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How to Pack For Your European Summer Vacation

Traveling to a new, or even a familiar and beloved destination, is always a cause for joy. The only less joyful element is the process of packing, especially when you’re travelling to a different country, or even a continent. There are style rules to follow, which are different in every culture, and there are also weather conditions to take into consideration, as for instance Paris weather vastly differs from that in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Therefore, whether your plane ticket to one of Europe’s capitals is already booked or you’re still torn between different ones, there are certain essential packing rules you should know. You want to achieve both stylishness and comfort, and these tips will certainly get you there.

Start with great footwear 
As a tourist, even if you plan on renting a car, there are places that you will want to see on foot, which is why packing comfortable and chic footwear is paramount. In Europe, the athleisure trend is still highly popular, so even if you’re not a fan of sneakers, bring a pair. Tennis shoes such as Adidas Stan Smith are incredibly comfortable and versatile, and thanks to athleisure you can even wear them with sundresses, chic trousers and pleated skirts. A pair of flat open-toe sandals is also a must – not only are they stylish, but they also allow the feet to breathe, which can be a life-saver during hot days. Finally, you want to bring along something in a heel as well – block heel mules, as well as white slingbacks, are having a moment so they will make for a great evening choice.

A splash of color 
Prime colors and pastels have dominated the runways and now they’re everywhere, so don’t be afraid of packing a multitude of hues. However, make sure that your pieces – whether they’re skirts, culottes, regular tees, or breathable blouses - work well together so you don’t end up with incomplete outfits. It would be best if you created the outfits before you pack, and when you’re there, you can simply put them on without pondering too much. In addition to bold hues, patterns such as paisley and florals are some of the most popular ones, but in the spirit of not taking risks, choose a kaftan in those patterns, just to avoid any clashing.

Embrace athleisure
This trend is booming in Europe, and if you want to blend in, you will definitely need a pair of chic, yet comfortable side-striped trousers and basic shirts, as well as the aforementioned sneakers. We’re looking at a very sporty and nonchalant summer, so in order to not look like a tourist, embrace your casual side.

Matters of practicality
Pack fewer items than you initially thought you’d need. If you’ve already selected items that mesh well together in the sense that you can create multiple outfits using the same items, you don’t need a complete outfit for each day as you’ll be able to mix and match. Plus, many hotels offer laundry service, so even if you’re planning on a longer stay, you will be able to reuse your clothes.

Classy evenings
When you go to a new place, you will most certainly want to experience the night life, or at least go out to dinner in an upscale restaurant. Perhaps you’ll want to see a play or attend a concert, which definitely calls for chic and polished. There are tons of choices of gorgeous cocktail dresses that you can pick and choose from, as you can never go wrong with an elegant cocktail dress, no matter which evening event you’re attending. Micro bags are one of the hottest trends of the summer season, and this is your perfect opportunity to flaunt one.

The safety net
Now, aside from summer staples, you should definitely pack a jacket or blazer in a neutral hue – you never know when the weather will decide to play with you, so make sure you stay warm, and just to be on the safe side, a camel trench coat is a definite recommendation.

Love your skin
The planes, the change of climate, it all takes a toll on the skin, so don’t think of experimenting with skincare products. Bring your own skincare arsenal; the one that you know works for you. Only if you’re absolutely certain that these exact products will be available in stores at your destination, you can leave without them.

Finally, leave some room in your suitcase as you are bound to be tempted to make additional purchases –it’s inevitable. Therefore, in order to be able to close your suitcase when the time comes to go back home, leave at least thirty percent of it available.

Article by Peter, a lifestyle and travel writer at Men-Ual and Ivania's Mode magazine, living between the UK and Australia.