Going on holiday is undoubtedly the best part of any year. Packing for a holiday — not so much.
In between organizing house stuff, putting things in order at work and making sure that nothing gets left behind, things get left behind! In order to maximize the chances that nothing is forgotten, a plan of action is required.
GREECE SUMMER PACKING LIST
As a general rule, packing for 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months in a summer destination should ultimately require the same amount of stuff. Considering that temperatures in Greece between June and September will rarely fall below 20 degrees, a standard suitcase of 65-75 litres, plus a carry on should be more than enough to cover all your belongings and leave space for gifts and souvenirs on the way back.
The trouble with all packing lists that you can find online is that it is impossible for them to be tailored to your preference. For your packing to be as successful as possible you need two things:
1) to make your own
2) to make sure that you don’t forget anything
STEP 1: MAKING THE GREECE PACKING LIST
Grab a pen and a paper and start writing down everything you can think of that you may need.
If you prefer to work from our suggested list you can download our ” Greece Packing List Template” below.
Starting with items of clothing divide your list into
everyday clothes, “fancy” wear, sleep attire, swimming gear, hobbies and others.
Do not write down how many of each you need to take. Just focus on putting down some general items that you know you are going to need for sure.
Old Sport T-shirts
Cami and Shorts
This is where you include specialized clothing items that you know you are going to need during your holiday activities. Are you a hiker, do you enjoy diving, maybe you like running a couple of miles a day? Contrary to popular belief, Greece is a land of mountains, counting more than 300 mountain peaks and hills so if that is something you are interested in you may want to include your favourite hiking shorts, some nice socks and a pair of hiking boots or appropriate shoes.
If on the other hand, you are simply looking forward to getting in the water in one of the thousands of beaches on offer around the Greek archipelago, you might want to bring some of your diving gear, like your wetsuit, fins and mask. Warm temperatures and idyllic locations are also excellent companions to your morning run, so if you know you are going to be exercising frequently make sure to include your sports clothes.
Shoes + Others:
That is all the items that have not been mentioned above plus your shoes.
That would include:
intimates – beach towel – socks – scarves – sunglasses – hat – accessories (jewelry, watches, belts) – shoes
There are two ways to work through your toiletries packing list.
1. Grab a toiletry bag and place everything you see that you think you might want inside.
2. Visualize your everyday routine and take only what you most frequently use. Chances are that what you need is not going to change drastically just because you are on holiday.
While we all like to indulge in different things when it comes to our personal care, a standard toiletry bag might include:
- toothpaste – floss – mouthwash – toothbrush charger – toothbrush (electric)
- shampoo/body wash/soap – tweezers – perfume – day/night cream – deodorant
- razors – shaving cream -wet wipes – sunscreen – make up
- comb/brush – hair styling products – *hair dryer
- first aid kit – insect repellent – antibacterial spray
If you are trying to pack light
For those trying to pack light, avoid any unnecessarily bulky items that can be bought once you arrive in Greece. Since you will be visiting during the summer season, even the smallest island will have an adequately stocked supermarket.
Skip: large bottles of body wash, shampoo and mouthwash
*for the ladies – hairdryer
You will definitely be able to purchase those items once you arrive and they free up a lot of space in your bag. Not to mention you don’t have to worry about one of those big bottles spilling all over your clothes. Unless you are absolutely dependant upon your hairdryer we would suggest leaving it behind. Your hotel room is more than likely going to have one and due to the warm weather, your hair will dry fast and naturally anyway.
Do not skip: prescription medication and sunblock
Prescription medication is the only item in your toiletry bag that you would not be able to replace once you arrive. That includes any vitamins or other non-prescription pharmacy items that you like to have handy that might not be available. Sunblock is sold everywhere, however, having it in your bag from the moment you arrive means you can apply it as soon as possible.
Starting your holiday with a bad sunburn is never fun.
What about a carry on toiletry bag:
If you are visiting by plane and your flight is more than a few hours long, you are going to be needing a carry on toiletry bag. Some things that are nice to have are an extra toothbrush, a small toothpaste, travel size deodorant, lip balm and some face wash to freshen up before you leave the plane. Most long-haul airlines nowadays provide customers with a basic toiletry kit but if you prefer to have your own then make sure to include it in your packing list.
STEP 2: VISUALIZE
Your clothes, shoes and toiletries will be taking up the most space in your suitcase. Which is why, once you have a general idea of what you would like to bring, you will want to put them all on one side of the room and assess the situation. The first time you start taking items out of your closet and placing them inside your suitcase, you are going to end up with a lot more than what you need. That is okay because now is the time for Step 3.
Packing becomes a lot more relaxing when you are thinking of this view!
STEP 3: MINIMIZE
Now that you can see all your options, start by eliminating some of the clothes. If you have put aside 12 pairs of shorts and only 2 t-shirts then you need to remove some shorts and add some tops. Everyone dresses differently but for a hot Greek weather summer, aim to include a lot of light fabrics that can keep you cool under the sun.
Cotton and linen clothing is particularly useful for the way it absorbs extra sweat and helps the body to cool down.
STEP 4: ELECTRONICS
Maybe you are a tech-loving traveller maybe not, however, chances are that you are going to be travelling with at least one mobile phone device. Regardless of whether your gear list includes one portable camera or a 5 lens kit plus accessories, add all devices, chargers, batteries, external drives, and adapters to your list.
Don’t forget your camera or sunglasses. They will both be heavily used!
STEP 5: ESSENTIALS
By now your Greece packing list should be almost ticked off entirely and your bags ready to travel.
What remains are the absolute essentials.
Those are the items you absolutely require. You cannot travel without them.
Even the most seasoned of travellers forget their passports sometimes, so to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, write the most important items down on a separate piece of paper and double check it before you leave the house.
- passport / ID
- visa (if required)
- airline ticket
- International drivers license
- some cash
- debit/credit cards
How much money will I need to bring in cash?
Despite what you might have heard about the current economic crisis in Greece, tourism has been untouched by the situation. The ATMs are working and access to cash through the normal processes are unaffected for tourists, so there is nothing to worry about.
Do I need a visa to travel to Greece?
Possibly! Visitors from different countries and passports are eligible for different visas, with different time frames. However, make sure to always check with a reputable agency in advance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides some details for visitors seeking to travel to Greece. To access the information please click here
Do I need an International Driver Permit (IDP) to drive in Greece?
Due to recent law changes, non-EU citizens will need to have an International Driver Permit if they wish to rent a car in Greece. The permit is usually valid for one year and you can acquire it up to 6 months ahead.
This link provides some useful information for US citizens from the embassy regarding driving laws in Greece. Other countries will need to search for relevant information from their own embassies.
And that is your packing done! As long as your travel documents are in place and you did not forget to lock the front door to the house everything else you might need can be purchased once you arrive.
A FEW EXTRA WORDS OF ADVICE
- The magic of the Greek islands (or any other destination within Greece) is best enjoyed on foot — when you are not basking in the sun by the beach that is. So pick items that are comfortable, easy to mix and match, allow you to move freely and do not take long to wash or dry.
- While the weather during the day can reach stifling hot temperatures, as soon as the sun starts to go down the temperature drops to ideal and balmy conditions. For summer nights by the water, the temperature is unlikely to require anything more than your summer clothes. However, nights can be considerably chillier if you are higher in altitude so a light jacket, cardigan or shawl should be included in your packing list.
- It is not uncommon to see people making their way to the beach for a late night swim at 8 or 9 o clock at night since the water remains warm throughout the night from its daily sun exposure. Multiple opportunities throughout the day for a swim means multiple swimsuits, so make sure to pack at least two.
- While bath towels are almost always provided in hotels, some places might prohibit you to use them on the beach or require that you hire them for the day. In either case, packing a small quick dry beach towel could be to your advantage.