Tuesday, April 8, 2014

European travel - what to wear on the plane

Two months from tomorrow, I'll be on an airplane for a 15 day European trip. With students. Thirty of them. Seven countries in two weeks. Walking miles every day. Enjoying major European cities in slight fast forward. We'll be visiting London, Paris, Munich, Heidelberg, Lucerne, Venice, and Amsterdam. How could it not be amazing, right? Even though I've visited most of the places before, I. Can't. Wait.

In years past, I've made some major mistakes when it comes to packing for big trips like this. This year, I vow to do better. In preparing for this year's trip, I've decided to do a series of blog posts about packing/traveling decisions I'm making this time. Hopefully, I'll be able to report after the trip that I solved some of my former travel faux pas. That's the plan at least.

What to wear on the plane?

One year I wore jeans and a tshirt. Omg, was that miserable! Jeans are much too restrictive to wear on a plane and in airports for 18+ hours. (Remember, I'm traveling with students and we go on the cheap. No first class for us...)

Another year, I wore a long skirt and blouse. The skirt was mainly great except it got hot, and the blouse was restrictive and itchy. Yuck. I didn't have on layers, so I alternated between being too hot and being chilly.

Another time, I wore yoga pants and a tee with a jacket. I wore tennis shoes that time too. I was comfortable but looked like hell by the time we landed, and my feet were swollen and itchy too. That's not a great way to start an intensive trip.

Last trip, I wore a maxi dress and cardigan. While I was comfortable in terms of loose clothing and the ability to layer, the maxi dress was a problem in the airport because it restricted my ability to walk quickly. I kept getting tangled around my feet and my rolling carryon. Plus, photos reveal that I looked quite wide in that getup. Needless to say, I won't go that route again.

This time around, I think I'll wear a  shorter dress with capri length leggings.

Something like this would work well, I think.

If I go with a jersey knit dress, I won't have to worry about getting wrinkled. A solid black or navy is probably the best choice because it won't show any dirt and will match everything. Jersey usually washes pretty well, so I could always rinse this out and wear it again while on my trip. I have a great one from J.Jill's Wearever collection that I might wear, or I might look for another one. You can never have too much of that kind of thing, in my opinion. I think short sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves would be ideal. With leggings, I won't need to be concerned with sitting in a ladylike way, but I can always strip them off in the restroom if I get hot. I'll likely wear slip on sandals or ballet flats, so I can take them off easily as needed for either security checks or comfort. (I'll bring a pair of socks in my carryon in case my feet get cold on the plane.)

I won't wear a jacket, but will put a cardigan in my carryon in case London is chilly when we land. I'll also keep a scarf and some jewelry in my purse to put on as we prepare for landing. That will make me feel less frumpy after 18+ hours in the same clothing and a busy day in the city ahead of us.

What do you think? What do you wear when you travel long distances?

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