Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Packing for a European Vacation: Part Two

by Sheila

This is the second post related to packing for a two week sightseeing vacation.  Remember the goal; be comfortably and appropriately dressed.  The travel packing mantra is:

Less is more. Rarely wear dressy clothes on vacation.  Fewer shoes are better.  Mix, match and layer.  Comfort and versatility are key.

Hmm...are these colors going to work with my black, white and beige - you betcha!

Don't bring anything so new that you've never worn it before.  You want to know it isn't going to pinch, or ride up needing constant adjustment all day at the Louvre. You don't want Mona Lisa staring at you!  Be sure that when visiting churches and cathedrals, you cover your knees and shoulders.  In some holy places this is mandatory, in all of them it is respectful.  This is where that indispensable wrap comes in very handy.  It can be wrapped around your shoulders while inside, and tied around your tote if it is hot outside trekking around. If you can't find the exact color combinations you like, look for a print silk or cotton gauze fabric and have a large square hemmed.  

The colors in this large scarf provide a great pallet to mix with my neutrals. 

In your wardrobe selection, I recommend focusing  on neutrals that can be mixed and matched with each other and a few brighter accent colors.  I like black, white, khaki and denim, with a few fun accent colors.  I definitely wear my travel garments more than once.  I bring a small container of liquid detergent with me to spot clean items, or wash out in the sink and hang to dry. If this creeps you out, you need to find a laundromat along the way, hire a porter, or stay at the Ritz where there are laundry services, because you can't pack light for 2 weeks if you don't repeat garments.

Wear on plane:
  • black yoga pants, black tank with built-in bra,  large print scarf/wrap, and a cozy sweater in a coordinating color, comfy walking shoes - I like a metallic or a tan leather - goes with everything
Suggested wardrobe to pack:
  • jeans (make sure length works with your shoes)
  • long black skirt (can be dressed up as needed)
  • beige casual  skirt (below your knee so it works in cathedrals)
  • khaki capris
  • white capris
  • khaki skort (looks like a skirt, but makes for comfortable bike riding or hiking)
  • sundress (or top and skirt coordinates for even more versatility)
  • white tank
  • bright colored tank with matching cardigan sweater
  • long sleeved lightweight black pullover sweater 
  • t-shirts in black and two additional accent colors
  • black off-shoulder knit top (can be very dressy with skirt, more casual with jeans)
  • white button down shirt
  • beige 3/4 sleeve loose sweater
  • turquoise gauze scarf
  • large print wrap/scarf in coordinating colors
  • very lightweight nylon rain jacket (optional - check your weather ahead)
  • swimsuit
  • pajamas 
  • undies (5-7 pr)
  • bras (nude and black)
  • another pair of comfy shoes (to switch out so your feet don't get tired)
  • if desired, a pair of dressy flat sandals (blinged out) for evening
  • accessories:  a few neclaces, scarves and/or bracelets for variety and to change the look of your outfits
There are lots of great options for scarves/wraps out now in a rainbow of colors!
I recommend laying out your entire travel wardrobe on the bed.  Begin mixing and matching "outfits" and try things on to make sure you have enough variety and your items are working well together. Do you like what you have?  Is there a piece that would really pull this wardrobe together that you are missing?  Make note of it and put it on your shopping list.  You can see that this is not something that you want to do the night before your trip.  I have traveled with lots of stuff and I have traveled light, and I can tell you that I am much happier when I have less stuff to lug around and paw through.  It is worth the extra effort to pare down to the "less is more" approach and travel lightly on your trip!  Have a great time!

Check out  Packing for a European Vacation Part One if you missed it last week. 


  1. How fun to have a blog with your friends! I could have used these tips a few year back when we went to London/Paris/Rome!

    PS – My May giveaway will be for a new blog design by my personal designer! Stay tuned if you're interested! Our Journey

  2. Sheila, you are the packing queen! I'm packing for our weekend trip and I'm using your packing posts as my guide.