If I had to choose one tip share with anyone traveling to Europe, it would be to pack light. I am always met with " it's not possible!" So, here I tell you how:
Traveling the world and discovering new places is an incredible feeling. Having to drag a giant suitcase around for the duration of your trip is not. Whether you're going on a safari in Africa or city-hopping your way through Europe, there’s nothing like removing the burden of a heavy suitcase. What's our key to packing light? Capsule Wardrobes. The idea is simple: Pack the least amount of clothing that create the most amount of outfits. Not only will it be easier to get around with lighter luggage, you'll also have more room for the different souvenirs you'll want to bring home with you.
Do your research
Before you set off on your adventure, do a little research about the climate you can expect at your destination. If you are traveling to a warmer destination, you don’t need to pack that thick jacket “just in case”. Though, if you DO want to bring a jacket, wear it to the airport instead of packing it away. This will save more room in your bag, and can double as a blanket if the cabin gets chilly during your flight. Most importantly, find out what is considered acceptable in the countries you’ll be visiting. Most temples and mosques in Southeast Asia only allow those with covered shoulders and knees to enter. Pay attention to local customs when packing!
Start with neutrals
It's much easier to match a black top than it is a bright orange one. When you create your wardrobe with basics in a neutral color such as black or tan, you can ensure that all your outfits will match. Regardless of the length of your stay, the number of basic items remain mostly unchanged. Your basics should include 2-3 bottoms, 3 short sleeve tops, 2 long sleeve tops, and 1 jacket. With just these items, you can create up to 15 different outfits!
Add accent colors
Wearing nothing but neutrals can get a little boring, so choose one or two accent colors to brighten up your look. A colorful scarf is the most versatile item to add. It can act as sunshade, extra warmth, a light blanket, a beach wrap, or simply a pop of color for your outfit. A bright cardigan can break up the monotony of your wardrobe and add extra warmth in the evenings. A piece of statement jewelry can turn a simple black dress into a party dress for a night on the town. Adding a large waist belt will also increase the number of outfits you can create.
It’s all about the fabric
All fabrics are not created equal - some are just plain better than others. Consider packing items made with Merino wool that works to keep you warm when cold, and cool when hot. Anything made with bamboo will help keep unwanted odors from staying. Silk is universally touted as the favorite fabric of travelers. It doesn’t wrinkle, is quick-drying, extremely light, and oh so comfortable! Stay away from 100% cotton clothing as it doesn’t breathe well and can hold onto unpleasant odors.
Comfortable walking shoes
Nothing puts a damper on an amazing trip like sore feet. Choosing the perfect pair provides the final touch to your wardrobe, and is a key factor in how much you're going to enjoy your trip. You shouldn’t pack more than 3 pairs of shoes including the ones you wear to your destination. A comfy pair of sneakers (or boots, depending on the climate of your destination) to be worn on your flight and throughout most outings on your trip, a pair of flip flops or sandals to be worn around the beach or pool, and a pair of formal shoes if you have any special nights out planned. If you will be trekking through the jungle or hiking up a mountain, pack a pair of good hiking shoes or sandals instead of formal shoes. The key to avoiding feet pain is to pack shoes you’ve already logged a couple of miles in, so try and skip the cute shoes you saw in the window that would be perfect for your trip in a couple days.
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Accountant-turned-travel planner, I share all things travel here!