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When I sat down to think about which destination we’d whisk off to this week the news was running non-stop about the economic situation in Greece. My heart breaks for the Greek people who are struggling not only with a very difficult time in their own lives but now the loss of livelihood due to tourists who are afraid to visit. Greece isn’t alone, Tunisia is facing an even greater hurdle claiming tourism is down by almost 90%. In Morocco we’re not immune either. We had closed our food tours for the month due to Ramadan and now I wonder how many cancellations we would have had if we stayed open. Hoteliers as well as shop owners are lamenting that there’s just no one around.
So while you might think now isn’t a good time to go on vacation to places like Greece, Tunisia, or Morocco if you’re willing to take the risk you can have an amazing and inexpensive vacation in the destinations right now. Don’t be afraid to call hotels and tour companies to see if they can offer you a better deal. Then snag a cheap fare (flying to Europe and the Middle East from the US is the cheapest it’s been in years), and come visit.
Pack a single carry-on to enjoy Crete this summer. But remember to arrive with plenty of cash – just in case. Greece needs you!!
Here’s what I would pack in my carry-on;
Beach Cover-up. This turquoise cover up with pink pom poms has me seriously lusting. Grab a pair of patterned palazzo pants to pull on when you’re ready to leave the beach. Looking for more ideas for beach cover-ups? Check out Kaftan Queen for gorgeous hand made pieces straight from Marrakech.
Speedo One piece swimsuit – I’m not a bikini girl for a few reasons. One, no one needs or wants to see my stretch marks. Two, I don’t find bikini’s comfortable. AT ALL. Finally, I like to be active and don’t want to constantly worry about my top or bottom slipping when I’m playing with the kids or doing something more active. If biknis are your thing, go for it. If not, I love Speedo swimsuits, maybe from my lifeguarding days, because they retain their shape and the colors don’t fade easily. If they’re good enough for Olympians, they’re good enough for me!
Billabong Beach Sandal – I would actually suggest bring 3 pars of shoes. Wear your tennis shoes because you’ll want to have some for walking the cobblestone streets. Then pack a pair of cute strappy sandals like this, as well as one more pair of waterproof sandals that you can wear to the beach or pool.
Sunglasses – A MUST! If you forget them you’ll find them available everywhere in Crete but I always find the last thing I want to do is shop for things when I’m on vacation. I like to have full coverage around my eyes so these are great.
Hammam towel – Sure you can probably rent a towel but why? Hammam towels are super lightweight and easy to pack. They dry very fast as well. Use it after taking a swim or to lay out on. It also comes in handy as a blanket on the airplane or an evening shawl if it’s chilly.
Maxi Dresses – I love this dress because it has sleeves! This is perfect if you dress more modestly or if you’re going out for the evening. Remember even if the days are hot, evenings can get very cool and windy.
Sunscreen – This sunscreen comes in a stick form so no need to worry about carrying liquids on! It’s natural ingredients. light scent, and waterproof formula make it a great choice for days at the pool or beach.
Beach Bag – You’re going to need something to tote around your beach supplies and to use for shopping. This bag folds right up and weighs nothing. It’s waterproof and you can spray it down when it gets dirty. Perfect!
The Island – This book is set in Crete and you’ll find yourself wanting to rent a car and retrace the story told.
Bring it Home – Crete is home to some of the best olive oil in the world. Buy yours from duty free at the airport when you’re leaving so that you can carry it on the plane with you or opt to check your bag home.