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Heads up on raincoat vs umbrella

I see a lot of posters mention packing a raincoat. Now I'm huge fan of raincoats, always have been (so practical :)). But on my last trip to France, I was in Avignon when a shower hit. Flipped up my hood, looked around and realized I was the only one in a crowd of about 50 people who was wearing a raincoat - everyone else had an umbrella. And. I. mean. EVERYONE. Talk about feeling out of place! And this was Provence, not uber-chic Paris. First thing I'm packing for this trip is a travel umbrella.
I really wish I'd know that before I left last time, so file that info away if you like to blend in.

Posted by
67 posts

Hehe, it does sometimes happen that picking the most practical option makes you feel out of place with the locals, who have got their own habits and a more accessible home/office, where they can change in case they get wet, whereas you, as a tourist, might have to ruin a day of exploring by going back to the hotel.

Would the umbrella have been enough? :D

Posted by
524 posts

It also depends on how hot it is. I think I will be taking an umbrella, and a really lightweight rain cape to throw in my purse. If it was cooler weather, I'd probably take the type of jacket you are speaking of..with the hood.

Posted by
2526 posts

The locals can only tell if you are one of them by use of an umbrella...no other possible telltale signs.

Posted by
9929 posts

I actually pack both...and use both! I'd rather be dry as I can guarantee you that even with an umbrella instead of a rain coat/jacket I do not blend in!

Posted by
2075 posts

But Pam, you DO blend in...with all of us other tourists!

Personally, I don't want to be deported for poking someone's eye with an umbrella so I always take a raincoat; my husband always takes an umbrella. To each his or her own.