The Overpacker’s Guide to Greece

Forget about my usual packing plan of “throwing whatever I can into a big suitcase– just don’t forget underwear, wallet, and a charger”—THIS was the big leagues.

On one hand, if I forget something that I need, it could be triple the price in Europe, or they could not have it altogether. On the other hand, the more I pack, the more I have to lug around and keep track of. As a chronic overpacker, I was struggling in the weeks before we were wheels up, headed for Greece

Long story short—I survived with what I brought, so I want to share the highlights of my 2019 Greece packing list.

Rompers NOT Dresses

No one told me that in addition to the insane heat, it is VERY windy in Greece. Unless you are looking to perform your own rendition of a “Marilyn Monroe Manhole Moment”– I’d stick with rompers over dresses.

I think my most-worn article of clothing might have been my thrift store overalls. Are the buckles broken? Yes. Was I asked if I qualified for the children’s discount ticket at the Acropolis Museum? Also, yes. BUT I didn’t even care because the comfort and functionality was well worth it.

This green romper was perfect for walking through the streets of Athens, horseback riding through the ocean off the coast of Paros, and even a night out to dinner in Naxos. Comfort is key when you’re traveling and this romper was a godsend.

This floral romper was casual enough that I was so comfortable in the sweltering heat, but was easy to dress up.

A Water Backpack

Don’t waste space bringing a big water bottle. This water backpack that I got on Amazon might be my favorite purchase of 2019. Fitting up to two-liters of water inside its flexible and durable pouch made it easy for us to spend more time on the Acropolis, and less time standing in long lines waiting to pay for an overpriced bottle of water. The combination of zippers and Velcro for each of the different compartments allowed me to fit anything I could possibly need on my back, and all of my belongings stayed dry. The insulation in the water backpack kept the water just as cold as when I filled it up in the beginning of the day.

Birkenstocks

Say what you want about Birkenstocks, but they carried me up those Knoxville hills on the University of Tennessee campus, and they were my favorite footwear on my Greece trip. I was once a hater of these so called “Jesus sandals”, but they win the comfort contest every single time. Amusement park, field trip, vacation to Europe—no matter your journey, this shoe will have you going the extra mile. It has all of the benefits of a sandal, but the stability of a sneaker. And you know what? Jesus was a pretty rad dude, who probably had sensible footwear style.

A Travel Jewelry Case

As a person who “will definitely remember that I put my earrings in that random side pocket of my purse”, this travel jewelry case I got from FabFitFun was so convenient to have on my Greece trip. Its velvet interior kept all of my necklaces in place, and there was room to bring every earring I owned (which has prompted me to convince myself that I need more earrings, which is untrue but it’s fine, who needs to pay rent anyways?!)

Medicine

In addition to being an overpacker, I am also an overthinker and a hypochondriac. So you can only imagine the amount of medicine that took up half of my carry on bag “just in case”. To save you the trouble, and the suitcase space, here’s what I actually found useful:

  • Advil
  • Melatonin (for the jetlag)
  • Motion sickness medicine

What You Definitely DON’T Need

Heavy-Duty Hair Tools

I have separation anxiety when it comes to my Revlon One Step Hair Dryer, my straightener, and my curling iron. I took them all to Greece, but they did not react well with the adapters and almost burnt my hair off…Leave the hairdryer, and bring a travel sized straightener. Chances are the hotel or Air BNB will have a hairdryer that won’t make your life flash before your eyes.

Jeans

Leave ’em home. I brought a pair of really thin pants (that make me look like Aladin) but even those were too hot. I am chronically cold so believe me when I tell you: you will not be cold in Greece.

Heels

You might think it’s a good idea to wear heels in Greece. Quick tip: Just don’t. I can wear heels with no problem (for the most part)—throw in the Santorini stairs scattered with donkey poop? Not worth it.

More Than Five Bathing Suits/More Than Two Cover Ups

Even that is pushing it. I was there for two weeks and I probably switched off between three. Save room in your suitcase for souvenirs to bring home!

Rain Gear

It never rains in Greece. Don’t waste the space.

What Was Worth The Suitcase Space

  • At least one phone with service to use for GPS and pictures
  • Outlet adapters
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe/after sun lotion
  • Leave some room for souvenirs on the way back!
  • Books or a kindle
  • Headphones
  • Disposable camera
  • Travel pillow
  • Eye cover for the plane

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