Bianca Panunto, Junior
It has come to my attention that a few of you are lucky enough to be going on the upcoming Europe trips this year. I must say, yes, I’ll be sad to see you go for a week or so, but mostly I am jealous of how much fun you’ll all be having while galavanting through Europe with no cares and no monotonous school days ahead of you.
Packing for your trip may have crossed your mind, (probably because your mom is ALREADY nagging you about it) and I know there are a few crazies out there who absolutely love packing for trips... But, for me, packing is a real struggle-- I go through my room and pick out everything I want to pack, then spend hours on each item contemplating if I even really need it. While you never know when the boy or girl of your dreams will sweep you off your feet, you know you need to look PERFECT just in case.
I am here to guide you through the painstaking hours you may spend deciding which items you’ll bring to represent you on the trip you’ve been dreaming of since you were a child.
The Loveable Little Black Dress
Everyone says that the LBD "transcends fashion" but, seriously, it’s a must-have for any trip. Not only is the LBD easy to dress up or down but it’s timeless, trendy, and takes up little room. If you’re anything like me, you’re already sitting on your suitcase trying to zip it up, so you will definitely want to take out a few of those tops and replace it with your LBD. I am confident you’ll be able to pull out your LBD at any point of your trip and wow your group members with your ability to stay cool and look even better despite the fact that you might be lost and late for your lunch meeting with the chaperones.
The hardest part of your packing experience: deciding what tops to pack. I know that you want to bring them all-- trust me, I’ve been there. Sadly, this just isn’t practical. You now have to pick the few tops that you want to wear the most, depending on where it is you’re going.
If you’re traveling to France or Northern Italy I’d suggest longer sleeves to pair with your favorite jeans. If you must bring short sleeved shirts, you should definitely bring 1-2 cardigans just in case. The weather can be pretty hit-or-miss early April. If you’re traveling to Southern Italy, I would suggest warmer-weather clothes (so yes! you finally get to break out the short sleeves!).
No matter where your travels take you, definitely pack lightweight tops. You don’t want to be the one person trudging behind everyone else because your suitcase is too heavy. Also, I suggest packing few tops that can be reworn later on the trip. For instance, the timeless white button down will be great in all weather and you can definitely wear it more than once on your trip. Anyways, bringing fewer tops increases bag space for all your accessories, new and old!
Not only are flats practical and comfortable, but they can also be a very cute addition to your European style. I can assure you, whether you will be visiting the Palace of Versailles or Vatican City, you will be doing a lot of walking. With all that walking you will want to keep your feet happy.
The best way to do this while still looking chic is to bring your favorite pair of flats with you. Your group mates will turn green with envy as you pull out your cute flats instead of the boring, old sneakers they had planned for the day. Don’t get me wrong, sneakers are what I would wear most days, but spicing things up a bit with your flats will definitely leave you the trendiest in your tour that day.
Accessories should be your main priority while packing your suitcase. They are the necessary items that will tie all of the things discussed above together. Definitely have one versatile scarf and a cute watch. (Sidenote: I recently got a watch at Francesca's and I don’t think I’ve ever loved an accessory more.)
In Europe, I suggest you don’t bring your phone everywhere, just to be safe, so a watch will be really important so you don’t miss any important meet up times. Bring plenty of earrings and always have a statement piece on hand.
Your favorite purse will be your best friend while in Europe but make sure you’re careful with it. Pickpockets are especially vicious in Venice, and I recommend keeping a tight grip on your bag and a watchful eye at all times. Always carry hand sanitizer, your wallet, and extra accessories in your bag.
I know I already talked about accessories, but sunglasses are so important that they deserve their own category. My rule of thumb is to never leave the house without your sunnies, so how could you justify traveling internationally without the perfect pair? Not only is eye protection essential, even on cloudy days, but so is your look. Any outfit can be easily tied together with the perfect pair of shades. I happen to be partial to my classic black Ray Bans, but any pair of shades is a must-have in your bag.
The best part about sunglasses is the fact that they can be as crazy as you want. Many people like to stick to a classic tortoise shell or black frame, however you can branch out and go with something new for your Europe look. Big and round, or cat eyed and pointy--your sunglasses are the perfect addition to any outfit you pick out on your European adventure.
Most importantly, no matter what you decide to bring, definitely bring a positive attitude. You don’t want to be the grumpy student that ruins the trip for the other kids and the teachers. Always put on your smile when you pick out your outfit every morning.
P.S. I expect pictures to see how my tips helped out!