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Amazing food. Gorgeous beaches. Affordable prices. Oh, and the cradle of Western civilization? It’s no wonder Greece snags the top spot on many travelers’ bucket lists.
When choosing a place to visit for our fourth wedding anniversary, we settled on Greece for a few reasons. First of all, we found a good flight deal (which is basically reason enough for us to book a trip anywhere if I’m honest…). Second, the in-country price was right. Despite its reputation as a lux destination, Greece is currently one of the most affordable European nations to visit. And third, we are also huge fans of Greek food. I mean, who doesn’t love feta cheese and gyros?
So, we impulse-bought a plane ticket with the Delta voucher we earned when volunteering our seat on a previous flight and hopped on a plane to Athens. We spent a fantastic week exploring both the capital and Sifnos, a beautiful island in the Cyclades. We were already planning a return trip by the time we left. Greece is seriously hard to beat.
Whether you’re a beach bum, honeymooner, or history buff, a trip to Greece is sure to be an amazing experience—especially if you go prepared.
As with any trip, one of the keys to having a great experience is to pack wisely. Here is our list of what to pack for Greece in the spring.
What to Pack for Greece in the Spring
Choosing the right gear can make or break a trip. Here are some things you must take on a trip to Greece in the spring.
Backpack. For a trip to Greece—and basically anywhere else—we recommend packing in a carry-on size backpack if possible. The last thing you want to do is lug an overstuffed suitcase up 400 steps to that whitewashed Santorini villa that looked so appealing on booking.com before your back was breaking and you were sweating from glands you didn’t know you had. Not to mention, most airlines charge a criminally large fee for checked baggage. And in our mind, that money is better spent on, well, basically anything else. We are big fans of our Osprey Porter backpacks (read our full review here.). They are surprisingly roomy and still fit within the carry-on allotment on most airlines—including European budget airlines. Buy them here.
Further Reading: What to Know Before Flying Europe’s Budget Airlines
Day Bag. Having a smaller bag to hold your essentials comes in handy on long days of sightseeing or hiking. Sam uses this bag, because it packs down super small and easily fits within his Osprey backpack on travel days. I use this one because it’s cute and can replace my purse.
Packing Cubes. I admit that I used to be a packing cubes skeptic. I mean, how can packing something extra help save space? But after using them for four years, I am a full-fledged convert. Not only do they help maximize space, but they also keep everything super organized. No more frantically pulling out every single item just to find the tank top that worked its way to the bottom of the backpack. Again. We use these ones.
Voltage Converter/Outlet adaptor. For travelers visiting from outside of Europe (or from the UK), a voltage converter and outlet adaptor may be necessary to use electronics safely. I’ve fried more hair dryers in foreign countries than I care to admit. The voltage in Greece is 230 and the sockets are type C and F. We use this universal converter in our travels. It’s bulky, but it gets the job done.
Power bank. It’s basically guaranteed that your electronics will die at the least convenient times. Like two minutes into a 10-hour bus ride or when you’re lost on a hike and there’s no one around for miles. It’s just the way things go. But if you travel with a power bank, you will be prepared when they do! We have used ours everywhere from Belgium to India. We have this one.
Water bottle. We like to travel with a reusable water bottle that has a built-in filter. Not only does using a reusable water bottle save us tons of money, but it is also much more environmentally friendly (#GoGreen #SaveTheWales). We use one like this.
The hardest part of packing is choosing which clothes to take. It is so tempting to overpack. After all, you can never be certain what you’ll feel like wearing, and plans can change at the last minute. But lugging around 20 extra pounds because you packed a change of shoes for every day of the week will end up causing a lot of frustration—not to mention a really sore back. And the odds are good you won’t end up wearing everything anyway. Instead, stick to fewer versatile items that can be mixed and matched and plan to re-wear them. No one will notice, I promise.
Here are some clothing items you will actually need to pack for a trip to Greece in the spring.
Sturdy walking shoes. Greece is full of amazing historical sites (hello, Parthenon!), which means you will likely do some walking. Actually, probably a lot of walking. Like, walking until your thighs burn and your blistered and callused feet resemble a lunar landscape. And if I’ve learned one thing from years of traveling (besides the fact that airline food looks and tastes as good as sewage-soaked frog tongue), it’s that nothing is enjoyable when your feet hurt. So after limping through a few trips to Europe in my “cute” (aka, horribly-uncomfortable-with-no-arch-support) shoes, I finally took the plunge and invested in a good pair of sneakers. The ones I wear are no longer available but they’re like these.
Light jacket. Packing for Greece in the spring is difficult, because the weather changes quite a bit throughout the day. While the afternoon will likely be pleasantly warm or hot, the temperature cools off quite a bit once the sun goes down. We recommend packing a light jacket for the evenings and early mornings.
Sun hat. That said, the sun can get pretty intense during the day, especially in late spring. If you plan to spend much time outdoors—which you definitely should—be sure to pack a sun hat to protect yourself from awkward tourist sunburns.
Breezy dresses. Though we tend to dress pretty informally when we travel, I like to pack at least one dress to wear when I want to feel more polished. Not only is it nice to have for special dinners or nights out, but a casual dress can also double as a swimsuit cover-up on beach days.
Swimwear. The Greek islands are home to some exquisite beaches. And even though the water might still be quite chilly in the spring, hardy travelers who are willing to brave the cold should be sure to pack a swimsuit. When we visited in April, we had the entire beach to ourselves when we took a refreshing, albeit frigid, dip in the Aegean sea.
Jeans. I know some hardcore travelers abhor the idea of traveling with any pants that they can’t wear to wade through a jungle swamp, but I typically find that packing at least one pair of jeans comes in handy on most trips. They’re comfortable, go with everything, and only really need to be washed if you sit in bird droppings or something equally as catastrophic. I wore jeans nearly every day of our trip to Greece.
Shorts. Packing a pair of shorts is a good idea for those sunny afternoons.
Quick-dry Athletic clothing. Though Greece is well known for its food, beaches, and history, it also has some great hiking paths. We spent every afternoon on Sifnos hiking along some of the most beautiful trails we’ve ever seen. So if you’re interested in a more active holiday, be sure to pack breathable athletic gear.
Hiking shoes/boots. And if you’re planning on hiking, you need proper footwear. I just packed my running shoes since I was short on space, but proper hiking boots would have come in handy if I’d had room for them.
Sunscreen. The only thing that can ruin those heavenly days of lounging on a whitewashed Santorini villa’s terrace is a peeling sunburn. So be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen—especially if you plan to visit the islands where the price of sunscreen is outrageously high. (We paid 14 Euros for a tiny bottle of sunscreen on the island of Sifnos, and I think a part of my soul died.) Just be sure to keep the bottles to 3 ounces or less if you’re traveling carry-on only. We use these.
Solid shampoo/conditioner. A few years ago I started using solid shampoo and conditioner from Lush when I travel, and I will never go back. It is so much more compact than liquid forms, and it is an easy way to get around liquid restrictions at airports if you’re traveling carry-on only. I took a bar of solid shampoo to Sri Lanka, and I made it through the entire month without running out!
Silicone travel containers. To save money, we recommend buying any other liquids in bulk and using reusable three-ounce silicone containers instead of purchasing travel size toiletries. We use ones like this.
Travel-size hairbrush. Though it might seem strange to buy a travel size hairbrush—I mean, it’s not like a full size brush is that big—every ounce counts when you’re lugging your baggage on and off of airplanes, busses, and taxis. I use this one, which is a miniature version of the hairbrush I use at home.
Travel-size toothbrush/toothpaste. Again, every inch of packing space saved will make a big difference. I also like travel toothbrushes that fold up, like this one, so I don’t have to worry about them getting covered in germs.
Dry shampoo. On days I don’t want to waste time primping—which is honestly most days on vacation—or on long travel days when I feel wilted and gross, I love spritzing on some dry shampoo to revitalize my hair.
Motion sickness medicine. If you get motion sick easily and plan to do any island hopping, be sure to pack some motion sickness tablets just in case the sea is rough. (Our disastrous experience cage diving with sharks in South Africa made us super vigilant about preparing for the worst on boats!)
Earplugs/eye cover. Travel typically means sleeping in unfamiliar and often less-than-ideal circumstances. So whether you find yourself with hotel neighbors who party late into the night or trying to sleep on a noisy airplane, it’s always a good idea to travel with ear plugs and an eye cover so you can get some rest no matter where you are.
Guidebook/audioguide. For a destination with a rich history like Greece, a guidebook can provide some useful background information that makes visiting popular tourist sites a whole lot more interesting. We used the Lonely Planet guide for a basic historical overview. We also found Rick Steves’ free audioguides to be really helpful at tourist attractions like the Parthenon. We also listened to Rick Steves’ audioguides during our visit to Vatican City on a previous trip.
A good book. Whether you’re on an island hopping adventure or lounging in a beach chair, having some quality reading material is essential. Need some book recommendations? Check out my post on the best travel books to inspire wanderlust.
Packing these travel essentials for a trip to Greece in the spring will prepare you for your fantastic holiday in one of the most amazing destinations in Europe!
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