What the heck do you pack?
Updated: Jul 26, 2019
This is such a huge part about going on long trips. When packing what to wear, you need to think about the route that you are going on. Have you researched the locations? What are their customs? Know if you are going to a place where you need to pack more conservative, or not, and then start packing from there. I suggest first; looking on Pinterest for outfits trending in that city. Another thing to ask is are you frequently bouncing from location to location? If you are, and I know it sounds like the simplest thing, but you must check the weather for ALL locations. Not every location is going to have the same temperature.
When I backpacked through #Europe, we started off sweating bullets in Prague, then took a 4-hour train to Berlin and were purchasing sweaters from local clothing shops because the temperature there had dropped. In all: Always be prepared for any kind of weather. I tend to stick to neutral colors, adding a pop of color here and there. Whether it be an ascot, a colorful purse, shoes, or funky pants, I try to add something to my outfit so the pictures are memorable, and I still love my outfit.
One thing you MUST bring is a jean jacket. It will become your BEST friend. No matter if it’s freezing, breezy or just perfect weather, you can pair a jean jacket with absolutely anything, and it adds another element to your outfit. You can wear it regular, over your shoulders, or tied around your waist. You never know if the restaurant you choose to eat at is going to be freezing, or if the outside air takes a drastic change!
One thing to NOT bring are T-Shirts with logos. If you are wearing a T-Shirt with a big logo of “NYC,” your alma mater, or any foreign universities, you will stick out like a sore thumb. The locals of the country you are in will take your touristy look and try to scam you in any way possible (cab rides, street food, tours etc.). Instead of bringing a T-Shirt, bring a plain white or black shirt. You can match a plain shirt with absolutely anything; shorts, skirts, jeans, leggings, etc.. The good thing about plain white shirts is that if you are in a really hot place, sweat won’t show through, and you can re-wear it multiple times. Of course, a lot of hostels and Airbnb’s have washers and dryers, but it’s nice to have something that matches everything.
Another suggestion I have is about what purse you bring out. People anywhere are CRAZY good at pickpocketing, and it’s happened to many people I have traveled with. Aside from always having a hand on your purse when walking through large crowds, you should make sure that your purse is one that has a front-flap that flips over. These make it harder for a person to stick their hand in your purse, and makes you less of a target because they will move on to someone’s purse who is easier to take from.
If you’re in a town that isn’t too crowded, and you know is safer (Dublin, Tokyo etc.) then wearing backpacks are a good way to explore freely. This are helpful for little day trips, so you can put belongings such as portable chargers, a water bottle etc. A lot of stores sell smaller, trendy backpacks.
In regards to shoes, break them in BEFORE you start traveling. I’ve been on so many trips where I’ll buy a new pair of shoes the week before and am miserable walking around. Most of the places you will travel to you walk everywhere, or take public transportation, and continue to walk everywhere. Don’t bring a new pair of shoes because you will have blisters and be mad at yourself. If you want to exercise, or don’t really care about your outfits and are just there for the experience (and not the Instagram, don’t lie), then bringing gym shoes (Nikes, New Balance etc.) is the way to go. I always bring Nikes just in case I work out, and believe me, I never do. To just walk around the various towns in, and if you want to look cute, I would bring trendy sneakers like Adidas, Vans or Supergas, anything along those lines. Whatever is comfiest to you, and looks good with your clothes. If you’re going to the beach, pretty much any sandal or flip-flop you want to bring will match with anything. If you are wanting to go out on the town in the places you visit (because well, who wouldn’t?!) I suggest bringing one pair of black booties. Black booties match with absolutely anything, and can be dressed up and down. These are the only shoes that I would say don’t have to be broken in, because you won’t wear them as frequently. Also, get shoes you don’t care about because if you go clubbing they will get TRASHED, and I usually throw mine out at the end of each trip.
Last tip: Pack LIGHT. Wherever you go, you will want to shop or pop-in to the stores around town. You may fall in love with something, even if it isn’t clothes, that you want to bring home. So instead of spending your last night cramming absolutely anything and everything into your suitcase, have a section in your suitcase designated for souvenirs you buy when you’re traveling.