red coat

Packing for Paradise: Realistic Tips for the Impractical Traveller

Hello all! Sorry for my extended hiatus! Since posting last, I have finished exams, been to Haiti and back, and roadtripped across the country. I return to you a veritable wealth of opinions (however faulty) and I will begin at the beginning: how to pack for a 7+ day trip out of the country. Whether you’re sailing down the blue danube or charting your own course through the Andes, here are some tips for your consideration.

1. Sleep on a Palette.

DSC_0020DSC_0015For a 9 day trip, you can choose two palettes (in case of mood swings). As a base for each, I found a silk scarf that would pretty much match all the clothes. For you, this might be a hat, shoes, or funky necklace, I just like a scarf because it is so versatile (hair? turban? bracelet? belt? neck?).

2. Eliminate Shoes!

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Can you guess which is which?

I think this is always the hardest part of packing, and usually am staring at 6 different pairs that I want to cram into my suitcase. In the case of a tropical destination, I think you can pare it down to three (or a tight four if you can’t live without flip flops)!
1. adventure shoes- perfect for the jungle trek or dusty road
2. practical beachwear- these are shoes you can walk in, but also wouldn’t mind wearing to the beach (generally some kin to Keds works well)
3. fancy, but not too fancy- these are the shoes you could wear to a nice dinner but also out shopping without cramps (for a sunnier venue, I’d recommend something like black espadrilles or nicer flats).

3. Be versatile: In the above picture I included:

— 3 pairs of shoes
— 3 pairs of pants (1 MUST be jeans.. in Haiti pants are more acceptable than shorts, but depending on your destination, this is very easily variable)
— 2 dresses (one fancy *just in case*)
— 3 scarves
— 2 skirts (which can double as coverups)
— 1 blazer
— 1 cardigan
— 6 shirts
— 1 tank top
This is a lot of different types of clothing so that you can mix and match for any situation. You only have options if you give yourself options. It’s great to accessorize and wake up old looks by throwing in new sunglasses or switching up your scarf (at least that’s what Audrey did).

4. Don’t forget the basics

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(of course I added a scarf)

Absolute musts: a pair of jeans, a white shirt (of some kind), and a light jacket (rain or otherwise). With these three items, you can virtually fit in anywhere that’s casual.

Further, though not pictured, make sure to remember:

  • underwear
  • towel (if you bring a cheap one this can be left in the hotel and its place stuffed with souvenirs!
  • Pajamas!

5. Tag, You’re It!

When you’re putting the finishing touches on that otherwise neutral suitcase. Spice up the outside! This isn’t even style advice– this is to save you embarrassing encounters at baggage claim. About a year back, I found this darling luggage tag. As you can see it’s made its rounds with me, but I have no trouble identifying my bag.

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Hope these tips were helpful! Good luck zipping those suitcases, and more on outfits in Haiti to come! I’m too lazy to list where all the clothes are from, so message me in the comments if you’re curious, and I’ll be sure to respond.