So, it’s finally the day before shipping out which begs the question: are you packed yet?
The thing about packing is it’s a lot more than counting the days you’ll be away and pulling pieces out of the closet for each. Instead, it’s a process of planning what little you may need for where you are going, what you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll be dealing with concerning both.
This trip, half of the time I’ll be running around France it’ll be raining, but I still plan to be walking around as much as I can—I can’t really imagine traveling any other way—which means that I’ll need layers.
Like I said before, you don’t pack an outfit for each day but plan choice pieces that go together and can be reuse a few times over without making the same outfit every day. Numbers wise, this may mean having more or less the same amount of articles as putting together simple outfits everyday (which are limited and won’t help much when the weather hits), but you get more use as you’ll need to reuse pieces to keep warm!
For me, this meant packing a few oversized sweaters, long shirts and simple tops which can be layered and mixed with neutral bottoms—specifically, a few pairs of leggings and one pair of skinny jeans. The things that is new for me is planning on wearing leggings out and about (hence the emphasis on log tops with hang to short dress lengths—also a simple cotton skirt to add length to a top if need be—layering!).
The leggings I’m bringing are fleece lined, thick and are designed to hold in the heat without becoming transparent but they allow more movement than most of my skinny jeans. This makes them a great choice for running around the city. Also, as they are thinner than jeans, they’ll dry much more quickly than jeans do when dealing with the rainy weather.
I finish this off with a coat, a scarf, and a comfortable and water resistant pair of boots that cover/protect all skin from the elements and that’s my suitcase!
When it comes to France, there are tons of pins on Pintrest that are designed to help you dress like a Parisian. There is a real elegance and simplicity—a lot of neutrals are involved—that I find very nice, especially as a traveler trying to pack things that can be worn together. If it helps you blend in a bit, all the better when it comes to places like Paris, where tourists can be targeted by some unsavory characters (but dealing with this is more about paying attention to where you are and who is around than what you happen to be wearing!).
On Tuesday, I went over some of the things you should have checked off your to do list at this point and I mentioned going out and buying things you may need. Basically, this means buying small/compact items—after all, you shouldn’t be taking much more than a duffle or carryon size bag. I talked about this last time I dealt with packing for a trip and my preference for duffels—you don’t put as much in them so you can’t over pack since you have to carry it while rollers you don’t count on weight but with the conditions of sidewalks and cobblestones in old cities you very well may be carrying the bag with you the whole time.
Anyway, in light of this weight issue, thinking about compact product can really help. Travel size options are great when it comes to your basic toiletries and 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner is another quick and easy choice that keeps you from lugging around large, heavy bottles.
Also, don’t pull a Rory Gilmore and pack a million books or extra pieces like this. Bring one if your first bit of travel is long and then pick something up while you are traveling. Some hostels have trading libraries you can take from for free and these (or a book from a shop) can serve easily as a souvenir (just write a not on the cover about where and when you got it and any other personal notes and it’s a very simple but meaningful piece of your trip that is unique to your experience!).
My basic packing tips if I were to boil them down come to one overriding idea:
Keep things simple.
Whether you are packing clothes, makeup, or activities, packing less stuff that you can get more out of is always the safest bet.
Well there we go: the basics. Double check it all before you go to bed (as well as charging up all you electronics from phones to cameras to computers to what have you) along with Tuesday’s list and you should be ready to get to your first check point bright and early with little to no worries.
So, happy Valentine’s day/Galentine’s day/Thank God I’m Single day or whatever else you are celebrating this weekend, and happy travels.