Packing Light for Greece: What Men Wear for a Greek Visit

Young guy sitting near white house in Santorini
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Who do you want to be—an overburdened man with two carry-on bags, a suit bag, and a suitcase large enough to hold a small piano or the carefree guy with a single duffel bag who knows how to dress right for a visit to Greece. The packing advice will help the man who is traveling to Greece pick just the right things to wear—and not a lot more.

Choosing the Travel Bag

Choose a soft-sided bag suitable for carry-on. On crowded flights, a pull-out handle piece of luggage with wheels may be refused as carry-on, regardless of whether it makes the size requirements, forcing you to pick it up at the carousel.

A soft bag will almost always pass. Remember, European regional airlines usually allow only a single carry-on bag and dimensions vary from airline to airline.

How Men Dress in Greece

Men dress comfortably but not too casually. In warm weather, you can be comfortable in loafers or nice sandals. For warm-weather activities shorts are fine. Leave the Hawaiian prints at home. For evening, a collared shirt and nice trousers or dress jeans are appropriate. A lightweight rain jacket is ideal, especially in the cooler seasons. As far as style, consider European "smart casual" clothing for a place like Athens. 

A pair of light-colored heavyweight pants like jeans will serve several purposes. But, preferably not light or medium blue jeans as this still has the 60s "hippie" association which may not be positive in all contexts. Add in one pair of dark dress jeans, too. 

Packing Light

There is an art to packing light. Start with deciding what you will wear to travel in. Deduct those items from the list of things you'll be packing.

You'll need:

  • 2 pairs of long pants—these can be the light-colored jeans or dress slacks and dark dressier jeans.
  • 1 light sweater or hoodie (or buy one in Greece).
  • 1-2 pairs shorts
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt
  • 2 short-sleeved shirts
  • 1 pair swim trunks
  • 3-5 pairs underwear
  • 3-5 pairs socks
  • 1 pair good walking shoes, already broken in.
  • 1 pair sandals, rubber-bottomed, strap-on, "swimmable" types are best to avoid sea anemones.
  • 1 windbreaker or other light, waterproof jacket
  • 1 hat - or, buy it in Greece as a souvenir, along with any t-shirts you may need.
  • Sample-size toiletries (shampoo is heavy) keeping to the 3-1-1 TSA rule; necessary medications in original bottles; notebook with pocket for receipts, booklets, etc; camera (or just use your cell phone), extra media for digital cameras.
  • Phone, charging cord and extra battery.

Packing Tips

Wear your bulkiest shoes and jacket as part of your travel outfit. What? Your bulky shoes aren't comfortable enough for airport treks? This tells you that pair shouldn't go at all.

Avoid metal spray cans containing toiletries—these can sometimes trigger a secondary search of your checked bags, increasing the chance they will miss your flight even if you checked in with plenty of time. This is especially likely if they are clumped together in the suitcase.

Tempted to fill up any extra room? Don't! Leave room for souvenirs on the trip back.