You’ll definitely regret packing only T-shirts and Nike shorts for your upcoming trip. But it can be difficult to decide what’s practical and photo-op-worthy. Check out these 9 fashion staples that aren’t only cute but are extremely useful.
1. Infinity scarf
Packing an infinity scarf can spice up a dull outfit. More practically speaking, it can help keep you warm during any outdoor tours or excursions you take. Also, if you decide you want to visit any basilicas or religious buildings abroad, a scarf could come in handy; it is likely these establishments will have dress codes, meaning shoulders and knees must be covered. A scarf can easily be thrown over a pair of shorts for your time there to satisfy the covered knee requirement. I was very grateful that I could do exactly this at the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi so that I didn’t have to wear a long skirt or pants the entire day in Italy’s raging heat. Thank you to my tour directors for that one!
Bringing a cardigan can also add a point of interest to your outfit as well as keep you warm. It also can be better than a coat; if you decide you’re too warm, carrying a cardigan is much nicer than lugging a heavy coat around.
3. Casual dress or maxi skirt
Although it’s so tempting to pack your college sweatshirts and Nike shorts for your entire trip, it’s a good idea to bring some nicer clothing due to the sizable number of pictures you’ll take. I was so glad I packed several dresses and nicer tops for my time in France; when I look back at my pictures, I’m not embarrassed by my wardrobe. Nicer clothing also is a great idea if you’ve planned a night out. Nothing screams American tourist more than sweat pants and team T-shirts.
4. Harem pants
Find a comfortable and cute (it’s possible, I promise!) pair of patterned harem pants for your upcoming trip; they’re especially a good idea for your plane or car ride! These are extremely comfortable and socially acceptable. One of my pairs of patterned pants from Target feel almost like pajama pants, which made it that much easier to sleep on the long plane ride to London.
I don’t wear hats often, but I would definitely recommend it for your next trip. Whether it be a cap or a sun hat, it’s definitely a good idea to protect yourself from a sunburn and to cool yourself. I packed a Polo Signature Pony Cap on my trip to Italy; it took up little room in my suitcase yet kept me cool.
Adding a pair of shades to your packing list is another good idea to protect your eyes from the sun. Especially if you plan to have any outdoor tours, sunglasses are an absolute necessity to be comfortable.
7. Crossbody bag
This is fabulous idea if you will be walking and touring much of the time. It’s smart to keep important items such as your passport, wallet, camera, sunglasses, etc at your hip versus on your back (think pickpockets!).
8. Rain jacket
You may be thinking “duh,” but there’s a reason this is on a list of fashion staples–meaning that before you throw that school-bus-colored rain poncho in your bag, think again. Depending on the weather, you may get very close to your rain jacket; it’s important you like the look and feel since it may make appearances in many (if not most) of your photos! I found an adorable navy and white polka-dot rain jacket with a hood and large pockets at Target. I’m so glad I spent a bit more on this since it was comfortable and cute (and it made an appearance in many, many of my photos!).
9. Cute & comfortable shoes
Your jaws have probably just hit the keyboards–cute and comfortable in the same phrase?! But yes, it’s possible! Before you throw only tennis shoes in your suitcase, rethink your options. Although it’s still smart to bring a pair of athletic shoes, it’s also a good idea to bring possibly a pair of Sperrys, Toms, or Keds. These stylish shoes combine fashion and function–meaning you can tour the city and not feel you must crop out your feet in photos. Packing a pair of flats may even serve you well if you plan on any nicer night excursions.
Although it can be more difficult and takes longer, spend some time thinking out your outfits for your trip so that you look and feel fabulous.