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Clothing Tips

My daughter (16, with a group) will be traveling in France for 2 1/2 weeks. I have read over Ricks packing list, but I am not sure on the amount of clothes. He suggests 5 sets of socks, is that for 1 week, then you just rewash and reuse? Any other clothing tips would be appreciated. She will be travelin the month of June 16 days Lauraine

Posted by
1455 posts

Lauraine, you have to assume that your daughter will be washing during her trip. The set of socks and other items is for 1 week or 1 month... You can reuse and also wash as you go. Try bringing things which are easy to wash and wear, and will look nice even if wrinkled.

Posted by
10344 posts

Better not encourage me.Packing Checklist For Men: (this packing list not recommended for teenage girls, Lauraine)shirt, 1pants, 1underwear, 1socks, 1 shoes (you're wearing em)toothbrushYou're DoneIf carry-on bag is getting full with Rick Steves books, socks are optional

Posted by
4555 posts

Kent....unless you're going commando, I assume you meant to include a pair of underwear as well. Boxers or briefs?

Posted by
2000 posts

Will your daughter be wearing sandals? Perhaps she doesn't need any socks. What you pack depends on where you are going. Will she be hiking in the countryside or spending time in Paris, or both? If both she will probably need super casual things and then something a bit nicer. In Paris, she should plan to wear slacks, capris or skirt and nicer tops, perhaps jeans if not too warm -- but no shorts. Comfortable sandals would be good.

Just my suggestions.

Posted by
1455 posts

I disagree BG. I would bring 1 pair of closed toe shoes.

I did the sandal only thing til I stubbed my toe, craking open my nail. (Ouch! Those darn cobblestones!)

I didn't bring any closed toe shoes and the accident occured on day 3 of my 15 day trip. Needless to say, I spent the remaining 12 days freaking out when I saw water or thought if my broken toe nail would pick up some uninvited germs.

On a positive note, I never paid more attention to one toe for 12 days, keeping it clean and bandaged :)

Posted by
3580 posts

I suggest taking something to sleep in. Also, you need something to wear while your clothes are drying so a minimum would be an extra shirt and shorts or pants. Of course, if it is hot, just put on the clothes while they are wet. You'll look odd, but the clothes will dry on your body.

Posted by
2000 posts

Guys -- this is a teenage girl, traveling around France in the summer, and spending some time in Paris, going out socially while there.... (I privately messaged her mother and got more info). The suggestions I've seen above are gross! She will not look good if she follows them. Parisian teens dress cool.

Posted by
2000 posts

Michelle, sorry to hear about your stubbed toe, but I wore a pair of platform flip/flops almost every day for 2 weeks in Paris, Tuscany and Rome last fall and never had a problem. (and I am not real young...) It was hot, they were perfect.

Posted by
525 posts

eweee - however you spell it - Kent, I'd hate to see you in the laundramat washing your clothes IF you only take one shirt, one pair of pants.
The teens in Italy wore Jeans and high boots but I'm sure June the weather would be alittle warm for boots but don't know their customs. I'm sure a pair of knee high shorts would work. Sandals if she is just walking around town. Throw in those flip-flops. I see them everywhere. But, be respectful going into the churches and wear long pants, sandals - not flip-flops and a nice t-shirt. Pack light since YOU have to carry your bags. Tuck in a sweater and a waterproof jacket.
Anyway Kent, pack two of everything!!!

Posted by
18 posts

Think light-weight & quick dry. Silk t-shirts/tank tops (they also fold up small) allow a more variations w/ very little extra weight/space. Depending on shoes, ankle/knee high hose might substitute for a pair of socks. I'd suggest at least 1 long-sleeve light-weight shirt that can be worn over tank top/t-shirt.

Posted by
9363 posts

I don't know that I've ever met a 16 yr. old girl who would be caught dead in a pair of knee high hose. They'd go completely sockless before that.

Posted by
800 posts

Lauraine - okay, first thing is to have her look at the size of her suitcase. If this is a group I'm sure there is a limit on the amount of luggage she can take. She should be allowed to take as much as she wants to carry with the key words being that SHE is the one carrying it. If she is actually asking for suggestions, here is what my daughter has been packing to take to Europe these past 10 years. She is now 21, studying in France for the year, and can pack light with the best of them but still be ready to go out clubbing.

This includes the clothes she will wear on the plane:

2 pair shoes - 1 sandals, or, if she's like my own daughter - flip flops. 2nd pair depends on what the group will be doing. Closed toe shoes if there is biking, hiking, etc. but if just city sightseeing then her choice - flats or sandals.

1 Pair of Jeans -shouldn't be too hot in June and I'm assuming she will think she can't live without them. Tell her that jeans don't need to be washed.

2 or 3 Bottoms - we prefer light floaty not too short skirts but she could also do capris if she isn't a skirt girl

5-6 short sleeve/tank tops - lightweight

2 lightweight longer shirts/sweater that she can wear on top of tanks if needed for either sun or decorum

8+ underwear (they really are lightweight so why not take em)

3 Bras

Socks - only if needed - maybe 2-3 pairs - she will likely wear mostly the sandals. I usually take 2 sandals so never bring socks.


1 shorts & bathing suit - only if needed (again, bikig, beach, etc.)

Toiletries - pare these down to a manageable size - no hairdryer or flatiron if possible

She may be able to fit more without it being too heavy - remember guys, girls summer clothes (especially teens) are pretty lightweight. Add short sleeve tops & underwear if she likes- NOT more jeans or heavy shoes. And yes, this list will assume that she will need to do laundry once, wear shirts twice, and not wash jeans or skirts unless REALLY needed.

Posted by
800 posts

And just a clarification on the term "flip flops". I don't mean that you should bring the rubber type shower/pedicure type flip flops to walk around in. I use that term for any sort of sandal that doesn't have a back strap. My daughter took 2 pairs for her 3 week post high school trip to Europe. They were sturdy, nice Merrels (or something like that). Personally I couldn't walk around all day in that kind of shoe so my sandals have a back strap - but I love traveling Europe in the summer just so that I can bring these lighter, and to me, more comfortable open toe shoes!

Posted by
8677 posts

I agree with two pairs of shoes, but highly recommend one pair be real shoes, not sandals. It can rain and be chilly, even in the middle of summer. She can always throw in a pair of flipflops in addition to the two other pairs of shoes/sandals. They don't weigh much or take up any real room.

Posted by
11450 posts

One pair of shoes should definately be closed toe. It does rain , and it can be cool , I was in Paris last AUGUST and it was cool and rainy most of my trip.

The poster ( sorry forgot who ) who said they travelled around Europe for weeks wearing platform flip flops was lucky , they have good feet( flip flops have no arch support) , they did not twist an ankle on cobble stones, they did not have anyone step on their toes in crowds, and they most obviously never had to run,, LOL
Flops are nice for end of the day though , but useless in rain.

Posted by
208 posts

My sister did a month backpacking all over Europe with my Cousin from Spain when she was 17. They both wore mostly well broken in tennies and took a nice pair of sandles. I know there was another pair of shoes she took but they didn't make it past the first week before they were tossed out. Everything they took with them fit in a backpack... not a huge external frame thing either. I think it was just a jansport for my sis. They both discared many items along the way. Things they felt were just to heavy and didn't have much use that they THOUGHT they had to take with them. They both tossed at least 1pr of jeans and 2 or 3 shirts each and many other things I can't remember now all she told me.

Now days they have very cute cool max type shirts that are very light weight and dry fast. My sis didn't have that option it was 1997 when she went on the backpacking budget tour, so it was mostly regular cotton Ts and one nice top to dress up. She still only travels with a carry on rolling duffel bag. She learned well on her backpacking trip.

Posted by
2000 posts

Michelle, your daughter's wardrobe sounds about perfect to me. When you return you should give us an update on how well it worked out. Become one of our female travel wardrobe gurus.

Posted by
121 posts


We are taking our 15.5 daugter to Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Italy) for 3.5 weeks in June. She is taking the Rick Steves convertible (the bigger one but no wheels)and is comfortable she can carry it as this is a train trip for us. What can I say she is a master packer and it all fits. PM if you have questions. Here is her packing list -

2 sundresses (leggings under for the cathedrals)
1 pr leggings (black)
1 pr skinny jeans (can't live w/o them)
2 prs columbia hiking pants (1 capri 1 long)
1 pair shorts
7 shirts (combo t-shirts and tanks - 1 long sleeve)
1 light jacket
bathing suit
8 undies/3 bras
5 socks
sneakers (wearing on the plane)
flip flops and ballet flats
phrase book
address book

Posted by
10 posts

We are in the process of packing for a trip to Europe (including France) in June, with my 16 y.o. daughter. I would suggest packing 3 pairs of pants (and re-wearing), 8 t-shirts & 8 sets of underwear (which I would not want to re-wear) and as many socks as she thinks she will wear in eight days. That way, she can minimize the time spent doing laundry, and still pack light. I would pack a pair of comfortable sandles and wear sneakers (which take up more room) on the flight and on days with lots of walking. Also pack a sweatshirt for possibly cool weather at night and a poncho just in case.

Posted by
1 posts

I don't recommend ANYONE wear shorts in Europe, and certainly NEVER in a metropolitan city or small, traditional town. Better choice for women are capris or short skirts sundresses. Long pants for men, always.

Shorts scream "Tacky American Tourist", and are considered at worst rude
(in churches and cathedrals) and at best really cheesy pretty much anywhere else. (The only exception MIGHT be on the beach or a strenuous hike in the country. Don't embarrass yourself, or the rest of us!!!

Posted by
11798 posts

Here's one young woman's packing list for France:

I thought she could reduce the number of tops and shoes without missing them. Also look for comfortable fabrics that are light and easy to wash (washable silk, tensil, rayon, etc.)

I'd suggest putting together a "first draft", packing it, then do some trial running carrying the bag around the house, up and down stairs, in and out of the car trunk. If it seems too heavy to deal with, pull some stuff out.

Rick suggests five pairs of socks to wash and reuse. Does your daughter usually wear socks? Most girls her age are wearing flip flops for everything. She may not need any.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you to everyone who replied. She is on her way to Paris Thank you again for all of your wonderful tips and suggestions Lauraine