Even the best laid travel plans can not 100 per cent predict the weather. So what’s a travelling fashionista to do when faced with unpredictable climate and strict luggage limits? Pack well.
Katrina Barry, very frequent traveller and Managing Director of travel icon Contiki, shares her top tips with TLL for a fashionable and functional packing job.
5 Packing Tips For Travelling Fashionistas
- Go big on accessories, light on main items: Jeans, tops, skirts and dresses all take up valuable space in your shopping bag, I mean suitcase. Pick only a few durable pieces (avoid patterns as you’ll only want to wear them once or twice) that can be mixed and matched then teamed with space-saving accessories such as scarves and statement necklaces. You’ll come across looking like you never wear the same thing twice!
- Shoes. Be ruthless: While this is an area I struggle with myself, I cannot stress enough how important it is to only take the necessities. To clarify, necessities are a nice pair of flats or sandals (replace these with boots if going into colder climates), a good pair of walking shoes and some dress shoes for special nights. Anything additional is overdoing it and will likely go unworn while taking up precious space.
- Easy pack hat: Because there is nothing stylish about sunburn, and besides, a cute fedora or straw sun hat can really add that je ne sais quoi to an outfit. But don’t just stash any old bendable brim in your bag. There are plenty of brands that are creating stylish hats that can be rolled, folded or balled up then bounce back into shape. One of these is definitely worth investing in.
- Pack items you wouldn’t mind ditching: You may not be planning to shop on your trip, but when faced with those items you just could not find at home, many of us crumble. I often pack items that I don’t mind wearing, but also wouldn’t mind ditching so I can follow a one-in, one-out rule when space becomes an issue. If travelling with a group, ask your Trip Manager where you can donate any unwanted items, or find out from the concierge at your hotel.
- You have carry-on allowance. Use it: Sure, you may not want to be weighed down in your stop overs by carrying extra items, but a small backpack or overnight bag with a few extra wardrobe options can really come in handy. Bonus tip: pack your favourite and most functional travel wear in your carry on, just in case your luggage arrives at your destination after you!
Got a tip to add? Drop us a line in the comments below…
I was recently contacted by a TravelLiveLearn.com reader who is excited to be touring Europe this summer with our fab mates from Expat Explore. As it’s her first time on tour in Europe in the summer, she was keen to know what she should take, and she was confused by the plethora of information available on the Internet. Being that this seemed like a valid travel query, I’ve decided to post my answer and suggestions here for anyone else lucky enough to be touring through Europe in 2013 (bliss!).
Summer tour packing tips:
- High heels are not required. You definitely do need flip flops, comfortable walking shoes (there’s LOTS of walking which is fine, but you need comfy, supportive shoes that aren’t too worn), and one other pair of casual type shoes that will double for if you go out or want to wear something different to dinner – I’d suggest an easy-going, pretty pair of wedges or mid heels – an ‘all rounder’ kind of shoe. Regarding clothes and shoes, you will find that you wear the same things over and over, and a lot of the items you pack ‘just in case’ (eg. high heels, a pretty shirt that you don’t wear often, a new skirt…), you won’t wear at all. It will be hot, so think of what you feel most comfortable in when you’re at home in summer – that’s what you end up wearing all the time!
- Regarding medications, obviously if you have a particular condition (eg. asthma), be prepared. Perhaps buy a packet of travel sickness tablets in case you get motion sickness from the coach or plane. If you’re in any way unsure if you get sick while travelling, get some to have on hand – always better to be prepared, and these are generally sold over the counter in pharmacies. I would always also bring a packet of paracetamol, non-drowsy antihistamines (eg. Zyrtec or cheaper generic brand), a pack of Nurofen (Ibuprofen), and not that we needed it, but I always carry something for diarrhea. Ladies, if you tend towards urinary tract problems, it’s probably a good idea to take Ural sachets (or similar), just in case. I’d also suggest taking a multivitamin with you (or Berocca), to keep your immune system up to speed. They’re exciting but long days.
- You will also need a good sun cream (for face and body) – essential! – and perhaps insect repellent is a good idea too.
- Prescription medicinals – Chat to your doctor in advance regarding any potential issues with health, anxiety, sleeping or illness, and make sure any prescription medication is properly labelled.
- Pack light! Start a list before you go that only includes what you would wear in the summer you’re used to. Leave room in your bags, because you’ll want to stock up on food and alcohol at supermarkets along the way – trust me, this is the cheapest and most efficient way, especially if you’ve already invested a fortune in your trip already for example, if you’ve had to fork out for an airfare from the other side of the world to get to Europe/UK in the first place.
- Another reason to pack light – it’s cheap enough to buy various season-appropriate clothes on the road, and let’s face it, you’ll be going shopping anyway (it’s half the fun)! Pack your comfiest shorts/skirts/tshirts – this is what you’ll live in. I am not a shorts person, but I think 90% of days on the road I lived in a denim skirt, t-shirt or singlet, hat, walking shoes and socks. All the other rubbish I had in my bag was just annoying to carry around! Also you won’t need jeans I don’t think – it’s too hot at that time of year, and they’re heavy. Pack a light cardigan or long-sleeved shirt, but remember, you can layer with singlets and t-shirts if it’s at all chilly anywhere (which I doubt it will be).
Enjoy the summer! If you have other packing tips for travelling Europe please do share, either in the comments below, or find us at Facebook.com/TravelLiveLearn or Tweet @sarahblinco.
If you’re considering a trip with Expat Explore, read about our first-hand experience HERE (we had a blast!).