Pack Naturally

deltamagazine_packed_suitcaseHave you ever found yourself unpacking a suitcase when you arrive on vacation and wondering, What was I thinking?. I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately (the fun is coming to an end! After this weekend, I’m grounded till September) and in so doing, I’ve found myself making some packing mistakes I’d like to share.

Similarly to how I sometimes shop (for the imaginary person I want to be and the circumstances of that imaginary person’s life!) my packing habits leave much to be desired. I am known for coming up with an idea about how the weather will be on the trip (ie. I’m going to California! Sunshine, here I come!) and not actually checking. (Ie: Northern California in early September is actually freezing, and this hoodie is in every single photo I have from the trip).

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always pack a clutch, no matter where you’re going! this way, you can save your shoulders from your heavy purse when you go out at night or hang by the pool.

Another issue is how things are going to actually look. I might have a dress hanging in my closet with the tags on, because it’s still a hair too small. But if I’m headed to Miami, the dress is too. Then I arrive and hope for the best–only to find myself forced to wear some other stupid dress I packed because news flash, this one is still too small.

A few things to keep in mind: always check the weather. If you are going somewhere notoriously hot like the Caribbean, you might need to be prepared for rain. Pack a “just in case” cardigan that goes with everything, so you can throw it on in a gust of wind or even pack it into your purse should the AC be cranked too high at dinner.

Also, try everything on according to itinerary. If you have, say, one formal dinner and two days of casual sightseeing planned, pack a fancy cocktail dress and some shoes that will work in your destination city. Pack two outfits that you always feel good in and can walk around in, and then, if you tend toward the whimsical, throw in one extra dress or two fun separates that you can sub in should you feel especially inspired.

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a guazy, floral sundress like this one is a great choice for most trips. it packs up small, pairs expertly with black tights and a cardigan for cooler climates, and works in warm places for dinner with heels or museum-hopping in a pair of brogues.

Finally, remember your feet! My feet swelled up so badly after my trip to Miami, I sent my physical therapist into a tailspin and have been mandated to wear those old lady compression socks on all future flights. Make sure when packing that you toss in one pair of shoes that is very comfortable and not the least bit hideous. Black or nude Ferragamo Vara flats always serve this purpose for me. Then, when your tired feet have had enough, they can find their way back to Comfyville and not ruin your outfit.

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hands-down best travel shoe. all colors, $425, nordstrom.com

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