Coffee Talk 07.09.23

outfit details

Good morning! We made it home from the beach yesterday by 10AM, and it was nice to have the whole day to unpack and reorganize. In fact, I spent most of the day trying to figure out what I want to pack for Italy.

The next 10 days are going to be a blur with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Prime Day, and catching up on all the things I put off while I was away at the beach. I have a hard time juggling a lot of big projects at once, so I wanted to focus on that while I had a few hours to breathe, and while my last trip is fresh on my mind.

There are so many things I want to remember to bring, and I’ve been making notes for months, but I need to organize it all into one big Packing/To Do List. And not only do I have to make sure I have what I need, but I need to think about what the kids need, as well. We’re all virgin international travelers (except for Paul) so it all seems rather daunting at this point, but I’m sure it will all work out.

I do need to think about ordering whatever hair tool(s) I need that will be compatible with the outlets over there. I was thinking our hotels should have hair dryers, so I really just need a flat iron. Is that a good plan? Plus, hair dryers, even travel sizes, take up a lot of room in the suitcase. If you have a good flat iron recommendation, let me know!

I pulled out all the clothes (mostly dresses) and shoes I’m thinking of bringing, and hung them all up on one of my rolling racks. And because I know someone will ask, I linked them all below. I may not bring all of these, but I think I could use them all, especially if I don’t want to have to do a lot of hand-washing in the sink. The shoes on top are definites, and the ones on the floor are maybes.

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // top // shorts // wrap // shirt

Then I started trying everything on, complete with shoe/bag/topper options, and quickly realized that I don’t really like how the shoes and bags are coming together.

I know not everything has to match when you’re sight-seeing, but since I’m bringing a limited number of shoes/bags, it should be pretty easy to find coordinating sets… or so you’d think. But the Lo & Sons Pearl (that was going to be my day bag) and the Naot Dorith in Gold Threads Leather (that were going to be my primary pair of sandals) don’t look very good together.

I also want to bring one other pair of shoes that is dressier that I can wear to dinners. The Naot sandals look way too Earth Mama to wear with the more sophisticated dresses, and after a long day of walking, it’s nice to change footwear. And while the Lo & Sons bag does have a shorter strap that makes it more evening-appropriate, the color doesn’t go with my dressier shoe options either.

The dressier option can be flats or wedge sandals, but I can’t seem to find one pair in my closet that I does everything I want them to do… The ones on the floor are the options I’m considering. All that to say, I’ve ordered a few other options to try.

When I started planning this trip, I was thinking I would check my fashion blogger hat at the door and be completely practical and pack only for efficiency. But now that it’s down to the wire, I know that I will regret it if I don’t bring a couple of complete outfits that are totally me, and I feel are worth photographing in Italy, even if it’s just with my iPhone. So I do plan to bring an additional handbag and dressy pair of shoes I can mix in with my more practical travel capsule. I just need to figure out what they are!

As far as my toppers go, I ordered this travel wrap and this linen button-up shirt, and both are okay, but I don’t know… I don’t really love either, so I just ordered this and this to compare. This Zestt brand was recommended to me by someone in the Italy Travel Facebook Group, and I’m intrigued! Those of you who have traveled to Europe recently, what did you bring to cover your shoulders? And a lot of my dresses are right at or above the knee. Is there anything I can bring to cover my knees in a shorter dress?

My next step is to go through our itinerary and plan an outfit for each event and make sure I have the right style (and amount of coverage) for each. I also need to do a trial run with packing our suitcases, and see if it’s even possible for us all to go COO (carry-on only.)

There are so many sundries we need to bring, in addition to clothes and shoes, that we’re going to need to get creative with how to organize it all if we’re going to stick with that plan. Typically I would like to have it all in my bag(s) so I can control it and keep track for it, but I think I’m going to need to borrow space from the boys. If you’ve done a family trip like this, feel free to give me your best tips.

Okay, clearly you can see where MY head is at this morning! I get easily overwhelmed with organizational tasks, so this afternoon I’m going to sit down and go through my lists (and whatever suggestions you all have for me) and try to come up with a game plan.

In other news, the #NSale starts this week, and I plan to spend Tuesday shopping at the mall. Alison is coming up photograph some complete outfits on Wednesday, and of course I’ll be taking a gazillion mirror selfies and trying to figure out what to keep and what to return, and most importantly, what to recommend to you! It’s always fun, even if we do feel a little underwhelmed by the Preview, and I’m looking forward to it!

If you’re into this sale, be sure you’re signed up for my #NSale Email List. I’ve already been sending exclusive content to those subscribers, and I’ll continue to do so, at least until we leave for our trip.

Have a blessed Sunday, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Join the Conversation

148 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 07.09.23

  1. It is SO HOT in Italy, I almost passed out. Forget the wraps & jackets! Tank tops under linen or cotton blouses. Pack a small power strip and converter plugs and plan to put your hair UP in a ponytail!
    A pair of SKetcher slip on sneakers would be all you need.

    1. Yeah, I’m afraid of the heat, honestly. The wrap was only to cover shoulders for cathedrals. I like the idea of a scarf better. I don’t even think I need the blouse, if I have a scarf.

  2. Jo-Lynne,

    I traveled to the UK 5 years ago. Every hotel had hairdryers. I took a mini flat iron just to smooth out the ends of my hair. My daughter was living in Ireland at the time and she had a power adapter. There were 3 of us trying to use it, so I would recommend for your family that you get several of them. If you forget anything, you can pick it up there, so don’t stress about that. One side note, we used my daughter’s cell phone she bought over there, which didn’t have great service. I didn’t get a SIM card for my iPhone and regretted not spending the extra 30 pound sterling to get one.


    1. Hi! My family of five (3 teens) were in Italy in June. I brought a light, neutral scarf for my shoulders. All the hotels had hairdryers, but it felt like Florida and my hair responded accordingly- frizz that no amount of product or heat could control- so up it went. I brought 3 pairs of shoes but mainly stuck with my Ecco Flash T-Strap sandals and they held up great in the cobblestone streets. And as someone else said, by the 2nd week I was really just wearing my 2 fav outfits. It was a lot of work but I’m so glad we did it- Have fun!

  3. Just spent 18 days in Europe and I kept my wardrobe to black and white with a few color tees. I choose black knit jumpsuit and dresses easy to pack and Tory Burch white sneakers and cloud miller sandals in black and miller sandals in camel for dressy looks. I packed Jean jacket and some lightweight cardigans but rarely needed them as it is HOT. I packed Soma pjs and my barefoot dreams cardigan for morning coffee. We toured an entire country and spent lots of time in car and sightseeing attractions (and eating) so chic and comfy and casual was key. Enjoy Italy! My daughter just spent 4 months there for school!

  4. JoLynne—Here’s my take that I’ll throw out there for your consideration. Since most of your clothes and Pearl purse seem to be in the cool-based color tones, you may want to do the same with your shoe choices. I’m a winter and I will use lighter tone nude shoes and purses, but I also find that silver/pewter options work with my clothes and act as a neutral. The gold metallic and brown shoes in my opinion, don’t work as well with the cool tone gray purse. I even prefer when the metal on handbags are silver rather than gold, but I don’t always have that choice. Even my jewelry is white gold or sterling. I have a hard time mixing warm and cool tones in clothes and accessories——It just seems to throw everything off.
    I would love if you could do a post when you return from your trip, telling us what beauty and other liquid products you packed to fit in a 1 quart size bag per person in order to carry-on your luggage. It’s amazing what they consider liquids—toothpaste, deodorant, mascara, hair products, etc. What do you take and what do you forgo? I wish all products that I use were available in a compact travel size.
    What color is your wrap that you’re taking on your trip?

  5. A round brush and hair dryer are my primary hair tools so I brought my dual voltage travel hair dryer to Europe and I’m happy I did. I guess it depends on your hotel accommodations but in my experience, the hotel hair dryers are hit or miss in quality and often they are “installed” in the bathroom so not ideal when sharing a small space with family members. I prefer being able to style my hair away from the hot, humid shower area. And bringing my own made it easy to share it with my daughters.

      1. We went to Italy in July and it is scorching HOT and humid! You will only want a thin scarf to cover you shoulders. Also comfortable shoes are ALWAYS better on the cobblestone and uneven terrain and many steps! I wore Ecco sandals the entire trip as my feet get hot and sweaty. Use plug in converters for your electronics and chargers. No need to buy new flat irons, etc. 10 days with a carry on is doable. Sure, some sacrifice is needed but I found most hotels to have high end toiletries so I just used what was there as far as shampoo, etc. Your hair will survive 10 days without your normal products. It is so hot in July more than likely you will pull your hair back anyway LOL. Touring during the day tends to not be a fashion show. Haha! One purse is the smarter choice as well. You don’t want to spend time changing out purses and will want to keep a routine as far as where your essential items are in your purse. With all that being said, when traveling international a good motto is Less is More as far as packing. You don’t want to deal with too much stuff! I have been to Europe several times as well as China with a carry-on only. Although challenging to pack light, trust me you’ll want to make your life easy as you travel. Have a great trip!

  6. Boy, just reading through your travel thoughts got me stressed. Lol. Lots to plan and organize. I don’t know how well I’d do with packing for that many days abroad. I don’t like to be limited and if it doesn’t feel like me or fun for putting on for the day of travel then it bothers me too. I think the dresses is going to help a lot…. One and done. If you can get all that into a carry on then you are a master packer. Lol. I hope this afternoon you get it all figured out so your mind can rest. Just pray about it and ask the Lord for calm and that it would all come together for a wonderful trip with your family. He cares about what we do.

  7. Suggest ordering a set of travel outlet converters! And you can Google which is used in each country. That way you can bring what you have. Also suggest travel phone “lipstick” chargers to keep your phones fully charged as you your and take photos, consult guides, etc.

      1. Hi Jolynne,
        I just returned from Rome and a cruise to the Greek Isles. I wrote a post on the Facebook site for suggestions upon returning. In Italy we only went to Rome so can only comment on that city. It’s hot, humid and crowded but expected in summer travel. I went for comfort with my feet. You will be walking 6-7 miles a day in sunshine and very limited air conditioning. I wore a very sheer linen shirt sleeve shirt over tank tops when entering basilicas. Could easily wrap around my waist. So hot I didn’t care how it looked. I only saw one person pulled out of line for wearing a crop top type shirt. Street venders sell light scarfs pretty much everywhere in the city. Travel flat iron and hair dryer were purchased through Amazon that another of your readers recommended. Facebook I think. You will need Italy adapters for phones etc. Life saver was a rechargeable neck fan from Amazon. Everyone thought it was head phones. Especially useful in crowded inside buildings. I used Apple wallet almost everywhere so I didn’t need to pull out a charge card. Have one dollar Euros for bathrooms /toilettes. I too stressed about too many things before I left. No one mentioned the pasta! OMG! Pasta, gelato and wine everyday. I absolutely loved Rome. So much amazing history.

  8. Hi Jo-Lynne,

    I’ve traveled internationally many times (28 countries and counting). You should absolutely buy dual voltage hair tools and any other electronic items. Amazon should have anything you need. I don’t use a flat iron, but I have a great dual voltage hair dryer and curling iron. Just search dual voltage flatiron on Amazon and there should be some choices. I also take a small extension cord, add the proper adaptor for the country I’m in, and then plug it in to any outlet in the room. European bathrooms usually only have “razor plugs” and cannot handle other items like blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, etc. I use the extension cord to plug them in and can then reach a mirror somewhere in the room or bathroom to do my hair. Adaptors with USB plugs also allow your to plug in several items at once. I’ll link similar items to the ones I use below. Some of what I use is no longer available, but there are plenty of other options.

    As for clothing, go for comfort and practicality, with fashion lower on the priority list than at home. That could mean different things for different people. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. I’m leaving for South Africa around the same time as you leave for Italy!

    Btw, I love your blog! Thanks for all the great tips!


    Hot Tools Pro Signature Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer | Lightweight with Professional Blowout Results https://a.co/d/cHBzVbS

    Hot Tools Pro Artist 24K Gold Curling Iron | Long Lasting, Defined Curls (1 in) https://a.co/d/efVFcRp

    European Travel Plug Adapter, TESSAN International Power Plug with 2 USB, Type C Outlet Adaptor Charger for US to Most of Europe EU Iceland Spain Italy France Germany https://a.co/d/edPlRpl

    Unidapt Universal Travel Adapter, International Plug Adapter Fast 2,4A 4-USB European Power Plug, AC Wall Charger – Worldwide Outlet for Europe US USA UK EU AUS, Blue https://a.co/d/cJ38Q1E

  9. I feel your excitement and I am excited for you. Ahhh, we honeymooned in Italy 17 years ago – it’s breathtaking. I am going to play devils advocate for a second and ask – do you need 2 pairs of white tennis shoes? I use some of my husband and sons suitcases to house my things if needed, that’s a solid plan. What bag is your personal item? If you’re worried about modesty (covering your shoulders and knees) I wouldn’t worry about it. People wear whatever they want now-a-days. for warmth, I’d being a light weight sweater or large scarf. It might come in handy on the airplane too. I would suggest some non-chaffing thin shorts under your dresses, especially if you plan to climb to the top of the Duomo in Florence – 17 years ago part of the ascent was on a ladder. I wore a dress that day and my husband walked up after me so I didn’t give everyone a show. Planning a trip like this is so overwhelming for me too, you’re not alone. When I’ve traveled to Europe I found that I wore the same 6 items all the time (jeans, dress, log sleeve shirt, pants, sweater and shoes) but I am not a fashion blogger I just live vicariously through one – you!

    1. I just added the VEJA pair yesterday. I wasn’t planning 2 but I might want an option. I dunno… lol! One pair I will wear on plane. I just don’t care for the sandals very much and thought a “cooler” pair of sneakers may be more practical than a second pair of sandals that aren’t as practical for sightseeing.

  10. Look at Brighton crossbody bags. I’ve enjoyed the Jagger Cross Body Organizer. Not cheap but well made and well designed.

  11. I was just in London, in February.. I totally recommend packing all in one carry on. I called hotel to find out what is provided. I was able to use their blow dryer! I was happy to have one cardigan that went with regular day clothes. And used my dressy coat for evenings. I might recommend a scarf for shoulder coverings in July. And when you mentioned covering your knees have you heard of the slips that have lace at bottom to make a dress longer/modest? I know lace isn’t your style but it would work and be small to pack. I would rather bring less. But you sound like you might be more relaxed if you gave yourself permission to have a suitcase under plane. Also good for bringing home new things!

    1. Yes my biggest concern is fitting all luggage + 5 people into minivans – which we will be using for getting from city to city. I will look into those slips. Wont be pretty, but as long as they let me in! Lol.

  12. Jo-Lynne- Remember wear what you love! You’ll look great! If the purse doesn’t match, don’t carry one!🤣 (Take your pictures without it!)

    1. We went to Italy in July and it is scorching HOT and humid! You will only want a thin scarf to cover you shoulders. Also comfortable shoes are ALWAYS better on the cobblestone and uneven terrain and many steps! I wore Ecco sandals the entire trip as my feet get hot and sweaty. Use plug in converters for your electronics and chargers. No need to buy new flat irons, etc. 10 days with a carry on is doable. Sure, some sacrifice is needed but I found most hotels to have high end toiletries so I just used what was there as far as shampoo, etc. Your hair will survive 10 days without your normal products. It is so hot in July more than likely you will pull your hair back anyway LOL. Touring during the day tends to not be a fashion show. Haha! One purse is the smarter choice as well. You don’t want to spend time changing out purses and will want to keep a routine as far as where your essential items are in your purse. With all that being said, when traveling international a good motto is Less is More as far as packing. You don’t want to deal with too much stuff! I have been to Europe several times as well as China with a carry-on only. Although challenging to pack light, trust me you’ll want to make your life easy as you travel. Have a great trip!

  13. PS. I think looking back on the purse and shoes you are debating about and don’t think they go, you are trying to mix tones. Maybe stick to all cool tones?????

    1. Yes that is definitely the issue. I just can’t find the shoes in a cooler tone or the bag in a warmer one. 🥴 I might have to pick a different bag. Comfortable sandals are harder to find.

      1. The Lo & Sons bag doesn’t match I agree. I say buy a different purse in a warm brown or taupe color. It will match all your clothing choices and look Italian summer chic with all your outfits. Madewell has a really cute woven crossbody bag right now that would be perfect. It comes in two sizes (I have the larger one but you might want the smaller one for sightseeing). Check it out.

  14. Just get a converter and bring your regular flatiron. You can get them on Amazon – find out which one you need for Italy.

      1. Don’t use a converter for hair dryer or flat iron. If it’s not dual voltage, don’t bring it. You might fry it. Some of the newer DryBar brand hair tools are dual voltage. I’m

  15. I always check a bag. I just can’t travel to Europe with a carry on only. So, as far as packing everything in a small carry bag, I have no advice.
    I think a pashmina/wrap is the way to go. You can then cover your shoulders and just have it hang down, not covering the rest of you. It also looks more elegant over your dresses in the evening.

    1. As an avid world traveler, I couldn’t agree more. Just a pashmina/wrap or even a scarf is the way to go. Italy is so hot you don’t want or need sleeves. Wear just enough to cover your shoulders and you’ll be good to go. I also agree that it is elegant in the evening.

      Also, I’d recommend trimming down the shoe options, 3 pairs should be enough- it’s a lot of precious space you’ll be giving over to shoes if your bring more. That said I’d probably only bring one purse too… that way you may have room in your bag for a PURCHASE while you’re there!

  16. How exciting that your trip is coming up so soon! I’m very excited for you, and this new style of adventure you’re going on! If it were me, I think I would return to your check your fashion blogger status at the plane door. Just go and enjoy your trip. You will come away with beautiful photographs that don’t even have to have matching outfits with purses and shoes, etc. I think you will want to take your Lululemon fanny pack because the other options you have shown in this photo all fall away from your body, and I think that that will get tired very very quickly! I also think that you might be a little heavy in your black dress selection here, I’m not sure you will wear all of them, but then again, I’m not sure how long you’ll be gone. So often, even though we have plans to go back to the hotel and change before dinner , what ends up happening is you just eat while you’re out at the end of your day and go back to the hotel and collapse. For skincare I’d pare it down to a bare min and plan on a good facial upon return. I’ve traveled successfully out of country with a dual voltage curling iron from Bio Ionic. I’m certain they also make a flat iron. Glad to see the TB dress in your rack and look forward to seeing it on you!

    1. I imagine that this will be a wildly unpopular opinion, but here goes: I have to agree with the comment about checking your fashion blogger status, but as weird as this will sound, I think that you should check it right now. Before we spent three weeks in France, I stressed about how to fit in and not stand out as a tourist. I read many MANY articles and fashion blogs. After packing carefully and “appropriately”, as it turned out, I still did not fit in. Everyone knew that we were Americans before we even opened our mouths. My French teacher later told me that it was the cut of our clothes. They just weren’t French. Furthermore, who cares? Unlike in your town, no one will know you there or probably ever see you again. I think that you should take what you love and feel comfortable in, and that’s all. I was very surprised at how “normal” people looked in France, even in Paris. I was expecting an entire country of chic people, haha. Nope! They don’t all look like they went to the shows during Paris Fashion Week!! Actually nobody did. I spent way too much time worrying about what to pack, and it turned out that all I really needed were items that were versatile, non-bulky, easy to wash and dry, and above all comfortable. Maybe one nice outfit for dressy dinners, otherwise take what you love and don’t stress. It’s a family vacation and you will remember it forever, but I think that for this one time period, your clothes will turn out to be not very important in the grand scheme of things.

      1. I agree with most everything you said…..bottom line be comfortable and have fun. Last year when traveling, some one in our group had never been to Europe and was trying to pack so she wouldn’t look like a tourist. I had to bite my tongue because pretty much everyone is a tourist where ever you. You’re all doing the same thing during tourist season. I didn’t care that I ended up wearing those jeans several days in a row (cooler climate for us in Northern Europe). When in warmer places and standing in long lines (even with your entry tickets bought before hand) it’s about comfort and looking decent and you’ll end up whipping that hair up off your neck 🙂 Also whenever anyone travels the first time you want and will try to do/see it all everyday (human nature)…..it’s warm temps there……just have fun in the moment. It’s amazing what those drivers can put in a minivan…….lol. they’re used to us Americans and laughing at us probably at us.

      2. The first time I traveled to Europe, I stressed about all of the same stuff. I agree with everything you said. I take so much less than I used to take, and have found that I still have more than enough. Literally, no one cares what you are wearing, and everyone is going to know that you are a tourist anyway, so don’t worry about it. Enjoy the moment and all the wonderful sights!!

  17. Your existing flatiron might work in Europe with just a plug adapter — just look at the fine print on the underside and see if it says “AC 120V – 240V” or has a switch that can be set to to different voltages. Compact travel flatirons are awful— I brought one on my first Europe trip and regretted it! It took forever to do my hair! So if your current one doesn’t work, get a cheap full size one that works at 230V.

  18. I own the Pearl bag in several colors and am currently carrying the ivory shade as my summer bag. It works with both warm and cool-toned shades and has held up incredibly well. Still on sale, too!

  19. I bought a great travel wrap from LOFT years ago and still use it on every flight. Here’s something very similar:
    As someone living in Europe currently and someone who has traveled here with a large-ish family for several years, please just dress comfortably, especially when it comes to footwear. Your opinion of Earth Mama shoes may change after a day of sightseeing and observing what others wear. If your hair straightener is dual voltage you can use it with an adapter. It will say “120-240” or something on it. If it just says 120, don’t bring it. Have a great trip!!

  20. I’m excited for you & totally get the packing anxiety. No matter how much I travel, I always seem to make a few mistakes by bringing something that I never use or something that I don’t really love or feel my best in. I always bring a lightweight cardigan that can work with most all of my clothes & wear it on the plane.

    I bought a “travel” straight iron on Amazon 6 years ago for a Berlin/Paris trip. It worked fine in both countries—and we had adapters as well. I don’t have a link anymore but do remember searching for one that could handle voltage in Europe. It’s not the best straight iron by any means, but it works fine for traveling & is smaller to pack. I used the blow dryers that were provided in my hotel and Air B&B; not the best but just fine for a trip.

    One more suggestion—for some of your toiletries—check ahead of time about what a local pharmacy there may have available, so that you can pick up a few things there (sunscreen, for example ). I’d guess your travel agent or someone in that FB group will know. It might give you a little more space in your 3-1-1 bag if you can pick up things there. If you end up checking a bag, you can bring whatever you’d like but these are just suggestions for carryon only. Good luck & have a fantastic time!

  21. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    You can certainly pack carry on only & you will be happy that you did since even 5 pieces of carry on luggage and 5 personal items take up a lot of space in a vehicle. Planning out an outfit each day/night based on your activities is the best way to do it to avoid taking too much. Take a lightweight scarf/pashmina to cover your shoulders for visiting churches etc. I took a lightweight black maxi skirt and wore that on those days. I could also dress it up for dinner. It’s going to be hot. I honestly wouldn’t worry too much about matching purses/shoes but be a little more practical to have a purse that suits your needs. You will probably be the only one thinking “this doesn’t match”. Shoes are going to take up the most space so I would try to take the lightest ones you can get away with. I also would just use the hotel hair dryer. It was so hot when we went that i almost always wore my hair up. But most of all, just have a fun vacation with your family!

  22. Hey JoLynn! I see your head is swimming this morning with thoughts about your Italy trip! I thought I’d send you some info that may help. About hairdryers, your hotel will have them if you are staying in large American style hotels, but a smaller rural inn may not. Take a look hotel web site for the room amenities to see if hairdryers are listed, or even send an email with your question. Your family will need several adaptors for things like flat irons, razors, etc. I just take my existing hair tools and use an adaptor when I travel.

    My main advice is to BE YOU! Even though you are traveling in a foreign country, you should feel as comfortable and put together as you do at home. The things that are bugging you now, like the Lo & Sons purse, will bother you more when you are there! The first time I did COO, I bought a bunch of clothing that was specifically travel clothing and I felt unattractive and not myself much of the trip because I was dressing like someone I didn’t know. Since then, I wear basically the same type of clothing I’d wear anywhere else and I’ve been much happier. I don’t bring anything I don’t love wearing 100%, especially using COO. On that note, neither of your toppers look like things you’d wear on the daily, so maybe you’d be more comfortable with something else? I did really like the wraps you ordered. and I use that type of thing when I travel myself. If you are looking for something to cover your shoulders during the day, maybe bring a fun, colorful oversized cotton scarf. It will be enough for modesty and not too hot. Also, could you plan to wear one of your longer dresses on days that you know you’ll be visiting somewhere when your knees need to be covered? Then you’ll only need to cover your shoulders.

    I am SO excited for you and your entire family to be going to Italy. The country is just so wonderful and what amazing memories you will make together!

  23. You should definitely check your appliances for dual voltage. My T3 flatiron and curling iron are both dual voltage. I also suggest you use small, clear, screw top cosmetic jars for beauty products like primer, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc. They are super cheap on Amazon and take up little space in your liquids bag. I never thought I could travel to Europe with just a carry on, but these certainly helped.

  24. We went to Italy in July and it is scorching HOT and humid! You will only want a thin scarf to cover you shoulders. Also comfortable shoes are ALWAYS better on the cobblestone and uneven terrain and many steps! I wore Ecco sandals the entire trip as my feet get hot and sweaty. Use plug in converters for your electronics and chargers. No need to buy new flat irons, etc. 10 days with a carry on is doable. Sure, some sacrifice is needed but I found most hotels to have high end toiletries so I just used what was there as far as shampoo, etc. Your hair will survive 10 days without your normal products. It is so hot in July more than likely you will pull your hair back anyway LOL. Touring during the day tends to not be a fashion show. Haha! One purse is the smarter choice as well. You don’t want to spend time changing out purses and will want to keep a routine as far as where your essential items are in your purse. With all that being said, when traveling international a good motto is Less is More as far as packing. You don’t want to deal with too much stuff! I have been to Europe several times as well as China with a carry-on only. Although challenging to pack light, trust me you’ll want to make your life easy as you travel. Have a great trip!

    1. A few thoughts for your trip-We are a family of four that travel to Europe frequently, and we each have an adapter/converter. It’s hard to share those when everyone has phones, tablets, etc to charge then trying to use for hair tools/shavers. I have a chi travel flat iron. Works well and space friendly. I’ve never had an issue with mascara or deodorant not being in my clear bag. I usually pack a travel size deodorant but make sure it’s not the gel type. My son has been carrying foundation and other beauty products for me since he was little. We were at the airport the day the liquid ban went into effect-that was chaos. The wraps you show are great for the airplane but way too hot for visiting churches. A cotton gauzy scarf is lightweight and won’t take up a lot of room in your purse when not in use. My daughter and I had capri tights we slipped on to go into the Vatican and promptly removed as soon as we walked out. We were in a church in Rome where a woman was stopped wearing a tank top and shorts. If you’re doing a lot of walking don’t wear the same shoes every day. Too hard on your feet your cross body bags are lovely but look a little small for a trip.I have a Tumi crossbody and an MZ Wallace I use for sightseeing. Hold a water bottle, the scarf, sunglasses, etc. A compact wallet with zipper compartment works well. Euros come in €1 €2 coins that you’ll use. It’s not like throwing nickels and dimes into the bottom of your bag. I also have a makeup set from Mac that I put together at their store that has everything in slim case, for easy packing. Three shadows, two blushes/highlighter/bronzer/liner powder/brow fill in. The IT CC cream spf 50 comes in travel size and is a great foundation. Go to Sephora and Nordstrom and get as many travel sizes as you can. Have a wonderful time and look forward to hearing all about it.

  25. I love traveling in Italy, Remember it’s the birth country of Prada! If I went there again, I’d pack less, WAY LESS, so I could fit more Italian fashion purchases in my suitcase 😂 Have fun and safe travels!!


  26. The Vatican requires shoulders & knees covered. Men included. I wore a longer skirt on days we were going into churches or made sure we had a huge lightweight scarf/shawl in our backpack. You could wrap it around your waist/hips or shoulders.

  27. Okay, now I’m stressed for you! I hope that your young adults, especially the girls, have started laying out the clothing they want to take. The one key thing that I was told before going to Europe, was to not wear or take my good jewelry, like my diamond wedding set. Larry and I both purchased a plain wedding band to wear over there. We were also told to take our prescriptions in the appropriate bottles. I sure am going to miss your blog posts while you are abroad, unless your assistant will be sending them in your absence.

  28. Stop stressing – you can buy anything you need in Italy. Comfortable shoes are the most important thing everyone needs to prevent being miserable and sunscreen. I have a linen and silk pashmina I used when needed for the Vatican otherwise you should be fine. As far as a nice purse, I used a red envelope clutch for years as my pop of color for my mostly black and white or blue and white travel wardrobes and carryons are easy in the summer time, especially with dresses! You can also buy the best handbags in Italy! Just remember all your chargers and passports. You’ll have a wonderful time.

  29. Packing for international travel can be daunting…..looking at what you have laid out to pack, here is my 2 cents. We travelled through Italy and UK for 5 weeks years ago with only carry on. It’s totally do-able, just change your mindset about needing so many clothes. You have to mix & match outfits and go with the flow. It’s going to be hot in Italy. Rome has high 90s temps right now. Add some shorts, linen tops or wick away tops, take out some of the black dresses (repetitive and black absorbs the heat). Take 3-4 shoes max, you have too many for carry on. Choose one pair of white sneakers. You are going to be on your feet all day, bring a pair of athletic sneakers to keep plantar fasciitis at bay. Walking on cobblestones is fatiguing so wear what’s most supportive rather than most cute. I wouldn’t have been able to sight see all day in Vejas. Bring anti- chafe under shorts to wear under the dresses. Bring only 1 purse. If it doesn’t work for all outfits, that’s ok. Leave the purse out of photo shots. Leave the blow dryer at home, use the hotel’s if wanting only carry on suitcase. It gets the job done.. Bring some liquid laundry detergent to wash ……double up on the underwear with it being so hot. I had to change clothes half day some days. Bring a few voltage adapters for all of you to charge up cell phones, iPads, etc…… when you return to the hotel at the end of the day. Most importantly, enjoy your trip! You will love it and make memories to last a lifetime. Have an easy 1-2 days in Italy on arrival. Jet lag is tough. Same on returning home, give yourself 2-3 easy days on re-entry to Philly time.

  30. Since many European hotels don’t provide washcloths I take several old or cheap ones and discard the used ones when we move to a different hotel. I also take a bar of soap. In case I have to wash out some clothes, I take some inflatable hangers which help the clothes to dry more quickly.

  31. I totally agree with Rebecca’s suggestions. After traveling in Italy for two weeks we realized we didn’t need near the amount of things that we took. No need for jackets or sweaters. Simplify. You can also buy thing you might need or forget.

  32. Hi, JoLynne! I’m so excited for you! You’ll have an amazing time in Italy. I was there for 2 weeks in March and did COO for the first time. It is do-able! I was so glad that I did as it made travel between cities (on and off trains, etc.) so much easier. I did not bring a hair dryer. All hotels had them. To help manage my liquids, I did the deodorant hack of melting deodorant and pouring into an empty chapstick container.

  33. hi Jo-Lynne,
    I was in Italy for 10 days in April. I wasn’t expecting the cobblestones to be so challenging on the feet. I would skip slides and sandals without a back.I’d suggest you purchase a flat iron in Italy and maybe a hairdryer as well if the one in the hotel doesn’t meet your needs, this way you don’t need to worry about a converter. My sister blew out her hairdryer using a converter. The hotel should be able to tell you where you can buy a flat iron and hairdryer. I think you will want to bring the lightest shoulder cover possible for churches and you can tie on your bag when you are not using it. You probably won’t want to have to carry around anything too heavy. Do you have umbrellas and/or rain covers if it rains? At the end of the day you want to be comfortable and not have to think about your clothes, bag and shoes once you’re out for the day, so how do you do hot in Philly? Do that in Italy.
    Enjoy your trip with you family in a beautiful country!

  34. Our family went to Italy for 2 weeks at the end of May-June 3rd.
    Our 32yo son planned the entire trip. We started at an amazing villa in Tuscany and took day trips.
    We are a Catholic family and visited a number of churches. There were no mandatory requirements for women to cover up. However we went to the Vatican 15 years ago and I believe there it was required. No shorts or bare shoulders.
    I purchased 2 short sleeve open cardigans from Jjill which I kept one in my tote. However I forgot the 2 linen scarf wraps that I own! The Jjill is ok except the sleeves are tacked on one side so a bit droopy. I will probably tack the other side. The Eileen Fisher wraps are beautiful and I would highly recommend them.
    Having said all that everywhere we went I was not impressed with the way the Italians dressed. I found them very casual. I think Covid might have something to do with that.
    If you are in a tour group you might want to touch base about what to wear. In a nicer restaurant you can dress up a bit.
    Sorry for the long message I’m sure you will have a wonderful trip.

  35. Hubby and I went to Greece and Turkey for 10 days last Fall, with a lot of stops. We’ve also done other European trips in the past (including Italy), and I have a few suggestions. One: the cobblestones in a lot of cities make wearing heels scary. I packed one pair of neutral low heel sandals and only wore them once (in a city where there were decent sidewalks). I would leave them at home next time. My shoes that I did wear were: Teva sandals and Vionic slip-ons for walking, Archie’s flip flops for the pool (they have some support, so they’re also good for a bit of walking), and mesh ballet flats for evenings (I also used them as slippers). Two: some European airports are notorious for being picky about the dimensions and kind of liquids bag (especially Heathrow). Best to research the country’s regulations for all your flights. And the kind with the regular zipper closure is not allowed in some places because it could leak. It can really hold you up if you have to repack everything in one of their ziplocks (and it may not all fit!). I stuck with solid toiletries wherever I could. Three: you really don’t know for sure until you get there (weather, etc.), but I ended up wearing the same things on repeat (and doing a lot of hand laundry – it will be hot, and sweat happens). I would suggest taking clothing that is super lightweight. I took nice looking quick-dry sport clothing that could be dressed up, and for evenings, one super lightweight dress, skirt and pair of long pants. Cheap polyester, in this case, is your friend LOL. Huge silk scarves don’t take much room in your luggage and can be used to cover your shoulders, along with a large lightweight beach sarong that can be tied around your waist when visiting the more conservative churches (and can also be used poolside). They’re also good for a little warmth on the airplane. Four: as for handbags, go for practicality and safety. You wouldn’t believe how clever the thieves are in the cities, and they prey on tourists. I took a large-ish Waterfly sling pack for touring, which I wore in the front (I carried a lot of stuff in that thing, including phone, water bottle, blister bandaids, cover-up scarves, and a tiny packable raincoat) and one small crossbody bag for evenings – just large enough for my phone, lip balm, a few tissues, cash, and bank/credit cards. Lastly, even though I planned like crazy, I ended up taking a lightweight packable duffle as a carry-on, a medium-sized bag that I checked (it had extra room for the duffle when necessary for regulations on one of the flights), and the sling pack as my personal item. I repeat – research the regulations for every flight you’ll be taking. I would pack as little as possible and plan to do a little laundry every night.

  36. We spent 9 days in Italy in May and my biggest recommendation is comfortable shoes and bring bandaids! We easily walked 20,000+ steps per day and my “comfortable” sneakers still gave me blisters by the end. I was amazed how much I brought that I didn’t need so finding dual purposes for items (especially with the size of a carryon ) is key. If you travel city to city, packing light is great! We checked baggage and my poor husband had to haul my big bag around…. Have a fabulous time!

  37. I am returning from a 12 day trip to Ireland and England. My advice is bring as few shoes as you can, they are heavy and take up space. I have used a backpack and lulu lemon belt bag as a purse most of the time and that has been great. Plus I have a little extra room in the backpack for souvenirs!

  38. After reading of the comments, I think everything I was going to say has already been said. Ha! I will say, 1) I live in Europe and it’s HOOOOTTTTT!! When I think I’ll style my hair it always ends up in a pony or bun because it’s just too hot. I’d scrap the flatiron. 2) I agree 1000% that less is best. If you hit an emergency you can always buy it. 3) DO NOT CHECK BAGS! Fit everything in a carryon. We’ve had friends/guests who lose bags or spend precious vacation time chasing after lost luggage.
    You’ll have a great time and make sweet memories. That’s what it’s about!

  39. Even with a converter your hair appliance might not work in Europe. Mine didn’t last time I tried. I used the hotel air dryer and it was fine.

    My favorite travel hack is to pack an empty spray bottle. Lightly spritz your clothes with water the night before and hang them to dry. They will be fresh and wrinkle free in the morning, no ironing required. Here is the bottle I use. It’s flat and packs easily https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Style-Curve-Spray-Bottle/dp/B00IWANFA2/ I always empty out the water before putting it back in my suitcase.

  40. We just returned from Italy a week ago. Carry on only. It was very hot. We needed to shower at least twice a day so don’t worry about your hair. I also pared down my regular makeup routine to keep it simple. My husband carried a small backpack with what we needed for the day and I carried a small crossbody bag. My daughter used the Lulu fanny style bag. A light scarf is enough( you can stuff it in your bag when done). Buy liquids when you get there. We took the train from city to city and it was so easy and each of us had our own bag to look after. We saw Rome, Florence, Pisa,

    1. Thanks, Cathy. We are doing Rome, Florence, and Perugia; and I know it’s going to be insufferably hot. I think you are right, that a light scarf is all I need. I think the other wraps (or shirt) are too much. I just need something to cover my shoulders when I go into cathedrals b/c I’m wearing my Athleta Pranayama Wrap on the plane.

  41. I read all the comments and I think only one person addressed the theft problem in Italy. I feel neither of your purses will work. You need a purse made for travel that has straps that can’t be slashed and RIF protection. My daughter studied in Italy and 30 out of the 35 students were robbed at some point. You need a bag that fits close to your body and also one that holds a bottle of water if it is going yo be that hot. My husband wore something under his clothes that held his money and passport. We also made copies of our passports that we did not carry on our person while sightseeing in case our real ones got stolen.

    1. Yes, I’ve heard mixed info on those travel bags. I tried a few but decided to carry a regular bag and be extra careful. My husband has one of those things for his money/passport – he used it in Iceland and said it worked great. I need to get one for my son too.

  42. To help with space, buy sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion in Italy that everyone in the family can use.

    1. Yeah, the hotel should have much of that, and I’m sure we can buy sunscreen there. I’m trying not to bring things that I can easily get there, but I also don’t want to have to go shopping right away. Maybe the hotel will have sunscreen for purchase in the sundry shop. I guess I can inquire.

  43. I have traveled to Europe many, many times in the past 30 years (most recently to Scandinavia in May). I have found that comfortable sneakers or slip ons are best for walking cobblestoned streets, climbing stairs (on the street and otherwise) and navigating monuments. Sandals leave your feet too exposed for my liking. Also, try dresses with short sleeves like tee shirt dresses and rely on your trusty denim jacket to use as a coverup if needed. Jeans or slacks are fine for dinner unless you plan to hit Michelin starred restaurants. I don’t know where you are going in Italy but the trend I have experienced there and in other European countries is that most people dress casually. Not shorts casual, but denim casual. If you think you will need a flat iron, just visit the local Sephora. On one trip, I tried to use my dual voltage flat iron, and it tripped a breaker in the hotel room and fried the flat iron!! Enjoy your trip and don’t stress. You and your family will be one of many, many American tourists in Europe this summer.

  44. I would eliminate most of the shoes and pare down the clothing. You’ll be sightseeing in all weather conditions and your hair won’t matter either. I’ve been many times and simple works! Have so much fun it’s a great country!

  45. It is so hot and humid in Italy in July! I wore my hair up most days (if not ALL) due to the heat. Carry a converts with you (it’s a good investment for future travel). Also, when traveling in Europe, I do my laundry while I’m showering. The shampoo is the “detergent” and I lightly stomp on it. Then hang it to dry in the bathroom. I think it’s important to take quick drying fabrics. They help with the heat and dry quickly after washing them in the bathroom!! BTW-The Zestt ruana is beautiful and will be great for the plane. However, besides the Vatican, I don’t recall having to cover my shoulders at any other venue.

    1. I do think I will want to put my hair up due to heat, but I hate it in pictures, so I expect I’ll try to wear it down some. Although it sure would make life easier if I don’t.

      Washing laundry in the shower is brilliant. LOL! Several of the dresses are quick dry fabrics, which I was hoping would allow me to rewear them.

      We are doing Vatican, but also the Medici chapels in Florence, and I can’t remember if there are any other cathedrals or churches.

  46. This may sound odd but start building your wardrobe with with your shoes! They must be comfortable and don’t bring many. Don’t bring more than 1 pair of sneakers as I see you might bring two. I think the Pearl bag is an excellent bag for travel. Italy has some of the best designs in shoes and bags. You can have many items shipped. I have never had any problem in receiving them. Look forward to having a fabulous trip.

    1. Thanks, Lucretia, I do think I’m ditching the 2nd pair of sneakers. It was a last minute addition yesterday, but it’s too redundant. I originally wanted to keep my shoes to 3 (sandals, sneakers – which I will wear on the plane – and one bonus pair – probly something more frivolous). The Millers always come with me, good for pool or just going down to hotel lobby for something, but maybe I don’t need them with the Naot sandals. Or maybe they can be the frivolous pair. They are dressier than the Naot, and I can walk in them better than most sandals without support. Plus they take up practically no room in the suitcase.

  47. I would reconsider a bigger daily cross body bag. Baggu makes some great ones. Keep in mind, you will be stashing, sunglasses, napkins, hand, sanitizer and wipes, maybe stuff for your kids, or husband, water bottle, scarf, maybe your passports? A bigger bag would be much better. And if you do any shopping at all, it is handy to put that in your bag. Lots of buying food on the run and putting that in your bag to eat on a train or wherever you can find a bench.

  48. Italy was the first place I put on my bucket list many years ago! I know now that I’ll likely never make it there, so I live vicariously through friends! Since I have never traveled out of the country, I have no tips or advice. Just looking forward to what you share with us! Also, packing stresses me out so bad so I don’t envy this part for you! 🥴🙏🏻

  49. Long time follower; first time commenter. Just got back from a trip to Greece. I think it was Kelly Snyder’s recommendation, I bought the Body Glide Foot balm – looks like a deodorant stick from Amazon. Just apply all over your feet and ankles. Saved my feet from blisters and redness with all the walking. The hubs even used it when his socks were slipping from the heel and his ankle started getting irritated. I did bring band-aids and blister pads, but didn’t need them. I did put corn pads on my baby toes and widen the toe area of my shoes. My feet were happy!

  50. I’ve travelled extensively to Europe. I’d say don’t take as many black dresses, get it down to 3 day and 3 evening dresses then if you have the room you can add more. I like the idea of a white linen shirt I LOVE the Baird Mcnutt by JCrew it’s a little fitted which I think looks really nice. Size down it runs slightly big. I have the Noat pixie sandals in cork and they disappear on my foot which I like, they’re also comfy for all day wear and a good evening option too. I’d only take one pair of white sneakers. A gauzy scarf will serve you better than a heavy wrap. It’ll be hot in Italy.
    Have a great trip I hope you love Europe!

    1. I tried the Pixie and they were comfortable, but I tried the black (too harsh) and the Beige Lizard Leather/Silver Threads Leather/Rose Gold Leather (too… I dunno, ugly, lol. the rose gold strap just bugged me) and I’ve been looking at the Cork… should I try a 3rd? LOL! Can you wear those all day, though? I was thinking they would be in addition to the Dorith.

  51. I too have now gone to a portable rack for my planning. But, saying that, less is more. I found my old favorites, comfort clothes and shoes for sightseeing and dressy were best. I traveled for 3 weeks in Europe in a carry on, including an outfit for a wedding! Everything coordinated with nearly everything else. I always select my shoes first, usually two pair – max three, and go from there. You will be so so happy to be comfortable, coordinated and not carrying too much luggage!!

    1. Totally agree. Running to catch trains I was happy I had only 1 carry on roller bag with good wheels. My hubby used a large backpack for his stuff and our group was jealous as he easily navigated cobblestone streets and narrow staircases. I didn’t take a purse; took a lightweight backpack and was happy I did.

      1. Yes, absolutely no NEW shoes. Take shoes that go with everything but you can walk a couple of miles in. My purse is a clutch/wallet to hold money, passport, etc. It is my evening purse too with a clip on/ clip off easy elegant strap. This goes into my bigger cross body bag that holds a water bottle, my wrap, hat/ or clip on visor, depending on destination. It also holds my iPad for travel to/fro destination. I have really created this “ this multiple purse layer system” over twenty years of travel. baggilini or travel pro for outer layer of purse “system” are my fav! Enjoy developing your own system! Layers in clothing and in purses is key! Plus, I use to travel weekly for business too. Comfy shoes only! Yes, you can still be stylish too! Ps – I usually shower, then launder clothing from prev day and hang in shower to dry. Works in most, but not all climates….

  52. All the comments keep disappearing or only a few show. I was looking forward to reading everyone’s input. What am I doing wrong here?

    1. You should be able to click “older comments” at the top, and see them. It’s deceiving b/c the top comments is numbered 1. when it isn’t #1. Sorry for the confusion! Not sure why it does that.

      1. This one shows, thanks! When I click older comments ALL the comments disappear and when I refresh it even says 0 comments at the top. I’ve tried 3 diff browsers.

  53. If you are planning to visit the Vatican, there is a dress code. No sleeveless shirts/dresses, no exposed knees, no hats. . I wore linen pants and shirt and was covered and cool for a long day of touring.

  54. I agree with the comment about one larger (not huge, but something that will hold extra stuff) crossbody bag with a comfortable strap. I end up carrying stuff for my husband… I’ve been to Italy a couple times and in cities (Rome and Milan in my case) it turned out to be most important for a shoe to have a sturdy bottom – not thin (even if comfy at home, cobblestone is brutal) and a wedge with a wide bottom. Any chunky heel or thin wedge will be very difficult to walk in on those old streets. And I love a heel! In Milan I wore a light jacket in the cathedral. A light cardigan would work well. Key – lightweight and as small as possible (least amount of fabric). It’s hot. And I’m from TX.

  55. You should check out Chico’s non-iron shirts. I don’t normally shop there but someone told me about them. I am a big iron-user person! These wash and dry perfectly! Great for travel. They come in many colors but I have the black and white one! Safe travels and enjoy!

  56. Check with your hotel amenities or contact them about hair dryers. Most have them although you may have to search for them in the hotel room closets or drawers. Enjoy your trip!

  57. Ditch all shoes except for good walking shoes, and one pair of sandals. Wear a linen shirt as a topper over a tank.
    Hot, hot. hot!
    Carry a foldable tote for purchases. Beautiful buys. Take a small power strip and a multiple country plug converter.
    Water, water, water. Ponytail and soar up the sites!!!!!

  58. I am not crazy about either coverup either. I would suggest taking a wrap in a neutral color (cream/gray/or white)and perhaps a short fitted jacket in black.

  59. I have been to Italy 3 times – my day bag was always a backpack or large purse tote size for ease of small purchases that happen and a water bottle ans always had 2 things with me everyday – a long lightweight elastic waist black flowy skirt -could be pulled on quick before going in any church because I sure didn’t want to not be able to go in. Also a sheer light weight small wrap that could be over my shoulders -both great for in the churches where it is colder and both could be in and out of the bag – prob not taking as many photos inside as you will in your great outfits outside -serves the purpose and doesn’t dictate your outfit for the whole day.
    Have so much fun w your family -check out Old Bridge Gelato in Rome has the best choices !!

  60. Great choices. I agree with the commenter about a bigger day bag. I would switch the Pearl Xbody forxbody on the floor with the fringe. Also, you can get an electric adapter for travel instead of ordering special tools. Then you can take your own.

    It will be hot…..and you will love it Kalo Taxidi (Greek for Great Trip)

  61. Please double check the allowed sizes of carry on for your flights. Then measure your bags including the wheels. Some places are pickier than others. I travel a lot and have carry on down to a science. I have seen a few very unhappy people when forced to check their bags, those expandable sides can get you into trouble. This particularly important if you have a airline change in Europe.. Good for you for packing small once you get there you will be very happy that you packed light. I would also recommend a pair of linen pants and linen shirt with at least short sleeves. I have also found a hat to be important in some places of faith Good luck.

    1. Totally agree with this. We had no problem with our carry on bags flying to Paris on Delta. Flying to London from Nice, our same bags were considered too large and we had to check them all the way to Seattle. Be prepared for this to happen, or be really sure your carry on bag can fit in the smaller European luggage sizer.

  62. For our 3 week trip to Italy, we packed in a carry-on and backpack. I can’t stress enough to pack light. Rolling your suitcase over cobblestones for more than a block gets pretty heavy, plus there’s not a lot of space on the train for luggage. I brought 2 jumpsuits, a skort, a pair of capris and 4-5 tops, that’s it. Oh and a light weight travel wrap for your shoulders. Make sure things coordinate so you can mix and match. We did laundry the first day of every AirBNB so that it had time to dry – there are no dryers in Italy, you hang everything to air dry. Also less is more on shoes. I only took one pair of sneakers and wish I’d taken 2 pairs of sneakers. I brought sandals and only wore them one time. My feet were swollen by the end of the day walking that my sandals weren’t very comfortable to wear to dinner. EVERYONE wears sneakers in Italy, with any outfit, dresses included. You will not look weird wearing sneakers with a dress to dinner, it’s very common. Also make sure your cross-body bag is big enough to fit all the things and that it completely zips. Some areas are very crowded so make sure to keep your cross-body in front of you. Also, HIGHLY recommend taking Compeed Advanced Blister Care heel guards. You don’t think you’ll need them but after walking 10 miles a day for 3 weeks, you will. I took bar shampoo to save space, I also took laundry washing sheets instead of liquid. I had to be liquid conscious because we were only doing carry-on. Also I regret taking my hair dryer, it takes up a lot of room and everywhere we stayed had a hair dryer. Make sure you get conversion outlet plugins for your flat iron. Don’t overthink having a lot of outfits and shoes, I love overpacking/having options too but it’s best to pair it down for comfort and convenience. Don’t forget your sun hat. You’re going to have a fabulous time.

  63. We are headed to Barbados next week and I am starting to pack as well. I have lists and sublists and I still feel like I am going to forget something. And having to work 40+ hours this week at work isn’t helping me either. I think I may be too tired to actually enjoy this trip. And having to drive to Philly airport on a Thursday morning is making me nervous.

  64. Don’t worry about outfits. Wear linen, cotton, and comfortable walking shoes (one pair of sneakers, pair of sandals, and one extra. Color coordinate. Choose three colors and stick to them so everything you put on matches. Buy a light shawl or scarf in Italy. There are many to be had. Here is my go-to straightening iron. It even comes with its own pouch: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T0HHAG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1. Travel adapters for everyone with a power strip for charging at night. Travel light!!

  65. I would take dresses 1,2, 8, and 11. I would also take the short, top, shirt and wrap listed. One pair of tennis shoes and one pair of cute sandals. I would also take a nice looking stylish backpack. That’s it! It’s so freeing to travel light!

  66. Please be aware that you’ll need a converter, not just an adapter for your flat iron. With heating tools and things with a motor (blow dryer), you will have to convert the current or you will dry the electrical components!

    If anyone in your family can use the hotel provided shampoo/conditioner/shower gel, steal their space for toiletries!

    Remember that you’ll be able to purchase things that you forgot.

      1. Yes, I came to say this. It’s vital that the voltage is correct, not just that the outlet has an adapter. I just took my flat iron to Europe and it was fine, but often regular hairdryers are not. On the outlet block of any electronics you are bringing check to make sure there is a voltage range (usually 110-220V).

  67. I agree with Lucretia about bringing just 1 pair of sneakers. I usually bring 3 pairs of shoes for travel – in summer, comfortable white fashion sneakers; neutral-colored, cute comfort sandals like your Naots or quality flip flops with arch support; and 1 neutral-colored pair for dinners like your Millers or espadrilles.

    For a wrap, I recently discovered the beautiful Ovcio featherlight cashmere scarves. They get great reviews and come beautifully packaged. I bought a gray one, and I’m looking forward to testing it on an upcoming trip to Japan. https://www.ovcio.com/pages/featherlight-scarf. Buon viaggio in Italia!

  68. I just returned from a 2 week trip to France. It was very hot and I only used my Zesst travel scarf on the plane on the way there, and even then could have just used the blanket provided by the airline as all overseas flights provide blanket and pillow. So I don’t recommend that scarf for Italy, way too bulky and heavy. A thin lightweight scarf should work well for covering shoulders in the Vatican and other cathedrals. All women wear sneakers with dresses of all styles in Europe. I never felt out of place in Birkenstock sandals or sneakers with dresses. Also, don’t underestimate that you will most likely do some shopping in Italy, I bought several skirts and dresses. So leave room in your luggage for purchases. I thought I was packing light, we did carry on only, but I still packed probably a third more clothes than I needed. Try not to overthink your outfit choices, I definitely did and once I arrived in France I realized I had spent way too much time agonizing over something that’s just really not that important. One more thing, the hotel hair dryers are pretty weak, something to be aware of, don’t expect your Dyson or even T3 type quality (think cheap Conair type attached to wall).

  69. So fun…. We traveled to Paris and London this past spring. We both wore black with special jackets in the spring! We loved shopping so many pretty scarfs and lingerie!
    Coming home a little picky about what your
    bringing back.
    You all will have an amazing time!
    Be sure to bring wire headphones not AirPods.
    Easy to lose when sleep on plane:)

  70. I’m no world traveler but I believe I would wear one pair of the sneakers, take the other pair along with the two sandals which should’t take up much space and maybe limit the black dresses to only two taking one longer length and one shorter since the black may be hotter to wear. I like to rotate my sneakers to give the feet a break since they both offer good support. For the bag, the Pearl bag is so nice but the HOBO crossbody bag you have lays so nicely to the body and would be comfortable and works well in the front if it is large enough. Enjoy!

    1. Yes, I just realized today that the HOBO bag actually goes well with the Naot sandals. I guess I didn’t consider it at first because I thought I needed one of the anti-theft bags. I might end up, carrying that, and returning all of the ones I ordered, lol. 🤪

      1. Another thought, would your essentials fit in one of the small security card wallets that you could stick inside the crossbody? I got my son a small RFID Fossil one for Christmas. They always warn against people scanning your cards as well. Wish we didn’t have to worry about such things!

  71. First time commenting… Agree with other commenters about taking a bigger crossbody bag. I took this bag to the UK in March and loved it: https://pinkdotstyles.com/products/haute-shore-emily-aspen-quilted-sling-bag
    Held my wallet, sunglasses, tissues, and even a compact umbrella! Also plenty of room for pamphlets from tourist sites and small purchases. It’s casual so I brought another bag for evening from Anthropologie:
    https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/lindy-woven-clutch. I love this bag—there’s a strap to wear it as a crossbody and it packs very flat when empty.
    For outfits, I usually stick to a neutral palette (black/beige/white) so everything coordinates. I add in a couple of additional items for a pop of color, like a scarf or sweater/cardigan.
    Your trip to Italy sounds fabulous—don’t stress too much about packing & enjoy your travels! You can always buy whatever extras you might need when you get there.

  72. My advice is that each person (including you) is responsible for their own bag and whats in it. Then, each person carries something that everyone can use and doesn’t need to be duplicated. Examples include OTC MEDS, Covid tests, travel books, laundry detergent, sunscreen, etc. Don’t get caught up in trying to oversee everyone—that’s hard. Stick to no more than 3 pairs of shoes per person. —have a great time and the last 10 days are the worst for all of us!

  73. If I were bringing the exact outfits you have on your rolling rack and doing a lot of walking, I would bring two pairs of sneakers and a dressy pair of sandals for dinners. You can get stylish walking sandals in Italy when you have time to shop. That is what I did when I was in Italy. In the long run, sneakers will be your best choice for walking all day. At least it was for me since it doesn’t take much for me to get blisters…

  74. Oh my——you’re getting so much information on what to wear and what to bring. I don’t want to add more in the mix, We have been to Italy many times. I believe you’re going to Rome, if I remember correctly. The Vatican is unbelievable. Don’t miss the Colosseum either. So much to do and see. Are you going to Florence? One of our favorites. You may want to pick up a new leather handbag there, or even a small wallet, The store we went to put my initials right inside of the flap of the bag and it’s permanent. I know you’re going to have a wonderful trip!!!

  75. Wow. So many seasoned travelers. I just have one comment. I would get a gauge or thin linen type scarf and call it good for cover up for shoulders. Don’t do the heavy ones you are thinking about. For a good book to take to read on the plane, I just finished “In Alexa’s Shoes”, by Rochelle Alexandra. It’s soooo good. It’s a true story. Have fun. I don’t envy you packing.

  76. I traveled to Portugal and Spain this year, and I can agree with other comments that comfortable sandals and tennis shoes were worn day and night. I would wear a longer dress or loose linen pants for the religious sites, as adding a layer other than a light scarf or linen shirt will just feel hot. Also, some of the churches in Spain did not allow flip flops. I brought some nice wedge sandals for dressier dinners, and I wore my flat leather thong sandals to dinner by the end of the trip instead. I wore tennis shoes or comfortable sandals during the day. In hindsight, I could have made it with only tennis shoes and comfortable sandals.
    Frequently, cabs or ride shares would be too busy after dinner, and we walked a lot at night as well as a result. The tile sidewalks and cobblestone streets are just easier to navigate in sturdier shoes, and I loved exploring the cities on foot more than I needed the nicer shoes. I also carried a medium sized nylon crossbody with a wider strap for comfort during the day and a leather crossbody bag at night. I just find the leather too hot to wear all day while walking, and my bag could fold over or expand to hold water, sunscreen, small purchases, etc. My bag also had zippered outer pockets and a zippered top closure for security. We had been warned by other travelers to watch for pick-pockets in crowds, but we thankfully had no such issues. I bought a flat iron at a department store in Spain this trip, as we travel frequently. It was so nice to have and so much more secure in the outlets, but you can use a flat iron from the US with a converter if yours is dual voltage. Our hotels had hair dryers. They were not great, but they worked.
    We (just my husband and I)did check one bag and left room in it for purchases. It was mainly inconvenient when getting a cab to the hotel or traveling by train, but not impossible. You can buy toiletries there pretty easily to save space.
    Be comfortable, pack as light as you can, and enjoy your trip!

  77. Ditch a pair of sneakers. Take 3 pairs of shoes max – sneakers, day sandals and something for dinner ( that is quite minimal and will pack small). Are you just taking dresses? It limits you much more as you can’t mix and match. You either have to lug heavier bags around or wash as you go. I would always choose to wash, schlepping with luggage is a pain – especially over cobbles and on/off trains. You only need shoulders/knees covered in churches so any type of scarf or wrap will work, I wouldn’t overthink it

  78. Hey- I was just reading a FB post of a friend who was just in Italy. One thing she mentioned was having cooling neck towels she bought off Amazon that were super helpful in helping to cope with the heat.

      1. I have a version of these i have had for years. Mine are in solid colors. Here at Amazon – Ice Cooling Scarf Neck Wrap Headband Bandana Neck Cooling Scarf for Men and Women Outdoor Activities (5)

        Put them in a ziplock when you go. They are dry and flat. At destination, soak the one you want in a sink for few minutes, and the crystals inside of the back of the neck absorb the water for cooling. I have found that mine take a few days to totally dry out (depends on climate), so the ziploc is for the trip home if they aren’t totally dry.

        They are great for golf, tennis, biking etc. They make a world of difference! Enjoy! Ps – In a few days, i am heading to Alaska for two weeks so won’t need mine😉

      2. I’m not traveling this summer but I’m adding these to my Prime Day shopping cart. Might be good to have!

  79. Hi! I’ve followed this group for years and I love this site! I’m an experienced world traveler and I just got home last night from Italy, France and Spain. Your choices for the trip are excellent. It is hot and there are crowds at the popular sites but start your day early and buy tickets in advance. A couple things that help me with packing for my family is to take pictures of your outfits and tag them as options for day sightseeing; nights out; swim outfits and so forth so that when you are quickly changing clothes you know what everyone’s options are—time saver and it relieves a lot of stress. I used the hair dryers in the countries. Often they are in your room or you can ask the hotel desk for one. I bought an infinity pro conair the knot dr before I left and it worked nicely and is travel friendly. (FYI- left my expensive hair tools at home- same thing with my expensive jewelry – at home). I bought an extension cord bc plugs are very few and in undesirable locations often times. Once you get a taste of international travel it won’t be your last time. In 3 weeks going on a River cruise around Austria. Don’t over think it. You got this!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! I love the idea of taking pix of outfits. I’ve done that before, and it’s helpful, especially when I am doing more mixing and matching of pieces.

  80. I could go to Italy every year. It is a beautiful country full of friendly people and great food! I’ve been to Italy many times and I agree with those saying a larger bag and comfortable shoes are a must. Walking on cobblestone is not for flat sandals! For the past many years I have used my Tumi backpack for international travel. It is small so not bulky but holds everything for a day of sight seeing. It still looks like new after years of travel. I also agree to get a scarf in Italy. Don’t worry about forgetting anything — first time to Florence I forgot to pack my hair products!! I had no brush or anything. We were staying at a B&B near the Duomo in Florence. In an area full of buildings 1000s of years old — there was Sephora store around the corner! Lastly, this is a vacation — be comfortable and don’t worry about posting pictures. Your followers will be here when you return and look forward to hearing about your trip when its OVER. Have fun!

  81. I have to agree with several people who commented about the scarf – definitely take something lightweight that you can use to cover your shoulders, not a heavy wrap. I live in Europe (in Austria) and can tell you this is turning into a hot summer, and we’re a little further north than where you’ll be. Today it’s in the mid-90s and we don’t have AC everywhere, neither does Italy. I see a lot of American influencers who want their European vacation to be a fashion show for social media, and I get it because there are so many beautiful photo opportunities, but comfort is key! Also have to second the opinion of those who mentioned just bringing one pair of sneakers (if they’re white, just be aware they’re likely to get dirty with all the walking you’ll probably be doing). One other thing, if you want to reduce the luggage space designated for toiletries, think about buying travel sizes of certain things AFTER you get to Europe and just using them for your vacation, then throwing out the empties before you fly back. And above all, have fun!

  82. Did Edinburgh, London and Paris for 11 days in June, carry-on only. It was hotter than normal….mid 80’s in London/Paris. Simple advice for packing. 1. Simpler is better 2. Comfort is king 3. Mix/match 4. Repeat clothing. Most importantly, I brought 2 sports and 2 normal bras and only wore the sports bras due to the sweating, walking, stairs. Walked 10 miles/day on average. Have so much fun, can’t wait to see the pics!

  83. One more suggestion, I don’t really see Linen in your packing. I did get that because low quality linen tends to wrinkle. I truly found it when I was in Europe I wore my linen pieces more than anything. My knit pieces seemed drab and unsophisticated compared to where I was. Also consider that while you are there and you can buy beautiful linen shift dresses that you can wear. You don’t need to take a full wardrobe for the entire time. The European linen doesn’t wrinkle as much and wears fabulously in the heat and humidity.

  84. I love that first ruana that you have. I wouldn’t know if it’s enough to cover you when you go to the certain places but I do love it.

  85. Hi Jo Lynne!
    You’re going to have an awesome family trip!
    We’ve been to Europe multiple times as a family of 6.
    -Do carry on only (capsule, capsule, capsule!)
    -Bring a plug adapter for each of you
    -Tie a scarf to your purse for cathedrals
    (You’ll be fine in dresses as long as they’re not short short!) No need to cover knees.
    -It’s HOT! Pack like you would for a hot trip to any American city. Cool and comfy!
    -Personally, I can’t stand my hair down when it’s hot so I wore mine up. I wouldn’t stress about a flat iron. I brought mine to Spain this Feb and used it once. (We were there a month!)
    -You walk. A lot. Like, no. A LOT. Wear the most comfy sandals/shoes you have.
    Rome and Florence are AWESOME. You are going to have such a great time!!

  86. Oh gosh, planning for a trip like that is enough to make your head spin–especially when you’re also strategizing packing for 4 other family members! I would agree with others who said don’t worry about being a fashion blogger during this time, just ENJOY your trip and family – and dress for comfort! Believe me, you won’t care about cute shoes after a day of walking on cobblestones. Also, keep in mind you can buy clothes there, and that’s part of the fun! Despite my careful packing when we went to Paris a few years ago, there was a heat wave so intense that I literally ran into a shop to buy a sleeveless linen dress because what I was wearing (voile blouse/crop pants) was SO HOT. I still have the linen dress, it’s a great souvenir! Maybe that could be your “fashion photo” – sharing things you bought on the trip. Have a great time!

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