My Italy Packing List Must-have Items

Items to carry for Travel

After traveling in Italy and elsewhere in Europe for over a year, these items are almost always on my travel packing list.

Travel Backpack

For me, it was the Matein Carry-on 40L Backpack. As of this writing, I’ve had this backpack for 15 months. It’s sized to be the max possible carry-on size for plane travel, with an expandable zipper. It opens suitcase-style which I’m a big fan of. You really just can’t beat the value for the price. I have used this for 4 day trips as well as month-long trips (side note, if you haven’t tried traveling with a backpack only, you’re missing out). Note: because of the size and shape of this pack (when full, it’s very box-shaped), it will extend off your back quite a bit, rather than distribute the weight vertically like a more traditional hiking pack. For that reason, I don’t recommend loading this up and hiking for 3 hours. 

Outlet Adapter

I use this one. It has three USB 2.0 ports and one USB C port, a 3-prong socket, and a 2-prong socket. Another thing I like is that has an extruded extension for the wall plug, which will allow it to be used on the recessed older style outlets in Italy, which are still very common.

This adapter (Type C) will work in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Collapsible Backpack

A small, ultra-portable backpack that collapses into itself such as the Sinotron 22L Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack. I learned quickly that traveling somewhere with only a big backpack (first item) means that if you want to go to a café and work, or go for a 2 hour hike to a beach, you’re stuck with way-too-big of a backpack just to carry a few things. This especially came up when I would want to hop on a bike and ride around town, having my laptop to eventually find a place to sit and work. 

Laptop Sleeve

This one’s not rocket science. Something like this would work for me – just make sure it’s sized for your laptop. This was a recent purchase for me – after carrying my laptop around in the small collapsible backpack (see previous), I didn’t like that the thin layer of backpack was all that stood between my laptop and the ground. 

Keychain Tool

In particular, the Gerber Shard Keychain Tool. This is so simple, but I’ve had the same one for 3 years now and I use it all the time for various tightening, cutting, bottle opening, and what have you. Plus you can take it on a plane.

Quick-Drying Towel

Such as this: Quick-Drying Travel Towel. I’ve found this to be most useful in hostels, where you aren’t always provided a towel for showering. But it’s also proven to be handy for going to the beach or sitting in a park.

Quick-Dry Clothes

Primarily underwear. I use some similar to this (here’s a photo of me wearing them, just for reference). I can only speak for men’s options here but the concept is the same. In Italy, clothes dryers are rare. Traveling for 2 weeks with 4 pairs of underwear, you will [hopefully] be doing laundry at some point, even if just in the AirBNB sink (I do this all the time). You’ll want clothes that dry fast. Sometimes you’ll have a nice outdoor clothesline, other times you will just have to hang it up somewhere indoors. The quick-dry polyester material reduces the likelihood that you’ll be putting wet clothes in your backpack to go to the next destination.

Small Combination Lock

A Small Combination Lock is useful in hostels when you’re provided with a locker, but no lock. At the end of the day, if someone wants your stuff, they’ll get it lock or no lock, but the idea is to slow them down. Make sure the shackle isn’t too thick (look for 5mm or 3/16″).

Compression Space Saver Bags

In particular, these: The Chestnut 12 Compression Bags for Travel – Space Saver Bags – shoutout to my sister for recommending these to me. At first I thought they were gimmicky, but after using them, they’re a must for my packing list. It really helps bring more in less space. Note: these bags work so well that if you’re not careful, you’ll pack too much and have a dense, heavy load of clothes in your bag. They’ll last you about 10-15 pack-unpack cycles.

Trash Bags

I like to bring 2 or 3 medium sized trash bags. Why? Two things. Dirty clothes, and shoes. Keeping your dirty clothes in a non-porous bag will help keep contain the stink, whether in a hotel room or stuffed in your bag with your clean clothes. And I like to put any used shoes in a trash bag when packing among clean items.

That’s it for now. If you have suggestions for other items that I or others may be interested in, feel free to write in the comments below. 

That’s All For Now

That’s it for my Italy packing list must-haves. I sincerely hope you found value in this article. If you have recommendations of your own or have suggestions on what else you would like to see covered here, please write in the comments below. Additionally, if you’re planning a trip to Italy and need one-on-one support or guidance, check out my services page where you can get in touch with me.

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