE/SCB
                              General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
                              Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
                              Hoping for: A new dyneema colour for YSSs; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!