Thursday, July 9, 2015

10 Things I Can't Live Without in Europe!

Packing a bag for a whole summer was a fairly daunting task. I would be lying if I said it didn't take me a week to finally finish all of my little decisions, even down to choosing between taking my black or brown heels. (Spoiler: I took both) But I ended up doing it and I only carried two suitcases onto the plane. With all of my belongings for the summer totaling 50 pounds combined it really made me choose my most practical and essential belongings. I've made a list of the 10 things I absolutely could not live without during my time here. Seriously they've been lifesavers!

Neutral Flat Sandals // {Here} Wow, flat sandals are saving the day. Definitely make sure you pack comfortable shoes that you can wear for days at a time. I brought both a brown pair and a black pair to go with all of the clothes that I packed. I've gotten so much use out of my embellished Target sandals and have held up amazingly through cobblestone streets and surprise downpours. Unfortunately the exact ones aren't available anymore but here are the same style only with turquoise embellishments {here}!

Simple Dresses // {Here} It's no secret I'm a J. Crew a-line dress fanatic but these are seriously saving the day. Did I mention it's consistently over 100 degrees here? Dresses are the main thing keeping me sane and simply styled on these super hot days. I made sure that I only packed dresses with versatility that were appropriate for a day in the office but also to throw on over a bathing suit for the beach!

Sunglasses // {Here} I really wanted a pair of matte black sunglasses before I came on my trip. I like the chic simplified look and it's definitely on trend right now. I've seen so many amazing sunglasses since my time in Milan and the Browser glasses {here} by A.J. Morgan definitely hold their own. And guess what? They were only $20!

Small crossbody // {Here} With all of the walking that you do in Europe it's definitely a pain to have to lug around a giant tote bag. I got this Kate Spade cross body for Christmas and it's the perfect size to fit everything I need. I like the bright red pop of color that it brings to many of my simpler white and black (but versatile!) outfits. Oh so "European".

A Great Bathing Suit // {Here} Did I mention it was hot here? Well the best way to survive the heat is to head to the shores! Just narrow it down to one suit that you really love and save some space in your suitcase. This J. Crew one is to die for. I'm loving the bandeau cut and the classic stripes!

Superga Sneakers // {Here} These are "the people's shoes of Italy" and there's a reason why. I have the color Pink Peach and they were one of my best buys before the trip. They go with absolutely anything and the thing I love about European style is that they match scuffed up sneakers with formal dresses for just a day look. This is definitely something I'm hoping I have the guts to bring back to the USA for but now I'll just keep rocking it here!

Pocket Umbrella // {Here} European weather is notorious for being unpredictable. I'll head to work in the morning with a beautiful sunny sky outside and end up walking home in a downpour. I have already made the mistake of underestimating this unpredictability and got absolutely drenched so now my little umbrella goes everywhere with me. Throw one in your suitcase, I promise it will come in handy.

Texturizing Spray // {Here} With minimal access to a hair drier and straightener I've been air drying my hair almost every day. At first I'll admit I was terrified of this predicament. I try to stay away from doing this at home because the combination of my short hair cut and my naturally frizzy texture that can never decide to be either straight or wavy very rarely turns out to be an acceptable look; however, I've learned to deal with it. This Bumble & Bumble texturizing spray gives my hair sea-salt texture that creates softer waves and body without the use of styling tools. I can get the effortless Italian look and my hair is getting the added perk of some much needed relaxation from constant heat!

A Good Read // {Here} With long train rides and a commute on the metro every morning I've loved being able to have a book to pull out of my bag and pass some time. I started the trip reading Nine Stories and the short stories allowed me to easily break up the book into small segments for shorter reading periods. I just finished the book but I've recently found an American bookstore only a block away so I'll keep you posted on my next train read!

Camera // {Here} Obviously this one is a no brainer. You can't travel without a camera, especially with the unbelievable views in Italy. I invested in a Canon EOS a few years ago and I've never regretted it. These cameras are quite an investment but with proper care they will last forever and their pictures are unparalleled.

Oh hey look! These photos from the beautiful Lake Como has 6 of these essentials. (Shamelessly counted my bathing suit hiding under my dress, my book on the train and the camera that took the picture of course!) 

What are your ultimate travel essentials?

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