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Greece, Travel

What to Pack for Greece

February 17, 2020
What to pack for Greece

Visiting Greece is on many people’s lists but what to pack for Greece is one of the most frequent questions that I see and get. For the most part, packing for Greece is pretty easy. However, there are things you should keep in mind with packing for a trip to Greece. This list what to pack for 10 days in  Greece.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Most people will visit Greece in summer so this Greek packing list is a summer list.

What to Wear in Athens

Almost everyone that visits Greece will spend at least one day in Athens. Athens is an old city and many of the sidewalks are in need of some help. They are also often made of marble which is slippery even on a dry day!

Stick with flat shoes and sneakers for lots of walking. Many of the ancient sites are within walking distance and it isn’t worth getting on the metro to reach them.

People dress up in Athens but not so much as say in New York City. Dinner out can be formal or casual depending on where you want to go. I would also say that darker colors are favored amongst the Athenian crowd so dress similarly if you want to blend in with the locals.

Make sure to keep valuables near your person in Athens because like in many big cities pickpocketing can be an issue at tourist sites and the metro.

What to Wear on the Greek Islands

Dressing on a Greek island is less formal than in Athens. You will see everything as well. Shorts during the day are common and even at night on most islands. I like to wear a casual dress on the islands for dinner though. However, no one will care if you wear your nice shorts for the restaurant though.

Even in the summer months, it can get cool at night on the islands so you may want a light jacket or cardigan for the evenings. Also a pair of pants. Take an umbrella or a rain jacket in case it rains.

The pants are also good for taking the ferry where the air conditioning can be intense!

Light colors are best for the islands since the heat and the white of the buildings can make it seem hotter than it is. Choose cotton clothing that is breathable and dries fast.

Packing List for Greece

Three Dresses –  One nice dress for a nice dinner out. The others can be a casual dress for walking around in the day or used as a swimsuit cover-up.

3 Shorts  – It gets hot in Athens in the summer. Bring ones that are cotton and easily washable. I love linen shorts for all my hot weather travels, such as these.

Pants – One should be fine unless you are in Greece in September. Then you might want it for the evening. Jeans are an option as well.

5 Shirts – Make sure the colors match all your bottom pieces. These should be cotton or lightweight material. You will feel cooler this way.

One pair of walking sandals – Athen is very hilly and as mentioned the sidewalks are made of marble. I have fallen in Toms walking in Athens. You will need something with a good grip on the sole. I love these closed toed ones from Keen. You might be more comfortable in sneakers for the traction.

Dressy sandals – You will want something nicer for dinners out but make sure they have a good grip as well.

Flip flops  – Flip flops are essential for visiting a Greek beach. The sand can be hot and you won’t want to use your nicer sandals since the sand will come back to hotel with you.

Light cardigan – Nights can be chilly here even in summer since it is close to the sea. You may want a light layer to take with you at night. This cardigan is similar to the one I have.

Tesalate Beach Towel – You will need to bring your own beach towel as you can’t rent them on the beach and the hotels usually don’t let you take theirs to the beach.

This beach towel is the best beach towel I have found to date. The towel repels sand which is great when you are on a Greek beach! Your hotel will be sand free thanks to this beach towel. The Tesalate towel is compact and comes in tons of beautiful patterns.

You can even get a double for a couple or families. I also liked it because it is quick dry meaning it could be used as a travel towel. (I was gifted a Tesalate towel but all opinions are my own.)

Tesalate Towel on a chair near the sea

Beach bag – A bag to take your towel, sunscreen and book is necessary since you will not want to take a nice handbag to the beach. I like to bring a reusable tote bag that can double as a grocery bag or laundry bag. Like many countries in Europe, Greece grocery stores charge for using plastic bags.

2 Swimsuits –  You will want to swimsuits even for a short trip since it can be really humid in Greece in the summer. It might take a day to dry out and no one likes putting on a wet suit.

Sunglasses – The Greek sun is intense and even more so when it is being reflected off the white buildings of the Cycladic islands. Pack at least one pair and bring backup in case you lose yours in the sea.

Pajamas – Obviously you will want something to sleep in. This can be tricky in Greece as many hotels will only offer a sheet on the bed. I think this is because Greeks don’t sleep with the air conditioning on so you won’t want a heavy blanket. However, you may want the air conditioning on so bring the PJs you will be comfortable in.

Camera – You will want a camera for all the beautiful scenery you will be seeing in Greece. I used a Sony A7rii camera, which I love. However, it may be more than you want. Here is a good Sony camera alternative to it if you are looking for a good camera that is easy to use.

Laptop or Tablet – Most you won’t need a laptop on vacation but you may want it for entertainment on the plane or in the hotel in the evening. A few times I have been in Greek hotels without any English channels. A tablet is also a good option and may offer you a way to read some books on your beach vacation.

Packing cubes – Want to pack a bit more without having to bring a bigger suitcase? Consider using packing cubes to compress your clothes.  I use them on every trip and prefer the Eagle Creek brand packing cubes.

Water bottle  – Water on the islands is not drinkable but you can refill a water bottle at some city water fountains on the Greek islands. They look like fancy places to wash your hands or feet but they are actually potable water. It is a good place to fill up rather than having to buy plastic water bottles all the time, plus its better for the environment.

Toiletries  – Bring the minimum you will need to survive a night or two. After that, you can purchase larger toiletries in the pharmacy in Athens or the islands. Some of my favorite Greek cosmetic brands are found in the pharmacies and not in the grocery stores. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

This will save you weight and space in your toiletry bag plus you get a useable souvenir if you don’t use them all.

Backpack or Suitcase

Personally I think this is a matter of preference but many people will want to know what kind of suitcase to bring to Greece. If you aren’t island hopping then a rolling suitcase is fine in Athens since you will most likely check in to one hotel and not move around.

If you are going to an island after visiting Athens you might want a backpack as it will make walking to the ferry or your island hotel much easier since the sidewalks can be uneven on the islands as well as in Athens.

I personally take a rolling suitcase on almost all longer trips. It makes getting on the Greek ferry easier for me and saves my back. I also arrange transport on the islands with the hotel or take a taxi for arrival.

Travel

How I Make Travel a Priority

February 4, 2019

How I Make Travel a Priority

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

I frequently get asked how I have traveled for so long or how I afford to continue to travel. The other day someone commented that they were going to move their business to a foreign country so that they could travel more. What many people don’t realize is that while I was living in Qatar, I was working full-time and continuing to travel up to three months a year. Since leaving Qatar, I have continued to travel. This is all possible because I make travel a priority.

At this point, many travel bloggers would tell you that they are going to tell you how you can do the same. I am not going to tell you that. Everyone’s situation is different. I am a single woman with no kids, and that inherently¬†makes my life more flexible than others. What I will do is make suggestions on how my strategies can work for you to make travel a priority as well.

I Moved Abroad

How I Make Travel a Priority

Moving aboard was a priority for me for many years before I moved to Qatar. After living in the Turks and Caicos for about three months, I had met a few long term expats. They told stories of places they had lived and trips they had been on. I remember thinking to myself, “I am living my life wrong!” Not long after my return, I started applying for jobs abroad. It took about three years, but I eventually landed the role in Qatar.

This was a massive shift in my travel lifestyle. Not only was I living in a foreign country, but many other countries that I wanted to visit were also a much shorter flight than they had been when I was living in the US. Before I had even moved, I started making plans to travel. I moved to Qatar in August 2013, so I wasn’t planning on coming home for Christmas. I planned to spend Christmas in Rome, which was only a six-hour flight.

Over the four years of living there, the travel trend continued. I went to Greece, France, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and many more. All of these places were closer and easier to get to from Qatar than from the US making it much easier to plan a trip.

While moving abroad may not be an option for us all, you can take trips to countries that are nearer to you. Now that I am back in the US, I am planning on taking trips to Central America. Many of the flights from Dallas to popular cities in Central America are a 3 to 4-hour flight. Meaning, I can take a long weekend trip to Mexico if I want. Sometimes we fail to see the opportunities that are right in front of us or in this case, south of us!

Using My Vacation

How I Make Travel a Priority

I am a huge advocate for using your vacation. Using your vacation makes you more productive at work when you return. Scientists have even figured out how long your vacation should be for optimal relaxation, which is eight days. I was fortunate in my last several jobs as they had ample vacation time. In Qatar, I had 24 vacation days excluding holidays and sick time. If you average that out to 5 days in a week, then I was getting almost five weeks of vacation a year.

How did I use that to my advantage then? Well, the first year of my time in Qatar was not a full year, and I wasn’t about to take off from a job for two weeks that I had just started. However, I was itching to go somewhere almost immediately. Luckily, I was able to take a work trip to Belgium that helped.

The key here was using my vacation days wisely. I only took off one day to go on my trip to Rome and combined it with the days we already have for the semester break. As a result, I carried over five days of vacation over to the next year.

I continued to schedule trips around other scheduled holidays, and since I was usually a short flight away, many of my trips were only five days. However, I was able to see many countries this way and still come home for two weeks at Christmas time every year after 2013.

You can do this too. I know that Americans, on average, only get between 10 and 14 days of vacation a year making this more difficult. Choose vacations that are closer to home. Take vacations around built-in company days off. If you can’t afford to fly somewhere, choose a town nearby and take a staycation. Get away from the stress of work and daily chores and let a hotel pamper you.

Taking a Sabbatical

How I Make Travel a Priority

When I left Qatar, I had planned to travel and not work. There was no set time frame for how long I would travel. I had saved money while working in Qatar for this specific plan. I had no long how long it was going to take me to save enough for me to feel comfortable and when I originally arrived in Qatar, I had planned to stay as long as possible.

Then the travel bug hit! I was no longer satisfied with taking a two week holiday every few months, and the dream of traveling full-time became more urgent for me with each passing month. After doing some math and looking at my bank account, I decided it was time.

I left my job in Qatar at the end of my contract in June 2017. After returning home to bring my limited amount of things back, I flew out on a three-month trip. While I had specific destinations in mind, I knew I needed to be somewhat flexible to make decisions on places I wanted to go. All in all, I went to six countries during that time. Some countries were ones I revisited, and some were completely new.

Now, you may be thinking I can’t just quit my job and travel! I totally get that. Remember, I had no bills and no kids. But you might be able to do this too. Ask your company if you can take a short sabbatical. Even a month is a great start. If approached in the right way, you might be surprised at how many places are willing to let you have unpaid time off. They would much rather you take off for a month or two than have to hire and train a whole new employee, especially if you are a well-liked and reliable employee.

What Now?

As I had not been working since June 2017, I really needed to start working again. However, my focus has changed. I eventually want to be one of those “digital nomads.” However, my idea of nomading is more like move somewhere for a few months and then come home and then go somewhere else. In the meantime, I need to make some money and rebuild my savings.

For now, I am doing many things. I started taking on clients for digital marketing and SEO services in January and began working at Starbucks! Also, I am now working at Medium remotely, which I hope will help in my goals to nomad later. I have no idea how long it is going to take to begin my full-time travel dreams again, but if I can wait three years for an overseas job, then I can wait out this dream as well.

I hope this answer some questions and gives you some ideas. What else would you like to know?

How I Make Travel a Priority

How I Make Travel a Priority