As you pack your bag(s) think light. During our time in Greece we’ll change locations at least once every few days, and you’ll have to carry all of your gear each time, occasionally over distances of at least several city blocks and up/down stairs (at least one of our hotels has no elevator). We’ll all help one another, but on the days we move, especially if it’s hot, you’ll rue every extra pound you’ve brought. Bags with wheels or shoulder straps, at least, will make these moves much easier. Backpacker-style backpacks are another viable option (but be sure to secure the straps before checking the pack for flights). Not to boast, but I typically travel in Europe for six or more weeks at a time with nothing more than a large backpack that doesn’t need to be checked on flights (unless I happen to be transporting items that aren’t allowed to be carried on).

If your laptop is especially compact, you’re welcome to bring it along. Tablets, like iPads, work very well on this kind of trip; wifi is now readily available in Greece, so a wifi-enabled device allows you to use Skype, email, and even to watch movies when we have down time.

May/June/July weather in Greece, during the day, varies from mild to hot. It doesn’t rain much, but an occasional thunderstorm is not unheard of, so you should bring a light parka, sweatshirt, or something of that ilk. Even if it doesn’t rain on us, we’ll often experience cool nights and wind (especially on the islands). The best clothes for the trip will be light tops and pants (mostly shorts, if you like) made of polyester and nylon blends. Not only are such clothes light in weight, but they are easily hand-laundered in a hotel room sink, and they will dry overnight, requiring you to bring fewer outfits (and to avoid expensive Greek laundries).

No activities on the trip will require dressy clothes (unless you want to get dressed up, say, for dinner). You’ll need one set of sturdy footgear that will allow you to stand/walk most of the day at the archaeological sites. A hat is advisable for protection against the sun at these sites and at the beach. Sun block with a high SPF is also highly recommended. It’s available in Greece, but you can probably purchase it for considerably less in the US. We’ll have several opportunities to swim—both in hotel swimming pools and in the ocean (particularly on the islands)—so if you’d like to swim, pack a swimsuit.

Traveling light!

Students on their way to airport at the end
of the first Study Abroad trip—
note the backpacks, shoulder bags, and wheeled luggage