5 Packing Tips for a Summer Holiday (Including Shopping)

28th July

Outfit for strolling around Lake Como

Mark and I just got back from Barcelona and northern Italy. We toured museums, oggled magnificent architecture, met friends, and hiked around Lake Como. And of course, we shopped! Here are 5 tips I gathered for a summer trip to awesome shopping destinations like these. And I’ll be sharing a few gorgeous images, such as my future home 😉 on Lake Como (see above).

View of Lake Como

Varenna and Lake Como

Here are the 5 shopping vacation packing tips:

1) If you’re on a budget like me, cut off clothes/shoes spending a while before the trip.

If I wanted something for the trip, I figured that I could find a much more stylish option in Spain and Italy. That way I could really get have fun shopping (with a little extra to spend!) And just as planned, I found an Italian-made bright yellow dress for 13 euro our second day in Barcelona! I wore it everywhere.

Packing tips for shopping vacation: wait to buy there!

2) Leave as much empty space in your luggage a possible for new purchases.


Shoes are normally our heaviest, bulkiest items. I recommend packing two pairs and wearing a third on the plane. If you’ll be hiking, you’ll need sneakers. After that, one pair of low-heeled, super comfy sandals – nude works fabulously! – and a high-heeled pair are plenty sufficient. Chunky heels – whether high or low – make navigating on cobblestones much easier.

Shopping vacation packing tips: limit your shoes

Next to Ohla Barcelona, decorated with EYES. I actually packed two pairs of low-heeled sandals, but unfortunately, these black ones – although cute – have zero arch support!


Pack a skirt or shorts that you can wear with lots of tops. Once I got to Spain I noticed that one of my dresses was ripped and another – dry clean only! – got an olive oil stain. I ended up wearing the same blue skirt with multiple tops. And it worked beautifully! Come to think of it, why not take two of these skirts/pairs of shorts?

Packing tips - fun earrings and scarves


While you may want to cut down on clothes and shoes, go ahead and go crazy with accessories. I brought all of my large, dangly earrings and some scarves. They added a touch of style to even the most basic outfit.

Packing tips - fun earrings

3) Okay, this is obvious, but take a very large bag, preferably a lightweight one with wheels.

And slip in a couple of fabric totes. Mark and I ended up using these as carry-ons when we ran out of space in our luggage. We put our regular carry-ons in them and stuffed in more clothes. oohoo!

Meeting up with Julia in Piacenza

What a treat it was to see Julia in Piacenza. And she helped me to do fabulous damage with summer sales!

4) If bringing a hat, make sure it’s wind-proof.

A hat is a great skin protector – and look stylish. However, be sure the hat fits before buying! I soon realized that mine couldn’t withstand even the smallest gust of wind. I was constantly flinging my hands up to my head – and often hitting it, owch! – or chasing after it down the street.

I learned this great trick from a saleswoman in Barcelona. If you can turn your head upside down and the hat doesn’t fall off, you’re good to go. Or, you can just get an adjustable hat with a drawstring inside.

Panoramic view of Lake Como

5) If going to Italy this summer, pack WHITE clothes.

It’s all about WHITE! White is simply what Italians wear in summer. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stand out too much while traveling abroad. As I mentioned, I stopped spending money on clothes a while before our trip. As a result, I had lots of black and navy, reflecting a strong (former) shopping tendency.

Messy hair on vacay

I let my hair go wild!

Fortunately, I did discover I had packed a white tee and an ivory-colored dress. Then I found a beautiful Audrey Hepburn-ish all-white dress in Bellagio – 30% off!

Packing tips Europe trip: bring white

Now if your vacation includes a shopping destination in Europe, my last suggestion is that you do so in mid-July. It’s sale season – Rebajas! SALDI! –  and people haven’t yet abandoned the city to go on their vacation.

I hope you benefit from my recent mistakes, I mean shopping vacation packing tips. And I hope you are enjoying a fantastic summer!

xo, janea



22 responses to “5 Packing Tips for a Summer Holiday (Including Shopping)”

  1. Daisy Linden says:

    This is the best advice ever! Leave some room for new purchases! I ended by buying an extra bag on my way back from Greece!

  2. Dominique says:

    Looks like you had an amazing holiday! I always leave some space in my luggage for shopping given that I’m a shopaholic! Haha xx


  3. Paola Lauretano says:

    Such a great holiday! Beautiful pics!
    Thanks for your tips babe!
    Kisses, Paola.

  4. Hadasah Love | Style To Love says:

    Hello my dearest, thank you for always sharing inspiring posts!!!!

    Hadasah Love || http://www.styletolove.com

  5. Gemma says:

    Great tips, sounds like you had such an amazing time. I love to see your photos.

    Gemma x

  6. Alyssa says:

    These are amazing! 🙂

    xx Alyssa // STYLE VANITY

  7. Kris says:

    Great tips! I love white!
    Have an awesome day,
    xx Kris


  8. Ashley says:

    Your trip looks amazing- I want to see Italy + Spain, too! And killer packing tips, doll! So helpful!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  9. Kara Aragon says:

    What beautiful photos. I love this post. Great tips. I just recently started packing less shoes & other bulky items (large handbags, etc) to allow more room for souvenirs. Also one of the smartest purchases I’ve ever made were lightweight suitcases. I never stress about going over the weight limit now.

    Kara Aragon

    • Janea says:

      Thanks, Kara! Isn’t it wonderful to not have to worry about weight limits?! I also find it so much more pleasant dragging a super light bag. xo

  10. sepatuholig says:

    Awesome! thank you for sharing tips!
    IG @grace_njio

  11. Gabrielle says:

    Barcelona AND Northern Italy? Gosh, what a dreamy vacation to have spent together! I’m definitely all for leaving space in your suitcase for new purchases (shoes!)



Receive our style, fashion, and beauty updates
straight to your inbox!