When you pack your clothes to go on vacation, it pays to put some good thought into how you pack. Over-packing tends to be a drag when you have to haul your luggage around. You want to be as strategic as possible. A lot of the time, you leave your hotel first thing in the morning, only to come back after a full day’s over and you’re ready for bed. That means that whatever you walk out the door wearing at breakfast is going to be what you wear in the evening. Think this through so you don’t look like a tourist, or feel uncomfortable.
The happy traveler is the traveler with comfortable shoes. Those stilettos are amazing, but most people can’t wear them for twelve hours. If you are one of these unicorns that commonly wears four inchers all day long, then go for it, of course. The idea here is to keep your feet from hurting. You’re not going anywhere with big blisters or numb toes.
That doesn’t necessarily mean sneakers. If your day consists of walking around the countryside and ends at a sporting event, fine, go right ahead. Otherwise, you should find yourself some supportive, comfortable flat shoes that work for a dinner out as well as a cathedral hopping, or strolling throughout the city at your leisure. Women’s boots are both stylish and work for day and evening. Wear them with a dress or nice jeans and you’re fine for the day. Men can get away with bucks or a leather shoe. Loafers are probably not the most comfortable, and no, you cannot wear your converse out to dinner.
If you’re going somewhere really nice, like the opera, you could potentially bring your shoes in a bag, if you have something that fits the part (more on that below). These events might actually require you to go home, shower, and change, however.
The good news is that with one pair of nice, comfortable versatile shoes, you won’t need to bring more than the one pair, and maybe some sneakers for casual walking days or outdoor excursions. Two sets of shoes should do you well for your trip!
The Right Jacket
Outerwear is a tough nail to hit. You won’t show up with your faux fur coat, just as you won’t use your terrain hiking jacket. What you require is something in between. The ideal coat has a removable liner in it, something that can be used in cold temperatures, as well as just a shell. Plain is the name of the game, and you can never go wrong with black. It goes with everything, it hides stains in case you spill sangria all over it, and it looks dressy, so you can wear it for a night out and be appropriate. Get something like a trench coat, a belt makes it dressy, but it’s totally appropriate for daytime wear, too. Khaki or other colored trenches also work well. If it’s water resistant, all the better, then you don’t have to worry about bringing a rain coat. One coat, that’s it!
Prepare to Peel
If you’re going to be in a high fluctuating climate where the mornings are cool and the afternoons are hot, only to cool down at night again, you want to dress in layers. A decent shirt under a sweater or a cardigan works just about anywhere. Scarves are a fashionable way to add just a touch of warmth. Men who are going out to dinner can wear a sport coat over a shirt and a sweater if they choose, or just the shirt. Jeans are great in cooler months since they’re so versatile. In warmer months wear light weight pants, either linen or something like chinos, work well. Bring a lightweight jacket or a wrap for women, a cardigan for men. When the sun rises high and it gets hot, you can shed all this and be happy with just a t-shirt.
Bring a Nice Looking Bag
While it might be tempting to take your favorite handbag on your vacation, it might not be the best move if you won’t be returning to your hotel during the day. A leather or canvas bag works nicely for daytime, when it’s casual, and nighttime, when it can still pass in a nicer establishment. But bring something that can hold items. If you want to lose your hat, or your sweater, it’s nice to be able to stow it in your bag. And as mentioned above, if your bag can handle it, you can even swap your shoes! Avoid floral prints and backpacks, they’re fine in everyday life but they don’t work for nighttime, so they’re out! Like your jacket, you should only require one bag or satchel or purse on your vacation.
The fun part of going on a trip is that you don’t know how the day’s going to unfold! So, now that you have your perfect outfit, your proper shoes and your layers that you can carry in your all-event bag, make sure you bring any items you may need in for the whole day. That might just mean something as simple a hairbrush, or band-aids, but it could also mean a small, portable umbrella. The idea is to be able to “transform” yourself for nighttime with no problems at all.
What’s your perfect day to night travel look? Do you have something you always carry with you, just in case?