The Complete Greece Packing List for Your Summer Trip
June 8, 2020
SUMMER IN GREECE PACKING LIST FOR FEMALES:
Are you spending the summer in Greece? If so, props to you for making that happen. I just got back from 3 weeks of Greek island hopping between Karpathos, Rhodes, Crete, and Paros and could not wait to share my Greece packing list. I am typically someone who packs 30 minutes before they leave for the airport, throwing in the entirety of my closet in a mad scramble to get out the door. However, as this 2018 Europe trip was a 3-month extravaganza with a seasonal change in the middle, I spent the better part of a month finessing my list so that I would be incredibly prepared packing for Greece and the rest of my impending travels. Whether you are spending one week in Greece, two weeks in Greece, or a whole month in this beautiful country, I hope that this Greek Island packing guide will alleviate some stress, mitigate any surprises upon arrival in Greece, and help you choose some cute outfits for Greece!
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When I was thinking about what to wear in Greece, this was an item that I did not even come to mind as it isn’t typically a personal wardrobe staple, but my companion had a chambray shirt that she ended up wearing every single day –yes, it was smelly –to keep the harsh sun off of her shoulders and back. I met others along the way who did the same, many with a white linen button down, and truly believe that this is one of the most important and savviest essentials that you can pack for Greece. I now own and love Madewell’s Tie Front Shirt because it keeps the shirt more fitted and not quite so baggy. Old Navy also has a Relaxed Classic Shirt that has incredible reviews and is extremely affordable. A long-sleeved button down is definitely my number one on the list of things to bring to Greece.
So, my mom is much cooler than I am and is always in the know about the latest trends. I’m not kidding; she was literally one of the first people to watch YouTube back in the day. Anyway, my mom had recently bought Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Face 50 on a recommendation from one of the beauty bloggers that she watches, and told me I should take hers on my trip with me. It was by far my favorite item that I packed. It’s a slightly tinted sunscreen that does not feel remotely sticky which is critical when you are sweating profusely throughout Greece. It’s incredibly lightweight and SPF 50. I never got burned on my face once wearing this product. It evened out my skin tone and felt like I was putting air on my face. It’s basically gloriousness in a bottle that also just so happens to be 3 ounces so you can bring it in your carry on!
You are not supposed to drink the tap water on some of the Greek Islands and you will notice a slightly salty flavor if you do. Consequently, you either end up completely dehydrated because you drink nothing all day, buy a .5L bottle and drink it up in 30 seconds, or you lug around a massive 1.5L plastic bottle that bakes in the sun. Buying a water bottle or two every day actually adds up in price, so if you don’t bring your own, go to the supermarket Day 1 and buy a 6-pack of 1.5L water for around 2 euro. But, in honor of the anti-plastic era that we are now entering, I recommend buying a filtered water bottle (collapsible would be ideal) to bring with you on the day to day. I shared some options above that I think would be ideal to include on your Greece packing list.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I wore these bad boys, but I certainly wish that I had included a pair on my packing list for Greece. Many of the beaches in Greece are pebbly, and trying to walk in flip flops into the water while simultaneously posing for a “candid” photoshoot can prove quite difficult. My flip flops immediately floated away and I got a nasty cut on the bottom of my foot from the rocks while chasing after them. I then proceeded to read online about how to clean sand from a wound and by the end of it all was counting the days until I died of tetanus. So to avoid all of this meshugenah, swallow your pride and get some ugly water shoes so you don’t have to worry about that rocky ocean floor. And, it turns out that water shoes these days aren’t so fugly. Look at how cute these ALEADER Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes are from Amazon!
Read More: Best Water Shoes for Rocky Beaches
GREECE PACKING LIST
No matter how hot and sweaty you are, Greece is just one of those places where you want to take pride in your Greece fashion. If you don’t include a blue and white striped number, an all-white ensemble and a pair of gladiator shoes, are you even traveling to Greece? Ok that might be taking it a step too far, but when planning your Greece vacation outfits, just remember dress light in both color and fabric, and think Mediterranean. If you’re looking for some Greece outfit ideas, I will include the exact item I brought if the products are still available and I still loved it after my trip.
CLOTHES FOR GREECE
-1 pair of tennis shoes that are easy to walk in Adidas CF Daily QT CL Sneaker
- I personally prefer to wear white sneakers as I think they look the cutest and match with every outfit. There is some talk that white tennis shoes make you stand out as an American tourist but I’ve found that white sneakers have become extremely popular among Europeans too. If you’re looking for other comfortable walking shoes, I encourage you to check out Allbirds Tree Runners and Ecco shoes, two traveler favorites.
-1 pair of flip flops for walking around your hostel/pool at your hotel Old Navy Classic Flip Flops
-1 pair of flat sandals that are comfortable enough to walk on cobblestone streets Sam Edelman Gemma Lace-Up Sandal
-1 pair of running shoes if you plan on doing any hiking Nike Flex 2017 Running Sneaker
-1 pair of water shoes for rocks in the ocean
If you are a slight germaphobe like myself, I recommend using these travel shoe bags. You get six bags for only $6.99 and they have a transparent window so you can see which shoes are inside. This keeps the bottoms of your shoes away from the rest of your clothes and can serve as an emergency laundry bag if needed.
Personally, I think that a long-sleeved button down will be more helpful than a jacket in the heat of the summer, but you could also bring a black cardigan sweater to throw on as well to keep covered from mosquitos. I brought a jean jacket along too, and was uncomfortably hot on the nights that I attempted to wear it.
I recommend some basic tees and tanks to be able to pair with multiple bottoms –skirts, lightweight pants, shorts, etc. TopShop white tees are incredible! I brought one full length and one crop and some basic black tank tops as well. I am also obsessed with bodysuits because they fit my figure really well, but I recognize that isn’t the best option for everyone because of the bathroom situation. If you love bodysuits like me but don’t want to wear on the trip, I recommend you go shopping at Bershka while in Greece because they had so many cute ones all of which I wanted to bring home with me!
Pants, Shorts, Skirts
I would bring a couple pairs of shorts, a couple of midi skirts or skirt sets (my favorite was a L’Atiste Floral Wrapped Maxi Set that I found at Nordstrom Rack), and a pair of lightweight paperbag style pants that can be dressed down or dressed up for dinner and drinks dining out. I tried to find lightweight fabrics that would not wrinkle and found the most success with this when my items were made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex or of a similar ratio. Be careful with items that are 100% rayon; these are usually the trendiest, but rayon really wrinkles and can shrink like crazy. I do not recommend bringing jeans on your summer Greek Island vacation. You mighttttt be able to get away with them if you’re in Greece in May or September, but in June, July, and August, I promise you will not wear them.
Dresses for Greece will probably make up the bulk of your wardrobe. I recommend packing midi-dresses, jumpsuits (Elodie Culotte Jumpsuit from Nordstrom Rack is pictured above) or maxi dresses that are altered so they do not drag on the floor. Many of the Greek Islands are extremely windy over the summer and short dresses tend to fly up quite easily so be prepared for a possible Marilyn moment if you do decide to go short.
I was in Greece for 3 weeks and brought 3 swimsuits, but I think for any duration of time, 2 swimsuits is actually more than enough. My favorite swimsuit is the Dolce Vita Studded Cutout One Piece from of course, Nordstrom Rack. I’ve officially graduated from the Xhilaration swimsuits at Target after coming to the realization that the material and fit of the swimwear is just not going to do it for me anymore.
Amazon actually has really cute and affordable bathing suit coverups. I actually bought all 3 of these and kept the first as it fit best.
Workout Gear/Lounge Wear:
I brought a sports bra, workout top, and leggings that were never worn because I justified that the daily outpour of perspiration was a workout in its own right. If you do plan to do some hiking though, I would bring workout clothes, preferably ones that aren’t all solid black. Also, some lounge wear or one set of comfortable clothes would be great to pack so you can change mid-day when you retreat to your hotel room to escape the afternoon heat.
Socks, Bras, Underwear, Pajamas:
I feel like this section is a “to each their own” part of the checklist. Bring lots of underwear, a couple bras, and just be aware that your socks will probably get smelly after wearing them all day, so bring more pairs than you think you need. Don’t forget sleeping socks if you’re weird like me and have to sleep in socks!
Yes, mosquito products their own section because in Greece, the mosquitos love to come out and play during the summer. I did everything preventative I could possibly do and was still covered. Before I left, I sprayed my clothes with Permethrin, clothing insect repellant, and I brought bug spray, cortizone cream, and Zyrtec with me. Let’s just say, my Zyrtec stash could not keep up with my daily bite accruals. You can also buy mosquito plugins at the pharmacies in Greece to put in your hotel room as well as mosquito prevention toilettes and mosquito prevention bands to wear around your wrists.
There were definitely an assortment of pad varieties at the local supermarkets, but many only had the OB tampon options, so you may want to bring along some of your own tampons if you know you will be getting your period. I brought all of my own supplies because I am particular (bougie?) like that.
I brought the following: Bonine, Advil, Tylenol, Bandaids, Zinc, Emergencee, Zylast, Immodium, and Tums. All of these items were necessary except for the immodium 🙂 They also sell individual neosporin packets which was something I needed but was lucky enough to have a friend that brought.
Camera, Memory Cards (bring 2 unless you are backing up consistently on your trip and can delete as you go along), Battery, Tripod, Charger
Portable Charger – This one by Anker is INCREDIBLE and has saved me many times both while traveling and at home. It is a bit heavy, but charges your devices at lightning speed.
European Travel Adapter – I would recommend bringing at least two so that you can charge phone and camera at the same time.
Underwater Camera (GoPro)
Books/Podcasts – Soooo, I’m incredibly jealous of you if you can read on any method of transportation and not get motion sick. Sadly, I can’t, so instead, I have been getting really REALLY into podcasts. Some of my favorites are How I Built This, Masters of Scale, Amateur Traveler, To Live and Die in LA, and of course, Serial. Podcasts have seriously saved me on long bus rides and flights. Just make sure to download while on wifi if you don’t have data while in Greece!
– Travelon Anti-theft Signature Slim Backpack This travel backpack was a savior on my 3-month Europe trip. I have lower back issues and this backpack helped disperse the weight evenly as opposed to a typical crossbody bag. Plus, I was in cities like Barcelona and did not need to worry about pickpocketing because of the anti-theft features.
Greeks are still not a major fan of the credit card, unfortunately, so it would behoove you to exchange your dollars for euros pre-Greece. You can use your card at large restaurants and travel agencies for ferry tickets, but your morning coffee or late night gyro will probably need to be paid for in cash. Make sure to get a credit card without foreign transaction fees! Also, I would recommend asking your bank if they can send you a Contactless card. I did not know these existed prior to my Europe trip, but those cards are much more widely accepted than your standard chip card. I would bring a debit card as well in case something happens to your credit card and I would look into opening an account with a bank that has an international partner in Greece so that it doesn’t cost you an egregious amount if you need to take out money. I love Chase bank, but they really stick it to you with their international bank fees.
Read More: How to Avoid Pickpockets in Europe
– Sunscreen, face wash, makeup remover wipes, unscented lotion (attract the least amount of mosquitos possible), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, nail clippers, small scissors, razor, shampoo, conditioner, soap, floss, tweezers, dry shampoo, contacts, contact lens solution, and/or glasses, hand sanitizer
– Wipes: One of my least favorite things about Greece is the pipe system. Basically, you are not supposed to throw toilet paper down the toilet, but instead into the trash can. Now being the super squeamish person that I am when it comes to bathroom functions, I was not okay with this and may or may not have followed the rules on this one. Regardless, I recommend bringing baby wipes with you to have just in case you end up in a desperate situation. Also, antibacterial wipes are never a bad idea. You can use these to clean your airplane tray table, seatbelt, and the latest most-germy product at the airport – bins at security. Gotta love having one more thing to be grossed out by!
It’s just too hot to wear a full coverage face of makeup, so while I brought my usual suspects, my routine consisted of Shaptape concealer applied with a beauty blender, Benefit Hoola bronzer and brush, blush and brush, highlighter and brush, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, and chapstick WITH SPF (It’s hot, your lips will get burned!). Also, I try to bring durable products that don’t consist of any loose power to avoid breakage and hotel room disasters.
While I only used the above items, I still brought the following with me which I will include for list purposes: Foundation/tinted moisturizer, beauty blender, concealer, bronzer, blush, highlighter, eye primer, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, brow pencil, brow brush, chapstick, lipstick/lipgloss, brushes
–Hair Ties and Bobby Pins
– Curler or Straightener (just bring one! unless this is your honeymoon, bring ’em all)
–Beach Bag: a free tote that you got from some event would suffice, but bonus points if it comes with a zipper. This tote can also be repurposed as a grocery bag for supermarket purchases (wine, wine, and more wine) and souvenir shopping.
–Beach Towel: if you’re staying at a hotel, then you won’t need but if you are at an airbnb or hostel, I would recommend asking if you will need one ahead of time. Towels are typically between 12 and 20 euros if you buy in Greece.
–Foldable Hat: SUPER IMPORTANT
I brought a baseball cap but that was not the ideal choice because my ears and neck weren’t covered. I recommend a fedora-style hat, one that is just large enough to cover said areas, but not anything too large as you will most likely be shlepping hat in-hand from island to island.
– Umbrella: probably not necessary in summer, but not a bad idea to throw one in to your suitcase if you have extra room
– Notebook and Pen
– Small Travel Sewing Kit
– Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll Pillow for Lower Back: This has been a game-changer for me when it comes to long-haul flights. I discuss it more in depth in my Traveling with Bad Pain post, but long story short, I have a herniated disc in my back and this pillow is the only thing that makes transcontinental flights bearable.
–Portable Travel Fan: I used to always get nauseous during the landing on airplanes, but having my own portable travel fan has mitigated this issue for me. Not going to lie, it is a little awkward pulling out a fan when the captain announces that the flight attendants should prepare for boarding, but it is absolutely worth it. It’s also 30 degrees Celsius in Greece during the summer, so it’s a great device to have if you’ve decided to see the Acropolis in Lindos mid-day or are taking a public bus to visit another town and the driver hasn’t turned on the air conditioning yet. This fan can be charged with its USB port!
And don’t forget your PASSPORT! Make copies too and disperse through your various baggage 🙂
Do you have any suggestions on what to pack for Greece? Or perhaps some ideas on the best outfits to wear in Greece? If so, please share in the comments below!
If you are looking for more Greece travel tips, be sure to check out the rest of my posts on Greece.
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