I way overpacked for our trip to Greece. I’m usually a practical packer, but I had this idea that bringing half my wardrobe and having a lot of options would feel so luxurious (and it kind of did), plus I didn’t want to have to think too hard about what to bring… so I just brought it all! I even bought a new gigantic suitcase, which became quite the joke for our family. So, even though it was slightly annoying — like, because of my ridiculously huge bag, we almost couldn’t fit our luggage and us in our small rental cars — it gave us some good laughs. I actually wore a lot of what I brought, but because we had washing machines in our Airbnbs, I definitely could have packed much less. That said, these are the items I used most and/or highly recommend for a summer trip to the Greek islands:
1. Bikini. Everyone wears bikinis in Europe, women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, which I think is fantastic. They are also so much more comfortable than one pieces, in my opinion! And I like that they aren’t annoying to wear under clothing, since it’s not much different than wearing a bra and underwear. Bring a couple, since they’re small and easy to pack.
2. Breezy Button Down. A linen shirt or something light and airy that can be worn as a coverup, open or knotted over an outfit, or just as a blouse with pants or shorts will get a lot of use. (Another linen option, plus this one, and a pretty gauze.)
3. Flowy Dress. A simple, pretty cotton, gauze, or some other light material dress is perfect island vacation wear. They’re so nice to throw on after a beach day, to hang out and stroll around, and for an evening out. Bring a couple (or even more). More options: This one, this one, and this one.
4. Belt Bag. Great for travel because they stay close to your body and are just large enough to hold everything you need — small wallet, phone, sunglass, readers (for those of us who can’t see menus without them anymore), and lip gloss. I actually bought mine for the trip, but use it all the time now. (Here is a similar, less expensive one.)
5. Sporty Sandals. I love Chacos for their good arch support and always bring them with me on trips. They are perfect for the beach and water recreation, but also sturdy and comfortable for walking around in all day. I have even hiked in them. Of course, you may prefer other brands.
7. Cute (but comfy) Sandals. A pair of comfortable (but still cute) sandals for both evenings and daytime are a must. There can be a lot of walking, sometimes up and down stairs, and the stone paths in the old towns can get a little slippery, being worn smooth from centuries of people walking on them. I love Birks, but I know not everyone does… these are a little more style-elevated. And if you like a heel, make it a wedge.
8. Lightweight Pants. I often bring two pairs of pants when I travel to a warm-weather destination, one a more athletic style like these that I’ll also wear on the plane and for any outdoor recreation, plus a cuter pair that I can wear day or evening. Like a flowy dress, a lighter material is perfect for the weather and breezy vibe. Jeans feel too heavy for island wear.
9. Cute Athletic Shorts. This might seem like a weird one, but the right pair can do triple duty…for exercise, over a bathing suit since they’re quick drying, and to wear as an outfit with a pretty top. (I brought shorts very similar to the linked pair.)
10. Sneakers. Always good to have a pair of sneakers for any recreation that might require them (like the hike we did), for exercise, and just for walking around a lot. I always wear mine on the plane, so they don’t take up too much space in my luggage.
Have you been to Greece? What would you add to the list?
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