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Solo Travel Light but Look Good. Sounds like a challenge? Surprises can range from sudden weather changes to broken zippers or even finding what you packed will not work for the active trip you planned.
It can be a real struggle to know how to pack light to save and have less luggage to drag around. I really see this when I get to a far away train station with no working elevator! To make it even worse, how is it possible to go through lots and lots of time zones and climates and not look like a ship wreck!
Solo Travel Light but Look Good: Tip 1:
Use color to be chic even on a small budget.
Many women like to wear black. The good news is that it travels well even if you spill your coffee on the plane! To introduce a fashion look at no more cost, add a second color. The best way? Place it close to your face by having a bright or primary color in a blouse or jacket. My personal preference is fuchsia or a deep red.
An added benefit? It photographs well!
Solo Travel Light but Look Good: Tip 2:
You call them sneakers? I call them “space stealers”. Worse yet? As each of us “hoofs” around the Left Bank in Paris, it will not be a fit.
If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your sneakers languishing back at home, wear them on your flights. Of course, when there is a high security alert, you may have to juggle and dance on one foot to take them off and on again to get in and out of the gate for each flight.
I fell in love with ballet flats in bright colors. They can easily go from sightseeing to dinner. I have even worn them while I had a leisurely visit to my hotel’s health club. One life saving tip: On a trip to Lisbon, climbing the awesomely high cobblestone streets, I found on rainy days just getting to the top was almost impossible. I came up with a cheap and easy solution! I popped into a shop and purchased a pack of chewing gum. Moments later, my flats had skid-free soles, and I was on my way.
My very favorite ballet flat
Solo Travel Light but Look Good: Tip 3:
Leave the fanny pack at home since it shouts “I am not chic” all over the world! It also is a good way to attract pickpockets. They will see you as a good target likely to have travel funds stuffed inside your pouch for shopping.
I like small purses that can be worn around the neck or under the arm. They are hard to swipe and look more stylish. This will also give you the chance to add a pop of color. If you get one that holds a smartphone, passport, cash and keys, you will have your hands free to snap selfies at the Eiffel Tower.
Solo Travel Light but Look Good: Tip 4:
Make a multi-colored scarf your travel mate.
At home, I don’t often wear scarves. However, on travel, I fine they are great to add style and for practical uses. In Cambodia, I found my new “wing man”, a $20 vibrant silk scarf. It now goes with me through out the world!
- Wear scarves for style.
- Use scarves for head and/or shoulder covering in houses of worship or other buildings where local customs require it. While some public landmarks offer a “loaner” shawl or wrap skirt, I like to bring my own.
- Loose the chill in arctic air conditioning with a large scarf that can be a kind of cover up.
- Don’t pack a belt. Just twirl the scarf, and tie it at your waist. Even bulky winter jackets and tops will look good that way.
- My favorite way to use a scarf is to hide my money belt! That way in shops or restaurants, I can quickly get to my cash and credit cards, but no one else can.
Solo Travel Light but Look Good: Tip 5:
Make it easy to go from day to night.
The best bet is to pack gold or other metallic shoes either flats or strappy sandals and small purses. I have found that a secret benefit is that these flashy metallic surfaces are easy to clean and don’t show dirt or much wear and tear. Lastly, they come in a wide range of prices. If you only are using them for yearly trips, shop sales or budget shops for a new pair before you leave home. With all shoes, be sure to break them in over the week prior to your travel.
Take silk blouses or synthetic knock-off’s as they look elegant.
I found here in the United States that silk or silk-like Indian kurti blouses had the right look to go into the night. (They are also great to for avoiding too much sun.) While I have read that rolling clothes to pack them reduces wrinkles, I can’t yet make that work.
Some Closing Updated Packing “Secrets”:
My goal in this blog has been to celebrate packing light and giving my personal advise as to what to be sure to leave at home. That has been one of my lifelong passions. This started for me as a teenager heading for a summer to volunteer in the dual island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. I took only a small/overnight bag with me. Luckily for me, it was a warm climate where my work didn’t require dressing up.
- Socks: Why? If you are in a malaria zone or simply a tropical spot where you must dodge mosquitoes, this will be a life saver. This is also key if you will visit places of worship, homes or public monuments where you must remove your shoes.
- Bathing suit: Even if you don’t swim, you will need this if your hotel or spas requires it for their Jacuzzi/hot tub.
- Cream rinse: While many larger hotel chains or high-end properties have an array of toiletries, cream rinse is often missing.