When I look at people’s instagram vacation posts, I often wonder how much they pay for extra bags. My bags are always right at the 50lb mark and all I manage to pack are basics that I can wear a few times during long vacations.
In case you’re like me, here is what I’ve learned to pack in terms of shoes and handbags. Bring these and you’ll be able to dress up and dress down with just a couple of each.
A comfortable pair of “dressy” sneakers – Cole Haan is the master here. I always prefer metallic colors because they go with almost anything and they don’t look that sporty. You can wear these during the day and, if you end up stumbling into dinner without making a pit stop at the hotel, you will not have gigantic feet nor will you look like you just came from the gym.
A classic pair of heels for evenings out. If you’re going somewhere cold, boots are great. Pumps are best for city trips. And, of course, strappy heels for beach getaways. If you’re like me and your evening clothes are almost all black, then you can do black evening shoes. Otherwise, metallics are a good idea.
Its never a good idea to go for statement shoes. Statement shoes… well they make a statement. If you’re only packing a couple of shoes (they take a LOT of space and are super heavy) then you’ll be making the same statement over and over again. If you opt for classic or understated shoes, then you can play around with your clothes, which are far lighter and easier to carry.
You know those extremely high Louboutins you absolutely love but can barely walk more than a block in? Yeah, leave those home. Otherwise, you’ll be miserable that evening and every single day afterwards.
Make sure the large handbag is big enough to fit whatever you’ll want to use on the plane (laptop, books, magazines, what ever tickles your fancy) but not large enough to make you come back from your trip with your right bicep looking like you walked around with a 20 lbs. weight in your hand.
A big, big suggestion for traveling is that your handbag has a zipper or some sort of closure. Yes, Goyard’s St. Louis and Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull are comfortable and perfectly sized for travel, but they leave your stuff totally exposed. You risk leaving stuff all over airport security and airplane floors because, you guessed it, there is nothing keeping it in. More so, you become a very easy target for pickpockets at touristy locations.
Then, also brig a clutch. Or, even better, one of those super large wallets with a crossbody chains. You can leave your wallet and carry this inside of your large handbag during the day and simply leave the large handbag at the hotel and whip out the clutch for dinner/night outs.
Even more important than the handbag is everything you need to put in it. Prepare a small bag with essentials such as Tide To Go, PainKillers, Pepto, hand sanitizer, Kleenex and a little sewing kit. None of these things take too much space and you’ll be thankful you have them if you ever need them.
Finally, two essentials you should always carry: a handbag poncho and foldable flats. My favorites are, duhh, Dear Rain and Fit in Clouds.
It doesn’t matter how hard it is raining, if you’ve made it all the way to Paris you will go see the Eiffel Tower no matter what. For rainy days, you’ll be happy to have your handbag poncho to whip out and keep your handbag safe from water damage.
However comfy your shoes are, you’ll always get a little discomfort here and there. This is so especially if you are traveling to the old world, where sidewalks are often… painful. Fit in Clouds flats fold into a tiny pouch and provide a great deal of relief when you just cannot deal with your shoes any more.
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