Mark and I just got back from Barcelona and northern Italy. We toured museums, oggled magnificent architecture, met friends, and hiked around Lake Como. And of course, we shopped! Here are 5 tips I gathered for a summer trip to awesome shopping destinations like these. And I’ll be sharing a few gorgeous images, such as my future home 😉 on Lake Como (see above).
Here are the 5 shopping vacation packing tips:
If I wanted something for the trip, I figured that I could find a much more stylish option in Spain and Italy. That way I could really get have fun shopping (with a little extra to spend!) And just as planned, I found an Italian-made bright yellow dress for 13 euro our second day in Barcelona! I wore it everywhere.
Shoes are normally our heaviest, bulkiest items. I recommend packing two pairs and wearing a third on the plane. If you’ll be hiking, you’ll need sneakers. After that, one pair of low-heeled, super comfy sandals – nude works fabulously! – and a high-heeled pair are plenty sufficient. Chunky heels – whether high or low – make navigating on cobblestones much easier.
Pack a skirt or shorts that you can wear with lots of tops. Once I got to Spain I noticed that one of my dresses was ripped and another – dry clean only! – got an olive oil stain. I ended up wearing the same blue skirt with multiple tops. And it worked beautifully! Come to think of it, why not take two of these skirts/pairs of shorts?
While you may want to cut down on clothes and shoes, go ahead and go crazy with accessories. I brought all of my large, dangly earrings and some scarves. They added a touch of style to even the most basic outfit.
And slip in a couple of fabric totes. Mark and I ended up using these as carry-ons when we ran out of space in our luggage. We put our regular carry-ons in them and stuffed in more clothes. oohoo!
A hat is a great skin protector – and look stylish. However, be sure the hat fits before buying! I soon realized that mine couldn’t withstand even the smallest gust of wind. I was constantly flinging my hands up to my head – and often hitting it, owch! – or chasing after it down the street.
I learned this great trick from a saleswoman in Barcelona. If you can turn your head upside down and the hat doesn’t fall off, you’re good to go. Or, you can just get an adjustable hat with a drawstring inside.
It’s all about WHITE! White is simply what Italians wear in summer. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stand out too much while traveling abroad. As I mentioned, I stopped spending money on clothes a while before our trip. As a result, I had lots of black and navy, reflecting a strong (former) shopping tendency.
Fortunately, I did discover I had packed a white tee and an ivory-colored dress. Then I found a beautiful Audrey Hepburn-ish all-white dress in Bellagio – 30% off!
Now if your vacation includes a shopping destination in Europe, my last suggestion is that you do so in mid-July. It’s sale season – Rebajas! SALDI! – and people haven’t yet abandoned the city to go on their vacation.
I hope you benefit from my recent mistakes, I mean shopping vacation packing tips. And I hope you are enjoying a fantastic summer!