I haven’t travelled much before: Japan was my first overseas experience. And I definitely made some mistakes in packing for the trip–errors I will not make again.
1. I didn’t bring any heels.
I knew we’d be walking all over the place. And the Japanese are short. And my cousin we stayed with is (maybe?) 5′ tall…I wanted to be comfortable and avoid towering over people more than necessary. Good ideas, but it meant that a lot of the time, I was frustrated with my footwear and didn’t really feel like myself when we went out to dinner.
2. I wore things that were appropriate for the weather, but that I wouldn’t typically wear out.
In the summer, I wear a lot of vintage ’60s and ’70s wrap skirts for things like running to the store, gardening, etc. But they’re not really what I wear for going anywhere else. It was also too disgustingly hot for jeans, and I’m a huge fan of rolled-up jeans with cute shoes. So again, I didn’t really feel like myself.
3. I forgot to bring my sunglasses.
Squinting is never attractive.
4. I brought a modern, practical bag instead of the teeny vintage things I normally carry.
Yes, it was practical–great for traipsing around a foreign country during the day with maps, camera, bus passes, passport, bottled water, sunscreen, etc. Less great for popping down the street to the store or heading out for a quick bite to eat. Next time, I will bring a vintage purse for evening adventures.
5. I overpacked, but with things I didn’t really want to wear.
Things I did right: remembered to bring–and apply–sunscreen so I didn’t get burned. Had multiple lipstick options, which helped me feel at least a little like myself. Brought several cute sundresses, which I love. Reminded myself that none of these people are ever going to see me again, so who cares what I look like, anyway? Stop being vain!