your detailed guide on how to pack for a weekend away in italy


photo: kaylyn wenzel

While most Kent State students are seeking warmth and praying for canceled classes back in Ohio, the Italian study abroad program is in full swing. After exploring Florence for a few weeks, students have now become comfortable enough in Italy to venture out of our temporary home town and explore more of Europe. Whether you’re studying abroad now, or living vicariously through the students who are, I have created an in-depth list of the best ways to pack for a weekend trip while in Italy. 

First things first: Where are we headed to? In my time in Italy so far, I have traveled to Pisa and Milan for a day trip and weekend trip respectively. However, fellow students have explored the cities of Venice, Rome and Naples to name a few. And, with the borders opening up more and travel restrictions loosening, there has been talk of trips to Amsterdam, Paris and Switzerland. Since I have recently spent a few days in Milan, let’s use that city as an example for our packing list.

photo: Anna Fox
model: Katy Schormann

The first thing to do is check the weather forecast for the days you will be visiting. While close cities will probably have similar weather as to where you’re staying, you will still want to make sure you know exactly what to expect in order to effectively pack. Now, let’s pick out the travel bag we will be taking. I recommend bringing a backpack because they are easy to carry and have lots of different pockets for storage. A second bag for your phone, wallet, masks and anything you need when leaving the hotel to explore is also a key item to bring.

Now let’s get to what I know we are all here for: the clothes. As a chronic overpacker, I’ve found that planning out every little detail of an outfit helps so much when it comes to packing a small bag effectively. If you need some outfit inspo, start by asking your travel buddies what they’re planning on wearing. You definitely want your outfit vibes to match for the plenty of photos you’ll be taking. 

photo: Katy Schormann
model: Anna fox

After that, peruse the holy grail app Pinterest. I love using Pinterest for European outfit and picture inspo and I created a separate board for outfits with similar items to what I brought to Italy. As for the outfit itself, I recommend layering if your destination will be a bit colder in the morning and evening, and warmer in the afternoon, which is basically everywhere right now. When planning multiple outfits, see if you can use one clothing item in multiple ways. This will save more space than you think when packing.

Then, while it may seem unnecessary, try on all the outfits you plan on bringing. This way, you will be able to see if you like the outfit and feel comfortable in it, and you’ll be able to see if there are any changes you need to make. The key to packing well is by bringing only what you need, so narrow down your jewelry to a few pieces that go with every outfit, bring minimal shoes (a good walking pair is a must, and a pair for a nice dinner is good to have) and try to cut down on what makeup/hair products you’re bringing. 

Something my roommates/travel buddies and I have been loving is expanding our wardrobe, aka, seeing what each person has in their closet. A great way to maximize space when packing is by sharing what you are bringing with your friends. For example, maybe on our travel day I will wear a white turtleneck with a skirt, boots and black coat. My friend can then the next day wear my turtleneck with a pair of leather trousers and a different jacket, creating a whole new look using the same piece. The sharing goes for other items too — try to only bring one hair curler or straightener that you can all share during the trip. Of course, before borrowing anything from your roommates or friends, make sure to respect them and ask permission! 

photo: Katy Schormann
model: Julia Morehead

Remember the small bag I mentioned before? Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of that. Personally, I like to travel with something smaller than a tote bag, but big enough to fit what I’ll need throughout the day. I typically keep my phone, wallet, passport, AirPods, lip balm, portable charger and cord and a small water bottle in this bag. If you take anything at all away from this article, it is to bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. Most of Europe is going to charge you for water at a restaurant, and that cost will add up over time. Plus, with all the walking done daily in Europe, it is easy to become dehydrated, which can end your day early if you end up not feeling well. 

Now that we have everything we need for our weekend trip, let’s get it all in our backpack. The clothes you will wear last should go on the bottom of the bag, and pajamas or your next outfit should go on top. Pack makeup and skincare items in small travel bags that can sit on top of your clothes. Stuffing your socks inside the shoes you’re packing is also a great way to conserve more space. 

Now let’s set off on our journey! Remember to stay updated on the COVID restrictions of the place you are visiting, and be safe by taking extra precautions and being aware of your surroundings. If you are abroad right now, we have been given the amazing opportunity to live in Europe, so take advantage of it and explore as much as you can. 

Support Student Media
Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.