Turkey is a huge country with much to see and do. You will undoubtedly leave Turkey with new lifelong memories. The climate throughout the country can vary greatly from desert conditions to beach-front paradise, to frosty frontiers. Once you figure out where you’ll be spending your time, use our handy guide to ensure you have a perfect holiday from start to finish.  From the beautiful domes of Istanbul to Antalya, the capital of Turkish Riviera, you will want to spend every minute soaking up the culture.

Grab a Phrasebook

Though much of Turkey’s younger generation can speak and understand English, you will find that the older generation will not be as proficient. When you head to the more rural areas of Turkey, finding someone to carry a conversation in English, even basic conversations, can be difficult. Grab a phrasebook and try your best as any attempt to speak Turkish will be appreciated. If you want to ensure you won’t have any problems communicating, pick up Point It: Traveller’s Language Kit. Pictures are a far more simplistic way to let the locals know what you are talking about and this book will give you all the tools you need to translate your meaning clearly and succinctly.

Modest Clothing

In most of Turkey it is not necessary to wear head-to-toe covering and in the dead heat of the summer, as a tourist, you will be okay wearing shorts and a tank top. However, when visiting many of the beautiful mosques, you will need to wear modest clothing. For women, shoulders should be covered you will need to wear pants, not shorts. Women must also have their heads covered with a head scarf. While it doesn’t have to be “properly” worn, it will need to cover the crown of the head. Men should wear trousers, as shorts are frowned upon.

Weather Appropriate Gear

Depending on the time of year you are visiting Turkey and the region that you will be travelling to, your packing essentials could vary dramatically. Follow these guidelines, but be sure to check out the weather forecast of your destination right before your trip for the best idea of what you can expect.

Spring & Autumn Gear

Between April and May, spring is in full bloom for most of the country, while October and November mean fall is in full swing. During these times you are likely to encounter some rain with cool or chilly temperatures at night. During the day, the temperatures will warm up but make sure you have a windbreaker or light jacket just in case. In Northeastern areas of Turkey, the weather will be winter-esque, so plan to pack your winter gear (heavy coats, boots, and a light jacket in case it does warm up).

Summer Gear

In most of the country you can expect hot temperatures from June until September, so pack plenty of lightweight, cool cotton clothing. Bring lots of sunblock and a hat for protection. The southeastern areas will have very hot temperatures so you’ll want light-colored, cooling clothing. You shouldn’t experience much rain during this time unless you visit the Black Sea coast or the East/Northeast.

Winter Gear

From December until March, depending on where you visit you may need a raincoat, lightweight clothing, or a heavy coat and boots. The Mediterranean region has mild temperatures around 15 degrees in the winter so you won’t be likely to need heavy coats and snow boots here, however, in areas like Eastern Anatolia, temperatures can drop to -30 degrees and snow will be on the ground for 1/3 of the year and you will need very warm clothing.

Turkish Bath Gear

This Turkish variant of the Roman bath is a popular and luxurious experience for visitors and is an absolute must for your to-do list. When you head to Turkey, make sure you have a swimsuit and flip flops packed in your suitcase so that you can take advantage of this incredible cultural experience.

Pack carefully, plan ahead and land in Turkey ready with your arsenal of goodies. You’ll hit the ground running with your perfectly packed luggage. To ensure you don’t encounter any trip-changing problems, get cover for annoyances like lost luggage or delayed flights so you can get back to the fun quickly and breeze over any problems.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Dan Brickley