Hi Frugalistas! I’m back talking about packing lists. Mr Frugalfirstclass and I are off on a long planned river cruise in Southern France, followed by almost 3 weeks touring Paris, Normandy and Italy. While I’ve written previously about a European river cruise packing list, I need to update and rethink my plan for what to wear on a river cruise in Europe this time round. We are away for 4 weeks across the end of summer and early fall, so I need a one bag packing list that copes with what is likely to be changeable weather conditions. This is my Europe packing list summer river cruise and fall edition:
Europe packing list: summer river cruise and fall essentials
As I normally recommend I’m starting with deciding on shoes and my basic colour palette.
In my previous river cruise packing list, I recommended taking a pair of flat shoes that could be glammed up with removable decorative shoe clips for the evening. Because of the weather I’m not doing this, although I still consider it a good plan for proper fall and spring cruising. Instead I’m taking a sneaky third pair of shoes – a pair of light ballet flats that pack down to nothing. Mine are Repetto, but of course other brands are available:
A pair of leather sneakers will be my go to day shoe. I prefer leather over fabric as it is easier to wipe clean if they get a bit grubby. Obviously there are many brands and styles, but it is worth choosing something that has a good arch support and which doesn’t feel too heavy in case you want to pack them:
Along with trusty espadrilles. Mine have a closed toe, but an espadrille sandal, or a sandal with a good thick rubber sole can work just as well:
Ecco, Clarks, Teva, Skechers and Rockport all have excellent walking sandals with supportive soles:
My basic colour palette for this trip revolves around black, with flashes of white and other colours.
My bottoms are three pairs of black pants: one pair of loose linen, a pair of crepe palazzo style, and a pair of ankle length slim fitting (slightly stretchy). I’ve chosen a dressier linen style with a zip and button closure rather than elastic and a tie waist as they are more versatile:
I’m also adding a pair of white jeans and a navy linen skirt. My white jeans are NYDJ Marilyns. I like them for travelling as they have a bit of stretch and are not too heavy a denim – excellent for travel:
Tops are a loose white linen shirt, a selection of Tshirts (white and striped) and a black singlet top. The black singlet top is a bit of a secret weapon – I’m planning on wearing it under the linen shirt with the shirt buttons opened as well as on the cruise for dinner.
Our river cruise dress code is smart casual rather than formal. To make the singlet top more “dinner appropriate” on the cruise I’m packing a black crepe tuxedo style jacket (which works very well paired with my bottoms and a Tshirt in the day time), a very light organdie shirt and a chiffon open cardigan. The latter two items are excellent travel items as they pack down to absolutely nothing and won’t crease. Paired with the black singlet, black trousers and the ballet flats they will make a smart dinner outfit. For more casual dining I will pair them with my white jeans.
I couldn’t find a blouse or cardigan like mine, but this type of blouse will have the same effect and will pack down to nothing just the same. It could also be worn under a cashmere cardigan in the day time if need be, or with the singlet underneath with the denim jacket. It’s actually more versatile than the one I own:
My other jackets will be two of my essentials for European travel: my denim jacket (which the black singlet can of course also go underneath for a cool weather casual day look) and a cashmere cardigan for colder fall days.
I’ve decided to pass on my trench coat this trip, even though it is normally one of my essentials for traveling to Europe (so I can pack more clothes) and will layer instead. For wet days I have a light rain jacket, which also does a respectable job keeping out the wind if I wear a jumper or cardigan underneath.
I’ve decided to pack two dresses which are proven to work well in the summer heat. Firstly a linen dress:
And then a stylish wrap around midi dress which can also be worn for dinner as well as during the day in smart cities like Paris and Rome.
As always I’m packing my Europe travel essentials: a small light squishy toilet bag that takes up far less space than a more rigid version:
Then I’m using my Goo toobs and other silicone pots for my liquids and creams:
I’ve just recently bought these travel containers, but have trialed them and confirmed I can get a month’s worth of hair conditioner and facial creams in them.
I always recommend packing cubes to help keep all my clothes together and wrinkle free:
I prefer a colourful packing cube – if you are travelling as a family it is good practice to buy everyone a set in a different colour to easily work out which cube belongs to whom.
While many hotels now have USB ports I do find a USB charger a good option: