How to pack light for a trip to the Greek Islands

Dreaming of the golden beaches, blue ocean and whitewashed villages of the Greek Islands? We can get you there, but you’ve got to pack your bags first – and the key is to keep it light. You don’t want to spend your trip hauling a giant suitcase through airports, cobbled streets and rocky boats (and then need a trip to the chiropractor). To help you get prepared, here is our guide to packing light for your trip to the Greek Islands, from what to wear in Greece, to all the essentials you’ll need (and things to leave at home).

Start with your luggage

If you want to pack light for your trip to the Greek Islands, it all starts with your luggage. Whether you prefer a suitcase or a backpack, remember to keep it small and lightweight. Choose something sturdy and easy to get around. 

If you really want to pack light, you might decide to travel only with a carry-on. In that case, you should go with a soft-sided bag or backpack that fits the carry-on size and weight requirements of the airline. It can be very freeing to walk off the plane with all your luggage with you and you can’t pack much lighter than that for your trip to the Greek Islands!

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woman wearing white dress holding blue scarf in whitewashed blue domed village Santorini

Get strategic with your clothing and shoes

Once you’ve chosen your luggage, you need to decide on what clothes to pack for Greece. They take up the bulk of your luggage, so you’ll need to plan ahead. If you’re spending summer in Greece, you’ll have much lighter clothes, while if you’re travelling in winter, you’ll need to make room for bulkier clothing. 

In general, the best time to visit the Greek Islands is mid-April to mid-October, when the weather is warm, there’s little rain, and you can make the most of those gorgeous beaches. If you’re travelling in these months, you can pack lightweight, quick-drying clothing. 

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blue ocean cliffs Zakynthos Greek Islands

Go for light shorts, t-shirts, skirts and dresses, along with a coat and a few cardigans in case of chilly nights. You’ll also need a couple of swimsuits and a light scarf that doubles as a beach wrap and a shawl to wrap around your shoulders at religious sites. Remember to choose quick-drying fabrics so you can wash them and have them dry and ready to wear again during your trip. That way, you won’t need to bring an outfit for every day, which gives you a lot more room in your luggage.

As for shoes, you’ll likely only need one comfortable pair of walking shoes or runners, a pair of sandals for the beach, and a nice pair of shoes if you want to hit the town. You might also like to bring a fancier outfit if you’re planning on enjoying the nightlife.

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cobbled streets village boutiques trip to Greek Islands

It’s all about travel size

Forget all those big bottles of shampoo, moisturiser and sunscreen. Get your hands on some reusable, travel-sized containers for your liquid toiletries. You’ll save space and money, and you’ll help reduce your plastic waste by reusing your containers on your trips. If you’re only taking a carry-on, you’ll also be able to stay under the liquid limit this way. 

You might also like to use solid toiletries. You can find everything from shampoo and moisturiser to deodorant and toothpaste in a bar or solid form. You’ll likely save even more space and waste, and you won’t have to worry about carrying liquids. Win-win!

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blue ocean traditional stone houses Greek Islands

Less is more

When we’re trying to pack light, it often helps to pack your bag ahead of time. After leaving it for a day, come back and try to take out some items you don’t really need. We know it’s hard to leave some things behind – but packing light is an art and sacrifices must be made! To help you pack, here are some things you need and other things you can probably leave behind.

Essentials to pack for the Greek Islands

  • Day bag – Bring a lightweight backpack or cross-body bag to hold all your daily essentials and souvenirs.
  • Reusable water bottle – This will help you save money and plastic waste, plus keep you hydrated.
  • Sun protection – Including a hat, sunglasses and high SPF sunscreen.
  • Quick-drying beach towel and a waterproof bag to keep wet clothes in until you get to the laundry.
  • Small medical kit – You only need the bare essentials like insect repellent, pain killers, antiseptic ointment, bandaids, eye drops, and your personal medications and vitamins. 
  • Electronics – We recommend a smartphone or camera, headphones, an e-reader (if you love reading by the beach or during long airport waits). You’ll also need all the required chargers, a portable charger and extra memory cards for all those travel snaps.
  • Travel plug adaptor – Greece uses plug types C and F.
  • Euros – It’s handy to bring some cash with you, plus your travel credit card.

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blue ocean green mountains Skopelos trip to Greek Islands

What not to pack for Greece

  • Excessive or expensive jewellery, accessories or devices. You don’t want to be a target for pickpockets and you don’t want to risk losing something valuable on your trip.
  • Lots of books. One is fine but if you read a lot, try an e-reader.
  • A hairdryer. Unless you absolutely can’t go without a hairdryer, leave it at home. Your hotel will likely have one anyway, or you can bring a travel-sized hairdryer to save room.

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whitewashed buildings Mykonos Greek Islands

Handy tips for packing light for the Greek Islands

Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane

Decide what outfit you want to travel in and wear your bulkiest items. It’s usually cold on the plane anyway, so you can wear your trousers, coat and runners, and save some extra space in your luggage.

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Don’t fill your bag up

If you’ve got space left in your luggage after you finished packing, don’t be tempted to fill up the extra room. Leave it for all the beautiful souvenirs you’ll likely pick up on your trip to the Greek Islands.

Take advantage of your carry-on

Most airlines offer a 7kg carry-on bag, so remember to take advantage of it. You can put heavy items like electronics in your carry-on bag and leave more space in your checked luggage. Always remember to bring your valuables in your carry-on bag too.

Are you dreaming of spending your summer in Greece or heading off on a Greek Island cruise? Let us know in the comments below!

One Response

  1. https://bagcottage.com

    I loved that you talked about how to pack for a backpacking trip. Recently, one of my friends mentioned he’s organizing a getaway weekend for all the boys. They want to do some hunting and exploring, so I’ll be sure to read your piece carefully, and I know it’d help me get ready for the trip! Thanks for the advice on how much stuff to pack for an excursion.

    Reply

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