We traveled to Italy in the fall of 2021 and it really was a trip of a life time. Hands down the best trip we’ve ever taken.
Prior to our trip we did a lot of researching and thinking on what we needed to make traveling and exploring smooth and enjoyable. It really paid off and things ended up working out really well.
That said we did go back and forth on what was really going to be helpful and what was going to be extra. Even though our trip was over two weeks, we still wanted to pack light so we could get around easily.
Okay enough said. Let’s get to it. Here are the items that were incredibly helpful and we were so glad we packed!
Crazy Cap - UV Bottle Cap for Clean Water
#1 item we bought with us! This little thing was amazing. Italy had a lot of water spigots scattered throughout the cities so getting refills was quick and easy. But even if the water is clean, exposure to different bacteria that we’re not used to can cause some problems! And that’s where this UV bottle cap comes it.
We bought one of these caps, and two water bottles that the cap fit. Every time we refilled our bottles we’d run a disinfecting cycle, switch caps and run it on the second bottle. The cycles are either 90 seconds or 3 minutes for the deep clean.
These UV Crazy Caps made staying hydrated while in Italy so easy! Totally worth the price. I wouldn’t hesitate one second to buy one – and we’re cheap!
Lightweight Reusable Water Bottles
Although the WAATER bottles that are sold with the cap are pretty cool, they’re also a pretty penny. We found some lightweight, durable bottles on Amazon that are compatible with the cap and fit our budget better.
These bottles were great! Kept our water cool, not too big, and not too heavy. Honestly I don’t know what we would have done for water if we hadn’t brought our bottles.
Because Italy is best toured on foot, good shoes are a must.
I believe good quality shoes are a must anytime, but if you haven’t jumped on the highly-supportive shoe train yet, now is the time.
High quality shoes with good support are going to allow you to walk all those miles and see all the amazing sites.
When looking for shoes, be sure to consider some whether proof or whether resistant shoes. Yep, we’re talking something like Allbirds or Vessis.
A note on choosing shoes:
When we first started looking at shoes we often asked ourselves, “well, which one??” They all seem to do the same thing, are about the same price, and all look good, so ?? We found that it came down to foot shape/size. It’s worth giving several brands a try to what fits you best, because with a lot of walking, even a minor misfit can get really painful!
Good Walking Sandals / Slip-ons
Okay you’re not always going to want to wear tennis shoes/sneakers/casual. Some days you’re just going to want a good sandal! Whether the temps are up or you need to dress up a little, sandals are a great option. You can get sandals with good support, look super cute, and are versatile.
I think I tried on about 20 pairs of sandals to try to find the right ones. And I also did a lot of researching. Everyone said buy Birkenstocks. But I hesitated. One because of the price – did I really need to spend that much on a sandal? Two because I just wasn’t convinced that they’d be all that comfortable.
Was I right? Nope!
Let me just say, BIRKENSTOCKS ARE THE BEST. No, you don’t need to spend that much for a sandal but you should. 🙂 They are so good for your feet, the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn, awesome quality, and worth every penny.
I wouldn’t travel with any other sandal. I wore these all over Italy and personally found them more comfortable than sneakers!
And of course Birkenstocks come in a lot of different styles and colors so it’s easy to find one that fits you best (or hard because there are so many great options). This is a travel purchase you won’t regret!
Next up: an anti-theft backpack. Yes, pickpockets in Italy are a thing. And in a lot of places, it gets so crowded you’d never notice if someone came up and grabbed something out of your backpack.
Anti-theft backpacks have a pocket with a zipper on the back (the side that’s on your back!) so anything valuable can go in there and nobody is going to be able to get to it. This was a no-brainer for us, because we never had to worry that someone might get to our valuables.
And the backpack was the only thing we carried around with us when touring and it made things so easy. Big enough to fit everything we needed for the day, only one thing to keep track of, and comfortable to carry around.
Small Zipper Pouch for Cash & Coins
A small, inexpensive money bag/purse made it really easy to pay for our food or taxi or souvenirs. There was one small bag that we kept all of our cash and coins in, and we always knew it was in our secure backpack pocket.
It eliminated digging through pockets, carrying cash on our persons, and coins being scattered in random bags or pants.
Yep, trust me. If you’re not used to a diet high in gluten or dairy, your system might get clogged up. And that’s just uncomfortable. And who wants to sit on the toilet for 45 minutes when you could be out exploring?! Not to mention bloating and not being able to eat more delicious food!
So if it can be helped, it just not worth it. So bring a laxative just in case. And I’d recommend a stimulant if you don’t have a reason to avoid it. I’d brought a non-stimulant and it just wasn’t quite enough. 😣
Laundry Sheets & Clothesline
Annnd finally…laundry sheets and a clothesline.
We thought a lot about how much to pack and what our options were for laundry when we were planning out trip to Italy.
We really didn’t want to bring a ton of clothes. It was important to us to be able to travel lightly so that we could get around easily. Since we were going to be gone for over two weeks, we knew we were going to have to do laundry a couple times.
Although there are some hotels that offer laundry service, we didn’t really want to pay for it…or pay for a fancy enough hotel that would have those services! 🙂
So we started thinking about how we could do some laundry ourselves.
Turns out it’s really not too bad when you have a tub, some laundry sheets, and a clothes line! We had to get a little creative with hanging the clothes line, but thankfully we stayed in a couple places with a balcony so we could hang out clothes outside to dry.
So grab some laundry sheets, an inexpensive clothesline set, and plan your laundry days for when your accommodations have a tub or large sink and you’ll be good to go!
Now all that’s left is to pack your bags and enjoy the adventure!