For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.
For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.

My Quick Start Guide To Travelling In Style

travelling in style

It’s around seven weeks now until we head back to Europe and it is safe to say that I’m very excited. I’m absolutely in planning mode, especially when it comes to the clothes I want to take with me. In fact, I think I could just about pack, if it wasn’t for the fact that I kind of need to dress myself between now and then.

But I’ve gotta tell you, I wasn’t always this organised. In fact for some of our early trips I did a disastrous job of packing. Too many just in case items. Not enough cohesive outfits. No thought to what we might be doing while we were travelling. It was a packing nightmare.

You won’t be shocked to learn that my approach (or lack thereof) also resulted in a style nightmare. Which is seriously the last thing you want when you love visiting super stylish France.

While I’ve worked hard to improve my packing game over the years, I know that many women reading this will relate to the former me.

Let’s face it. Despite the massive amount of packing advice available on the Internet**, it can be just plain hard to pack in a way that is stylish, yet practical enough to withstand the rigours of travel. And this seems to hold true regardless of whether you are travelling an hour away or heading to the other side of the planet.

To assist you in travelling as stylishly as possible, I’ve put together a quick and universal guide to help ensure that you always look the part while you are on the road.

My Quick Start Guide To Travelling In Style

  • Get clear on where you are going and what you are doing while you are travelling. This will allow you to plan and make decisions accordingly.
  • Start with shoes. Once you know what you’ll be doing, start packing around your shoe choices. Fancy dinners. You’ll probably want heels. Stacks of walking. Don’t forget to pack your Stan Smiths.
  • On the topic of shoes, to save on weight, consider multi-tasking footwear. For instance, flat ankle boots can be great for walking as well as dinner. And they are versatile enough to wear with skirts as well as pants.
  • When it comes to clothing, apart from co-ordinating your outfits around your shoes, pick a colour palette and stick to it. Three colours – perhaps two neutrals and an accent colour – usually guarantee success.
  • Always remember the golden packing rule. If you don’t wear it at home, you’re unlikely to wear it while you are away. Our body shapes, our preferences and the colours that suit us don’t magically change when we land in another location.
  • Having said that, do consider what style might be appropriate for your destination. Your fabulous black blazer might not be so special in a resort setting.
  • Before you make your final packing decisions, think about your items as outfits. If each item doesn’t match with at least two other pieces, consider whether it is worthy of your valuable packing space.
  • Pack travel friendly clothing. Contemplate how comfortable your choices will be. And especially consider how creased your clothes might get. No one looks great when their outfit is crushed. And I don’t know about you, but I find ironing a dreadful waste of precious vacation time. (Let’s be honest, I find ironing less than fun at the best of times.)
  • Finally, avoid many of the ‘tips for travellers’. As a rule, they make you stand out as a tourist, and therefore make you a target for pick-pockets. High visibility gear – by way of example – is neither stylish or necessary.

Do you have any great tips for travelling in style? If so, please make sure you share them in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

** The advice on the Internet also includes the numerous packing posts I’ve published here on Distant Francophile. As a starting point, you might like to check out this piece I wrote on the ultimate packing mistake or alternatively consider Claire’s advice from her multiples of two packing plan if you need more tips.


Photo Credit – Carla Coulson 2015

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