Packing light for Europe travel #2

| August 6, 2010
rainy day in versailles france

A rainy day in Versailles – Still breathtaking!

Shoes are always a problem. They take up a ton of room and given the way we travel, one pair usually will not cut it. For some reason, I don’t like wearing shiny new running shoes on vacation. I feel like they say “tourist” almost as loudly as a Hawaiian print shirts and seer sucker shorts with black business socks.

rainy day in rome italy

A rainy day in Rome – Who is complaining?

When we went to Rome, Paris and London a couple of years ago in early May, it rained many days but not all day. We would generally wake up to wet streets and throughout the day a storm or two would roll over and dump a fair amount of water on us. We stayed near the city centers in all three places, which put us within walking distance of just about everything. That was good and bad. Bad in that we almost always got caught in the rain at some point. We did have umbrellas being the good planners we are, but our feet…well…got soaked. And things don’t dry overnight in these conditions!

rainy day in london england

A rainy day in London – Time for waterproof shoes!

The beauty of Switzerland surely has a lot to do with the amount of rain it receives on an annual basis. Despite picking an optimal time to go as far as weather is concerned, we are quite sure our feet are destined to be in or near water at one point or another. So, the task at hand is to pick shoes that look good on the trail as well as in the city, are light, and are waterproof.

light shoes for europe travel

My feet protection of choice for Switzerland and Italy

We ended up selecting Merrell Gore-Tex Cross Trainers. They are remarkably light, easy on the eyes, waterproof, and rugged enough for hiking and comfortable for long city walks. We bought them early so we could break them in gradually before we go. Frankly, Merrells are quite comfy out of the box. Now, the Merrells are not going to cut it for a swanky dinner in Bellagio on Lake Como. For such occasions, I will sacrifice some space in my bag and carry a pair of Mephisto slipons that I bought in San Francisco a while back. They too are light and also have a low profile for easy packing. I fill them with socks so that they maintain their shape during the long journey.

packing light for europe travel

Already looking tight – I hope it all fits!

I hope you don’t find this terribly boring. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff and I hope someone sees some merit in it. I guess in the end, I think it pays to think things through so that we are able to spend more time enjoying the vacation and less time fussing with stuff. Tomorrow, I start weighing clothes!

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Category: Photography, Travel, Travel Tips

Comments (2)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    Comfort, weight and glamour? Sigh…the bane of my existence! I’m guessing you find places to get your laundry done while vacationing so you can pack a bit lighter?

  2. Lee says:

    Very funny Sherry! Yes, the plan is to do laundry at least once while we are there. Either using a service or on our own in the room.