Despite being an Islamic nation, Turkey is quite liberal when it comes to clothing, behavior, and customs. So, there isn't any need for you to be stressed about conservativeness, except when you're visiting places of religious significance.Packing for a vacation is always exciting. On one hand, you're tempted to fit your entire closet into your modest backpack, whereas your voice of reason tries to knock some sense into your head at the same time.
If you're planning a trip to Turkey, there's going to be that element of ambivalence whilst you begin to list things that you must take along. There are a few important factors that you need to consider while packing your bags -
- Weather conditions
- Size and weight of luggage you can/are allowed to carry
- Nature of your trip (casual/beach/adventure)
- Cultural norms prevalent in your destination
Considering Turkish culture, it is advisable to leave out any item of clothing that is way above the knees, anything with plunging necklines, or sleeveless tops and blouses. The people of Turkey are a broad-minded lot, but do not ignore the fact that this is a fairly conservative country, a fact that you need to keep in mind if you will be visiting villages or interiors of the country.
Having said that, your clothing need not be bawdy or lackluster. Turkish women have a flair for style, and they make it amply evident in the way they dress. So, to make things easy, here is a list of clothing that you can take along and not invite any unwanted attention.
- Linen trousers/denims, depending upon the weather
- Knee-length shorts
- Knee-length/long skirts
- T-shirts/tops/blouses preferably with sleeves
- Knee-length dresses
Wearing socks is recommended, as you will be asked to remove your footwear before entering most places of worship.
Carry comfortable shoes particularly meant for walking on Istanbul's many cobbled and uneven sidewalks. You may also want to carry a fancier pair for those nights out on town, but skyscraper heels don't come highly recommended. Beach slippers or thongs will be needed for excursions to the beach or they could be teamed with any casual outfit as well.
A lightweight rain jacket can double up as a windcheater, keeping you warm on a windy night, and offer obvious protection from the occasional shower of rain.
Your travel documents which include your passport, tickets, reservation confirmations, insurance documents, etc., must be photocopied to be carried along with the originals. Keep your originals in the hotel safe, and carry photocopies as you travel.
Carry adequate cash in euros or dollars, as your credit cards may not be accepted in smaller establishments. Traveler's checks are also not too popular here in Turkey, so your best bet would be to carry debit cards which will allow you to withdraw local currency from ATM machines.
Don't forget to carry all your sundries like toiletries and medicines, and everything else that you think would be useful. Undoubtedly, you need to keep in mind the weight of your baggage while packing all of this. Also, remember to save some space for all the beautiful things you'll be buying in Turkey, with a special mention of those gorgeous Ottoman lamps.
Packing usually does not seem as dull a chore as unpacking. Of course, when you're about to jet set on a trip to an exotic land like Turkey, packing can only become more exciting. So, have lots of fun doing it, and ensure that you don't leave anything important behind.