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How to Pack Intelligently

Here are some tips to help you pack sensibly and avoid the pitfalls of too much luggage.

You need to remember that, here in Greece, you’re pretty much responsible for carting your luggage around, especially on and off ferries. And, there’s nothing worse than dragging your bag through crowded streets in the intense summer heat that Greece is known for. Unless you use our transfer service, which offers assistance, you will definitely begin to hate your luggage very quickly!

All you need for a two-week summer holiday

In all our years of experience, we have come to discover that most visitors simply pack too much stuff! If you’re visiting the islands, and/or the southern and central mainland of Greece during the summer months of June through September, you really do not need to bring a lot of clothing with you. With all the marvelous sunny days ahead of you, it’s a snap to rinse out t-shirts and shorts and have them dry and ready to wear in a few hours. And please, leave your heavy city shoes at home … here we wear sneakers, sandals or cool open-toed shoes, usually flat, as the pavement can be uneven and precarious.

Try and pack clothing that can do double duty. For women, long cotton skirts are simply great, as they can work for both day and evening use, should you want to look extra special. Snazzy beach cover-ups can also be worn as a top or over a sleeveless tee for a special evening dinner in town. However, casual clothing is the rule, day or night, so you can leave the beaded tops at home, along with the high-heeled pumps; you won’t need them (and you probably won’t want them). Light and airy cotton shirts, pants, dresses and skirts are not only in fashion, but are practical and take little room in your case. These also save you the necessity of carrying a travel iron. If you find yourself short on any item of clothing, do remember that Greece is known for selling reasonably priced, terrific cotton clothes, which you might be inclined to buy even if you don’t need them!

If you’re traveling during spring and fall, pack a lightweight windbreaker or sweater/sweatshirt. It’s very unlikely that you’ll need more than that for the evenings. On the off chance that you do, you can always add another layer. Also, this is the season for denim, not during the hot summer months. If you’re heading up north, you’ll have to bring some warmer clothes, as the nights, especially, are quite chilly. This can also apply during the summer months in northern Greece, so think of layering when you pack.

Hiking boots take up a lot of room (and add weight), so bring these along (better yet, wear them!) only if you’re planning on doing any hiking.  For the islands and southern and central Greece, the best time for this is spring and fall, when the temperatures are cooler.  For northern Greece and any gorge trekking you might be planning, this is a year-round activity.

Also, all pharmacies and supermarkets sell shampoos, deodorants, sun lotions, creams and other health care products, so it’s not a bad idea to leave those behind and buy when you get here.  In fact, with the current air travel restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage (see below for updated regulations), this is a great idea and will save weight too.

Pack smartly, and don’t be a slave to your luggage!

Carry-On Restrictions as of November 2006:

All liquids, gels and pastes must be carried in ONE clear plastic re-sealable or zip top bag, no larger than 20cm x 20cm (8 inches x 8 inches), the equivalent of one liter capacity.

Liquids, gels and pastes must be in containers no larger than 100ml (3.5 fl. oz).

The clear plastic bag must be removed from your carry-on bag and screened separately.