How to Pack for a Stylish Mediterranean Vacation

A fashion connoisseur shares her tips from a recent trip

Late night sunsets, outdoor pasta dinners overlooking cobblestone streets, afternoons lounging by sea. August is the ultimate time to visit the sunny Mediterranean, and having a comfortable, chic wardrobe (without packing everything in your closet!) could make or break your experience – and the quality of your Instagram photos.

Alyssa Longobucco of The Glossy Life recently spent two weeks in Italy with her family – visiting Florence, Rome, Monte San Savino, Sorrento and Capri – and has some advice to share on what to pack and what not to pack for a stylish Mediterranean vacation or cruise.

What are your tips for packing light for a Mediterranean vacation without sacrificing style?

I think my number one tip for packing for any vacation is to make sure the items you pack do double – even triple – duty. That fancy pair of heels that only go with one thing in your suitcase? You should probably skip them in lieu of nude pumps or leather wedges. I always try to abide by the 3-for-1 rule when packing: everything I pack should be able to be worn three different ways with the other items in my suitcase.

What are the essential clothing items to pack for a Mediterranean vacation? What types of clothes are no no’s?

My go-to is sundresses. They’re so easy to wear and you feel instantly pulled together with very minimal effort. You can take them from a casual tourist day roaming a city to a night out or fancy dinner. Plus, they typically take up very little room in your suitcase. I’d avoid packing anything too new–there’s nothing worse than discovering that a new pair of shorts is super uncomfortable or a new tank won’t stay up.

What are the essential shoes and accessories to pack for a Mediterranean vacation? What types of shoes are no no’s?

Comfortable shoes are a must, especially if you’re going to a pedestrian city like Florence. I’d recommend stylish sneakers in addition to a cushioned pair of sandals. Try to stay away from bringing that $300 pair of heels. Cobblestone streets can do serious damage to your soles! A few great statement necklaces are an easy way to mix up outfits while traveling. Don’t bring anything too valuable or sentimental, because if your luggage gets lost or something gets stolen, you don’t want to be left devastated.

Do you have any tips for keeping your clothes fresh during travel?

I like to layer my clothes with lavender dryer sheets or satchels of lavender that I’ve collected at farmer’s markets. Clothes can get musty and smelly while traveling, so it’s always nice to take something out of your bag and have it smell like home.

Do you have any other general packing advice to keep in mind?

Invest in good travel gear! I was stuck with a one-wheeled suitcase for most of my last trip (it broke in-transit) and it was not fun! Spending that extra money up-front for quality pieces will ensure that you won’t be making a fool of yourself trying to carry a 50-pound suitcase across a Piazza in Italy. Ahem, not like that happened to me…

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