by Staff Writer
When you're going on a trip, it can be easy to succumb to the temptation to pack everything you own. Instead, look for clothing and shoes that are appropriate for the destination, weather, activities and unexpected events. When in doubt, choose travel clothing that can be used in a variety of situations or places. This will allow you to pack lighter and travel with ease. As you choose clothing for a trip, resist the urge to pack items you probably won't need.
Pack for the weather. If you'll be traveling in the winter, choose warm layers and a non-bulky jacket; for summer travel, pick lightweight layers and a medium-weight jacket for cooler days. For in-between seasons, pack lightweight items that can be layered based on varying daily temperatures: Tank tops, light T-shirts, sweaters and leggings are good mix-and-match items. Be sure to take a rain shell and a light thermal jacket to use as all-purpose outerwear. Search for weather reports online before you pack to see what your destination will be like.
Choose activity-appropriate clothing. If you plan to spend most of your trip outside, look for travel clothing that will wick moisture away from your body. You might also choose items which can handle extreme stretches and resist tearing, like specially designed outdoor pants; some even zip off at the knee to create shorts. If your vacation will largely involve sightseeing and shopping, however, choose comfortable, stylish travel clothing that will be easy to move in for hours at a time -- nothing tight or binding. Remember to bring modest clothing if you plan on visiting any religious sites, like cathedrals.
Expect the unexpected. Bring at least one evening outfit for your trip. Even if you don't anticipate going to high-end restaurants or clubs, pack clothes that are suitable for a nice occasion. That way, if an unexpected opportunity comes your way, you will be able to accept without reservations. Choose an outfit that won't wrinkle easily and, for women, bring a light wrap or scarf that can be used in place of a jacket.
Choose comfortable footwear. Almost all travel includes a fair amount of walking, so pack shoes that will be feel good even after hours of sightseeing. Look for shoes that are specifically designed for walking; sneakers with a good arch support and cushioned sole are best. Flip-flops and sandals tend to be too flat and can cause severe foot pain after a day of walking. A good option is athletic-inspired shoes, which are more lightweight and streamlined as wellas stylish. Bring one pair of evening-appropriate shoes that you can wear for special events.
When in doubt, don't pack anything you wouldn't wear at home. Those impulse-buy skinny jeans are not going to be any more comfortable when you travel.
Bring extra socks and underwear, especially if you are traveling in a wet climate, because they might get wet on an excursion. They are also a hassle to replace when you're away from home.