• FTLO Team

How much should you actually pack for a 7 day vacation?


Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a novice adventurer, the task of packing for any trip can seem daunting. But once you understand the basics of packing, everything else is a total breeze!

So, how much do you actually need to pack for a 7 day vacation? Read on for tips and lists of what to bring and what to leave behind (including a packing list from FTLO Founder, Tara Cappel!). 

Top Packing Tips

Consider the weather + activities

Do some research on the weather and find out what activities you'll be doing. 

  • If it’s cold: You don’t necessarily need to pack much “more”, but your luggage could get bulky very quickly, so selecting a few key basics (versatile jacket, great pair of jeans, day-to-night shoes, a few long sleeves, all neutral colors) could make a big difference in minimizing your luggage, while still maintaining a chic wardrobe. 

  • If it’s hot: If you’re going somewhere where you’ll be sweating profusely, you might need a variety of basics to stay fresh. Packing mix-and-match items, like light tank-tops, blouses, shorts, t’s, or dresses, will not take up too much space and will ensure that you stay clean and trendy every day.

  • Activities: If you know what activities you’ll be doing, this will help you plan your clothing + gear. If you’re hiking a lot, then prioritize those socks, tanks, and hats, and consider sunblocks + bug repellents. If you’re swimming a lot, then focus on the swimmies + trunks, and beachwear, etc.

Opt for less through versatility 

At the end of the day you could get away with packing very few items...just as long as you have your staple, versatile pieces.

  • Clothing basics: Focus on nailing down the things you will definitely need at your destination. Rain jacket and rain boots? Bathing suit? Formal wear? Hiking clothes? For everything else, focus on versatility. A dark pair of jeans, for example, will take you from a day full of adventure, to an evening out on the town. Also, stick to neutral colors to facilitate mixing and matching. Finally, just remember, you can always reuse, mix-and-match, layer, wash, or even purchase clothes. 

  • Toiletries: In most cases, 3 ounces of your basics (toothpaste, shampoo, face lotion, body wash, etc.) will probably be enough. After all, it’s only 7 days and it’s likely you can purchase those items locally if you need. Do, however, consider if there are certain items you might need for your destination that you don't normally use, like bug repellent, sunscreen, ear plugs or face wipes. 

Packing Lists

Essentials Packing List

  • ID (driver’s license for local trips, passport for international)

  • Airline tickets / e-ticket flight confirmation

  • Itinerary / accommodation / transportation confirmations

  • Medical insurance coverage (copies)

  • Prescriptions or medications

  • Phone or laptop 

  • First aid kit (mini ones available at your local pharmacy)

  • A pen (will always come in handy!)

Useful Carry-on Items

  • Electronics (phone, computer, camera)

  • Chargers + adapters

  • Portable charger 

  • Reusable water bottle (empty before TSA!)

  • Reusable tote 

  • Snacks (dried fruit, granola, popcorn, crackers)

  • Sunglasses + prescription glasses

  • Earphones

  • Ear plugs + neck pillow 

  • Notebook + pen

  • Toiletries (under 3oz: toothbrush + paste, deodorant, hairbrush, face wipes, tissues, birth control + condoms, makeup, razors, nail clippers, shampoos and soaps, lotions, perfumes or colognes, chapstick, hair ties)

  • Change of clothes (so you can feel refreshed after a long flight)

Things to leave behind

  • Too many books and magazines 

  • Big bottles of toiletries (you won't get past TSA)

  • That weird shirt you’ve never worn (if you've never worn it, you're not going to wear it now)

  • Lots of the same thing (you don't need 50 underwear; rule of thumb: one set per day) 

  • Other things you never use (leave that board game behind!) 

  • Clothing that doesn’t match the weather (if there's snow, you won't need shorts)

Need more help?

Here's a list of everything FTLO Founder, Tara Cappel, would bring on our eight day trip to Tuscany + Rome

Weather (in June) 

Tuscany High: 81 °F

Tuscany Low: 59 °F 

Rome High: 83° F

Rome Low: 62° F

Outfit Essentials

In a nutshell: Bring enough so that you have something to wear every day given that you might sweat most days but not so much that you don't have room for new acquisitions. 

  • 4 tank tops or t-shirts

  • 1-2 long sleeve shirts

  • 3 summer dresses

  • 2 pairs of shorts

  • 1 maxi skirt

  • 1 pair flowy pants or boyfriend jeans

  • 1 linen onesie

  • 2 evening outfits

  • 1 sweater or shawl 

  • 1 summer scarf

  • 1 leather jacket (that you may or may not want to purchase in Florence :)

  • 1 pair of day-to-night sandals (2-inch wedge or chunky heel)

  • 1 pair cute sneakers

  • 1 bathing suit (you never know)

  • 3 bras, 10 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks (more if you want to work out 

Carry-on 'must-haves'

The key here is to have everything you need to survive in case your bag is delayed!

  • Passport / ID 

  • Phone + charger + adapter + *headphones*

  • Airline tickets / e-ticket confirmation 

  • Itinerary / accommodation / transportation confirmations

  • Medical prescriptions

  • Camera + charger

  • Portable charger 

  • Reusable water bottle 

  • Sunglasses + contact lenses/solution if you need it (always carry this on!)

  • Ear plugs + neck pillow 

  • Key toiletries (under 3oz) 

  • Jacket + cozy socks for the flight

  • Change of clothes

  • Snackssss 

  • Pen!

Tara's Luggage Picks

See more staff picks for luggage + carry-ons.

Now that you've nailed down all of your travel essentials and you're ready to go, you can let go of the stress and focus on the fun! 

Laid-back, culture-focused, adventurous group tours for young professionals and young adults.
  • FTLO - group travel for young adults
  • FTLO - group travel for young adults
  • FTLO - group travel for young adults
  • FTLO - group travel for young adults
  • FTLO - group travel for young adults

Feel free to leave your info for occasional reminders that you need a vacation. Also so we can let you know about new trips, deals, and events.

Looking for a live abroad experience?

Check out our new brand SOJRN.


California Registered Seller of Travel No. 2132796-50