When Jackie and I took our infamous Cinque Terre trip, our luggage was lost for most of the vacation. The suitcases had locater tags as well as luggage tags inside and out. US Airways could not have been less helpful. We eventually tracked the bags to Madrid. That’s so close to Milan, isn’t it?
That debacle led me to avoid checking a bag on international or connecting flights. Which also led to Jackie and me creating a list of what was truly necessary for a hiking destination trip. On subsequent trips to hike Wales’s Pembrokeshire Coast Path, we purchased the Junior Weekender e-Bags. The packs were easy to carry and easy to stash on planes and trains.
Packing for Your Hiking Trip
The following is a list of what you need for ten days of hiking:
- Your best hiking shoes—no other shoes are necessary*
- 3 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of zip off hiking pants
- 4 underwear, 2 bras
- 5 shirts that can be layered in various combinations
- 1 fleece jacket or light coat
- Highly crushable raincoat & light hiking gloves & SPF hat
- 1 garment that doubles for sleeping and lounging
- Foldable Slippers or heavy socks because of the stone hotel floors
- Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair goo, Face lotion, Mascara, Toothpaste
- Toothbrush, Floss and Q-tips
- Maps—if you’re into them the way I am
- Eye covers & ear plugs (Her husband said Jackie snores, but I never heard her until this happened.)
- Watch (clocks are uncommon in hotels)
- Voltage adapter
- Camera, lens, extra batteries/charger, although as I update this in 2023, the iPhone 14 is pretty phenomenal
- Gifts from hometowns—if you are staying in one town as we did for 7 days; it was a treat to leave gifts behind
- Two pairs of earrings—a woman can dress up any outfit for evening with the right earrings
- Motion-sickness wristbands
- Hand wipes & bacterial gel
- Shipping is very expensive, so bring an extra bag to check a suitcase or save enough cash to ship it home
- *Although I’ve been known to stash Keen sandals bearing Jerry Garcia’s crazy colors
Closing Advice for European Packing
Since this trip in 2007, I’ve been to Europe and the UK a dozen or so times. The best advice I can give you is this:
Take the smallest possible carryon and a small daypack for camera, water and purse items. Skip the big suitcase—you will hate wielding it on/off trains and you won’t need three-quarters of what you pack.
Here’s my travel checklist.