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Whether you're heading out for a long trip or just a weekend, packing just exactly what you need can greatly reduce prep time, costs and laundry headaches. If you're staying at an AirBNB, be sure to confirm that you'll have access to laundry facilities; on a long trip, you can easily reduce how much you need to bring.
Depending on where you're going, it's a good idea to start with footwear. If you'll be mostly at the beach, sandals and flats should suffice. However, if you're headed to a European city you'll be dealing with cobbles and brick streets, so shoes with a wider base and a bit more grip will keep you safer.
Check out walking tours in the area you're planning to visit and look for footwear recommendations. No matter where you go or what you plan to do, never take new shoes on a trip. Break them in well before you leave.
Start With a Basic Bottom
No matter the affordable resort wear you like to wear on top, sticking with one basic color scheme can reduce your choices and make life easier. Many trips can be based on denim, or you can just stick with basic black on the bottom. If the temperature will be fairly warm, pack
- jeans or slacks for flying; planes can be cold
- skirts for formal events or special places
- capris or shorts for your walking tours and sightseeing
With one color on the bottom, you can be sure that nearly everything you pack will go with nearly everything else, which will give you flexibility. Finally, pack at least one knit dress that you can hang up on your arrival so it looks great when you're ready to dress up and hit the town.
Tops, Sweaters, and Scarves
Good quality tees are a great start if the mornings will be cool. Over them, you can drape a cardigan. If you need something a bit dressier, consider bringing a few boatneck tops with long dangly chain necklaces.
If your garments on the bottom are black, consider bringing a soft woven black or gray neck scarf. With such a scarf, you can take off the chill and add a dressier touch. Staying warm will be easier if you can pay attention to your pulse points.
Socks to cover your ankles, slacks or capris to cover your knees, tunics to cover your elbows and sweaters to cover your neck will keep you warmer as the day stretches out. Having a scarf at your neck increases your warmth until the day warms up.
Finally, consider carrying a soft tote that you can pack small into your purse. As you need to take garments off because you're getting warmer, you can open the tote, load your purse into it and pack the remaining space with a scarf and cardigan.
Wraps and Outdoor Gear
If there's a chance you'll be dealing with wet or cold weather, it's a good idea to pack a fleece jacket and a raincoat. If your sight-seeing day is bothered by rain, you'll be thankful for
- a cotton tee to offer air movement against your skin
- a fleece jacket to hold heat close when the wind blows cold
- a raincoat to protect you from getting wet and chilled
- a baseball cap to keep your raincoat off your face and rain off your glasses
If you have a cotton hoodie that you like to take traveling, make sure you also have a fleece garment with you. Cotton allows air to move, so your body heat will pass quickly away from you through a cotton garment. A fleece hoodie, covered by a windbreaker or a raincoat, can stand in for a winter coat if things get really cold.
Additionally, an oversized raincoat will allow you to carry a crossbody bag against your torso without leaving a strap in harm's way. To avoid the risk of theft or pick-pocketing, a crossbody bag is extremely helpful.
To travel in greatest comfort, make sure you wear your new vacation wear at least once before you get on the road. You want to make sure that each garment fits comfortably, allows great movement, and looks sharp. Everything in your suitcase should make you feel great, whether it's casual or formal.