This is our first RS trip. I saw all the comments about limiting luggage. Did you do laundry? and what was your favorite sight from your free time? Any special shopping possibilities I need to include?
Thank you so much! So helpful! We are going on the Rome, Florence, and Venice tour, so your comments about making sure you do laundry the day before moving to a new location are especially appreciated…
Which program are you doing?
I've been a "light packer" for years. I've done 8 weeks with just a 21" rollaboard. By now I've distilled my wardrobe so that everything is sink-washable, including my jeans. I use a capsule wardrobe approach so that every shirt goes with every pair of pants goes with every cardie/topper. I usually take 4 shirts, 2 or 3 pr of bottoms, 1 cardie/topper piece, rain jacket, 2 pr of shoes (wear one, pack one). I also use a packing list so that I'm not throwing in random items that only go with one thing! If it is not multipurpose it doesn't make the travel team, lol!
For sink washing I use a 2-gallon ziplock bag (I think it's Glad brand with the slider closure) reinforced with mailing tape. I put things in to soak using the liquid body wash or shampoo that most hotels provide, then head out to dinner. By the time I'm back I rinse, roll in a towel to squeeze the water out and hang to dry. I bring a plastic hanger and some clothes pins. I used to try those rubber stretchy washing lines but found them to be a pain, so the coat hanger works for me. If I'm on a tour that moves a lot I make sure to do wash on the 1st night of a 2 night stay. Usually my things are dry by AM but I want to give myself some leeway.
If you are on a longer trip, many find a laundromat (yes, they have them in Italy) during free time.
I also do a test at home to see how long things take to dry. All my clothing is a poly/cotton mix.
I LOVE to talk capsule wardrobes and packing, lol! I also travel solo so even though during the tour RS will manage your luggage, I generally go early so am often traveling to the meet up location by train on my own. I have to be able to manage my bag going up/down stairs, on/off trains etc. I know I can't handle a bag that weighs much more than 22# so I try to make that my cut off weight. And yes, I weigh it before I leave!
Thank you so much! So helpful! We are going on the Rome, Florence, and Venice tour, so your comments about making sure you do laundry the day before moving to a new location are especially appreciated. I never thought to use hotel shampoo either, but what a great idea. I will practice washing some things to see how that works.
Oh, that is excellent! You'll have plenty of time to wash a few things out as you are 4 nights in Rome then 3 each in Florence and Venice.
I usually take just 3 pr of underwear so wash them out every night except on a transit night...although I just got some Fruit of the Looms that seem like they will dry overnight. I've got some expensive Ex Officio travel underwear that do dry overnight but they sort of feel like you are wearing Saran Wrap, lol and TMI!!
It doesn't look like a ton of free time but you can always stroll the neighborhood in the evening!
I see you have a "self-directed tour" of the Uffizi. Many museums have an app you can download, so I'd check on that or you can download the free Rick Steves Audio Europe app and then download the Uffizi Gallery tour from there. Make sure you've got your ear buds with you so you can listen to his commentary.
You will likely have one of the whisper ear sets so the guide can walk and talk. They furnish one earpiece but TBH I prefer my own ear buds. If anyone has hearing impairment, it's better to bring good earphones so you can hear. The last time I traveled the whisper sets did not support bluetooth so you need the plug in buds/earphones. Then you can use them to listen to the Audio Europe programs as well on your phone. If you are traveling with another person, make sure they download the Audio Europe app as well so they can listen. It's way too hard for 2 people to try to listen to one phone.
One of the things I enjoyed most in Venice was a concert of Vivaldi pieces. I went to the one by Interpreti Veneziani and it was wonderful. The musicians are not costumed but were supposed to be the better musicians. I nearly cried they played with such passion. You don't need to get the tickets ahead. Talk with your guide after the first night in Rome as he may just tell you to wait. We bought our tickets the day of at our hotel. Unknown how covid may have impacted this!
If you like opera, some people in my group enjoyed the Teatro Fenice and for that you would need to buy ahead.
What a fun time you will have! I'm thinking Italy in Oct 2022, lol!