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Your Perfect Portugal Packing List For Women – 34 Essentials You Should Bring Along

Girls Who Travel | Your Perfect Portugal Packing List For Women - 34 Essentials You Should Bring Along

No matter if you start packing for a trip weeks ahead of time or prefer to throw some stuff in your suitcase an hour before you have to leave, it’s important to know exactly what you need to bring to your destination. Sure, if you forget some essentials, say toothpaste or tampons, you can always buy them once you get there. But oftentimes these items are more expensive or harder to find, not just in destinations off the beaten path, but even in touristy places. The one and only surefire way to not have this happen to you is to make a list. Heading to Portugal for the first time? We did the work for you! Here’s our perfect Portugal packing list that will help you have a vacation in this beautiful country in western Europe without any frantic shopping for necessities. No matter if you are going to Portugal for a city break, or to visit the beautiful beaches, we’ve covered it all.

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Portugal Packing List

Girls Who Travel | Portugal Packing List

The best time to visit Portugal is the spring or early fall, when temperatures are more moderate than during the summer months. Pleasant temperatures make for an ideal vacation! Visiting during that time is also a good idea to avoid the crowds that storm Portugal as soon as school’s out. Portugal’s temperate climate lasts all year, so a trip there during the winter months is not a terrible idea. Few European countries can boats about such mild winters! Let’s have a look at the things you will need to bring no matter when you go, and then at the extras required for each season. We will also cover things that you should consider in advance. How much of it you pack depends on the number of days you’ll be there.

Looking for the perfect 10-day Portugal itinerary? We covered that for you as well!

Before you go

Girls Who Travel | Portugal Packing List

There are certain things you should consider after you booked your trip. These are the most important ones:

1. Travel insurance

You can’t put it in your suitcase but you NEED to bring it with you! There are many important reasons to buy travel insurance, not just to secure your trip, but also to cover yourself in case of emergency. There are several ways to protect yourself and your trip. When you book flights and accommodations through a third party website, you almost always have the option to buy insurance.

However, if you want to include medical coverage, or even medical transport, you are better off booking your trip insurance with a company who provides just that. Allianz is one of the big providers for travel insurance. Here are examples of what you can get for your money:

  • Basic coverage includes: epidemic coverage, trip cancellation or interruption up to $2,000 USD, emergency medical/dental coverage up to $10,000 USD, emergency transportation up to $50,000 USD, baggage coverage up to $500 USD, baggage delay up to $200 USD, travel delay up to $300 USD, 24 hour assistance, and rental car protection.
  • Prime coverage includes: epidemic coverage, trip cancellation (up to $2,000) or interruption (up to $3,000), trip change protector up to $500 USD, emergency medical/dental coverage up to $50,000 USD, emergency transportation up to $500,000 USD, baggage coverage up to $1,000 USD, baggage delay up to $300 USD, travel delay up to $800 USD, 24 hour assistance, concierge services, a cancel anytime option, and rental car protection.
  • Premier coverage includes epidemic coverage, trip cancellation (up to $2,000) or interruption (up to $3,000), trip change protector up to $1,000 USD, emergency medical/dental coverage up to $75,000 USD, emergency transportation up to $1 million, baggage coverage up to $2,000 USD, baggage delay up to $600 USD, travel delay up to $1,600 USD, 24 hour assistance, concierge services, a cancel anytime option, and rental car protection.

Which option you choose depends on your comfort level, but to guarantee a headache-free trip, spend the extra money on travel insurance. Another great option (but only if you reside in the United States) is to buy travel insurance from World Nomads.

2. Credit Cards

Gone are the days when traveler’s checks were the way to go. Credit cards are a much easier and more convenient way to pay. In Portugal, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted and are both good options. You will find some places that accept American Express as well. Before you go, find out about the fees that may occur when you use your credit card in a foreign country. For us travel enthusiasts, it’s advisable to acquire a credit card that doesn’t charge these fees. Inform your bank of your travel plans. If they see unusual charges, say for a dinner in a European city such as Lisbon, they may shut off your card.

3. Cash

Like a lot of the European countries, Portugal is still very cash-centric. It’s a good idea to carry some cash, especially for smaller expenses. For your peace of mind, and to avoid having to immediately find an ATM upon arrival, get some Euros before you travel. In the US, the major banks will be able to provide you with Euros for a small fee. Smaller banks generally charge large fees, so if you are not with a large bank, you are better off just going to an ATM once you get there. Just be aware that withdrawing cash from an ATM will incur a fee.

Essential items for your Portugal trip

Girls Who Travel | Portugal Packing List

Travel documents organizer

Maybe you want to leave your wallet at home and take just the essentials needed for travel, or maybe you just leave everything you do not need at home and take your wallet. But if you want your essential documents neatly organized, consider getting a travel document organizer. It’ll be much easier to keep track of your passport, credit cards, vaccine cards, health insurance card, and all the other things you should bring along.

Money belt

Never keep all your money, credit cards, and important documents in one place. A money belt is a good place to tuck away some cash etc, so in case you lose your purse or fall victim to pickpockets, which can be found basically in all big cities, you have a backup. On that note, you should opt to leave original documents in the hotel safe and carry a copy on you.

Packing cubes

No matter if you go to Portugal or elsewhere, packing cubes will be your best friend! If you travel around and live out of your bag, there’s nothing worse than clothing chaos. Every time you need something you’ll have to dig through everything, making a great big mess in the process – unless you use those neat little packing cubes to organize your things.

Toiletry bag

Get one full size toiletry bag rather than a few smaller ones. That way you know where all your toiletries are located without digging in your bag and making a mess. Get one with a hook so you can hang it up in your hotel bathroom for easy access.

Laundry bag

The one thing you want to avoid is mixing up clean and dirty clothes, because soon enough all your clothes will be smelly! A laundry bag is the only way to have peace of mind AND keep the smell in.

Cable organizer

A cable organizer is one of the most overlooked yet most useful travel accessories. It’ll not just keep all your cables in one place, but keeps them from getting tangled up and damaged as well.

Hand luggage

In order to bring just a little bit more luggage along, get a small hard side roller bag that’s suitable for hand luggage. While hard side ones are often more expensive, it’s worth it: if you sit in the back of the plane, the overhead compartments may fill up and you could be forced to check your hand luggage. If that’s the case, you can rest assured that the hard sides will protect your belongings.

Travel backpack

The perfect travel backpack is a necessity when you are out and about exploring. You need room for snacks, sun blocker, maybe a light jacket, your water bottle, and souvenirs you may buy along the way. You can also use your backpack as a carry-on bag.

Day Bag

If you don’t like backpacks, bringing a larger day bag is also a good option. In order to store all your belongings safely, choose an anti-theft bag.

Comfortable walking shoes

Sure, wherever you go sightseeing you’ll want good walking shoes. But Portugal has lots of old cobblestone streets, making more sturdy yet comfy footwear a must!

Bathing suit

While a dip in the Atlantic Ocean may not be an inviting idea in the winter in Portugal, your hotel may have a heated pool you want to take advantage of! Make sure you pack at least one, but better two, one piece bathing suit or bikini.

Beach cover up

No matter if you go to the beach or are just looking for a proper way to get from your hotel room to the pool, a beach cover up will do the trick!

Swim shoes

If you are intending to swim in the ocean, it’s a good idea to protect your feet. Beaches can have pebbles or rocks that are quite painful when you step on them. A pair of swim shoes or aqua socks will keep your feet healthy.

Flip flops

The beach, the pool… flip flops are simply an essential item to pack!

Water bottle

Staying hydrated is essential, especially if you go to Portugal during the summer months! The one way to ensure you always have something to drink at hand is to get a water bottle with a filter, even if grocery stores left and right are selling cold bottled water. It’s not just good for the environment, but you can fill it anywhere without worrying about potable water – you just make your own! Pick one made of stainless steel that can keep your water cold on a hot day. One filter replaces 450 single-use plastic bottles! It saves you from the extra cost and hassle of constantly buying bottled water. Ideal for long days at the beach or sightseeing!

Straw hat

You may prefer a baseball cap or a bucket hat, but a straw hat makes you look oh so polished! And it is vitally important to keep your head cool on sunny days.

Sunglasses

You can’t make it through a summer vacation in Portugal without a decent pair of sunglasses. Even in the off season, Portugal has plenty of sunshine, so whenever you go, pack sunglasses!

Sunscreen

If I could tell my 20 year old self anything, it would be this: ALWAYS wear sunscreen. It protects you from skin cancer, sun burn, and premature aging of the skin. On an every day basis it’s fine to wear a face cream with SPF (choose at least SPF 30), or a tinted moisturizer, also with SPF, but in the summer time or on vacation in a sunny country, it’s crucial to up your game to a good sunscreen with SPF 50.

Dry shampoo

If you’ve been baking under Portugal’s relentless summer sun all day, your hair has most likely turned from a beautiful mane into a hot mess. Pack dry shampoo to avoid washing your hair every day.

Small microfiber towel

Getting sweaty is unavoidable in Portugal during the summer months. Bring a small microfiber towel to wipe off that excess sweat every once in a while.

Light summer dresses

Light dresses are easy to pack and look extra cute, especially for going out to dinner at night. If you find a light dress is too chilly in the evening, pair it with your shawl (you’ll learn about that next).

Shawl

The dress code in Portugal is more on the conservative side, and visiting churches or even some other monuments may require more than a tank top and shorts. But on those hot days you really want to wear light clothing to avoid overheating. One good workaround is to bring along a shawl you can use to cover up bare shoulders and cleavage. A shawl or scarf will be your best friend, helping you to respect the cultural norms and guaranteeing entry to certain places!

Thin layers

If you tend to get cold when the sun goes down, you may want to pack thin layers. A wrap or shawl is a good start. Consider also bringing a long sleeve shirt and a light cardigan.

Wrinkle remover spray

Wrinkles are the enemy of any cute outfit. No matter what you wear, if it’s wrinkled you look like you just took a nap in your clothes. Pack some wrinkle release spray to be on the safe side.

Reading material

If you have planned some time at the beach, or are traveling around the country using public transport, or if you just love to read, a good book is a must! Check out our list of the 22 best books about Portugal for a chance to get acquainted with the country you are visiting.

Journal

Keep your memories alive and fresh and write them in a travel journal!

Travel adapter

If you come from another country in the European Union, you can skip right over this. But for travelers from different continents, make sure to check if you need a travel adapter. There’s nothing worse than being on vacation and unable to charge your devices.

Small first aid kit

No matter if you head to Portugal or elsewhere, a small first aid kit should always be in your luggage!

Must-haves for off-season travel

Girls Who Travel | Portugal Packing List

If you do not travel during the time of year when it’s a million degrees every day, make sure to pack the items from the list below.

Light jacket

A light jacket is essential for cooler or windy days, as well as crisp evenings in the spring or fall. Bring one that’s easily packable yet stylish to enhance your outfit.

Rain jacket

If you bring a stylish light jacket, make sure to also pack a rain jacket if you plan to visit Portugal in the winter, when rainy days can occur, or if you are heading to northern Portugal. There’s a reason that part of the country is so green. A light weight rain jacket is a great option to cut down the weight in your luggage.

Light sweater

A light sweater is a good idea to supplement your light jacket.

Warm clothes

Average temperatures during the winter months (December – March) are around a chilly 50 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 10 Celsius). Therefore, bring some warmer clothes such as jeans and sweaters. Together with your light jacket, those will keep you plenty warm.

This concludes your comprehensive Portugal packing list! The best way to make sure you have every item on your packing list is to print out the list, lay out everything you are planning to pack, and check the items off on the list.

Jenny

Jenny grew up in Germany. All she ever wanted out of life was to leave and have adventures. Jenny always traveled as much as the budget would allow, and when she met her husband traveling became a full-time thing. You can follow Jenny on her blog and Facebook.

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