Packing in a Personal Item: Sardinia, Italy
The reason for packing in a personal item only for this trip were far different from the last time we did this for Glacier National Park. We have always had a romanticized vision of traveling in Italy by Vespa, and now that we had one it only felt right to give this dream a chance to become reality. That being said, our typical EBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible was not going to cut it on the back of a scooter. We agreed that if we went with a Vespa as the mode of transportation on this trip, we were going to have to pack super light – personal item sized item it is.
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We have packed in personal items only in the past but it has been for a weekend stay only – this would definitely be the longest we packed in a tiny backpack.
How can you be successful at pulling this off? Here are some core principles to evaluate if you are thinking about the personal item only option:
- One activity only – Sardinia in summer is for beaches so fortunately wearing bathing suits all day was very easy to pack for. The catch was in the evenings, Europeans dress nicely so the goal was to find items that could work in both scenarios.
- One pair of shoes – Or two in this case cause our Xero sandals weigh nothing and are completely flat. The nicer pair of shoes I brought were a small wedge to dress up outfits for dinner and I wore them on the plane to save space in the bag.
- Laundry is a must – Since we were late to planning a summer vacation in Sardinia (which is done a year in advance), the Airbnb market was pretty dry. Regardless, laundry is not a common amenity so we were going to have to rely on sink laundry,
- As always use packing cubes!
- The right bag to optimize you storage – it also has to fit under the seat in front of you so bringing a very large backpack or over stuffing is not going to work. We each got new Walker Family Goods Valley Packs and I am obsessed with how great these worked. And they have giant water bottle pockets that fit our 40oz hydro flasks. What was great is that this bag doubled as our day bag – we removed the packing cubes with our clothing, left them at the place, and ta-da we have our day backpack.
- Mostly, we found ourselves needed to grab another piece of clothing or two to elevate our wardrobe a bit. All our European trips have been in the fall and winter so our “nice” looking summer gear needed some help. I picked up a dress and romper, Kevin bought a few new shirts, and we hoped for the best. I would say it worked out very nicely!
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Full Packing List
The Bag: Walker Family Goods Valley Pack
Packing cubes size small and medium
Small Packing Cube: Toiletry Bag and 3-1-1 Liquid Bag
- Medications (Ibupofen, Tums, meclizine)
- Bar of solid soap
- Solid sunscreen
- Lush solid shampoo
- Toothbrush with sanitizer pod / floss
- Hair Brush
- Band-Aids/first-aid and Q-tips
- Hair accessory bag (headband, hair ties, hair clips)
- Travel detergent
- Lip balm
- Adventure Bands
- Liquids Bag
- Tooth paste
- Travel size body lotion
- Travel size conditioner
- Travel size face wash
- Face moisturizer in repurposed container
- Steroids/Aquaphor (for my terribly dry skin)
Medium Packing Cube: Clothing Items
- Two bathing suits (Albion Fit)
- Two rompers (white and green)
- Bras / underwear
- T-shirt and athletic shorts
Pack the Bag: Xero trail sandals, Small Packing Cube, Medium Packing Cube
Pack the Bag
- Sunglasses and glasses case
- Disposable rain poncho (did not have enough room for our regular rain jackets and the chance of rain was so small but wanted something in case of rain while on the Vespa)
- Dry bag
- Microfiber towel
Pack the Pack (Front Flap): Covid masks and extra large blanket
Pack the Pack (Back Pocket): Computer, Travel Folder
Pack the Bag
What I wore on the plane:
And it worked like a charm. Everything fit nicely, the bag was not too heavy, the bag fit under the seat in front of us, and worked so well for hiking. Laundry was timed perfectly and we had plenty of clothing!