Want to know what to pack for a trip to Tuscany, Italy? Benissimo! As frequent travellers in Tuscany, we know how important it is to take the right gear.
So we’ve put together a list of the most indispensable products you’ll need for a trip, and we’ve included helpful links to where you can buy them. Buy them now, or stick them on a list for later. But whatever you do, don’t leave home without them.
What to pack for your trip to Tuscany. A go-to guide for all the essential gear and accessories you’ll need.
TRAVEL BAG – Double up with a daypack
We assume you have a big sturdy suitcase for the hold. But the question of what makes a good travel bag is slightly more complicated. Chances are you’ll be taking this bag onboard and using it as a daypack too. So it’s best to get something you’re comfortable lugging around during the day.
You need something light and portable with accessible pockets, and somewhere to store a water bottle. It needs to conform to your airline company’s baggage restriction policy. And it needs to be water and tear resistant. This one does the trick and more. It also has the benefit of being something you can easily fold up and pack away when you aren’t using it.
PACKING CUBES – The ultimate luggage organiser
We love the idea of these packing cubes. They are cheap, light and make packing a cinch. Easily separate underwear from cables, and laundry from toiletries with these light, zippable cases. It’s the cheapest way to maximise the space you have in your bag, and it makes things easier to find when you are rummaging through it in a hurry trying to find that USB cable you knew you packed but which has now found its way inside one of your socks. Think of it as instant organisation.
STUFF FOR THE PLANE – From earplugs to scales
Scales. You’ll need a scale for your bags. This helps you know exactly what how heavy your bag is before you even get to the airport. Remember most airlines will charge over the odds for excess baggage so you really don’t want any nasty surprises at the airport. Also helpful when you return with tons of gifts and bric-a-brac and every ounce counts!
Earplugs. Because there’s always someone talking, or digging around in a bag, or ordering another glass of tepid airline chardonnay. Get a pair of cheap over-the-counter earplugs that block out all those sonic annoyances and return your world to a peacefulness stillness. These ones do the trick for me.
Neck Pillow. If you’re like me, you like the idea of a neck pillow but don’t always find them that comfortable. They always seem to end up pushing your head forward and making you more uncomfortable than ever. I often take an extra fleece and just roll it up behind my head which seems to do the trick. But failing this, you could try one of these. It gives your neck and head a bit of proper ergonomic support on the one side. Scientifically proven. Comfortable, light and washable.
DOCUMENT HOLDERS AND SECRET CASH WALLET
This is a no brainer. You need to keep your documents together. In something that’s got lots of pockets and zips and space for cards and tickets and passports. I find that it’s good to have something that’s easy to open and close quickly as you’ll be doing that a lot. And something that’s visible so you can find it if it’s buried at the bottom of your bag.
For your peace of mind it’s always good to keep your money and cards in a safe place. These travel money belts can take your passport / keys / money and can be strapped to you under your clothes while you are out and about.
TRAVEL ADAPTOR – The indispensable all-in-one
An adaptor is perhaps one of the most important things you’ll take with you to Tuscany, but ironically it’s the thing that many of us don’t get until the last minute. If you want my advice, get one online as the airports don’t always stock the best brands.
These days with mobile phones, and Kindles and cameras and tablets, we have a mass of things that need to be charged at the end of each travel day and without them we are a bit lost. Get an all-in-one universal USB travel adaptor that you can use in the world’s most commonly visited countries, and is compact and sturdy enough to last the journey with you. Trust us, this is what to pack first.
ITALIAN POCKET PHRASEBOOK – Speak the lingo
Ok, so google translate will only get you so far. A mini pocket phrase book will help you learn the bare minimum to get by in hotels, shops and restaurants. Even basic vocab will help you feel a bit less at sea when you are out and about.
SUNGLASSES – Cheap and cheerful shades
You may have a slick pair of Ray Bans at home, but that doesn’t mean you should take them on holiday with you. I find they are always the first thing to get lost or break. Pack a pair of cheap and cheerful sunglasses that look decent but don’t cost the earth. Wayfarers tend to look good with pretty much everything and you can find a lot of cheap and cheerful brands that will last you the trip. If they don’t come with a hard case, get one.
SUNHAT – Have fedora, will travel
You need a great sunhat that really looks the part in Italy. You need a fedora. What could be more Italian than this? It’s not all about the style. This straw fedoras have the almost magical ability to keep your head feeling cool, with a brim that keeps the sun out of your eyes too. This particular number can be rolled into a tube making it easy to travel with. Done.
MICROFIBRE TOWEL – Staying dry in summer
A microfibre towel is a simple but essential accessory for summer travelling. If you are in Florence and Tuscany from June through to September it can get pretty hot and sticky, especially if you are walking around with a daypack. These little beauties are light and dry quickly, and make it easy for you to dry off after freshening up while you are out and about.
MAP OF TUSCANY – Getting around the old-fashioned way
If you’re driving you might want to get a good map, even if you have a Sat Nav. We love the idea of spreading the map in front of us when planning our excursions, making notes of the different stops that we want to make to the winery or a small town. Wi-Fi can be hit and miss in many places here too, so a real map can be a lifesaver. Two maps we recommend are Michelin and Touring Club of Italy. Get one now and thank us later.
You can find plenty of information and trip ideas on our site. But sometimes a paper guide is essential. You need something that’s not to heavy, but isn’t light on detail. Ideally something with a fair bit of insider tips. We are in the process of producing a unique Love from Tuscany guide that we hope will be useful. While this is in the works however, we can recommend the Fodors guide for its level of detail. If you’re driving in Tuscany this little book is a great way to help you get around. The Eyewitness guides are great for first-timers to Italy. They look nice and have visual references of sights and attractions which makes it easy to use.
NOVELS – Read all about Tuscany
What to read on holiday that will immerse you in the spirit of Tuscany? Here’s a few of our favourite page-turners: A Room with a View, for its timeless Florentine romance. Inferno, the bestseller by Dan Brown will show you a bit of the history of the city, the sights and it’s a great thriller. The Savage Garden is a great holiday read, set in Tuscany. If you want something in the historical line, you might try the best-selling War in Val d’Orcia by Iris Origo. And of course, there’s the ever popular Under the Tuscan Sun.
You’ve come all the way to Tuscany, Instagram isn’t the only way to record your memories. In a travel diary you can jot down your innermost feelings conjured up in this beautiful place, sketch a landscape, and keep your ticket stubs from that exhibition you never want to forget. If it was good enough for Bruce Chatwin, it’s gotta work for you.
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