Are you looking for a complete Turkey packing guide for your trip? In this article, we share top packing tips, must-have items for your trip, what to wear in Turkey, and frequently asked questions that come up often. Whether you’re going for 3 days or 2 weeks, these tips will give you the essentials on what to bring and what to leave at home.
Once you’ve finalized your itinerary and you’ve booked your activities and adventures for your trip to Turkey, it’s a good idea to have a packing strategy in place.
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Turkey Essentials Packing List
Clothes & Shoes
Women will need to cover their hair and shoulders when visiting religious sites. Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl you can use and then store it in your bag afterward without it weighing you down. You can always find Pashmina scarves in the local shopping areas if you need to buy one during your trip.
Women and men will also need to cover their legs when visiting religious sites. A great option for women is wearing a long dress or long skirt on the days you know you will be visiting a local mosque. Pants are also a great option if you don’t want to wear a dress.
For men, we love the convertible pants where you can zip on or off the bottom part of the leg for days we’re visiting religious sites.
Women and men can both wear shorts when traveling in the main tourist cities or along the Mediterranean coastline. Women’s shorts or skirts should be mid to knee length. If you are visiting off-the-beaten-path areas or villages, we suggest long shorts or pants.
In the summertime, it can quite hot in Turkey so you’ll want to wear lightweight breezy tops that breathe.
For women, loose tank tops are acceptable to wear in Turkey. We suggest a wider strap and not wearing a spaghetti-strap tank.
If you’re headed to the coast for your trip, don’t forget your swimsuit and cover-up. You will see all kinds of swimsuits – even bikinis. Bring a cover-up for when you are heading home from the beach.
Depending on when you are traveling in Turkey, you may need a cardigan sweater or pull over for your trip. Fall, Winter & Spring travel in Turkey will be the time you will want to bring layers for the morning and the evenings.
In the Spring & Fall, you’ll want to pack a light jacket for the early mornings and evenings to stay warm. In the winter months, we recommend bringing a packable warmer coat as it can get quite cold in major travel destinations.
Travel Gear & Technology
Keep your luggage to a carry-on or mid-size is ideal when traveling to Turkey. There are a few reasons we recommend keeping your suitcase to a minimum size:
- When you’re traveling from one location to another is easier if you have a smaller suitcase for airport transfers, walking through airports and areas in the city to your hotel.
- If you rent a car, travel by bus or train there will be limited space for storing large pieces of luggage in trunks or luggage racks.
Carry-on size luggage is ideal if you like to travel minimally and are not planning on buying souvenirs or gifts.
You’ll want to carry your daily essential items with you while you are out exploring the city. You can use a crossbody bag like the Travelon bag with RFID blocking or you could go for a daypack like the Osprey Daylite.
Using packing cubes will help you stay organized and pack more into your suitcase when you’re traveling. We like this set of 8 cubes that we divide between our family – especially if we’re sharing a suitcase.
Depending on where you are traveling in Turkey, the rainy season is typically late November through early March. There can be popup showers throughout the Spring. Be sure to pack a rain jacket or small umbrella if you’re coming to Turkey during the rainy months.
Be sure to bring polarized sunglasses and a hat, especially if you’re going to the Turkish coast. The sun is intense and this will help protect your eyes and face. We’ve been wearing the Merry Brand polarized sunglasses for years and love them!
Noise-canceling headphones are perfect to use on a plane or when you need some quiet when you’re traveling. We use Apple Air Pods and have this handy travel air pod case clip them in our bag so we have them on hand.
If you’re traveling from the U.S., your electronic devices will require a different voltage than those in Turkey. Make sure you protect your equipment with a power adapter. Make sure you buy adapters with a converter that includes sockets and USB plugins.
Make sure you have a small portable USB charger that you can carry with you just in case. There’s nothing worse than being out and about and your battery running low when you want to take a picture or need to reference a map.
If you are traveling solo and need some peace of mind while traveling, these door alarms are great to set up on your door when you go to sleep at night.
Health & Beauty
We love to travel with these single-use packet wipes. They are perfect if you find yourself in a situation where you have no toilet paper or you need more! 😉 You carry as many as you want in your bag and without the bulk or weight of a packet of wipes.
Bring a small supply of your favorite brands such as Tylenol, Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, Dramamine, or Benadryl. You can pick thinks up at the pharmacy in Turkey, but its nice to have the products you know work best for you when you travel.
Use them to wipe down any surface areas you want to make sure are clean whether you’re on the plane or on the go in Turkey.
Make sure to have a small travel-sized bottle of your favorite brand to carry with you. The bottle must be 2 oz or less to carry on the plane with you.
What Not to Forget When Packing for Turkey
1. Travel Documents
Make sure your passport will be valid for more than 6 months before your travel end date. If you need to apply or renew your U.S. passport, allow 3-4 months to process.
You can renew or apply for your passport here:
Check the official Turkish e-visa site to see if you need a visa to enter the country. You will need to purchase a visa at least 48 hours before you travel.
U.S., U.K. & Australian residents will need to purchase a visa.
We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your trip to cover any unexpected illnesses or injuries or in the event you need to cancel your trip. Be sure to check the terms and conditions concerning COVID carefully. We recommend Safety Wing.
If you are traveling with prescription medication on your trip, you will need to have a copy of the written prescription from your doctor with you that you may need to show when you arrive in Turkey.
✅ S.T.E.P Program for Travel Warnings
This is a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad. You can enroll your trip with the U.S. Embassy in Turkey to receive important information about safety conditions and help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency whether it’s a natural disaster or family emergency. Enroll your trip here.
✅ Travel Planning Apps
There are several apps we recommend for helping you plan your trip that can be a resource for you while you’re traveling in Turkey. See the best apps for travel in Turkey and our favorite travel companies.
3. Check the Weather for Each Destination
The weather in Turkey can vary dramatically depending on the locations you are visiting and the time of year. In Spring and Fall, Istanbul can be on the cooler side, while down on the Mediterranean, things are warm and you can enjoy the beach. Make sure you check each location you will travel to using a site like Weather.com for the latest forecast and expected conditions before your trip so that you can pack.
Turkey is a magical country full of history, stunning landscapes, and cities. Part of the beauty is exploring these areas and adventuring on your own. You’ll be doing a lot of walking and you’ll want to have comfortable shoes or sandals for your trip. Be sure you break in your shoes before your trip so you don’t end up with sore feet or blisters.
For women, we would not suggest any type of heel or wedge for your daily outings.
5. Leave Extra Space in Your Suitcase
Be sure you leave space in your suitcase for purchases you make along the way. You will have plenty of opportunities to shop in places like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, local pazars, and shops in the areas you visit. If you like to shop, you might want to take a foldable duffel bag as a backup in case you need the extra space.
What to Wear in Turkey
A question asked often is what to wear during your family trip to Turkey. It’s a great question with several things to consider – we’ve got you covered with our Turkey packing guide.
Turks are generally stylish dressers with strong regard for cleanliness and appearance. If you are wanting to look less touristy while out in the city or at restaurants in the evening, you can dress up a bit more. If you spend some time planning what you will wear on your vacation, you can spend that time enjoying the sites feeling amazing in your chosen outfit for the day.
Here are several ways for planning your outfits so you can be organized for your trip:
- Planning outfits each day and evening based on the destination and weather
- Using each item at least 2 -3 times and can wear it with multiple items in your wardrobe.
- Choosing colors that you can wear interchangeably and will stand out against the local terrain. For example, in Cappadocia, never wear beige as you’ll blend into the earthy tones of the landscape.
Remember, regardless of what you wear, you will be identified as a tourist. You’ll be taking photos and enjoying the sites. If you want to wear traditional tourist attire of shorts, pants, and t-shirts, go for it! Be sure you feel good in the clothes you’re in.
Best Time to Go to Turkey
Depending on what you want to do and where you want to go, there are best times to travel in Turkey when the climate is ideal. Generally, the best time to visit is April to October. Please be sure to check the weather for each destination as they will vary depending on the time of year you visit.
Modesty & Cultural Sensitivity
Remember you are a guest. Please keep modesty and cultural sensitivity in mind and be respectful of local traditions.
Turkey Packing Recommendations for Women
It is expected that women will cover their hair, shoulders, and knees when visiting a religious site such as the Blue Mosque. Plan to have a lightweight scarf on hand you can use on the days you will visit these sites.
When you visit cities in Turkey such as Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, or Izmir, you’ll see women wearing dresses, skirts, shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops. Stay away from short shorts or midriff shirts. Leggings would not be considered acceptable unless you were exercising.
If you are visiting a beach city, please be sure to bring a proper cover-up for days you wear a swimsuit. It is not acceptable to walk in the city with only your swimsuit on.
If you’re visiting more rural areas of Turkey or traveling east, it is acceptable to wear t-shirts and capris, pants, or long skirts.
The best thing to do throughout your trip is to make sure you are comfortable and feel good in the clothes you are wearing.
Best Materials for Travel
Choose lightweight clothing layers that are easy to wash, wrinkle-free, and quick to dry. If you have clothing with moisture-wicking this will be perfect for hot days, hiking, or times you’re exerting more energy. These materials will pack well and weigh less.
Unless you have access to hotel laundry, you need to assume you will need to air dry your clothes. Even if you’re are staying in an Airbnb or apartment, most Turks do not have a dryer. Jeans are heavy and can take up quite a bit of room in your suitcase and take forever to dry out.
What Not to Bring to Turkey
❌ Heels or Wedge Shoes
As mentioned, several times in this article, bring only flats and comfortable shoes. You will be walking easily up to 10 – 20,000 steps per day while exploring. Skip the heels!
❌ Full toiletries
Transfer small amounts of your favorite brand of shampoo, conditioner, or makeup into smaller containers like these. You can always buy these items once you arrive if you don’t like to fly with them.
When you’re traveling internationally it’s best to leave your best jewelry, designer purses, and other expensive items at home. It’s so easy to lose things while you’re on the road. Instead, bring costume jewelry that you won’t be devastated if you lose them.
Are you packed and ready to go? Don’t miss the Complete Guide to Turkish Food for your trip.
If you need inspiration for your family trip, you can start here.
Turkey Packing Guide FAQ
Should I take carry-on luggage?
If you like to travel minimally, yes, absolutely travel with your carry-on luggage. If you like to shop along the way, you may want to use a medium-size suitcase with some extra room to pack your souvenirs and gifts.
Can I wear leggings in Turkey?
Leggings would not be considered appropriate attire unless you were exercising.
What kind of shoes do I wear in Turkey?
Bring comfortable flats, sandals, and sneakers for your trip. You will be walking a lot. Skip the heels.
What should women tourists wear in Turkey?
Keep modesty in mind when planning what you will bring on your trip. Be sure to bring a scarf when visiting religious sites. Stay away from wearing clothing that is too revealing.
What do I pack for a yacht blue cruise?
Bring a suitcase that is easy to store that either folds down or is carry-on size. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, swimsuit, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and sandals. Plan like you’re going to be on a beach holiday.
Final Thoughts: What to Pack
No matter what time of year your are traveling to Turkey, our travel packing guide has the best tips to get you started packing for your trip. From the best travel gear, most comfortable shoes and what not to bring, our complete packing guide is the best place to start your travel planning.