Friday, May 29, 2009

Power-Packed Travel Tips

It's tourist season in Europe, and I, like many other twenty-somethings, am jetting off for a couple of weeks to tour, shop, go out, and have a European adventure. With so much traveling, it seems like it would take a caravan of luggage to get through the long days in the city and coast, as well as prepare for the nightlife. Since this caravan only exists in my wildest dreams, packing light is becoming a mantra. So now it's time to make sure I'm traveling in good style, on a serious luggage real estate budget.

So today, I will be discussing packing your style in 20kg or less.

[ Inspiration ]
In a perfect world, how do you see yourself living in your destinations? Are you the sightseer? How about the one sitting at the cafe sipping tea in the afternoon? Or are you more of a shopper without a cause? Me, I'm more of an adventurer. I like to be prepared to try anything and look incredibly pulled together at any passing moment.

When I picture myself in London, I see saturated colors and practical flats that transition well into evenings in the local pub for live music. In Milan, totally vintage gamine style with hats and beautifully textured separates, appropriate for getting social in the plaza. In Greece, bright colored dresses, sandals fit for walking and motor bikes.

[ Utility ]
Where is the overlap in all of the dreamy scenarios of these short-term lifestyles? What am I missing that is just necessary for practical reasons? Where can I cut the fat?

From the looks that I'm envisioning, I see flowing dresses in a variety of lengths, beautiful/comfortable flats, and the rest of versatile separates in fabrics that are wearable in many different circumstances. Think silk tanks, scarves, a pair of trousers, and shirts that can be either dressed up or down. Unsure about the weather? Instead of packing bulky and often heavy jackets, layering provides a stylish and functional part of your day wherever you are.

As for the accessories:
Separate your shoes into categories- flat, heels, specialty. If you are a daily heel wearer, challenge yourself to choose your 2 most versatile. Then pick the one pair of flats and a pair of sandals that will become your staples for the trip. Bags can be fabulous, but stick with one large day bag that can double as a flight carry-on, and one small evening bag.

Since jewelry is quite heavy, be prepared to limit yourself to versatile pieces that are simple enough to wear daily, but can transition into evening seamlessly.

[ Signature ]
What makes your look special? I'd like to think of my (crazy, curly, personality that I call) hair as the distinguishing factor of my overall look. The only way it impacts my suitcase real estate is with minimal product. Since this is a key part to my daily style, I will pack to accommodate it. Whatever your signature is, make it a priority. It will make you more confident in whatever you are wearing.

While you may start to get more creative with your clothing combination as the trip comes to a close, remember that personal style can only be enhanced by exposure to new places. Feel comfortable with what you're in.

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