Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Relax: Vacations are NOT Supposed to be Stressful

I'm busy planning our fantastic vacation to France and Italy. My problem is that I am an over-planner. I want everything to go perfectly. I can feel myself slipping into nervousness because I want it to be great. My problem is that if I don't calm down I will focus on the small glitches rather than the whole experience.

Here's my new dilemma--how much do I actually need to pack? I want to pack light but not be without anything.

So far, you guys have been great with suggestions. I've plugged in restaurants and little itinerary changes to make the best of our time.

Help me focus on the good and not be so anxious that I ruin everything. Cross your fingers, people!


DG said...

Europe is tricky, especially if you want to pack things that look a little chic and citified (I suspect part of the reason Americans look like such yobs is that it's easier to toss a track suit and running shoes into a suitcase and be done with it than actually, you know, worry about matching clothes to the occasion and setting). My suggestion: pack everything in one color palette (black is a winner for so many reasons...you're not going in the summer, so you won't really feel overheated wearing it) and keep your shoes to two pairs: one that is comfortable for walking and standing for hours (I like mary jane-type things) and one that is a little dressier. If you really want to go light, get a nicer pair of mary jane-ish shoes and have that double for everything. But nice-ish/comfortable/potentially dressy walking shoes are damned difficult to find. Pack basic, interchangeable outfits, think separates. Add dressiness and color with jewelry and scarves, which weigh very little. If you pack things that can be handwashed, you can extend 4 outfits to a week. Of course, this presumes you don't care about being remotely trendy. Trendy takes either more ingenuity or bigger suitcases.

Unless there are beauty products you cannot live without, a trial size of the basics will get you by (and that gives you a nice excuse to try out the local products, which can be fab and fun).

Cladeedah said...

Good advice from DG. I would also suggest layering. I tend to pack multiple lightweight tees and then just one or two cardigans or zip-ups. Add a pair of jeans and a pair of dark pants to your bag and you're good to go. You will definitely not regret packing light. Is it going to be cold? If so, make sure u have a cute coat. All of your pictures will likely feature only the coat if u have to wear it every day.

Bethany said...

Thanks for the good advice! I'm trying to limit myself to a carry on with lots of space for souvenirs, handbags, shoes, etc. so I need to pack super light.

DG said...

Remember, too, that the postal service is your friend. If your souveniers are not particularly fragile and not too heavy, chuck them in the mail so you don't have to lug them around.

Bethany said...

How expensive is the post? I'm worried that it would be really expensive.

At this point, we're leaning toward checking one bad, leaving lots of space, so that we can take back souvenirs. I'm worried that one carry-on a piece will not be enough for 2 weeks.

What do you think?