You are ready to go overseas, perhaps to a country you have never visited before, but hopefully you have read about it to got acquainted with customs and habits of its people. Not knowing what to expect the first time outside our familiar environment, my feeling tells me to “blend in” as much as possible. Obviously if I plan a trip to Japan I am not going to wear a kimono, or for a trip to India a colorful sari will not look good on me, but I will wear comfortable clothes that I can coordinate or layer according to any occasions and weather.
Shoes are a dead give away of the traveler’s origin. I purposely leave out the unattractive “tank shoes” those tennis/running shoes every tourist wear. However, traveling with new shoes is painful, leave them home until they are well-worn. Pack instead comfortable leather shoes, polished well, flat, loafer or low hill (for women), to let the feet breathe and avoid headaches. If feet hurt, head hurts too.
About the unexpected – One never knows what will happen when traveling. What if you lose your luggage, or the traveler sitting next to you in the plane spills food on you, can you get dressed when you arrive at destination?
In your carry-on pack a couple of changes of clothes including intimate apparel and toiletries until your luggage is found. In your carry-on put a list of everything you have in the checked-in luggage. It will be easier to claim the content if the luggage is totally lost and easier to buy some of the items wherever you will be.
Carry more than one credit card, just for your own protection and your bank’s phone numbers.
Always carry a photocopy of your ID or passport.
Carry phone numbers and locations of your country’s Embassy or Consulate.
Folding versus rolling – Roll tight and neat every piece of clothes you intend to take, making sure not to create creases and align side-by-side to each other, until the luggage is filled. This is a proven method to get more pieces in and never have wrinkled clothes at arrival point. Fashion doesn’t have to be painful. Thanks to today’s designers choice of fabrics and style, we can achieve a star look regardless of the class of travel.
Don’t stand out – Watching films is like watching the world as a spectator through a window, we can observe poor travel customs and learn from them. In the movie-comedy Monte Carlo a friend of Selena Gomez (main protagonist) impersonating rich and famous Cornelia, takes her stiletto shoes off in the street while visiting Paris by bus ending up walking bare feet. That is not a proper behavior, stiletto shoes are good for sitting down events and not for traveling, but also in many countries is not acceptable to be bare feet in the street, if you are a woman.
Wearing lot of gold jewelry can make you a target for theft and personal attacks. How would the viewer know that your gold jewelry is real or custom? Don’t offer the opportunity.
Smart dressing – Unless you are going to hiking, fishing, biking, or some sort of sport trip where only clothes dedicated to that sport are needed, traveling in cities requires a different kind of planning. It’s easier not to be spotted as tourist when traveling abroad wearing smart clothes. It is actually a better way to receive a higher quality service, or upgrades in planes and hotels.
My travel to Puglia, Italy with a group is coming up April 15, 2013 – http://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-2/ (click here to get info on the trip). I will gather all the local participants in a restaurant to advice them on does and don’ts of our trip together and I will do the same with a Skype call with the distant participants. Traveling prepared avoids a lot of headaches. Ciao,
Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina will host two trips a year to Italy with the intention of showing Italy with the eyes of a designer born in those parts and let people experience the ”wheel of emotions” don’t even know exist. She will take her groups to the non-commercial Italy, areas not beaten down by massive tourism. Valentina will guide the tours through art, architecture, food, shopping and special adventures organized for people who want to live it up! Check out her books on