When you think of spring break, generally white sandy beaches in the Bahamas or Mexico probably come to mind. You may even still think of Florida as a spring break destination.
Most people don’t initially think of Italy as a place to go on Spring Break. That is, unless you have relatives who live there or some other reason for visiting. However, Italy is definitely an interesting and fun place to go while you have a break from classes.
This article will give you ten tips for packing for a spring break in Italy.
1. If you’re like most spring break college students, you’re going to be looking for ways to save money. The first way to start is to forget about renting a car and to ride the trains. The train system throughout Europe can get you around without the need for a rental car. You might need a cab or bus to get you to a more remote area.
If you’re going to be traveling by train, this means you’ll have less place for your stuff. And, it means that if you move around throughout Italy, rather than stay at one hotel or resort, you have to take all of your things with you each time. There are two mottoes to this story. The first is that you should pack the least amount of bags possible. Two larger bags is better than four or five small ones that can get disconnected from each other.
2. Pack light. The more things you take, the more you will have to carry around. You also won’t have extra room to put things you purchase on your trip. If your suitcase starts out full, where will those souvenirs fit?
3. Bring along bike locks. What I mean by this is the chain link bike locks that have a combination. With these, you can lock your luggage to the luggage racks in the trains. In each train car, the luggage goes at one end or the other of the train. If you aren’t sitting near your luggage, someone could easily grab it and take it at any one of the stops on your way.
4. Secure your possessions inside of the luggage. In addition to the bike locks, you also want to have locks on your suitcases and bags, so that people can’t reach inside and steal things. Secure each zipper on your purse or bag. Triple A has these neat ties that secure zippers on bags and purses for about $5 for a pack. When you put locks on the luggage, make sure they are TSA approved. Otherwise, they may be ripped off by TSA if they decide to inspect your luggage. If the lock isn’t TSA approved, simply keep it unlocked during your flight.
5. Look ahead at what the weather will be. The seasons in Europe correspond to the seasons in the United States. This means that the weather will be just starting to warm up like it does in the United States. Italy is about the same north, southwise as is Maine or Boston. Thus, the temperatures will be similar to Maine and Boston. Expect temperature ranges from about 30 to 60 degrees fahrenheit, maybe a little warmer in the Southern part of Italy. So you want to pack accordingly. Bring some sweaters and coats, and maybe something lighter for warmer days. Remember, March weather in Italy is not always consistently warm or cold.
6. There is a beach, so if you don’t mind cool weather, go ahead and pack that swimsuit. If your spring break is late, like in late April, the weather in Southern Italy may be warm enough for you to enjoy sunbathing.
7. Bring a camera. There is no excuse for not taking pictures of the beautiful Italian landscape and sights in Italy! There are so many exquisite things to photograph. So you can stay light, take a camera that has a built in camcorder, so you can take videos and photos on the same piece of equipment. Use a camera with at least 8 megapixels if you want some really good photos to take home.
8. Save costs. Make sure to follow all guidelines for your packing. If the airline charges for a second piece of checked luggage, try to avoid this. Ladies, if your fellow only needs one bag, have him carry a carry on for you that can count as a piece of his luggage. Also, make sure you know the size requirements and weight requirements. Some airlines now have stricter policies. For example, AirTran now charges for 62 inch dimension luggage, it is considered oversize. This, for many years, was considered a standard size large suitcase. Also, the luggage requirements on trains may vary from the airline. You might have met the airline’s rules, but not the ones for the train. Visit Rail Europe to see train policies for luggage.
9. Pack comfortable clothes. Because you will be moving around alot, and spending long days trying to see everything, pack only your comfortable clothes. You’re not going to have room in your luggage for things that don’t fit well. And, chances are, you won’t wear these items anyway.
10. Pack night clothes. Many spring breakers try and stay in rooms together, or in hostels, to lessen costs. If you will be sleeping next to strangers, or even just some of your friends, you may want to rethink your “I sleep in the nude” policy.
11. Pack sunblock. Even though the sun won’t be at its height in March, if you’re outside alot you are exposing your skin to the sun. Wear sunblock that protects against UVA and UVB rays. This way, you avoid the rays that cause wrinkling as well as those that cause sunburn.
12. Pack some sort of guidebook on the Italian language. Generally, you’ll find people in tourist areas who speak English. However, if you venture to a remote area, you may need to use your dictionary to tell someone you’re lost.