Pack light – Travel Chic with KIDS
Pack Light – Travel Chic with KIDS
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When we daydream about travel and adventures we are all dressed like princesses out on a romantic adventure.
But, in the real world, we need clothes that work, clothes that function, clothes that wash themselves (Well, we can wish, right?) and clothes that look good. You need to pack light and travel chic. You CAN look great and pack light!
What does that mean, really? It means, you need something that is comfortable, works in the climate, shows very little dirt or wrinkles and can be hand washed in a pinch (or by choice). Worried you will feel frumpy or worse….look frumpy?
Nonsense!! Travel wear is available in all sizes and for all shapes and budgets. AND you can look cute!
Pack Light – Travel Chic with KIDS: Tips for choosing travel pants.
Try REI or other outdoor stores for the latest in casual travel pants. They wash, tend to be wrinkle free, and are comfortable. You can go anywhere on the planet in a classic pair of pants in a classic color. Dress up or down with tops and shoes.
By all means wear jeans! (Hey! That rhymes!) Buy your favorite pair and take them with you. When we are traveling during chilly months, jeans are our ‘go to’. Jeans are common the whole world over! You are sure to find a length and style that will fit into your trip. Jeans go everywhere, too!
Yoga wear isn’t just for yoga anymore! Check out these fun colors and designs. These super comfy styles are fun for the long travel days when you spend hours on a plane or train! Do you have a tween that would love these Paris inspired pants? I do!
Have you heard that the Europeans ‘dress up’ and these casual pants won’t work? NOT TRUE! They do look sharp and snappy but so you can you – they wear casual stuff and look really put together.
Travel Shoes can be the toughest part of packing! You want to look cute and feel good too after miles and miles of walking and hiking!
Pack Light – Travel Chic with KIDS: Tips for Choosing Travel Tops
For tops.. a travel SECRET.
You can buy ‘travel shirts’ from places like Travel Smith and Magellens, and their stuff gets cuter all the time, but the truth is…the secret…you heard it here first……polyester travels. Period. You don’t need a special ‘travel shirt’ for your vacation. Choose your favorite style from your favorite store in polyester and head off into the sunset.
Pack Light – Travel Chic with KIDS: Tips for Choosing Travel Friendly Fabrics
With a little bit of thought and preparation during shopping you can find something that travels well AND looks just fabulous. Here are the rules for the perfect travel fabrics:
Rule number one: It has to be washable.
Whether you wash it in the sink or have someone else do it for you, packing light means washing. Read my post about laundry here for tips!
Say YES to:
Say NO to:
Dry clean only
Lay flat to dry
Rule number two: It has to be fabulous.
If you pack light and you SHOULD, you won’t have your entire wardrobe with you so choose something you like to wear. Choose each item to be something that feels good and looks good.
This is especially important for kids. When you travel with them plan ahead to make things as easy as possible. I learned this the hard way when the kids were little. Once I packed the most adorable and travel friendly outfit which and my son promptly refused to wear. Wonderful. So, rather than fight every single morning and listen to whining and miserable carrying on all day about how that outfit I chose was ‘the devil’ aka scratchy, I just let him wear the same thing over and over again.
(Pssst…..learn from my mistake.)
Rule number three: You have to feel GORGEOUS in this outfit.
Remember how many photos you’ll take of yourself in this outfit. Does it make you look ‘fat’? Does it make you look ‘frumpy’ or *gasp* does it make you feel ‘old’? If it does not only should you NOT pack it and you should donate it to Goodwill. Get that stuff out of the house and don’t even think about wearing it on your fantastic vacation.
Try everything on. If it doesn’t feel amazing and my you feel like you look amazing then it does not make the cut for travel outfit. Be brutal with this exercise. When you get back and see your travel photos – you’ll thank me!
Pack Light -Travel Chic with KIDS: Mix and Match your few pieces to make LOTS of outfits.
Choose a color palette to mix and match.
I like to wear neutral pants so I can wear very colorful tops. I prefer black, jeans, and pants that are ‘dirt’ colored. I also LOVE crazy colors. I love them in art, pottery, and rugs. The only way I get to wear them is to have plain pants. 🙂
Bright colored tops make for some fun photos, too, especially in the dead of winter when things are often dreary.
Choose colors that don’t clash with your travel group.
This might seem like a picky thing to consider, but on the other hand, why NOT make those photographs look amazing? I mean really! You do get to choose. Choose something fabulous and be thrilled with your travel photos. Use them for your Christmas card!
Sometimes families like to match. I once took a photograph for a family on the beach in Hawaii with the sunset behind them. They all had wonderful dark hair and were all wearing white tops. It was stunning. We’ve never gone to that extreme with our planning but more power to you if you can!
Look at how fun this photo is with our colorful raincoats! We were FREEZING in Spain on this dreary drizzly day but boy, we look good. 😉
Choose accessories to feel ready for the evening or a special event.
Scarves, belts, and jewelry all go a long way to making outfits feel different or spiced up. I personally don’t fuss with this stuff. I have so much hanging around my neck – bag, hat strap, camera strap when I travel that a scarf or necklaces just feel in the way. BUT, I realize I’m in the minority.
Lots of people feel happy if they can jazz up their outfits with scarves. It makes them feel like they are wearing something different. My MIL (above in the photo with the blue/green scarf) and my travel BFF (above in the photos ith the pink and blue scarf) feel this way and always travel with scarves. If you love accessories then pack some! They are small and don’t take up much room.
I especially love a hat when I travel. Hats make all hair look amazing and protect yourself from the sun. Don’t let a burn ruin your vacation!
But if you like accessories, but all means pack them. They are lightweight and take up very little room AND make you feel just fabulous.
Pack Light -Travel Chic with KIDS: Consider the Weather.
You can get an average monthly temperatures and rainfall averages at World Weather Online. Then, as the trip gets closer look for the 10 day forecast. Don’t guess about the weather so you can be prepared.
Layers work the best. Plan on wearing everything at the coldest temp and them peel some off as it warms up. This is especially important if you are visiting cities with really different weather – like a coastal town and a mountain visit in the same trip. On the warmest day you only wear the lightest items of clothing.
Umbrella vs Rain jacket
People have strong opinions on this topic, isn’t that interesting? If you are in a crowded city, I highly recommend ditching the umbrella. Using one I’ve had to try really hard to not bump into other people and it made getting around town harder than necessary. While in cities and towns I leave the umbrella at home.
Cheap ponchos are a GREAT thing to carry. They are lightweight, cheap and disposable. I carry them – even if I have a rain jacket because I can toss it on OVER a backpack or camera and keep that stuff dry, too. Bring several so you can ditch them when they tear or are too wet to be easily carried. I realize this isn’t ‘green’ but it is easy. Be extra ‘green’ at home to feel better about choosing easy over ‘green’ when you travel.
The Educational Tourist’s Family Packing List
I like a no nonsense approach to travel clothing and I value comfort and functionality over lots of different outfits on a trip. So, I have outfits A, B, and C and wear them over and over no matter how long or short the trip.
Short Weekend trip? outfits A, B
Long weekend? outfits A, B, C
2 week European vacation? outfits A,B,C,A,B,C,A,B,C….
For example: For our trip to Spain, Gibraltar, and Morocco these are outfits A, B, and C.
Outfit A: purple pants and matching blouse
Outfit B: long sleeved sunscreen shirt and navy pants
Outfit C: Jeans and black and white blouse
Pack Light – Travel Chic: The Educational Tourist’s packing list
3 pants (wear one)
3 tops (wear one)
2 shoes (wear one)
underthings/socks (the number depends on how many days between hotels with laundry – these are machine washed)
Why pack light -travel chic?
Pack light because stuff grows! Have you had this happen? Why is it that the suitcase is too much harder to close when it is time to come home?
Pack light because too much stuff is heavy! Besides worrying about extra fees for luggage that is too heavy you will have to carry that stuff around! Even if it has wheels (do they even make suitcases these days without wheels?) you’ll have to pick it up over the curb many times.
Pack light because you don’t wear all of it anyway. Isn’t that the truth!! LOL! Most people end up wearing only 1/2 of what they bring.
Pack light because old hotels don’t have elevators and you must climb AND carry…
Pack light because subway stations have stairs and you have to climb AND carry all your stuff AND read the map!
Pack light because taxis in other countries can be very small.
Pack light because you pay per bag!
The BEST reason to pack light is….. Packing light because you need room to bring stuff back!
Pack Light -Travel Chic with KIDS: Rethink
Rethink your need for completely new outfits everyday. Only your traveling party will know it anyway. When you travel you seen new people every day! They don’t know you wore that exact same outfit 3 days ago AND if they knew….they would not care.
It is only 10 days/2 weeks out of your life….like maternity clothes…when you are done, you can pack them away and never look at them again! Pack light and travel chic!
Happy and chic travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist