In June, I will be spending two weeks in Europe, and I’ve already started packing my outfits. Last week, I received a fantastic question in my inbox. Written by Cheryl J.

Hello, Kate In July, I’m traveling to Paris. I took note of your 2016 trip and am taking notes from your blog post. Have you ever shared a photo of what you wore in July in Paris? Perhaps you could offer some advice on what has worked best for you in terms of packing for trip. Simply inquisitive. I’m grateful. Cathy J.

I appreciate you asking Cheryl! I wholeheartedly agree that one should pack as little as possible when traveling. Limiting the amount of clothing I bring is important to me, and I’ve mastered the art of carefully packing all the garments I’ll need for two to three weeks into a single carry-on luggage.

I follow a lot of travelers on Instagram, and many of them are poised in stunning clothing while gazing out into breathtaking scenery with their backs turned. Although the pictures are excellent and stunning, I’m just not that sophisticated. My top priority while traveling on a budget and seeking an experience is comfort, but I also want to appear nice when I’m out and about in a new city.

My attitude is that it’s foolish to bring outfits just to seem cute if they are completely uncomfortable. Be wiser than that; bring clothing that not only looks beautiful but also makes you feel good all day. What I think is crucial is as follows:

COMPACT TRAVEL HAT In order to protect my skin while traveling, this adventurer always makes sure to pack a hat—usually two. When I’m outside all day, I don’t enjoy the sun in my eyes or on my face. In the summer, I spend the majority of my days walking many miles while seeing historical buildings, strolling through narrow alleyways, and relaxing in cafes or biergartens.

Hats are a need for me; they don’t take up much room, but they can be a bit difficult to pack, so here’s how I do it. I deliberately wedge the hats into the middle of my carry-on bag, stuffing the crowns with socks or undergarments and using other clothes to support and shield the brims. Not just for sun protection, but also because every women looks adorable in a hat and sunglasses, I advise taking at least one hat!

CONSCIOUS KNIT DRESSES When I spend my days walking around town, standing in art galleries, or stopping by shops, I bring a few soft stretchy dresses that are both elegant and comfy. A fantastic travel outfit transitions well for dinner in the evening at a café when you add jewelry. I’ll carry three or four knit dresses because they roll up so easily.

I suggest buying at websites for athletic apparel like Athleta or Pategonia since they offer high-tech fabrics that are quite comfy. Bring travel attire that won’t stick to you in odd places or irritate your skin by rubbing against it.

AFFORDABLE SWEATERS In the summer, the weather in Europe is erratic. One day is sunny, the next is cloudy, and summertime light rains are frequent. I never really need much more than a thin sweater when there is a threat of rain (and small umbrella). I bring two thin sweaters or one thin sweater and a thin jacket for my vacation, and I normally wear one of them on the plane because I frequently get cold during flights.

We ladies adore our cute shoes, so it can be difficult to live without them, but you have to force yourself to do it. I try to just bring three pairs of shoes, and no more if two of them are sandals. I carry one or two pairs of walking sandals, a pair of adorable closed-toe sneakers (you could also wear ballet flats), and a pair of evening shoes with a short heel (which I only wear once or twice to dinner and could probably live without.)

The most crucial consideration is comfort, but style doesn’t have to be sacrificed. Invest in some nice walking sandals and some adorable, comfy shoes because you’ll wear those 90% of the time! I recently ordered another pair of the white travel shoes after wearing out my first pair, about which I mentioned in a previous post.

Final Advice:

– Maintain a limited color palette for your complete wardrobe so you can mix and match items. I often bring separates in black, white, and gray with a pop of accent color, like red or pink.

– If you go on everyday outings, think about bringing a small backpack instead of a handbag. I’ve discovered that many Europeans also carry backpacks, so I feel more at home when I do.

– Refrain from bringing more than the bare minimum. Avoid overpacking. Take only what you really need because you’ll likely be hauling your suitcase up flights of stairs, through cobblestone streets, or into a tiny elevator.

– Instead of a hotel, think about renting an apartment. One of the reasons I use Airbnb accommodations is that I can do laundry in the middle of my trip, allowing me to pack only one carry-on bag and use everything twice.

When I travel to Europe, I always bring the following items with me in addition to clothing and toiletries: an international adaptor with USB, a portable charger, a travel camera, a fold-up tote (for trips to the market, souvenirs, or separating dirty clothes), foam earplugs, headphones, an umbrella, an eye mask, zip-top bags for toiletries, ibuprofen and antacid, protein bars, sunscreen, and a digital copy of my passport.

You may find my favorite travel camera, eye mask, and other items in my Amazon shop , which I previously listed as my needs for flying.

If you have any further inquiries, please contact me! Please share any information regarding your must-have travel items; I’d love to hear it!

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