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The packing advice I’ve given so far is obviously from a woman’s perspective. I’d like to give a little space to talk about what men may want to bring. I’m no man, although I have always lived with lots of men, I had three male roommates in college as well as a husband and two sons now. Being surrounded by lovely men is my destiny I guess. So I have an idea about how they should pack.

In general, I would advise following all of the advice I’ve given so far- pack only what you can carry on and only what you absolutely need. Choose clothing in neutral colors that all go together. Black and gray are better than khaki, if you’re trying to avoid being obviously American or like clothes that hide dirt. I do not accept the excuse that many men give me–it’s not possible to pack light because men are just bigger. I am too! I’m 6’2″ and much bigger than the average man, so if I can do it, so can you. All of the same rules apply….no curling irons-that goes for you men too!

In a three week itinerary, I’d say you should plan for a week’s worth of clean clothes, maybe a bit more if you know you won’t have time to wash. Here is a general idea of items to pack, but keep in mind that what you choose will depend on the season and your particular tastes:

Shirts- I’d suggest three short sleeved shirts, two long sleeved knit shirts, one button-up shirt and a pullover sweater. These can all be layered and worn in different temperatures. Remember, you’re not going on a safari (unless you are), no need for the vest with many pockets and anti-mosquito fabric.

Pants- Three pairs, minimum. An average range of khakis, jeans and black pants. A comfy pair of knit pants would be smart for the plane. Many men love the look of the zip-off leg pants. I don’t. Sorry. It’s a style thing, but do what makes you happy. I’m just not a fan of the “Travel” clothing in general, so I don’t suggest buying a whole new wardrobe of that stuff. Wear what you have at home already.

Shorts- As I wrote a few weeks back, shorts are not exactly stylish in Europe unless you’re going to a resort on the sea. But men have few options for warm weather, so unless you’re into kilts, bring a pair or two in neutral colors.

Outerwear- I’d suggest a light, waterproof jacket and a layer for warmth. The warm layer can either be a fleece jacket or a down vest, both in cold weather. I prefer black for outerwear, it goes with everything and doesn’t show dirt.

Socks, PJs and Underwear- A week’s worth of undies and 3-5 pairs of socks. This assumes you’ll do a little sink washing. Pajamas are up to you, every man seems to have his own solution. But do bring something to wear at night even if you don’t normally wear PJs, you never know when you’ll be cold at night or may have to share a bathroom.

Shoes- At minimum, 2 pairs. I suggest a solid walking shoe like Rockports or a black running shoe. If it’s warm, bring good sandals for walking or hiking, many American men love Tevas or Keens, which can be worn in the water too. A pair of flip flops can be a lifesaver for sore feet and weighs nothing. Suggested shoe links are at the bottom.

Toiletries- Similar to a woman’s kit, minus make-up….if it’s not your thing. Bring a good facial moisturizer with sun protection in it and make that part of your morning routine, you’ll probably be in the sun more than your face is accustomed to. Bring shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, comb, deodorant, razors, shaving cream. Your facial grooming kit should be minimal if possible, but bring the electric razor if you must. You may consider leaving it at home and make getting a shave part of your sightseeing experiences. Getting a shave in Turkey, for example, is a can’t-miss photo-op!

A land where east melts into west, Turkey’s Turquoise Coastline…

This is where cultures of the Middle East and West melts into a whole new lifestyle. Discover the ancient world of Lycians, Carians and Romans around the turquoise coasts of Turkey. We’ll trace the life of a Roman merchant in the lagoons of Caunos and the greatest city of the Romans, Ephesus the sacred port city dedicated to fertility for many ages. Experience the daily life of the eastern Aegean villages while comparing the grapes of ancient vineyards where wine was first fermented and traded all around the old world from Greece to Egypt.

Other- Many men like bringing a hat, particularly if they are follicly-challenged. Bring one with your favorite sports team logo on it and, if the opportunity presents itself, see if you can trade it with a local. Scarves are a great idea even for men, with a thousand uses. Buy one when you get there. If you need a belt, bring one and buy another as a souvenir.

In general, I’ve found that the men on my tours have no problem packing light. Many have a great time by bringing less than they actually need and making shopping for local things as they go part of the fun, such as buying tshirts, shoes, even fedoras. What you should be aware of, though, is your size. Bigger men may not be able to find things in their size abroad. If that’s the case for you, be sure to bring everything you need, especially shoes.

Black running shoes are always a good idea:

These are the latest craze in travel shoes, I love mine:

AWS Staff

This post was published by the Adventures with Sarah team. Click here to find out more about the people that make everything at AWS happen.


  • Lanee says:

    She actually suggests a few more things than Rick – kinda surprised but I like her suggestions!

  • Marc Schoenfeld says:

    I know Rick loves Italy and that is his favorite. I suspect it is yours also however how about some tips for those of us going to the mountains of Bavaria or Switzerland on some of Rick’s tours. Last year we were on his tour of Bavaria, Austria etc. Next summer we are going to the 12 day tour of Switzerland. Weather is considerably different I suspect, then that which you have in Italy.

  • Tom A. says:

    Great advice! Thanks, Sarah. I have been to Europe only a few times, so I am still learning something on every trip overseas about what I should and shouldn’t pack.I love my Ecco brown casual shoes (bought them after reading advice on a Rick Steves message board) and oftentimes don’t bring any other footwear with me when I visit Europe (mostly Ireland).One thing I try to do is, if I travel with another male (brother or friend), to split up who brings what so that we don’t duplicate toiletries. For example, one person brings toothpaste, the other brings shaving gel, etc. And I like to sometimes leave some toiletries at home and buy them in Europe, and sometimes just leave them in Europe rather than bringing them home with me (to save space).

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