7 Packing Tips Every Fashionista Needs to Know
BY CHRISTINA CORDIANO
We are a generation of young individuals who identify so well with the meaning of wanderlust that travel and exploration are not things of dreams, but are a way of living -- a reality.
Everyone can identify with wanting to explore an unfamiliar place. With so many different types of social media platforms, these beautiful places become something we lust over and eventually plan to travel to. For me this particular place was Asia. I learned a lot of do's and don'ts when packing for my trip to Thailand and I am going to share with you 7 of the most useful tips every fashionista needs to know when traveling to a new country or city.
1. Do Your Research & Make a Detailed List
Now this tip might seem like common sense, but trust me if you are planning a trip to a country you are not familiar with you will often be caught in situations where you are dressed inappropriately, are not prepared, or are extremely uncomfortable. Looking fashionable for all those Instagram photos may be important, but your comfort is much more vital to your overall enjoyment.
Factors such as religious and social customs are things to be aware of. For my trip to Thailand, I had read on several blogs that when visiting religious Buddhist Temples you had to cover both your shoulder and legs. This meant no short shorts and no cut off tops. This is a case where you would have to pack accordingly.
Be aware of the excursions or types of physical activities you will be partaking in. Will you be going to Europe and exploring the city on foot? Will you be trekking in South America? Will you be visiting beaches in Australia? Look at blogs and social media platforms to see how others tourists have dressed. How do the locals dress? Are heels and dressy clothes needed in this particular country? Ask yourself these questions as they will eliminate or add things to your list.
All these factors will help you stay organized and pack light. Keep in mind: there is no need to overpack. You can always do laundry, or buy things that are missing. Just do your research and you will be prepared while looking super stylish during your travels.
2. Shoes: 3 Pairs Only (one on your feet, two in your bag)
Shoes are often the item that I place the most attention on when packing for a getaway. No matter the country or type of trip I plan, I have to bring a wide variety of shoes that are versatile and comfortable… Yes, comfort is key. One of the most uncomfortable situations to find yourself in is having bleeding, swollen, or blistered feet only a couple of days into your trip. This will mostly likely force you to sit on the sidelines while your travel companions are on their way to adventurous activities and excursions. To avoid this, always bring a minimum of three pairs of shoes, this means two in your suitcase/backpack and one on your feet.
Now, the combination of shoes are up to you based on where you are going and what you are doing. I always have a pair of comfortable, yet stylish pair of sneakers (Vans, Adidas, Converse) that are well worn, but still add a pop of style to every look. The next pair is a low pair of sandals or flats. Depending on the climate of your trip, there are hundreds of options to bring with you. Currently, a low mule, slides, or pair of espadrilles are the way to go.
A dressier pair of shoes is also a possibility. Or you can pack the other extreme option -- beach flip flops. If you are going to Europe a dressy pair of heels would be ideal to bring with you, but if you are going to Thailand you may want to switch those heels out and bring a pair of flip flops.
Keep the 3-shoe rule in mind and you are sure to have a lightweight and organized suitcase ready for travel and happy feet.
3. Opt for Smart Clothing
By this, I mean choose lightweight, versatile pieces of clothing that can be layered. This includes materials such as linen, spandex, and cotton. These lighter fabrics are much easier to layer with. And it is better to have a lot of layers on and take a few off if you get too warm than to be freezing and not have enough on.
These items are lightweight in a suitcase and they take up less space. They can be rolled up very tiny, leaving more space for other items in your case. These materials also dry faster than items made from denim. Denim is extremely heavy in a suitcase and also takes a really long time to dry, so consider only bringing one pair of jean shorts.
Make sure your clothes are versatile. Meaning that when packing certain things think about the functionality of the item. Can it be worn for more than one activity? Let's say you have a tank top. Can it be worn to the beach? Can it also be worn hiking? It’s good to bring pieces that look great, but can be used more then once and for an array of differing activities.
4. Opt for Colors that can be Mixed and Matched
This is pretty self-explanatory. Bring items that all go with one another, so it creates the illusion that you packed a ton of outfits with you. My preferences are neutral colors: black and white clothing along with more toned down patterns, such as stripes and polka dots. You can look put together while having the ease of thoughtlessness when getting dressed in the morning before a new adventure.
5. A Crossbody Bag or Mini Backpack is a Must.
A crossbody bag is essential and the most functional bag for travel. These bags have always been a classic piece in every woman’s wardrobe. There are a couple of useful tips to think about when bringing a crossbody bag with you on a trip.
Think about choosing a bag with many zipper closures. Safety for your belongings and cash are a priority and this will help to keep your valuables in one place. Choose a crossbody bag with a removable strap. This allows for the bag to be worn throughout the day during fun activities and sightseeing, but in the evening this bag can be used as a clutch. This is also an opportunity to get creative with the colors and pattern of your bag. We want to keep it simple and easy with the clothing, but with our accessories we can get more creative.
If a cross body bag is not your thing or you do not own one, a mini backpack works the same. Mini backpacks are on trend at the moment and are just as functional as a cross body bag. The same goes for belt bags and fanny packs -- all useful and Instagram-worthy.
6. Invest in Inexpensive Accessories (jewelry & sunglasses)
Who said packing has to be serious? Accessories add the splash of fun into outfits as they tend to spice up travel looks. It's a bonus that accessories are often small and lightweight, which means you can bring a lot more.
I tend not to reach more for the inexpensive and tender pieces when it comes to my accessories for trips. Depending on where you go, you might not want to bring the most expensive and valuable items with you. This can draw the wrong attention or risk ruining some high-priced designer items or sentimental pieces. When I traveled to Thailand, I brought inexpensive, but trendy pieces such as tasseled earnings and cat eye sunglasses to add something special to each of my looks. Accessories also offer the opportunity to make a creative statement and have some fun with your looks.
7. Don't Stress Out -- Have Fun!
Remember you are looking forward to this trip. Don't start it off by being too stressed out. Packing for a new city or country is supposed to be exciting! Looking fashionable and put together can be important, but overall, your happiness and comfort during your new endeavours triumphs everything else. Ultimately, these tips are to help you minimize the amount of stuff you are lugging around with you. Everyone's experiences are different, though, and you will learn what works for you as you travel.
I wish you all the best luck and happy travels.
Lead Image Credit: Christina Cordiano / Instagram