By Sasha Westin
There is always a lot of traveling going on during the holiday season, to make sure you are organized it’s best to pre-plan. This way you’ll be sure you know what you want to wear no matter where you are going on your upcoming vacation. Other important things to think about include, your daily activities, if you want to check or carry your bags on, how many days you will be gone and who you are traveling with.
‘Warm Weather Destinations
If you plan to spend a lot of time on the beach or at the pool, I recommend at least two ensembles so you can launder or dry out what you wore the previous day and avoid looking like a broken record.
For sightseeing, a pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential. If you buy a new pair before your trip, be sure to determine if you need to break them in before you go on vacation. There is nothing worse than having to take a day off to nurse battered feet.
If you plan to work out during vacation, bring enough for two days and think about any drastic weather changes from early morning to day to evening.
For dining out and/or enjoying the nightlife pack a few outfits that you can rotate between days. You may want simple for the first half of the day and dressier for dinner and beyond. Another option is to pack simple outfits and accessories that can help distinguish them from day to night.
• Dark sunglasses that protect your eyes from the intense sun.
• A multi-purpose bag with zip compartments that can be used for carrying essentials on the plane, beach or pool-side necessities, or local finds from a day of shopping.
• An extra pair of shoes to give the other pair a rest, especially after a long day on your feet.
• A lightweight shoulder wrap for breezy nights.
Shop REI for active warm weather clothing, a swimwear-specific store like Nani Nalu that is stocked year-round and department stores, like Macy’s, that debut resort wear before most stores and boutiques.
Cold Weather Destinations
If your vacation includes outdoor activities, a warm jacket and good layers from head-to-toe will be the most important things in your suitcase. If you will be active, a down jacket will give you warmth without the weight.
A lightweight coat can transition from day to evening while not weighing you down should you spend the evening carrying it. Pack the one that is least likely to look wrinkled, tired or out of date.
For indoor plans, several tops and bottoms for daytime that can be mixed and matched with a variety of casual and dressy accessories will help you get more mileage out of your suitcase space. Items that can be easily washed means even less suitcase room is required.
Pack an extra outfit for evening so you are prepared for the unplanned surprise that turns out to be the most memorable evening of your getaway.
• A coordinated hat, scarf and gloves or mittens with a balance of style and function.
• A weather-proof bag that can withstand snow and other wintery precipitation.
• Boots that safely get you from point A to point B and remain unaffected by seasonal chemicals.
• Wool socks to keep your toes warm in the cold and comfortable where there is heat.
When thinking about what will go in your suitcase, decide if you want to look like a local or an American tourist. This decision, along with a little internet research, will guide you as far as what styles to pack.
In general, the international scene has a dressier style than Americans. Instead of cargos, t-shirts and flip-flops, they are wearing suits, pressed shirts and heels, even in the most tropical weather.
For women, a pashmina or scarf will provide instant style and take the edge off the tourist look. The classic shawl look with one edge tossed over your shoulder will fit in any city.
For men, a well-fitting sport coat in a seasonally appropriate fabric will add a level of refinement for day and evening activities.
When in doubt, go with classic and timeless (not tired) pieces and outfits. Designer brands are appreciated but by no means required.
International travel must-haves:
• A quality travel wallet with easy-to-access slots and pockets for travel and daily needs.
• Comfortable walking shoes or boots are critical, especially for cities with minimal mass transportation.
• An extra bag that can be checked for the trip home to hold your prized travel purchases.
Shop specialty boutiques like C’est Chic Boutique in Minneapolis for styles fresh from Europe or opt for classic styles that can be found at your favorite local boutique or retailer.
Sasha Westin, Personal Style Concierge and owner of Fabuliss, helps you feel confident looking successful with the right outfits. Get style advice, see client results and learn how to connect at Fabuliss.com.