To pack or not to pack…that IS the question!

One of the hardest chores for me when getting ready for our trip was choosing a wardrobe. How much? How many? Do I need this? What looks good? Where do I begin?

Well, thanks to the help of my mom and sister, I finally got started and compiled a list of tips to help make packing a bit easier.

Start packing with a list. If you wait until the last-minute or pack off your head, you will forget something. Keep in mind, you can add and eliminate items as your trip gets closer.

Pack in neutrals. Europeans dress in dark neutrals so wearing those colors will allow you to fit in. If you dress like a tourist you def. become a target for pick-pocketers. Dark colors also hide stains better, dry faster, and you always look pounds lighter! Also with neutrals, it is much easier to mix and match multiple items!

Think Scarfs! You can use a colorful scarf or jewelry to jazz things up and they take up minimal space when packing. A scarf can also be used over shoulders to keep warm, as a skirt or swimsuit cover-up or as a pillow on trains, planes and even in hostels.

Pack Light. Never pack more than a weeks worth of clothes. You probably will end up wearing the same three favorite things often anyways. Additionally, packing in plastic storage bags helps save room and keeps things neat and tidy. They can later be used to store wet or dirty items, like when your laundry has not had time to dry and you are on the move once again.

Consider convenience! Pack clothes that are versatile and don’t wrinkle. The key is to be able to mix and match and layer. Three layers of clothing is better than packing one heavy coat and allows you to take off layers as needed. Don’t pack anything unless you plan on wearing it at least three different ways. This helps you cut back on the amount you pack.

Dress accordingly. Pack one “dressy” outfit. For that special night out or a trip to the theatre you should have at least one dress or dressy pair of slacks in your wardrobe. You only need one because chances are you are not going to be with the same company every night and honestly, who really remembers what you are wearing anyway!

Comfort always comes first. Shoes are a tough one but many experts agree that you only need two pair of shoes. One sturdy walking shoe and one dress shoe is all that’s needed for most. For our trip I decided to bring a good pair of running sneakers and a dressy yet comfy sandal. I know that with my knees and high arch that I needed to have a really supportive and comfortable shoe to wear. So keep in mind that it is more important to be comfortable enough to go see all the sights than to try to be a sight yourself! I would say if you are staying in hostels you may want to bring a cheap pair of flip-flops as well for the communal showers.

Essentially, remember these three packing essentials:

  1. If you aren’t going to wear it at least three ways, don’t bring it.
  2. Pack light, wash it frequently and just buy it if you need it!
  3. And when you are finished, Rick Steves suggests that your pack should only weigh about 20% of your body weight, basically no more than 25 lbs. That will keep your back happy on those long roads ahead!

Here and here are links to websites that provide even more tips!

Now that I’m all packed for the trip the only thing I need to do is board the plane!! Can’t wait!

Next time you read a post I’ll be in Ireland! How cool?! So long New York!

Kelly

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