When traveling abroad, here are 9 essential tips on what to pack for vacation to avoid fashion malfunctions on foreign territory.
Leave Prized Possessions At Home
Your dead grandmother’s scarf? Leave it at home. Your favorite heels? Leave it at home. That rare vintage dress? No. Your diamond earrings? No. Pack the cubic zirconium and leave hard-to-replace pieces at home in case of theft or general negligence.
When deciding what to pack for vacation start with your shoes. You should not have more than 4 shoes, in total, on a summer trip abroad. Anymore than that is going to weigh you down. Below are the shoes you should pack..
- A comfortable yet stylish flat or low wedge sandal (this is your main shoe for the trip)
- A comfortable heel or wedge for your dressier looks
- A waterproof sandal or flip flop for water activity (beach, pool, or unexpected hot rain)
- A true walking or running shoe
The #1 shoe is your cute day shoe. My go-to travel “day shoe” is my black Ecco wedge that works for evenings as well. The #4 walking/running shoe is for your days of miles upon miles of sightseeing, pyramid climbing and what have you.
A tip for the shoes you plan to pack, do not buy a new pair of shoes for a trip without trying them out. Buy early, and then make sure to walk in them all day at least once before putting them in your suitcase. Not trying out a pair of shoes before a trip is like marrying someone you’ve never seen naked. Sure, sometimes those marriages work out, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Double Zip Travel Wallet
Whenever I travel I leave my usual wallet at home. Depending on where I am going, determines which travel wallet I will use. For instance, when traveling to multiple countries with multiple currencies in Europe, I like to stay organized by dividing my monies in a double zip (dual zip) wallet. I put all my euros in one zip pocket, and all my pound sterling in the other zip pocket. Below is a list of some current double zip wallets I recommend.
- Hobo ‘Taylor’ wallet in Henna $118
- MICHAEL’s Adele leather wristlet in mint $168
- Halogen ‘Westlake’ in gold $68
Leave your everyday purse at home. For day time activity, try a backpack, a light weight shoulder bag, or a larger cross body bag. You want it in a flexible material, light weight, and with outside pockets that zip. For night, bring a really small shoulder bag or small cross body purse. I like a small purse with straps versus a clutch because a clutch is easy to lose and easy to steal while traveling. Pictured above is the Vince Camuto Cami, which is my favorite small cross body bag for a night out. Listed below are my favorite larger purses for day…
- Kate Spade ‘Orchard Street-small Hemsley’ Crossbody Bag $228 (it’s bigger than it looks)
- Fossil ‘Sydney’ Shopper $168 (Largest option, but soft and light weight. I use this one.)
- Fossil ‘Small Piper Crossbody bag’ $198 (smallest option)
Stick To One metallic
If you really want to pack efficiently, coordinate your entire wardrobe so that everything will go with silver. Or gold. Or bronze. Whatever metallic you favor, pick one and stick to it. Then pack two pairs of earrings, one necklace, one bracelets and one ring to go with everything.
One Good Cover-Up
Bring a versatile sweater or jacket to keep you warm on those chilly evenings and on the plane. The color and style of this jacket or sweater depends entirely on what you have already packed. Is a navy cardigan the most versatile? Perhaps a green anorak? My clients are loving this Vince Camuto trench coat for the unexpected summer rain. For a softer, lighter and dressier cover-up, just use your summer scarf that I mention below.
The Summer Scarf
You can use a scarf to block sun, warm your skin from a chill, and add style to your outfits. Click here to see my top 10 summer scarves right now. Since they don’t take up much space, pack a few in your suitcase to mix and match with all your outfits. You an even use it as a sarong if it’s big enough.
Distinct, Yet Discreet Luggage
Don’t risk someone taking someone else’s bag or they taking yours. Skip the generic black luggage, and pick a case with a zesty print, or unique look. You also want to skip the overzealous fancy luggage. No Louis Vuitton. It screams rob me.
I don’t recommend a shellac manicure for general use because it is bad for your nails, but before a vacation, I love to get a shellac manicure to ensure long lasting nail strength and color with no effort. If you leave town with a regular manicure, your nails chip three days into your trip. You then have to pack nail polish or nail polish remover, or worse yet, seek out nail polish remover in the middle of your vacation to fix the mess. Then you end up with a stinky hotel room.