Inside: Everything I packed for 10 days in Greece. Check out my minimalist packing list for a trip through Athens, Santorini and Hydra in March.
I’m a huge fan of packing light. I really find traveling light to be more fun and less of a hassle. Taking a small carry on sized bag makes it easy to zip through the city on a train, carry your luggage up to your room on the third floor in a hotel with no elevator, and helps to keep you flexible.
People are always asking me EXACTLY what I pack for my trips, so I thought it’d be fun to do a series where I show you real life examples of every single thing I pack for a trip.
What To Pack For 10 Days in Greece:
Today, I’m sharing my Minimalist Packing List for a trip through Greece in March.
I want to walk you through how I figure out what to pack, and then share some of my favorite packing light essentials.
For our 10 days in Greece, I packed 2 carry-on bags for the three of us, plus a purse.
My husband and daughter also took small back packs instead of purses – the hubby to take his work laptop so he could check in periodically, and my daughter so she could pack some snacks and activities/books for the flight.
Think about the weather and any planned activities.
March is fairly temperate in Greece. In this trip, we are visiting Athens, Santorini, and Hydra. I’m expecting weather between 40 and 65 degrees.
If you’re planning to spend 10 days in Greece over the summer, your list of gear would be filled with different items to accommodate for the warmer weather and island activities.
Since we’re visiting Greece in March, It’ll be a bit too cold for the beaches, but since the beaches in Santorini are mostly volcanic rock and not really sandy, we are totally fine with that.
We are planning on a fair amount of walking, and are looking forward to hiking between the cities with our little one.
Plus, lots of long, decadent meals at cafes, and time spent exploring the ruins! March in Greece is perfect for hiking and exploring as it’s not too hot or crowded.
With weather a bit cooler on the two islands than on Athens, and a shift in temperature from cooler mornings to warmer afternoons, I’m going to focus on light layers.
Stick to neutral colors that work well together.
Everything I pack needs to go well together. That means that every top I pack must go with every bottom. All my layers should work together, and every item should be mix-and-match. I typically stick to darker neutrals for bottoms and layers (like cardigans and jackets) and then mix it up with some colors or patterns that will coordinate.
Pick your fabrics carefully.
When you are packing light, every article of clothing matters. I love sticking to fabrics that are comfortable to wear, retain their shape, and are easy to wash and dry if needed.
My absolute favorite fabric is merino wool. It’s seriously amazing! It keeps you warm when it’s cool out, and cool when it’s warm out. The fabric is breathable, comfortable (this is not the scratchy wool of your youth), lightweight, and does not retain odors. That last one is especially amazing because it allows you to wear items multiple times without needing to do laundry.
I know it sounds crazy, but you really can wear a merino wool shirt multiple times and it really won’t smell!
I also love technical fabrics like rayon and polyester that dry quickly and never hold any wrinkles. Lightweight cotton can also be a good choice in less humid locations.
Any special occasions or special gear needed?
When we went to Barcelona for my brother-in-law’s wedding, we needed to make sure we packed formal wear.
If you’re packing for a cruise, you’ll want to pack formal night attire. For our 10 days in Greece, we were mainly going to do sightseeing, hiking around from town to town, and some nice meals.
Before our flight to Athens, we have a long layover in NYC, so we also managed to stick in tickets to a quick matinee on Broadway.
We need mostly basic, comfortable clothing, with some nicer outfit options for the Broadway show in NYC or a nice dinner out. And shoes that are comfortable but also nice enough to wear for a night out.
What I packed for 10 days in Greece:
I wanted to share everything I packed for our 10 day trip to Greece – through Athens, Santorini, and Hydra. Hope this helps and I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments.
Packing Light: What Tops Did I Pack?
The best way to pack for temperatures that change through the day, or for trips where you are visiting places with varying weather, is to pack tops that can layer together.
T-Shirts x 3
I packed 3 t-shirts. Knowing these would be the work horses of my wardrobe, I chose lightweight merino wool shirts that I could wear multiple times without worrying that were going to get smelly. This magical fabric regulates body temperature, is moisture-wicking, quick drying, and even offers natural sun protection. Best of all for travelers is that it truly doesn’t retain odors!
I prefer 100% merino wool shirts. When it comes to merino wool shirts, you have plenty of options to choose from:
Long Sleeve Tops x 2
I packed a nicer button down style top that would work well paired with pants or over a dress to wear to a nicer dinner out on the town.
And one long sleeve that would be great to layer over a tank if needed for warmth. I prefer darker, neutral colors.
Dresses x 2
I packed 2 dresses for this trip. One that was a bit nicer that I could wear to the Broadway show or out for a nice dinner, and one that was more comfortable that could be worn during sightseeing.
Bottoms x 3
I like to stick to 3 bottoms max, especially if I’m also packing a dress. I almost always pack a pair of jeans. Some travel experts, like Rick Steves, caution you against taking jeans as they can be difficult to hand wash and take forever to dry. But I love my jeans and feel like they help me to blend in and not stick out as a tourist so much. I think the best jeans to take are lightweight. And I usually wear them on travel days as they don’t roll up as small as the other pants I pack.
If you pack jeans, you’ll want to look for a brand that has a blend of cotton and polyester, as this means it’s more lightweight and quicker to dry. Old Navy Rockstar jeans are comfy, retain their shape, and will dry overnight. Another great pair would be the Signature Levi’s.
Another pair of pants that I almost always pack are my Columbia Anytime Pants. These are lightweight, water-and-stain repellent, and super comfortable. They can be worn while hiking, but also look great dressed up with a nicer top. Made with a blend of polyester and nylon, they wash easily and dry in just a couple of hours.
And for the last bottom, I will pack a pair of high quality leggings. These are super versatile and can be worn layered under dresses, paired with a tank for a quick workout in the hotel gym, as pj pants, or even as a backup pair of pants with a longer tunic top. They roll up easily and take practically no space at all. I usually sleep in a tank and my underwear (Is that TMI? Sorry…) but if I know I’ll be staying in a hostel or sharing an apartment or room with friends, I will usually take two pairs of these leggings.
If you have a favorite pair of leggings, they should work, but if you’re ready to invest in your travel wardrobe, I highly recommend a pair of merino wool leggings.
When it comes to packing “under things,” I’m pretty brand loyal. Over a decade of extensive travel has taught me that spending a bit more on high quality items will be worth it in the long run. So here are the exact brands I recommend:
For socks, I always pack 3 pairs of Smartwool Secret Sleuth socks. I love the cut because they go well with any type of shoe, whether they are dressier or athletic. They are also made of merino wool, so they can be worn multiple times with no odor, and they wash and dry very quickly.
Usually this style of sock slips off my heel and makes me want to scream, but Smartwool brand socks don’t slip off. I don’t know why. I just chalk it up to another voodoo magic quality of merino wool.
I also take at least 2 coordinating merino wool tank tops. I prefer to pack a slightly more conservative cut of tank, so that I’m comfortable wearing it solo as a top.
For underwear, I like to take 5 pairs. I love ExOfficio underwear as they are breathable, comfortable and super quick to wash and dry. They come in just about every style you could want, and in a variety of colors. I’m honestly not picky about the color/pattern, and just keep my eye out for sales of my favorite style so I can stock up.
I pack 2 bras. I rotate them and give them a quick wash and rinse if needed.
Other Miscellaneous Items to Pack for 10 Days in Greece
Here are a few other odd items I tossed in my bag.
Waterproof, Packable Jacket
I really love this jacket. It’s great for a little rain, and to layer on when needed for extra warmth. It packs down to practically nothing, about the size of a large ziplock bag, and is so easy to toss into a purse or day pack while sightseeing. I have one by 32 Degrees, and I found it at Costco for less than $20! I think it’s a seasonal item as it’s not always available at my local Costco, but you should definitely snap up this gem if you see it.
For this trip, I packed two pairs of shoes. I wanted a pair of sturdy walking shoes for hiking, and also something that I could wear with my dresses. My husband got away with just packing one pair, and I probably could too, but I had plenty of space in my carry on, so I tossed in an extra pair.
If I had to pick ONE PAIR of travel shoes, my favorites are these from Rockport. Cute enough to be worn with a skirt or dress, and endlessly comfortable, no matter how many miles you walk, they really are the perfect shoe.
A slightly sportier but equally sturdy and comfy pair would be these Mary Janes from Skechers. Great for walking on all kinds of surfaces and cute enough to pair with a skirt or dress for an evening out.
I always toss a universal sink plug in my bag for quick hotel room laundry.
Along with a small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, I’m all set to do laundry as needed. This stuff is liquid gold. Just a few drops dissolved in a sink of water allow you to quickly hand wash your clothes. I also never pack additional shower gel or shampoo, because let’s be honest, 99% of the hotels and hostels you stay in will provide these items, but on the off chance they don’t, this castile soap is formulated to be used as everything from shower gel and shampoo, to shaving gel and toothpaste. You can wash dishes or use as a fruit/vegetable rinse.
I always pack a tiny bottle of this magical stuff!
I roll all my gear up and pack it in a carry on size suitcase. I’m a huge fan of Samsonite, because you can regularly find them on sale and they have a GREAT 10 year warranty. I prefer a hard case, with 4 spinner wheels so you can protect your stuff and easily navigate through airports and city streets. Everything I packed fits easily in the carry on sized suitcase, with enough room left over to pack my 6 year olds ENTIRE travel wardrobe. My husband packs his clothing in the second suitcase, along with a small toiletries bag containing everyone’s toothbrushes, combs, contacts, glasses, etc. He also has a fair bit of empty space in bag in case we pick up any souvenirs or gift items to bring back. If you’re looking for some genius beauty products that won’t break the bank, check out THIS LIST!
I also carry a purse. My favorite is this one from Pacsafe. I’ve had this purse for 10+ years and have taken it on just about every single trip. It’s lightweight, functional, and very comfy. It’s roomier than it looks, and has amazing travel safety features like slash proof straps, and RFID blocking pockets. You can clip the zippers closed and the purse can be worn across the body or over your shoulder.
I always carry a travel journal, and my favorite is the Cahier journal from Moleskine. Thin, flexible and lightweight = perfect for travel!
Also stashed in my purse is a small mirrorless camera. If you’re looking for a high quality, but super portable camera, I highly suggest THIS ONE.
I hope you enjoyed this minimalist packing guide for 10 days in Greece! I am confident that once you enjoy the ease of packing light, you’ll never want to go back to lugging a heavy suitcase. Would you be able to spend 10 days in Greece, traveling through Athens, Santorini and Hydra with a carry on? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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