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Packing Recommendations for a Spring Trip to Portugal

September 11, 2023

Now that I finally posted about our Spring Break trip to Portugal, I wanted to share some packing recommendations for a getaway there that time of year.  Shoulder seasons can be tricky, since temps can vary quite a bit from day to evening, requiring pieces to accommodate for that.  I actually searched for packing tips myself ahead of our trip and found some to be helpful, so I wanted to round up my own suggestions for the types of items I found most useful for our city (Lisbon) and beachy (Lagos) spring travels. Here they are:



1. White Sneaks
I can’t stress enough how essential sneakers are, especially in Lisbon where there’s a lot of up and down walking, a lot of it on cobblestone paths, which can be slippery from wear.  Everyone seemed to be wearing white sneakers, including with dresses, which I think is such a great trend. Not to mention they go with everything.  Stan Smiths are a classic, New Balance 327s are popular right now, I can vouch that Nike Daybreaks are super comfortable, and Vejas are everywhere in Europe.



2. Denim button-down
I’ve actually had  a shirt very similar to this for years and  almost always pack it when I travel.  It really came in handy on this trip to throw on when the mostly warm weather got a little chilly in the evenings and occasionally during the day if we were on a windy coast. It’s like a lighter denim jacket and goes with most outfits.  I even knotted the ends to make it look more like a jacket to wear over a dress one evening.  I bought mine a size up so it’s a little easier to wear over other tops.  More options here (love the long cuffs)  and here.



3. “Mid” Sweater or Packable Jacket 
A few evenings we were there were fairly chilly, including the one we were outside a few hours for the futbol match.  A medium-weight (or “mid” as I just made up) sweater or light jacket is good to have for these occasions. I like the CashSoft from Gap — they really are soft and a perfect weight. This cardigan can be worn open or buttoned, depending on the temps or just the look you like.   I also brought a light packable puffer similar to this one since it squishes up into a neat, small pocket that I’ve also used as a travel pillow.



4. Suit for Spring Swims
Temps were in the high 70s/low 80s during the day throughout our whole Portugal trip, so we enjoyed pool and beach time while we were in Lagos, a beach town in the Algarve region on Portugal’s southern coast .  I brought a couple of bikinis (my Greece packing list explains why I prefer them over one piece suits), but if you like one pieces, this is a great, sleek classic. The same brand also has pretty bikinis.



5. Fave Jeans
As mentioned, it can get chilly at night, plus jeans are always a staple for city wear (though we also wore them in beach towns).  A lightweight pair like these would be a good pick (so cute, too…now I wish I’d had them when we were there).  This slouchy pair make my list, too. Or just bring a favorite pair that you already own.



6. Comfy Pants
With so much walking around, plus time in both a big city and a beach town, I brought pants kind of like these that were loose and light, that could be worn in a variety of ways.  And how fun are these that could be worn daytime in the city, dressed up for evening, and even over a swimsuit?



7. Shorts w/Pockets
It was always warm enough for shorts during the day, and it’s so nice to have bare legs when you know it’s not quite warm enough for them back home,  I recommend shorts with pockets, because it’s nice to easily stash tickets or euros.  Pockets with zippers, like these, are even better, so you don’t lose anything — I have the patterned pair and love them — they’re fun, flattering, and currently on sale!



8. Versatile Dress
An easy, comfortable dress can work for so many scenarios.  In Lisbon, wear it during the day with sneakers or in the evening with the button-down shirt or sweater on top.  In the Algarve, it’s perfect with sandals for hanging around or even as a cover-up. I recommended something unfussy, like this basic dress that looks great with sneakers and sandals or this pretty one that I included in the Greece packing list — I packed a similar one for Portugal  (that I bought in Greece) .  I also brought one that looks just like this simple, but very cute maxi that works for day and evening.



10. Small Crossbody Bag
A recommendation for every packing list, though I guess it’s not something you really pack, but rather bring along — and use pretty much at all times.  Perfect size for carrying all the essentials like a wallet, phone, glasses, and lip gloss. And it sits close to you when worn cross body.  I adore the classic lululemon, and gave my mom this one, which she loved for her trip to Paris. I’ve recommended this budget option before, too.


11.  Sandals (for Lots of Walking)
As I mentioned in the sneaker rec, my Birks were not a good choice for Lisbon, but they were great in Lagos, where walking around towns was much more casual and flatter than in the city. I have and love this pair — they are as comfy as Birks can be and the braided strap adds a little something. If you’re not a fan, this comfort brand has  many cute options. I also like to bring my Chacos for a place like Lagos, where there’s water and/or light hiking  involved because they’re great for the environ and lots of walking, and can handle varying terrain.


Have you been to Portugal in the spring? What would you add to the list?


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