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Journeywoman's Stress Free Packing For Europe...


Evelyn Hannon

All the research and reservations are complete. Now it's time to pack for your much anticipated European holiday. For women this process can often be filled with angst concerning which items to take and which to leave behind. What a pity! Choosing your vacation wardrobe ought to be enjoyable. It's fun to look through your closet and imagine what you'll wear for shopping the High Street, tackling a vigorous hike or going out for a romantic dinner. Here are three tips to guide your packing philosophy and add pleasure to the process.

To begin, you shouldn't be the brightly feathered bird that stands out in a crowd. If only for safety sake, it's a wise traveller that dresses to observe rather than to be observed. Secondly, be creative and build in flexibility. Since you can never truly anticipate the weather or happenstance, make it your challenge to create a wardrobe of layers that will take you anywhere. Third, never put more into your bag than you can handle on your own. Test this concept by lugging your packed suitcase up a flight of stairs then let your body be the judge.


Three pair should cover all eventualities - fashionable walking shoes, running shoes and flat, thick-soled sandals. Packing high heels is a waste of space. Think uneven cobblestones and you'll understand why. P.S. Colder weather: substitute boots for sandals

Lingerie, socks and nightgowns:
Pack three 'fast drying' of each - one to wear, one to wash and one for spare. Always throw in one long sleeve silk undershirt to warm you up on extra cold days.

Beachwear or enjoying the hotel pool:
Once again three is the magic number - bathing suit, cover-up and flipflops.

In today's fashion world, a smart pair of black jeans will take you almost anywhere. Add one formal pair of black trousers and three pairs of sport pants. Choose the lengths you like and consider walking shorts (summer) or basic color tights within this category. If long skirts make you feel fancy and festive, take one then simply leave one pair of pants behind.

This is where your creativity comes in. Choose neutral colors that all compliment the pants or skirts you've chosen. How many to take? Most travelers agree that a good rule of thumb is to plan on wearing each at least twice while including several that will 'dress up' an evening out. Add one crisp white shirt and save it for your last night on the town. By then the rest of your wardrobe will feel 'tired' and wearing this pristine shirt will give you that extra special lift.

A stylish all purpose light raincoat is a wardrobe staple. Add a thick lining for the colder weather. Add one sweatshirt for active holidaying; a jean jacket is another consideration. Always take one basic sweater or shawl to protect against over zealous air conditioning. P.S Deep winter is cold everywhere. Choose your coat accordingly.

A true travel ninja understands that scarves, belts and costume jewelry offer the ability to create many different looks and are the finishing touches to any female's wardrobe. Handle this category with finesse and your stress free packing is done.


What to wear, where ...

If you need particular advice on the culturally correct and style suggestions for each country, check our Journeywoman directory, 'What Should I Wear, Where?'

Packing for a trip to Italy: Click here.

Summer packing list for Oslo, click here.

What to wear in Africa. Click here.

An experts cruise packing advice.

Should I wear a hat? Click here for your answer.


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