Packing for 2 weeks in Italy in April


Mar 10th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Definitely pack a thoughtful carry-on bag, if you are going to check your suitcase.

Are you sure a jeans jacket might not be a good piece to have? Seems like it would be versatile.

TravelSmith has various specialty travel pants (with hidden pockets, etc.). The Chico's Travelers line are too slinky for me. Probably I'd continue shopping and try to find one perfect pair of slacks with a tiny bit of lycra in the fabric.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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We are spending 10 days in Croatia (leaving Wednesday!), and I had the same worries about packing in carry-on only. I was able to do it for 2 weeks in Hawaii last summer, but the weather conditions are MUCH different.

So, for Croatia where temps are 50s with chances of rain showers I packed the following into a 21":

-1 pair jeans
-3 sweatshirt/sweaters ("vacuum sealed" in gallon size ziplocs)
-1 lightweight cardigan, 1 lightweight pullover, 1 turtleneck
-8 long sleeve tees for layering
-1 lightweight rain jacket
-1 pair warmup pants for hiking
-1 scarf
-1 pair running shoes for hiking (which will go in the trash at the end of the trip)
-7 pairs socks
-10 pairs underwear (also "vacuum sealed")
-1 small umbrella
-1 converter and adapter plug

I will wear jeans, a pullover, and my comfy Born shoes on the plans, as well as my fleece jacket. Toiletries are in quart size ziploc and will go in tote along with camera and book.

I feel the same way about not re-wearing clothes without washing them, especially since we plan to do lots of walking every day.

I am still amazed I fit all of that into a small suitcase, but rolling up the thin shirts and jeans was really a space saver. It sounds like you will have a tad more room now that you are checking your bags. Good luck!
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Mar 10th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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Couple thoughts:

1) you don't need to pack 13 tops.

2) You need to wear your new clogs everyday to make sure they're broken into by the time you're leaving for your trip

3) My vote is NO to the leather jacket.

4) Either wear your jean jacket (just layer underneath) or go buy a new waterproof jacket. I had a great black lightweight jacket which I bought years ago and I wear it almost on every trip. It is water-resistant (not waterproof) so it can withstand light rain. It also has a hood to help me stay warm and dry. Its surface is really easy to clean and dirt comes off easily.

5) Pack everything in your suitcase and see how much it weighs. In my experience, I can only handle a max weight of 22-24lbs tops. Since I travel alone a lot, I can only rely on myself to carry my suitcase up/down flights of stairs, lift it up on overhead bins etc.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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You can get an approximate weight of the packed suitcase using your bathroom scale. I use a 24" and also keep it under 25 lbs.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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I'm going to attempt carry on only on my trip to Italy, too.

Has anyone used space bags for travel? I bought a few at Target, but haven't tested them.

As for pants and other travel clothes, I'm hooked on JJill Wearever line. More substantial than Chicos and better looking too.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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Any other thoughts on the jacket question? A thin snug fitting jeans jacket is definitely not going to do the trick, since it won't go over layers comfortably; the rain coat is too much of a coat; and the leather jacket is all I have left. I guess I could go buy a jacket...another thing to add to the 'to do' list. aargh!
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Mar 11th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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I would toss in the sandals you mention as a 3rd pair of shoes (wear on the plane whichever of the three is bulkiest or heaviest). It's nice to have something to wear around the hotel or on a short errand besides your two other basic pairs.

I would not buy a new jacket for a trip. Wear the leather jacket on the plane, if you think that would be the most versatile and the best thing that you already own.
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Mar 11th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Carry a few fabric softener sheets, or put them into the vacuum sealed bag IF your clothes smell too plasticy from the bags.

It does happen, but a fabric softener sheet goes a long way to helping keep that plastic smell down.

I also always carry a fold down duffle. Fits into a little pouch, mine is Samsonite, and I got it for free as a promotion.

That way, when it's time to come home, and I've added to my luggage, wahoo, I have a way to put more stuff in and check my wheeled carry one, and carry the duffel as my one carry on piece.
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Mar 11th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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You might try the Coldwater Creek travel line or City Knits on QVC.
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Mar 11th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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I bought those travel storage bags from Bed Bath and Beyond. Unlike the regular ones for bulky items like comforters, these can't use a vacuum to pull out the air - you are supposed to roll it out. For me, they just didn't work at all, and the box is waiting to be returned. In the past I've had success in organizing my suitcases (and my kids' stuff for college and camp) by using ziplock style storage bags - one bag for undies, one for light weight tees, one for socks, etc. Of course, I wasn't trying to cram 2 weeks of clothes into one small suitcase, but still it enabled me to find what I need in a hurry, unpack and repack easily, and you can push out much of the air and flatten them down.
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Mar 11th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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I use ziplocks as well. Just normal kitchen ones. But do be careful, the first time I used this method my suitcase came out VERY heavy. Because you can get more items into the same amount of space, when compressed by ziplock bags.
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Mar 11th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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We are leaving in 6 days and I am also trying to do just carry-on so I am loving all these tips! Thank you all!
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Mar 11th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Mar 11th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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I have found the CityKnits from QVC too clingy.
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Mar 11th, 2008, 08:46 PM
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I love clothes but I never overpack. But I have never tried to just take a carryon bag either.

For any trip a week or more, and several to Italy for two months, I pack a good selection for one week. When clothes have needed cleaning I either hand wash in the bathroom sink, or take to a laundry that does the washing and drying or a dry cleaners.

As far as shoes I always have three (one worn on the plane of course) plus a pair of flipflops that can be used as slippers or by a pool or even for a quick run to a cafe for coffee early in the morning.

I always have some kind of outwear which I wear on to the plane. I store it in the overhead bin but it also comes in handy if I get cold during the flight which usually happens.

A twin sweater set makes a lot of combinations. And cashmere is wonderful, it is warm when it is cold and comfortable when the weather is warmer. Cashmere is very light weight for packing also.
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Mar 12th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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A jacket suggestion -- This past year on a ten day trip to Paris and parts of Switzerland (and a similar trip to London and Edinburgh) I had a corduroy jacket that I wore almost everyday. It is fitted so it looks nicer than a casual denim jacket but I bought it one size larger so that I could put some layers underneath.

We are leaving for Italy a week from tomorrow so I am loving this conversation!
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