I love this view!

Summer for many means packing for summer vacations, and for those with larger families or longer itineraries, finding the balance between having enough, occasion-appropriate outfits and not traveling like an episode of the Real Housewives takes planning and for me, lists! We recently returned from a tour of Italy with our four daughters, ages 16-23. Our on-the-ground (and on-the-water since we were in Venice!) transportation and tours were arranged by our travel company, Classic Journeys and we were able to move around Italy together in vans and sometimes, mini-busses. But despite having vans, we still had to be mindful of the amount of luggage we could bring and restricted the girls to one backpack and one suitcase, each. My husband brought a carryon suitcase where we packed a full outfit for every member in case our luggage didn’t make it, especially with our connection in Germany.

My kids have aged out of the mom-packs-my-suticase phase (chorus of Hallelujah, please!), but still needed some guidance. Our itinerary was a mixture of city walking tours, museum visits, biking tours, church visits with the attendant modesty requirements, and dinners at lovely restaurants. I decided to make two lists: a distilled version of itinerary with clothing requirements for that day and an overall packing list that included toiletries, etc. I had to come up with clothing descriptions to describe the kind of clothes that were appropriate for the day’s events. I decided on the categories of sport–athletic clothes, nice sport--shorts, rompers, skirts, day dresses that could be worn with sneakers, and dress–dresses, rompers, skirts, and skirts that could be worn with sandals.

Our itinerary changed slightly when we were on the ground in Italy (the Uffizi Gallery is actually closed on Mondays and there was a train strike), but it worked well enough. At the end of the post, I’ve included links to some of my must-haves that made this trip easier!


Venice canals by gondola

Italy 2019—-La dolce vita

Venice, Tuscany, Florence, the Italian Riviera, Genoa



Leave for airport by noon

Wednesday—Hotel Papadopoli

Arrive in Venice

Walking tour with church visit (nice sport–needs to be more modest outfit-shoulders covered, no short shorts)—1:30pm

Welcome dinner with guide—dress



Tour Murano, Burano, and Torcello—islands of Venice

Boat ride and walking tour—nice sport, but maybe not a dress since you will be climbing in and out of boat

Family dinner —dress


Friday—Villa Le Barone

Train to Florence, then onto Chianti—nice sport

Walking tour of villa estate with hosts

Afternoon by pool

Dinner with hosts—dress



Bike ride through Tuscan countryside to Monteriggioni—sport

Return to hotel and then walking tour of San Gimignano

Dinner with guide—nice sport or dress



Walking tour of Siena—nice sport

Wine tasting

Family dinner (probably at villa)


Monday—Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni

Walking tour of Florence and visit Uffizi gallery  and Leonardo di Vinci exhibit—-nice sport

Cooking class for dinner


Tuesday—-Grand Hotel Miramare

Morning in Florenceto see David—sport, but maybe modest

Bike tour of Lucia

Drive to Italian Riviera

Dinner with guide—dress or nice sport



Train and then hiking tour of Cinque Terre—sport and looks like our most strenuous day

Opportunity to swim (?)—pack swimsuits in day bag, get more info on the ground

Family (birthday) dinner—dress



Walking tour of  Portofino– nice sport

Boat ride on coast

Dinner with guide—dress



Relax in Portofino in morning

Private ½ day boat ride (2-6pm)—swimsuit and coverup

*finalize plans with concierge to get to boat tour

Family dinner—dress


Saturday—Hotel Bristol Palace

Travel to Genoa—nice sport

Day on our own


Sunday, July 28

Depart for airport


Our itemized packing lists:

Italy packing

Carry-on (everyone except my husband used backpacks as carryons in case we had to hold them in our laps if the transportation vans did not have enough cargo room for our luggage)


2 pairs of panties

1 extra bra so that on your person and in bag you have 1 sports bra and 1 regular bra

1 pair of socks (and make sure you wear socks to the airport)

1 top that matches bottoms you wear on plane

Birks or sneakers (wear one and bring the other)

Swimsuit and coverup





Stick deodorant


Pillow for plane

Toiletry bag from mom – I will prepare and give to everyone

  • Face wipe—a makeup remover wipe and a face wipe, I love these for travel
  • Body wipe
  • Anti-bac wipe (for hands)
  • Clorox wipes (for wiping down airplane seat and tray)
  • Vitamin c gummies (for an immunity boost)
  • moisturizer

I knew we would get an amenity bag from the airline with toothbrushes and toothpaste, but I would have added that to the toiletry bag if we had not.

Make-up bag as needed


What I added to mine:

two large scarves-  used as extra blankets or rolled as an extra pillow on plane and then as a shawl to cover up shoulders or wrapped around waists to cover up thighs in churches. I kept the scarves in my backpack all trip. Sometimes, you stumble upon a church or the church was not explicitly in the itinerary and the scarves were extremely helpful to meet the modesty standards.

mini mom-pharm–Pepto Bismol, Dramamine, pads, tampons, Tums, Advil, Band-aids

Shout wipes – nothing makes me feel more out-of-sorts than a dribble of something on my shirt or pants, and I keep these wipes with me at all times!


Family carry on—give to me (this was my husband’s)

1 outfit – top, bottom, socks


In addition to items in carryon,

Pack in your suitcase

Make-up as needed

2 plastic bags for dirty or wet clothes

Pads and tampons—even if you are not due! (Lessons learned from traveling with 5 women)



Hair products


Rain poncho or jacket

4 pairs of panties

1 regular bra

2 sports bras

4 pairs of socks

1 pair of sandals

Long sleeve sunshirt—-for sun and bring for modesty in churches, etc

Sun hat or baseball hat

You should have:

3 sporty outfits for strenuous activity like hiking and biking

Tops and bottoms—they need to be comfortable and wicking

3 nicer sport outfits for walking tours

Can be shorts and tops, or skorts, t-shirt dresses, denim or twill shorts, but need to wear sneakers with the outfit

3 dress outfits

Dresses, rompers, jumpsuits, can be worn with sandals

With this packing list, you will have:

The outfit you wear on plane

The outfit you pack in family carryon

3 sporty

3 nice sport

3 dress

= 11 outfits which is plenty


Additional items, but has to fit in suitcase and weigh under restriction


We will try to do laundry in Chianti on7/20 and 7/25—-not everything, but a few things. note: we were unable to do laundry in Chianti, but I was able to hand wash items so that we made it to Santa Margherita. Performance fabrics are perfect because they dry so quickly! 

I followed the same packing list, but added

the mom pharmacy: Benadryl, Benadryl topical stick, Neosporin, Sudafed, DayQuil and NyQuil, Pepto-Bismol, Immodium AD, Dramamine, more Band-aids

Razors for all

extra toothbrushes and toothpaste in case someone left theirs behind in a hotel change

Bug spray

After-sun lotion

more sunscreen

travel adaptors

laundry detergent (I always bring, because you never know!)


With these lists and planning, the only thing we had to buy in Italy was more motion-sickness medicine. I underestimated the twisting hills of Tuscany and its effect on my kids during the van rides. Two of them are prone to motion sickness, but the other two became nauseous during the long rides and they used up my stock. But it was close, we only needed two doses for the airplane ride home. It was definitely worth the time to plan, list, and organize our packing so we were able to spend our time sightseeing and not trying to find more socks. What travel tips do you swear by?



The following links are for the products that I loved having on this trip. I was not compensated in any way — I just want to share what worked for us!

Face wipes— I love these wipes from Lauren Napier because they are individually wrapped, so they don’t dry out out between trips. I bring them on plane trips and to field hockey tournaments.

Body wipes–My favorite are from Yuni, available at Target, and are individually wrapped, so I was able to give everyone their own.

Vitamin C gummies– My husband swears by the Emergen-C packets that you add to water, but the kids and I prefer the gummies!

Shout wipes–I carry these when I travel, in my purse, and in my car. The wipes do an amazing job of cleaning up dribbles and they have never left a ring around the spot I cleaned!–go-instant-stain-remover-wipes/ID=prod4274-product?ext=gooKBM_PLA_-_All_Products&pla&adtype=pla&kpid=sku304274&sst=_k_EAIaIQobChMIxtyRoOXh4wIVhZyzCh1qQA3OEAQYAiABEgLY1vD_BwE_k_&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxtyRoOXh4wIVhZyzCh1qQA3OEAQYAiABEgLY1vD_BwE

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: