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Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

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Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

We are going to Italy at the end of May for two weeks with our family of 5. I am trying to advise everyone to pack light. We will be going from Rome by Train to Florence. We will be renting a car in Florence and traveling through Tuscany and on to Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Will we be able to find places to wash our clothes? Any recommendations for packing and luggage?

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Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

Just buy everyone with a carry-on suite case and have them understand that that is all the room they have.

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2. Re: Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

Before we even get to the original question of how to pack light....do be aware there are driving restrictions in Italy, as well as ZTL zones that you need to be cognizant of....it is forbidden to drive into any historic city or village center, bus lanes are forbidden and parking is highly regulated. Cameras enforce infractions and hefty fines will result if you are not careful and attentive. Cars are great for countryside exploration but ill-advised in urban destinations and some coastal areas such as the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre.

Now...how to pack light? That question answers itself really, yes? Firstly realize that no one cares what you wore in Florence when you get to Venice and for 2 weeks, it is quite easy to pack light. There are laundromats (you are not going to a desert island) and little sinks in your rooms. Bring travel Tide, a stretchy clothes-line and some pins. Leave the hair dryer at home...fuggedaboudit...suggest 2-3 mix match outfits (tanks/blouses, capris), one pair cotton long pants (no jeans), a light cardigan, scarf, personals/medicines, a pair of good walking shoes (wear heavy stuff on plane), one pair evening flats and flip-flops, light-weight lounge wear and perhaps a light-weight water repellent travel jacket....can easily fit in carry-on and personal bag.

Since the airlines require only one personal bag with carry-on, I put my little cross-body purse in the larger “personal bag” and wear a neck pouch with documents when in airports. That way I do not have three bags. You will be so relieved with carry-on instead of hauling large heavy suitcases over cobblestones, up 3 flights of stairs and up and down train platforms. Also, you will need to put everything into the trunk of a tiny car and when day tripping on the way to a new destination, plan your route so that you can get to the hotel first, drop off luggage and then head out to explore. Do not leave anything inside a parked car, not even the trunk.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

You should be able to find a laundry or rent an apartment with a washer. Alternatively, plan to hand wash a few items each night before bed. We took individual woolite packets and a flat rubber sink stopper for just this purpose when we had no access to laundry facilities on a recent trip.

Nova Scotia
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4. Re: Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

You can do this even when it is cooler out. Wear jackets, etc. and heaviest shoes on the plane.

Roll your clothes and sort them into packing cubes. I find otherwise, esp. with my husband, that things get jumbled up. Plan that all your tops go with all your bottoms. It is amazing how a couple different scarves will change an outfit. (Buy the scarves in Italy if you want!)

My biggest problem is camera, tablet, ebook and cables along with medications but I was able to do this easily last spring for a month in Italy.

We wash our clothes when we have the opportunity (at least a two night stay) and the flat rubber sink stopper comes in handy. Shampoo works and so does a bar of laundry soap (Sunlight in Canada.)

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5. Re: Two weeks in Italy with a family of 5, how do we pack light?

Every time one of these threads come up I am struck by the nearly religious fervor of those who have figured out carry-on-only packing, I feel like there will be a heavenly chorus if I ever manage to accomplish it.

Like Maryann, I am often foiled by the electronic (and other) stuff I can't seem to live without, it's really less about clothing although shoes do claim a fair amount of space. I walk and hike a lot when I travel and comfortable footwear for a variety of environments is a requirement.

It's pretty easy to find a laundromat (lavanderia) if you look for one, even better if you find a wash and fold place. I just refuse to spend my precious vacation time washing things out in sinks every night, fighting to get them sufficiently wrung out so they'll dry over night. I find laundromats, on the other hand, a fascinating place to spend an hour people watching.

With kids it's a delicate tightrope to walk. You don't want them dragging every electronic toy they own but you also don't want to listen to them whine for two weeks, mentally calculating how much you spent to listen to this ...

Edited: 11 May 2018, 03:31
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