I am convinced NO ONE packs like I do for a trip to Europe! I continually read packing threads on Slow Talk, and am AMAZED at how little people bring for a three week trip. Let me start by saying we always have a big rental car, we don't take trains, as Brad LOVES driving in Italy, and I have no trouble lifing or managing my luggage! Brad is also a wonderful "Schleppopotomus". He is always entertained and challenged by getting everything in the rental car trunk the first time he must pack it.
I always pack ON PAPER first, not in my closet. I type a full page of everything I will bring, then add accessories, purses, shoes, shawls, and misc. items like books, maps, camera, chargers, adapters, Italy cell phone, etc. When I am done with my list, I check off each item as I pack it.
Our Italy days go something like this:
We get up early (6:30-7ish). I wash my face, run a brush through my hair, and jump into capris and a top. Palma goes outside to caffinate and smoke. Breakfast. Brush teeth. Out the door by 9ish. Hang out in a hilltown, or city, exploring our surroundings, shopping, sightseeing, stopping for breaks in caffes. 1p.m.ish: Lunch. Unless we are on a daytrip, we return to our room for a nap from 3-5ish. THEN I shower, wash hair, put on some make-up (low maintence 15-20 min. max for the whole routine!) and dress nicely for dinner (usually a skirt or dressier top, or dress).
If we are on a daytrip, where we won't return until after dinner (three times this trip), then I shower in the morning and wear something like a skirt or sundress for the day.
This year's pack list (Which is the LEAST I have EVER brought) consists of :
7 pair capris/crop pants (3 black, 3 white, one black/white)
1 pair long linen pants
3 purses/one evening bag
3 pair shoes plus what I wear on plane (black, white, dressy black, gold)
3 very lightweight summer cardigans/jackets (black, white, an one matching skirts)
21 daytime tops
5 dressier tops
2 nightgowns/light robe
22 pair of underwear (throw one away each day) more room for shopping
14 selected pieces of "fun" jewelry (all made by me)
Trader Joe's insulated bag (for wine, cheese, cold cuts)
Slow Travel tote bag
3 books to read/journal (Brad brings 3, and we trade)
Cosmetic case (size of a zip-lock bag)
cigarettes (Cartons fit in side zipper. Can't buy Virginia Slims in Italy.)
Brad packs laptop, ipod, camera, converters, chargers, Italian cell phone
Yes, this ALL FITS in my Briggs and Riley 28 inch roller bag, and is around 48 lbs.
In my small carry-on bag, I bring my jewelry, my pillow, and a book for the plane. My purse with passports/tickets/journal fits in there too.
So, it all fit, but then I take a few things out of the BIG bag, and put them in my 22" roller bag (which attaches with a strap, and they roll together). In here goes a few gifts for people I will see in Italy. The point is, I will have the 22" bag virtually EMPTY to fill with whatever I buy in Italy. DUH!
Why would I dress any differently than I do at home? I also don't do laundry on vacation (may send bras or nightgown to hotel laundry). Brad has laundry/dry cleaning done half-way through a trip, and wears everything twice. He is MUCH fussier than I am about packing.
I did my "fake pack" last weekend. (Must make sure everything fit in my bag, and stayed under weight limits.) All my clothes are ready, and I won't wear them before I go (OK, I might have to borrow one of the pair of white capris...)
Here is what I DON'T bring:
umbrella (don't ever use one at home either...my hair will dry...)
closed-toe shoes (only worn in winter)
Meds/first aid items consist of my once-a- week calcium pill, a few bandaids, a tube of neosporin and some Advil. (That's all I have at home too!)
Guide books. I've already done my homework. I have confirmations, maps, and ST restaurant lists in a folder.
Now I must wait 28 days to go!