I have learned a lot about packing for vacations over the years. I’ve learned that its easy to pack 2 weeks worth of clothing in a carry on during the summer but far more challenging during the winter due to the amount of layering that is required to keep warm. I also have learned how to keep from accruing those pesky overweight luggage fees (I will give you a hint..leave the majority of your closet at home!) I love love love shoes. Most women do. I think we were programmed that way. No, seriously. Put the words shoe and sale together on a sign in front of any store in the world and I guarantee there will be sea of women gathered in the establishment searching for that perfect shoe in their size. I have a closet full of shoes. I would love to pack them all for vacation but that would be overkill. Instead I have decided that comfort is king when selecting the best footwear for traveling. I wouldn’t be true to my inner fashionista if I said not to try to look stylish during a getaway but practicality must be the deciding factor for footwear especially if the primary mode of transportation during vacation is Pat & Charlie (your feet).
Here are my top 5 tips for packing shoes for your next vacation.
1. Choose old faithful. We all have at least one pair comfortable pair of shoes in our wardrobe. Pick the shoes that are guaranteed to give you at least 8 hours of support for trekking around the city or countryside and plan your outfits around your shoes. I have 3 go to shoes, a pair of flat boots, a pair of sneakers (trainers) and a pair of ballet flats.
2. Say no to sandals for walking around the city. Some people may disagree with this point but allow me to make my case. Reason #1 why you should say no to sandals during a city getaway is comfort. Lots of walking + little support= a recipe for disaster. Reason #2 Did I also mention that wearing sandals in a city is disgusting? Case in point: I went to Las Vegas during the summer a few years ago. I wore a pair of thong sandals from Aldo to navigate my way through the city. Not only were my feet hurting from the lack of support from the shoes, the bottom of my feet were BLACK like tar from walking around town. You would have thought I walked the streets of Las Vegas barefoot from all the filth that had accumulated on the bottom of my shoes and feet throughout the day. I spent what felt like hours sitting on the bathroom counter in my hotel, soaking my feet, trying to scrub the black mask of God knows what off my soles. Let’s say gross in this case would be an understatement. I cringe just to even think about the amount of other people’s DNA I collected during my walk through the Sin City. Since that day I have vowed to never walk a major city with sandals on unless I am going straight from my car to an establishment and back to my car.
3. Say yes to sandals for a tropical retreat. I am all for wearing a cute pair of flat sandals or flip-flops if you are going to a tropical beach destination. It’s practical and let’s be real you probably won’t even wear shoes at all if you are frolicking on the beach all day. I am usually barefoot as soon as I hit the beach because I love the feel of warm sand between my toes and waves crashing up to my knees.
4. Save your heels for the evening. Your feet will thank you. I’ve gone on trips with women who thought it was a good idea to wear their favorite high heels while sightseeing. You may look fabulous in the morning but within a few hours you will be tired of walking. After a while you may end up slowing everyone else down due to discomfort which can be a huge inconvenience. So do everyone a favor and wait for dinner at that fabulous restaurant or head out for a night out on the town to rock those stilettos.
5. Do NOT wait until your vacation to try to break in a new pair of shoes. I learned this lesson the hard way. I had a new pair of ballet flats that I purchased specifically for a trip to California. I figured they were cute and they were flat. Logically they should have been fine to wear. Boy was I wrong! Those things left me with blisters on my ankles and pain at the ball of my foot. I tried adding insoles and cushioning my the back of my ankle with band aids and they still hurt. Those shoes ended up getting nixed by the end of day 2 on that trip. That leads me to my bonus tip: When in doubt, resort to a great pair of sneakers. Those shoes are made for walking! I try to make sure that I pack a pair for every trip in case of emergency.
What are you go to shoes for vacation? What is your worse footwear story? Let me know in the comments below.