I have written several posts along the way about Packing. One of the main things that I stress is trying not to over pack for travel. With airlines often charging by the bag and then charging more if the weight of that bag is excessive, it becomes even more important to carefully consider what you are going to pack. Plus who wants to drag heavy luggage around.
When our flights got cancelled and we missed our airport transfers in Europe last year, Mark and I had to haul our luggage on the London Underground, through a train station with a lot of stairs and then down many blocks of sidewalk from the station to the hotel. And it was hot….. The point is, hauling your heavy suitcases around isn’t that fun.
For trips like that one where we would be visiting 7 countries and gone 2 weeks, it’s hard to pare down too far. You need a bit of everything. The important thing I do is to pack items that can be dressed up or down and choose pieces to layer that mix and match with one another so my outfit looks refreshed.
Where the struggle begins for me is with SHOES! Different situations demand different types of shoes. For instance that dinner out at the fancy Parisian Bistro called for heels while the hike up a mountain in Germany definitely needed good quality walking shoes. God forbid it’s winter and you need boots because unless you wear them (which I suggest you do) they take up a lot of room in your luggage.
For a typical vacation I would pack these shoes:
- Black strappy heals for anything dressy
- Good walking shoes because I am an explorer
- Heavy duty rubber flip flop sandals for going to the beach or pool (if necessary)
- Plain black flats for casual activities
Those 4 items pretty much cover all the bases. By sticking with the basics and choosing solid colors that go with everything, you can keep the shoes you need under control.
- In warm weather, I may substitute comfy black walking sandals for the flats
- If it’s fall/winter I might choose to add Brown or Black Riding boots (and wear them if you can instead of packing them to save room in your luggage)
Function over Fashion
On my recent trip to Portland with my daughter, I went a little overboard. I think I packed 6 pairs of shoes for a 5 day trip. I ended up wearing athletic shoes on the hiking days, flats to brunch and my favorite casual walking shoes for explorations in the city. I realized later that I was simply trying to be fashionable by packing both black and bright yellow flats as well as a pair of strappy heels that never left the suitcase.
Lesson learned! I will save space in my suitcase by sticking to the basics going forward.