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What to Pack for Summer in Portugal, According to a Professional Traveler and Lisbon Local

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Professional travel journalist Stacey Leasca moved from Los Angeles to Lisbon, Portugal, in 2021 to pursue her PhD and never looked back. ‘It’s been a wonderful experience, for my education, my personal life, and my career as a travel writer,” she told Just Packed. “Living in a major European city has allowed me to travel with ease throughout Europe, as I can get to destinations like Paris, London, and Madrid in under two hours, and places like Rome, Amsterdam, or even Athens, in under four.” Stacey writes about travel all day every day and takes at least a dozen reporting trips per year, but she's also just enjoying embedding herself in her home city.

“What I love the most about living in Lisbon is how it’s changed my pace of life,” she said. “Living in Los Angeles, I was constantly on the move, but here, if you order a coffee to go, they look at you funny. Here, I stop to savor the little moments, like a good coffee or a few minutes in the park with my pup just to enjoy the sunshine.”

For Stacey, a perfect day in Lisbon includes taking her dog for a walk in the sunshine to grab a cup of coffee at her favorite shop, Dramatico, then heading to a spin class at Amplify and meeting friends for lunch afterward at Comoba. Then, she usually tucks into work in the afternoon or evening, creating travel content for Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and more.

Stacey loves summertime in Portugal, and her favorite warm-weather destination of all is Zambujeira do Mar, about two hours south of Lisbon. “While I love places closer to the city like Comporta, Arrabida, or Ericeira, Zambujeira just has a quieter, more local vibe,” she said. “So much so, that I bought a house there that will soon be available for rentals on Airbnb.”

My Go-to Outfit for a Long Flight Is…

A matching sweatsuit. I love that you no longer have to decide between comfort and style, so many brands make it possible to do both. You don’t even need to go expensive.

My Favorite Suitcase Is…

Away’s alumininum carry-on size. I can pack so much inside, including valuable camera equipment that I know will stay safe thanks to the hard sides. I haven’t checked a bag in years because of it.

The Pair of Shoes I Always Wear to Walk Around Lisbon…

Vans. I am a Vans addict through and through.

The One Swimsuit I Always Take to the Beach…

I am still a huge fan of J.Crew swimwear. It’s 1993 bikini was a favorite then, and it still is now!

Plus, the Top 5 Things on My Portugal Summer Packing List:

Bucket Hat

J.Crew Suit

A Coverup That Can Go Day to Night

Comfortable Slip-on Sneakers to Go From Beach to City

SunBum Sunscreen


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