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Packing light for Iceland, London, Paris and Amsterdam

Packing light for Iceland, London, Paris and Amsterdam

Feb 27th, 2005, 08:26 PM
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Packing light for Iceland, London, Paris and Amsterdam

We are flying to London via Iceland and will be staying in Iceland for three days. Then on to London, Paris and Amsterdam. We will be traveling for 25 days. I have a 22 inch Eagle Creek wheeled backback, my son has a 22 inch back pack. What do we pack so that we are warm in Iceland but not too warm everywhere else? I am a die-hard pack light fan. Any suggestions?
BabsB is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 08:47 PM
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Layers, baby!
Your son, of course, can wear clothes he'd wear at home [the States, I assume?] but you probably don't want to stick out as a 'Yankee.'
May I reccomend:
1 knee length skirt, knee-high boots [relatively comfortable ones, of course], a few tops, leather jacket, pants [slacks or dark, nicer jeans], nice looking sandals [they need not be kitten heels, but they'd better not be flip flops! Birks or Docs are probably fine]
-I'd go with darker denim for the skirt--it's functional, warmer, and you can wear it more than once before washing.
Good luck on your adventure, it sounds really fun!
Plutarch is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 09:04 PM
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Hi Plutarch, Layers are the solution. I did not mention before that we will be traveling in July and August. I understand that the average temp in Iceland will be about 50 to 55. Not sure about London, Paris and Amsterdam. I'm thinking we will need everything from a coat/rain jacket to possibly shorts/capris. A leather jacket is a good idea but I would like a hood in case in rains. Barbara
BabsB is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 10:32 PM
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Hi Babs,

We're doing an Iceland stopover for 2 nights on our way to Frankfurt! I have been wondering the same thing about clothes.

We'll be in Germany and Switzerland, so I'm figuring we'll need to bring a warm coat/jacket along with at least one warm outfit for the Iceland and high Alps part of our journey.

We are a family of four, 2 teens ages 18 and 16. We are accustomed to using public transportation and so we normally don't check our bags. This trip will be a challenge since we're covering two climate zones! I'll be following this thread to see if others have good ideas.

BTW, I travel with comfortable clothes, don't even own leather jacket, knee length skirt or boots. Last trip to Europe I only had one pair of shoes. I know, though, this time I'll need two. But I realize my style isn't for everyone!
DeeDee is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Most definitely buy silk-like long underwear (male and female) such as "Cuddleduds"(female) or from REI or such. I imagine skiers would use similar. I travel in March/April and Sept/Oct and never leave without the Cuddleduds. Don't always use both pieces but they definitely cut the chill.
Travelnut is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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You're on the route we took a few years ago, BabsB. Only we didn't do an Iceland stopover.

I've never gotten the hang of 'packing light,' tho I know it's the best way to go. And am currently challenged by the thought of packing for a two-climate, 3-week trip in late August/early Sept. that will take us from Boston to London (5 days) and then a North Atlantic crossing back to Boston (formalwear!! nice shoes!! Oy!) So I'll be keeping watch for tips here.
tuckerdc is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Layers n' longjohns.
Edward2005 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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Since 22 of your days will be in warmer climates, I would figure out what you need for them-- I would guess a lot of short sleeves and lightweight pants/skirts, and the obligatory rian gear. Since you will only have three days in Iceland, you can probably get away with one pair of pants, layer a longsleeve shirt over a short sleeve one, and if your rain gear is windproof, you may be able to get away with that, or a sweater/fleece.
Just my thoughts, HTH.
jonesie is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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I'm not sure where you're from, but most people do not need long underwear in 50-55 degree weather, so unless you're from the rainforest I'd leave those at home. A fleece type pullover under a raincoat--either of which you can wear alone if need be, would be enough for me, even with a short-sleeved shirt underneath.

As a 48-year-old woman I would not take shorts--for many reasons---for everyday, but might take one pair for down-time at the hotel, to wear as extra p.j.s, etc., or as a coverup for a bathing suit if you'll be swimming. I would think capri's would be your best bet, maybe a couple of the same type in khaki and olive, if you wear those colors, and a wrap-type skirt that hides culottes underneath can be very useful. A variety of 5 "tops," ranging from tanks to short-sleeved camp shirts, that will go with all "bottoms." One packable jersey dress that will go with nice sandals, a pair of walking shoes and the requisite socks and undies and pjs. I would plan on doing (or sending out, our big splurge) your laundry at least once and possibly twice. Basic jewelry that you would wear every day (if you do that), a couple of extra pairs of earrings (esp. to go with the dress). Scarves in the summer can be too hot during the day, but I'd pack one (or buy one in Paris) for the dress. I wear headbands, and use them to accessorize also.

Side-zip, black or cream colored dressy capris in a linen-looking blend of cotton and rayon (wrinkles less) with a pretty twinset (wear the sleeveless, cardigan around your shoulders), nice sandals, good earrings and a string of pearls will get you almost anywhere if you don't want to take a dress. And I don't wear denim in the summer--it's too hot for me.

You do not mention your son's age, but if he is between the ages of 2 and 28 he could probably just wear what he does at home--shorts, tee shirts (maybe bring his nicest ones), a pullover and rain jacket with hood. He should bring one pair of khaki pants and a shirt/tie if you're planning to go out to a restaurant with a dress code, but otherwise a nice polo type shirt will get him in most places. I'd bring at least two of those, especially if you're planning to attend any church services while traveling.
kswl is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Thank you for all your replies. I have been shopping and found two Columbia jackets on sale for 60% off. They have a waterproof outer layer with hood and a zip-out fleece liner that you can wear on its own. I think they are perfect for our trip as we have three different ways to wear it depending on temperature and rain. I may look into long johns for me but my 17 year old son is hot-blooded and won't wear them. (You know the type, t-shirt in 50 degree weather!)

Dee Dee - When are you going to be in Iceland? Have you found a hotel yet?

kswl - Capris are a great idea. I'm not too keen on shorts unless its over 100 degrees and I don't expect will see those temperatures except for the day we leave and arrive back home in Sacramento CA! Now, all I have to do is try and talk my son into a shirt and tie. LOL!

Jonesie - I think you have hit the solution. Take one outfit for colder weather and then layer our new coats and fleece liners over them.

Thanks to everyone for such great ideas. I appreciate it.
BabsB is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:59 PM
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You don't say what time of year this trip is. Summertime? If so I'd wear some fleece vest/jacket and layers for the Iceland part and mail them home before continuing your trip.
suze is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:09 PM
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BabsB: We will be in Iceland on June 5th for 2 nights.

We have booked an apartment at Room with a View, highly recommended on this site.

How about you?
DeeDee is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Been to Iceland a few times - you'd be sweating horribly in the summer and long johns. Iceland is not really that cold, it's just mild when it comes to the temperature. (I've been there when it was 75 degress in May) What is of much more concern is the wind. The lined jacket is exactly what you want because you can configure it as needed. If it's waterproof, then it's probably good for the wind as well which is what you want.

Otherwise I wouldn't think you need anything else for the cold days. Putting a lined coat over what ever else you've got will do just fine, even if it's something fairly light.
sneezey is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:37 PM
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We will be there July 12 and 13th. I have had email correspondence with Arni at Room with a View but unfortunately he did not availability for these dates. That's why I asked where you were staying. I will probably go back to Icelandair and make reservations as it appears they offer the rooms at a discount. Other than that we plan on wandering around Reykavik (sp?) the first evening there. Taking the circle tour the next day and then going to the Blue Lagoon the next day before we fly out. How about you?
BabsB is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Did you ask Arni to put your name on a cancellation list? If he'll do that, I think that would be a good approach. Then you can book another hotel and cancel if Arni comes up with an apt. for you.

We want to do the Golden Circle tour and visit Blue Lagoon, too. Will do the circle tour on our full day. May do Blue Lagoon on first or last day?? We are coming from the West Coast so jet lag has to be factored in.

We're debating whether to take the bus tour or rent a car. There's another thread that I have posted to about Iceland and AlF made some helpful comments about sightseeing on Iceland. He also has pics posted. Try to find the thread by clicking on my name. I think you'd find the info helpful.

My son is 16 and he is so excited about Iceland! Since I'll be there first, I have to post a trip report for you.
DeeDee is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Hi Dee Dee
Sounds like we have pretty much the same game plan going. My 17 year old son is pretty jazzed about all this, except he wants to spend a week and do all of the ice stuff like snowmobiling etc. We watched the Amazing Race and he is raring to go! I'm afraid mom would rather soak in the Blue Lagoon! I briefly thought about renting a car, but I think they drive on the opposite side of the road there, do you know? Are you flying out of San Francisco? We are....
BabsB is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:51 PM
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We're flying out of SF, too!

Icelandic Air had a special introductory fare from SFO and I had been watching fares for months. So, we jumped at the chance to travel via Iceland.

I don't think they drive on the opposite side of the road in Iceland. But, I'm sure if I'm wrong on that, someone will let me know.

There's four of us, so the car rental option probably will save us money. I much prefer not having to navigate unfamiliar roads, but with AlF's comment about the bus tour stopping at souvenir places, etc., we may rent one this trip.

Doesn't the Blue Lagoon look heavenly!

DeeDee is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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A few more suggestions.

1) Gloves. I miscalculated on a trip to New Zealand in Nov-Dec a year ago. I thought it would be warmer. My standard black fleece zip-up plus black Nike running shell worked well most of the time (sporty enough for the sporty days, acceptable for city wear because understated). But when I got to Dunedin (toward the Southern end of the S. Island), I had to break down and buy gloves. When added to the fleece, jacket and my pashmina, the gloves seemed to make all the difference. And they take up almost no space. Bring a pair of polar fleece gloves.

2) Pashmina (or 2). I can't travel without them. Use them as lightweight blankets on the plane (especially around your face and shoulders; avoid airplane blankets, except for your bottom half), wrap them around your neck as a scarf if you're cold, wear them as shawls whenever you're cool.

3) How wet is it in Iceland at that time of year? If rain is frequent, make sure you have two pairs of comfortable walking shoes (one waterproof). Also, some woolly socks can warm you up considerably.
Kate_W is offline  
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