While packing can be an exciting sign that your wonderful vacation has arrived, it also presents some challenges. On one hand, you want to make sure you pack everything you need for a great trip – and to keep you looking great. On the other, no one likes overpacking and the associated struggles.

To help you pack like a seasoned pro for your epicurean tour, here are our seven best tips.

#1: Choose your luggage carefully

Before you start packing, it’s important to have a decent suitcase. If yours is too big, too small or has just seen better days – it’s time to upgrade! Although quality luggage is not cheap, it can last for many years, so it often presents great value.

Look for luggage that is a reasonable size (big enough to fit your belongings, but also small enough that you can easily lift it fully packed). You’ll also want to pay attention to the weight of the suitcase – you certainly don’t want to be giving up precious pounds of packing space because your luggage is bulky.

Finally, you might want to consider a bag with wheels, which is super convenient when traveling through airports and most hotels. Just be aware that depending on your destination, you may still need to carry it often – Europe’s cobbled streets were not made for wheelie bags!

#2: Use packing cubes

There are many travel gadgets and gimmicks that promise to make your life easier. In the case of packing cubes, they live up to their promise! It’s no surprise that many travelers have been converted over to using packing cubes.

These inexpensive and lightweight cubes or bags allow you to divide up your luggage. Not only does this help you to fit more in, but it is also extremely helpful for organization. You can divide your items up into categories like formal clothing, swimwear, toiletries and outerwear – helping you to find everything easily and quickly in your new destination.

#3: Consider a capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes have been all the rage on Youtube and Pinterest, and there’s a good reason why they’ve caught on – especially with travelers. A good capsule wardrobe allows you to have many different outfits from just a few clothing items. This means you look great, and your suitcase is light, too. Plus, you’ll spend less time choosing an outfit and more time enjoying the sights (and the food and wine tours in Italy).

The key to a capsule wardrobe is choosing items that can all be worn together. If you’re a beginner at this concept, some handy tips are to choose predominantly basic items (think jeans, white t-shirts, a black blazer) with a few extras to jazz things up. You may also like to stick to a relatively small color palette to maximize your combinations.

#4: Choose your fabrics wisely

No matter how great your clothing and style is, wrinkled fabric can quickly bring an outfit down! And let’s be honest – who wants to spend their whole vacation ironing clothing? There’s food and wine to be enjoyed, you know!

For convenience, avoid fabrics that easily crease and wrinkle all together. Choose items that tend to travel well, and pack them neatly (preferably within the packing cubes!) until you can (hopefully) hang them.

If you’ve got extra room in your luggage, you might also like to invest in some anti-wrinkle spray.

#5: Smart casual… with a pop

One of the difficulties of packing for an epicurean tour or cruise can be knowing the dress code. It’s certainly no fun to feel like your underdressed or overdressed – and cruises can be particularly difficult. You’ll want to have options for when you’re relaxing, exploring new destinations and then a few special items for events like the welcome dinner.

Overall, you should wear what makes you feel comfortable and happy. A general guideline is smart casual – think what you’d wear to an informal party with friends or coworkers. You want to look nice, but also feel comfortable – especially when walking around destinations!

As well as your more informal basics, it’s worth bringing one or two more formal options for when you want to add a little pizzazz. One easy way to do this (especially for ladies) is by bringing a few accessories – they instantly add some more glamour to your looks, and don’t take up much room.

#6: If in doubt, leave it out

While it’s tempting to pack for every possible scenario, it’s no fun to arrive on your vacation with a huge bag of clothing and items to sort through. This is especially true of cruises. While cruise cabins are modern and comfortable, they can be modest in size – so you certainly don’t want to cart your entire wardrobe onto the ship.

Most of us can relate to returning from a vacation only to realize we didn’t use a lot of what we brought. So, an easy rule – ‘if in doubt, leave it out!’. If you really need it, you’ll know – whereas all the “what ifs” generally take up space unnecessarily. On the chance that you regret not bringing it, you’ll almost certainly be able to buy it while on vacation.

#7: Leave room in your luggage

We are sure you’ll love your food and wine tour and want to bring home some souvenirs from your vacation. So – don’t forget to leave some room in your suitcase for some lovely mementos! This way you can bring home some beautiful (and perhaps delicious) reminders of your epicurean tour. Contact us today to learn more!