Packing Lists, Tips & Tricks

My top 5 items for a rainy vacation

Even the most experienced travelers can’t control weather while on vacation. My solution to this is to be extra prepared so unpleasant weather won’t ruin my sightseeing. Here’s what I bring on every vacation to be prepared for the rain:


  1. Raincoat
    I’m talking a waterproof jacket here… not a windbreaker or a water-resistant jacket. The coat I brought with me to Italy was “water-resistant”, but after a torrential downpour in Pisa, it was evident that there is a very big difference between those two categories. I recently purchased a Resolve 2 Waterproof Packable Rain Jacket by The North Face and found it extremely handy on my last trip to Europe for not only combating the rain, but also blocking the wind.
  2. Umbrella
    I like to pack a mini travel umbrella that I can toss into my purse or camera bag. This is helpful if I don’t have my raincoat and get stuck in a light to medium rainfall. The perk of the mini umbrella is that it takes up very little space, and is light to carry around all trip. The con of a mini-umbrella is that they tend to not hold up well in strong winds.
  3. Extra closed-toed shoes
    I visited England, Ireland and Scotland in May/June and was quite concerned that I didn’t have waterproof shoes or boots to bring with me. I made sure I had somewhat water resistant closed-toed shoes, and a back-up pair of walking shoes (like these Keds) if I needed to let the first pair dry out for a day. Luckily, even after a full day of rain, I switched to the back-up pair and continued to enjoy my holiday.
  4. Extra socks
    I also like to bring an extra pair of socks in my purse or backpack. Sometimes if your shoes have soaked-through, simply changing your socks can help alleviate that terrible soggy feeling.
  5. Poncho/zip lock bags
    Sometimes I will pack certain items in zip lock bags in my purse or backpack to protect against rain. I also carry a few plastic bags around because I’m a bit paranoid like that – you never know when you will need one! The ponchos I buy are usually folded up to the size of a deck of cards and are handy if you are carrying a large backpack or purse; you can easily wrap this around your item to keep it (and its contents) dry in a downpour.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but sometimes nothing will help you – especially when the rain is coming down in sheets and on an angle. In this case, I suggest finding a restroom with hand dryers (I’ve done this numerous times!) or head back to your hotel to change or blow-dry wet garments.

Do you have suggestions to keep dry on vacation? Share them in the comment section below!

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