Fanatic Packer’s 5 Spring Packing Tips!

Plan Ahead & Mix-Match

The response to our winter packing tips was so wonderful — thank you! So, by popular demand, here are 5 spring packing tips since we know many of you are preparing now for upcoming travels. Spring is harder than winter or summer because the weather can be unpredictable, ranging from really chilly to quite warm.

Packing Tips

1. Don’t panic pack! Lay everything out one week before so you have time to evaluate what you really need and what you can leave behind. You’ll be amazed at how much you will put back in your closet if you plan ahead.

2. Take pictures of outfits with your phone so you remember what to mix-and-match.

3. Don’t bring fancy pieces that you’ll wear once unless you have a special occasion that demands something really dressy. I have made the mistake of bringing a skirt that required ironing (not going to happen) and high heels that got ruined when the heels got caught between cobblestones, never again. That pretty silk blouse for dinners out? Forget it. My experience with silk is you are lucky to get more than one wearing out of it. I learned the hard way when faced with a irresistable plate of slippery spaghetti alle vongole (clam sauce). Instead, choose versatile pieces that are washable, don’t need ironing and that can be dressed up or down with accessories.

4. Super comfy pants. I like black pants (won’t show spills) with some stretch for long flights. My current favorite is Athleta’s Metro Skinny pant. Another brand good for travel (okay, I’m dating myself here, younger readers & fashionistas can ignore) is NYDJ straight-legged skinny black pants, they’re practically indestructible. No capri pants please – not versatile!

5. April in Paris? Springtime in Tuscany? Fleece is your friend! Bring one really warm sweater or fleece jacket,  the essential layer you will need for chilly days, and a water resistant jacket or a raincoat, preferably with a hood. In Italy the heat goes off April 1st by government decree so that warm layer is good for “around the house” for cool mornings and evenings.

My wardrobe for a previous 3-week spring trip.

Here was my packing list for a 3-week spring property inspection trip.

  • 2 pairs of pants: 1 beige & 1 black
  • 2 light sweaters: 1 blue, 1 beige (Tahari, Eileen Fisher)
  • 1 brown linen dress (H&M)
  • 1 long light blue cotton tunic top (Gap)
  • 4 T-Shirts: white, brown, navy, black (Gap)
  • 1 scarf, 3 necklaces, 1 belt (I usually splurge & buy at least one more scarf while traveling, who can resist?)
  • 1 pair black flats, 1 pair sandals (not pictured)
  • Black fleece jacket & black raincoat (not pictured), worn on the plane with black pants, Tshirt, black flats, less to pack. Fleece stuffs into carry-on if not needed.
  • PJ’s, 1 pair cotton socks, Isotoner-type ballet slippers (not pictured)

Here are just some of the combinations. By keeping to a limited color palette it is easy to mix-and-match.

Happy packing!

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Rome’s Stately Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo was, and is, a truly impressive welcome to Rome, beautifully proportioned, it is anchored by an Egyptian obelisk (acquired from Egypt by Augustus Caesar during his conquests) which theme is carried forward with a fountain featuring Egyptian lions and a dozen sphinxes on the surrounding wall. The arched portal to Piazza del Popolo was designed by Bernini for Pope Alexander VII. The most unassuming church in the Piazza, Santa Maria del Popolo, has beautiful treasures of the Renaissance: a dramatic tomb mentioned as the scene of a crime in Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, and two magnificent paintings by Caravaggio. The other two churches on the piazza are called “twins” and, at first glance look alike; it is fun to stop and identify the many differences in their architecture. Continue reading