Packing for Croatia (23 days Sept-Oct)

Aug 21st, 2015, 10:30 AM
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Posts: 464
Packing for Croatia (23 days Sept-Oct)

I always bring way too many clothes when I travel, but for an upcoming trip to Croatia (leaving Sept 21 for 23 days) I want to Pack Smart!
I need big time help!
My first dilemma was shoes. Rick Steve's books say bring one pair of shoes. Really? What kind of shoes would I bring for those times I wear a dress? And we want to do mild-moderate hiking as well, and I anticipate doing a lot of walking down cobblestoned streets or the like…. and if we do any water activities, I think I read somewhere where water shoes are recommended.
I am 5.4 and plan to bring mostly capri and long pants. When I wear shoes such as sneakers or something other than a a low-cut shoe (or flip flops), my legs look ridiculous - clunky…
So I bought some beautiful leather ballet shoes (Tiegs?) to try and they are really cute, but they're completely flat, and I think I need some kind of heel to do all day walking. My lower back got that old familiar ache after a day of walking in them to test them out.
I also bought a pair of Go Walkers. They seem like they'll be "ok", even though they are not low cut, they may be passable with dresses since they're a light color. I have a high instep, and shoes that come up too high sometimes really bother that bone on top of my foot. With the Go Walkers, I can "feel" the fabric there when I put them on so I'm not sure if they'll work out. (Maybe moleskin will help).
As for pants.. I've been hoping to find some really comfortable wash and wear (wash in the sink and they'll be dry in the morning) pants and capris that are no wrinkle, hopefully. I don't like really WIDE legs, but I don't want leggings either…. flat waistbands work best for me - no bulk at the waist, more flattering.
Are pants and capris what I should bring to Croatia for late Sept early Oct? No shorts, right? Would it be mostly capris? How many pair of each would you suggest?
I tried a pair of Lucy's Walkabout Capris in Small but the legs were a little wide, the pants a little too long and the rise (14 1/2 back rise, 9 1/2 front rise) was a little too short, surprisingly, so I think I will have to return them.
I never tuck my shirts in and I never wear shirts with collars, and my shirts I like on the little bit of the longer side, to cover my hips and fanny… Can anyone recommend a website where I might find cute shirts that are again, wash and air dry?
Any other suggestions for packing for this trip?
I understand that there are probably lodgings without elevators, so we should be able to handle our bags easily… and getting off and on busses and trains will be so much easier if we can limit the size and weights of our suitcases, and I really want to do it this time.
Another thing that seems to take up a lot of room and space in my bags are just the toiletries themselves! I have problem hair and use special shampoos conditioners and masques in addition to serums and stuff like that to try to quell the frizzes.. then theres the sun tan lotion, moisturizers (face and body), electric toothbrush, toothpaste, q tips, sleep mask, vitamins, ear plugs and sleep sound machine (my son brought a sound machine to Italy last year and though he used an electrical adapter, he said it smoked, and I'm not sure if it killed the machine, but now I'm wondering if mine will be safe? (and extension cords)…
Books to read. Hiking shoes?
Can someone help me? I know I need it. I envy those who can do it so simply. I have many clothes, so you'd think I could pull together a few outfits easily, however many aren't the kind I can wash by hand and that will dry overnight… they're heavier, and take up too much room in a suitcase… I feel like "travel clothes" are in order, and that I have to buy a few outfits.
I do know it's best to select a color scheme, say black and white or brown and white, and stick with it the whole trip and have everything coordinate with everything… the sweater for the dress should also be the sweater for the pants and top….
I find it all overwhelming.
Tips on suitcases and carry ons would be helpful too… backpacks even…
I'll take any help I can get because I'm not sure where to even start.
Thank you!
teadrinker is offline  
Aug 21st, 2015, 12:05 PM
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Ok, let's get started: Luggage: You should definitely be able to get all the necessary clothing into a 21-22" Lucas suitcase; about $50 from TJMaxx/Marshalls. Cosmetics: If you have crazy hair, then I understand about bringing travel sized products; check the brand's website, I love Phyto and they offer some from Sephora online only. But all your hotels will supply shampoo, body lotion, soap. I am bringing "products" for blowing out (hairdryers will be supplied but you may want your favorite brush). You've got to cut out the sound machine; perhaps Bose headset will suffice, then you get your music and can wear them at night if in a noisy place (always bring those silicone earplugs!). Weed out everything from your cosmetics and ask yourself the likliehood of using it. If only 25% do not bring, buy it! (e.g., first aid items, bandaids). For daily uses on our 4-wk trip, we will buy saline and toothpaste, sunscreen in France. Clothing: I am packing 4 prs of shoes; one Teva leather sandals, one pr leather ballets, one pr Skecher GoWalk2, one pr FitFlops; am wearing another pair. I need to change my shoes from day/night and for next day; plus if they're soaked they'll need to dry. Note the pairs am packing are extremely lightweight & flexible, yes, I weigh them & choose accordingly. As for clothing, I can pack 5 pairs slacks, at least 12 tops(3 longsleeve, 3 short or 3/4, and 3 tanks at minimum), one merino cardigan, two silk coverups, one cotton caftan robe/coverup, 2 maxidresses, plus underwear and smaller night purse in my expanded 21". I bring one pair of zip-off black Mountain Hardware pants; am wearing a Magellan black jacket that converts to vest with 12 internal pockets; am bringing a pack-in-pocket waterproof Marmot shell too. Fabrics are key! I find them kind of everywhere and when I find one that will be perfect, I buy it. Maxidress from Garnet, pants from Eileen Fisher (on sale), REI, TJMaxx, Nordstrom, black tunic & pants from JJill. Online wont give you hint as to fabric though. Everything folds so flat, it just works. Our last trip was 3 years ago to Spain with huge 45# bag and said 'never again.' You can do it!!
aliced is offline  
Aug 21st, 2015, 03:27 PM
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Don't buy "travel clothes", pack from your own closet. Pick out 3-4 outfits that are your favorites like you'd wear on the weekend in similar weather. Take those. You don't need to buy anything new.

Plan to wear your outer clothing more often/longer than you would at home between washings. It's fine.

I take 3 pair of shoes (sneakers on my feet that I use as walking shoes), a pair of sandals or walking shoes, and a pair of flip flops.

I don't take any skirts or dresses, so that solves the shoe problem.

Downsize all your shampoo, conditioner, etc. into 2-3 oz. plastic bottles. That size is enough to last me 3 weeks. I brush with a regular toothbrush when I travel (leave the electric one at home).

That should get you started!

My other best tip is to take everything you are considering packing and lay them out somewhere separately. I use my guest room bed. That way you can see how things go together. I *never* travel with brand new shoes or clothes. Too risky if they don't work out.
suze is online now  
Aug 21st, 2015, 03:51 PM
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I have traveled to Europe for 3+ weeks on a couple of occasions and never pack any differently than I do for a 2 week trip.

Unless you plan to dig ditches or do manual labor on your trip, I don't know why you need wash and dry pants. What you wear at home should work for your trip. I have worn the same pair of pants 5 or more times without washing them and nobody ever said a word because they were doing the same thing.

AS far as shoes, if you can't make the ones for your hiking and/or walking work with a dress, then maybe you don't need to take a dress. Maybe you could just make do with pants or capris.

You don't have to take everything you would normally use at home for a 23 day trip. For the products you really NEED to take, buy small travel containers and transfer from the big containers.

You are making this harder than it is. Take only what you really must HAVE and leave the rest behind.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 21st, 2015, 04:18 PM
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For 3 weeks traveling with average temps in the low 70's F I would pack:

5-7 tops (cotton, silk or linen w/different sleeve lengths)
1 dressier top for evenings out
1 cardigan sweater or lightweight jacket
1 pair shorts
2 pair capris
1 pair nice black pants for evenings out
1 bathing suit & sarong
1 flip flops
1 nice but comfortable sandals
1 sneakers
appropriate underwear, socks for the sneakers
suze is online now  
Aug 21st, 2015, 04:59 PM
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Forget the Tieg ballet shoes. For walking, you need shoes with support. I suppose you could wear the Tiegs at night, but that's just another thing taking up space in your luggage.

Don't bring activity specific shoes (like water shoes) unless you know you're going to use/need them a few times. Bring shoes that will work in multiple situations. Keen and Teva (and perhaps others) make sandals that are good for hiking and water sports. Some basic walking sandals look good enough to wear in the evening. I have some Clarks that I can wear day and night.

The pants at the link below will dry overnight, and they're very comfortable. In black, I think they look good enough to wear to most restaurants for dinner. They're offered in petite sizes if that works better for you.

Generally, when traveling, I've learned to think less about how I look and more about how I feel.
Jean is offline  
Aug 21st, 2015, 08:16 PM
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I would NEVER travel with just one pair of shoes! (1) I want to wear different pairs of shoes on alternate days so they hit different parts of my feet and (2) I want to engage in activities that range from hiking to fine dining.

Do your best to select a very small set of coordinated pieces. That doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING needs to coordinate with EVERYTHING, but that the core pieces work with each other. Try to take things that can be dressed up or down with just a scarf or small, lightweight piece of jewelry or whatever.

Try to keep the toiletries down. Think of it as liberating to be able to walk around with frizzy hair, etc. ;-)

I actually prefer skirts to slacks, so I usually take 2 pairs of slacks (one of which I wear for the flight) and 2 or 3 skirts, depending on whether I’m going for 3 weeks or 4 weeks. BUT I’ve also done slacks-only trips (4 pair, in that case) when that better suited my plans.

Do seriously consider skipping the sleep sound machine – you’ll probably be so exhausted at the end of each day that you’ll sleep no matter what! At most, take just a pair of earplugs.

I still take at least one hard-copy guidebook (with excess pages ripped out -- even though I hate doing that!), but otherwise, I rely on an e-reader for all reading (including at least two other guidebooks).

Pay attention to the good advice you’ve already gotten, and then make choices based on your own comfort level and needs.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2015, 01:10 PM
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Oh my goodness, this is all sooooo helpful…. I will read and take notes - and ask more questions, I'm sure! Thank you soooo much!
teadrinker is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2015, 01:35 PM
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I would take a thin rain jacket; it can rain. Layer under this as the weather demands.

In warmer weather I take 2 pairs of shoes, one pair of walking sandals appropriate for a nice-ish restaurant and one pair of closed walking shoes. In your case the latter would be sneakers. And, yes, skip the skirts, also the shorts. And I'd not bring a swimsuit. It's getting cooler by October, past beach weather.

Just like making an itinerary, packing for a trip requires omitting some things that you really want to see/bring.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2015, 02:00 PM
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We leave on Tuesday night - Rome to Split with a one night sleep-over and then on to Dubrovnik. It took me most of the day to organize the meds and toiletries. Good thing some were already in place from our last trip.

I will be starting packing the clothing tomorrow. Lots of great advice here. I have decided I need to take less than I usually do for trips. So, tomorrow will be a challenge for me.

Sorry I can't help with what to pack. However, I do wish you a wonderful trip to Croatia!
Marianna is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2015, 06:07 PM
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Hope you both write trip reports when you return!!
bettyk is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2015, 08:14 AM
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I wouldn't bring the sound machine. Actually I travel with zero electronics myself.

I bring a bathing suit because I love to swim. Not necessarily at the beach but if any of your hotels offer a pool.

For my carry-on tote I use something on the plane that is also suitable for every day use on the trip. A small daypack works well.

Books, unless it's a beach vacation staying in one place for a week or two, I find I don't really read that much when I travel. So 1-2 paperbacks would do me.
suze is online now  
Sep 2nd, 2015, 12:07 PM
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Hello! I just returned home from an 8-week galavanting summer trip to three different places, the last one we lost Internet, so I was unable to get online to read my post…. I really appreciate all your help…. not sure if anyone's still around to help but I could still use it now that I'm home and need to start focusing in on packing.
Is there a suitcase size or name that I should start with? I know the trains or small planes have certain size requirements… and how about the daypack or carry on?
Any brand name suggestions?
Is there a reason I can't bring a sound machine other than that it's just another THING and they're kind of heavyish to pack?
I bring it to ward off the snoring thing which can happen at times with my bed partner…. earplugs + sound machine (with the sound machine on the bed between us) can be a life-saver… hmmmmm Someone said that theirs "smoked" even though they were using a converter and I don't understand that at all..
Thank you!
teadrinker is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Since I lost Internet and subsequently was unable to keep this post active, I started a new thread here
teadrinker is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2015, 01:32 PM
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Here's your other thread. I already posted my suggested packing list for you above.

For footwear you want comfortable! For me that would be a pair of sneakers for walking (wear on the plane because they are the most bulky), a pair of comfortable but reasonably attractive sandals, and a pair of flip flops. Don't take brand new shoes, recipe for disaster.

You asked: <>

I would buy a 22" rolling suitcase that is both lightweight and reasonably sturdy. Make sure it has good wheels and zippers. Name brand does not matter. I always by mine at TJ Maxx for ~$50. In addition to this I would carry one small daypack or large purse/tote. Again brand is not important, just make sure it's comfortable for you to carry. Book bags/daypacks like kids use for school work OK.
suze is online now  
Sep 2nd, 2015, 06:27 PM
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Agree that I don;t get this "travel clothes" thing. I may bring 1 or 2 new items if I'm going to need them anyway - but that's it. And NEVER bring new or almost new shoes. I always bring shoes that are well broken in - but thinking one pair of shoes is madness. What if they get wet in the rain? They'll still be wet the next day. And I don;t do Capris.

Also I make no attempt to stuff everything in a 21" bag. And for some euro airlines you actually need a 19" bag as a carry-on - I would check any airline you plan on using.

For a trip that long I would probably use a 24" wheelie plus a mid size parachute nylon shoulder carry-on.

And packing would include:

Shoes - 3 pair (wear one), 2 comfy walking shoes and one flats or low wedges for going out to dinner
Pants - 5/6 pair plus wear one (no jeans, more lightweight except in winter)
Tops - 6 or 7 that match different pants - mix of long and short sleeve for Sept/Oct
Dinner - 3 or 4 outfits - either dresses or nicer pant suits (silk or linen blend)
Tissue weight rain jacket with hood
Lightweight sweater/jacket for cool nights
All the usual suspects for lingerie/nighties plus very light flip flops for shower/beach/hotel (take enough clean undies for trip unless I know we will be in one place long enough for hotel to do laundry)
Sturdy folding umbrella

This leaves room for packing whatever we may buy.

In carry-on;

Books on Kindle
Phone for email and internet
NO appliances except electric toothbrush
Take minimal toiletries and cosmetics (try what the hotel has except toothpaste and facial moisturizer) - mini size of 2 or 3 basics in case hotel's is not nice
Make-up in small case
Mini medical kit with basic drugs, bandaids, tweezer
One change of clothes in case luggage disappears

Purse is a small size parachute nylon bag with shoulder strap that holds everything you need for the day including water bottle and folds into carry-on for the flights.

The hotels we stay in generally have very nice toiletries and always have a hair dryer. And if you need something specific - you aren't in the middle of the Sahara.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2015, 10:06 AM
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Are you planning to try to carry-on only the entire trip? Even your transatlantic flight? Or you will check your suitcase when you can?
suze is online now  
Sep 5th, 2015, 08:05 PM
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Suze and nytraveler - thanks so much! I wrote down your packing list, and I think it's interesting that you say NOT to bring a pocketbook!!! OK! Just a day pack… I bought an outlander day pack… I hope it has shoulder straps (it should!)
I will check my little bag 22 - 23, 24" whatever I decide to use 0r buy.. still need to figure that out.
What's been mind boggling for me right now are the shoes! Walking shoes, because all I wear that's comfortable, seriously, are reef flip flops, or Clark boots or Gucci loafers (the latter being wintertime).
Croatia at the time we'll be there has temps maybe around 67-degrees, not exactly flip flop weather, besides, I used to be able to walk for hours in my flip flops but in the past couple years, I get low back aches, so it's time to figure out what to do about this, and I've been really trying hard to find shoes I can wear with wide bell bottom capris. I don't even own a pair of walking sneakers! I have running shoes but I don't like walking in them and besides they look so clunky - gross!
So I've been trying Mephisto sandals, croc sandals (water proof), Dr Scholls and lots of other shoes. I think the Dr. Scholls are winning out. Even though they're pull on loafer types (TJ Maxx!), they are wicked comfy! And I think they might even look kind of cute with a dress for some weird reason.
Thanks for your constant help. I really appreciate your sticking with me!
teadrinker is offline  
Sep 6th, 2015, 07:51 AM
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Wait a second, I didn't mean that. In fact I do take a purse when I travel. I just take my regular every day pocketbook that I use at home. Nothing special for travel.
suze is online now  
Sep 7th, 2015, 10:28 AM
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Okay, Suze… darn.. I was thinking that'd be great not to have to bring a pocketbook!
teadrinker is offline  

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