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Walking to Dinner

We're going on Spain tour in a few days (yay!) and I'm starting to pack.
Shoes: do we walk to dinner NEAR where we stay? Would like to wear nicer shoes, wedge sandals to dinner, but don't want to walk to far in them. I can manage 5 or 6 blocks in them...
I assume we gussy up a bit for dinner
Denise Vasquez

Posted by
2427 posts

On my Greece tour, no one dressed up for dinner, except a couple of women, a little, for the final dinner. There is sometimes a tour before dinner in a new town. Don't bring anything you can only walk 5-6 blocks in, IMO. It's a waste of luggage space.

Posted by
524 posts

On some tours I have taken there has been a short walk, 30 minutes or so, to get acquainted with the neighborhood before the group meal. People don't usually dress for dinner, although I have seen some add jewelry or a scarf to look a little dressier.

Posted by
844 posts

On our 7 RS tours many of the ladies joked the first few days that we had all put on clean clothes for dinner, but they were the touring clothes we would wear the next day. I never bring shoes that are what you describe. For me they take up too much room in the suitcase and are not conducive to walking on cobblestones and old town sidewalks.

If you want to dress up a bit for dinner, some of us wear a pretty, lightweight scarf. Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'l have a Great Time!

Mimi

Posted by
407 posts

I would never bring wedge heeled shoes on a holiday. They take up way too much room and I would fear walking on the cobblestones and uneven pavement. Take some comfortable shoes and/or flat sandals and add a scarf or necklace to gussy up a bit for dinner. They take less room and are much more versatile.

Posted by
3369 posts

Unless you’re going to a nice event, only bring shoes that you can walk at least a mile. For many trips, I’m wearing my Keen Rose sandals for day and evening. When we were in Spain for three weeks last year, I only brought those sandals.

I do bring a couple of dresses or skirts and like to wear them in the evening or add a scarf to my outfit.

Posted by
6211 posts

Warning-- practical guy here

I can manage 5 or 6 blocks in them...

Why would you even own shoes that are 'manageable' for for only 5 minutes of walking?

Comfortable, practical shoes are the order of the day. 99.9% of the people will not notice ( or care) what shoes you have

Posted by
972 posts

You have to think at the end of a long day the last thing you are going to want are shoes that are not comfortable, your feet will be tried and maybe swollen. You can still wear really cute shoes, even wedges, that are comfortable and made for those long walks. After dinner what if you want to stroll around the neighborhood, you don't want to be limited by your shoes.
Take a look at these, I swear by this brand for my travel and daily shoes:

https://aetrex.com/women/heels-wedges/chantel-slide-wedge-black.html

The main feature is this: "Helps properly align your knees, hips and back with built in Aetrex orthotic support"- this is a true statement!

Posted by
9419 posts

I never travel with shoes I cannot walk at least 2 miles in. Do not worry about dressing up. No one will look at your shoes. Put on some earrings and a scarf to compensate.

Posted by
2092 posts

I must say I love to be fashionable and it darn near makes me crazy to not be able to wear my really cute (and sometimes comfy, but not 8 miles a day comfy) shoes when on vacation, but I am now smart enough to realize I need to be practical not only in terms of having truly happy feet but also utilizing my suitcase space effectively.

Posted by
867 posts

Agree with other responses that I wouldn’t bring a pair of shoes I can’t walk in all day. That being said, there are some really cute sandals from Clark’s and Merrill that I usually take with me. I never wear the REI or outdoorsy looking travel clothes. I take breathable clothes that I can layer and would wear in normal every day life. So, skirts, dresses, pants, t shirts, tank tops, cardigans and scarves. Amongst those pieces I can usually put together a very practical, yet nice outfit for dinner.

Posted by
1169 posts

I am a gussy up for dinner kind of gal. I love coming in from climbing a mountain, taking a shower, and then going girly.

There are cute sandals that work for dress or walking. Many have a cork sole. I love my Naots.

The other alternative is to bring comfortable and supportive black ballet flats and add bling via shoe clips. It really changes the look. These are small, light, and you can bring more than one set!

Absolutely Audrey shoe clips

You can also find shoe clips on Etsy and Amazon. Or make your own.

Posted by
2331 posts

No, no. We were on the Spain tour a few years ago and walks to dinner, especially the final one, were often long. Few gussy up as you will soon find out. On our tour one solo guy had 2 T-shirts-the ones with the holes for day, the ones without for evening, one pair of shorts and same shoes every day. He was the extreme case but you get the point. Nobody’s really cares and getting dressed up is the exception. The last thing you’d want to do is sacrifice comfort for fashion.

Posted by
2811 posts

Why would you even own shoes that are 'manageable' for for only 5 minutes of walking?

I've seen people wearing shoes that look like they wouldn't be able to make it across the room.

Posted by
431 posts

I personally like to shower and dress a little nicer for dinner on a tour or on our own. I do bring a light practical pair of shoes that look nice and I can also walk in. Find that pair of shoes. Mine are either nice sandles or my FitFlop clogs. I may opt for a pair of vionic flats on our upcoming trip.

Posted by
1159 posts

I have been on 16 tours, going on my 17th tour next year, already booked! Comfort, comfort, comfort! You are on a 14 day tour with little luggage and the luggage you do bring you have to carry. I am more concerned packing more tops than shoes. I will say this, I brought cute little shoes to Prague and we only had to walk a few blocks from our hotel to the resturant. It was all cobblestones, when I saw that, I made sure I wore my flat black shoes but I wore a nice dressy blouse and black dress pants.

I understand you want to wear nicer shoes, if you were doing a car trip or even a week long tour where you can bring a larger suitcase and fit the shoes in then yes, bring them. But the tours are super casual and the tours don't take you to resturants that you need to wear a dressy outfit.

As I said, yes, dress up but wearing a nice top and dressy pants if that is what you want to do. I do and I understand doing that but shoes take up room and you won't be wearing them enough to have to carry them.

My opinion for the little it's worth.

Have a great time!

Posted by
14 posts

I agree with several other posters. You should not waste luggage space on a pair of shoe that you can't walk in for hours. In the unlikely event that anyone notices your shoes, they may think you didn't pack too wisely.

When packing for a trip, always think "Is this something I will use enough to make it worth carrying around for 3 weeks?" (pick any amount of time you want, but you get the idea)

Tim

Posted by
2 posts

You guys are all amazing! I will not bring the higher sandals, something more comfortable will be in the bag. And just to make you all crazy (this is our FIRST RS tour), we're both bringing medium-ish sized checked bags...so we will have lots of room for taking home goodies. Maybe next time I'll know better!!

Posted by
2954 posts

Have a great trip!

Absolutely nothing wrong with checking bags or bringing medium sized bags IF you can also manage your luggage yourself and carry them up and down 2-3 flights of steps. It is about what works for you.

Posted by
6211 posts

we're both bringing medium-ish sized checked bags...so we will have lots of room for taking home goodies.

You will likely regret that.

Try to use carry on size, and for all your 'loot' bring an empty duffel bag. Fill it with all your dirty clothes for the trip home, check that bag and keep you treasures in your carry on

Posted by
3369 posts

Since you just have a few days until your trip, take the suitcase you planned, and don’t stress about trying to make too many changes to your planned wardrobe at this point. When you’re finished with your trip, you will have ideas for doing it differently the next time, anyway.

Enjoy your time in beautiful Spain!

Posted by
145 posts

Can't emphasize enough that you should only bring a suitcase of a size that you or your travel partner can easily handle. That includes walking distances over uneven streets and cobblestones, and carrying your bag up two or three flights of stairs. It is not the job of your tour guide or bus driver to help you with your bag. Know your own strengths and don't over pack!

Posted by
2331 posts

I’m not sure what medium-ish is but you’ll have plenty of chances to test your strength and agility on this tour. The problem with bigger bags is simply you pack more, and they are heavy and cumbersome. On this trip you have a train to navigate, very small hotels in the hill towns and other similar adventures. It’s a great tour, you’ll have fun, and you’ll be getting carry on bags for your next tour.

Posted by
11556 posts

Absolutely nothing wrong with checking bags or bringing medium sized
bags IF you can also manage your luggage yourself and carry them up
and down 2-3 flights of steps. It is about what works for you.

I'm in this camp too. We both check medium-sized bags, have hauled them up/down stairs, in/out of trains, over some considerable distances (cobblestones and lousy pavement included) and done just fine. You just have to know how much weight you can and cannot handle, and be prepared to manage what you bring all by yourself. Our 24" bags are not THAT big nor do we overpack them. Oh, we're also over 60 and independent travelers.

But I'll vote with the rest not to bring any pair of shoes you can't wear all day (wear one; pack one) or any item of clothing you won't wear multiple times.

Posted by
3282 posts

You can always leave the larger bag in the under bus storage and just take your smaller carry on with you (if you have one) to the hotels at night if it begins to be too much dragging everything with you. Swap out clothing as needed in the morning before getting on the bus. Just make sure if you do that you arrive as early as possible to the bus, the earliest the driver will be there with the bus is always posted, so you don't hold up things.

Posted by
3136 posts

To paraphrase someone above -- Warning, practical gal here:

Walking to dinner is our way of life in NYC. You can bring shoes to Spain that are not only comfortable to walk a few miles per day but are also suitable for dinner. Think Merrell or Skechers. Have a wonderful time.

Posted by
972 posts

Denise- Is this your first time to Europe or first time to Europe on a RS Tour? Packing, over-packing, taking the wrong shoes, the right shoes, too big of case or whatever, it's all part of the travel experience. Each time you go (and be prepared for the travel bug) you get smarter with your packing. I have been on three big Europe trips and I am still researching better packing, better cases, better day bags, now my shoes I do have down (Four pairs: Bootie, open toe sandal, slip on sneaker and flip flops (orthaheel) is my winning combination!).

Posted by
7680 posts

I'll agree with everyone who has gone on tours about the shoes. While I've not been on this tour, on many other RS tours there were times when there was no time to shower after the day's activities and change in to fresh clothes before dinner. If there has been time to do that, I generally do the same as someone upthread suggested - I put on my shirt for "tomorrow".

I've never had any one "gussy" up for dinner except for the farewell dinner. There are always a few who have been holding a different shirt in reserve and break it out. I'm down to just taking 5 shirts and wear them all during the tour along with 1 pr of shoes.

I'd suggest you also write out a quick packing list for this trip, then when you come back make notes on what worked and what you'd do differently next time. Do it right after you get back - you think you'll remember but you won't, lol! I'll almost guarantee on your next trip, even if you check your bag you'll be down to a 21 or 22" bag. I do a list for clothing and a separate list for toiletries and miscellaneous stuff (chargers, iPad Mini, etc).

Have a wonderful time! I hope you do a Trip Report when you get back!

Posted by
1169 posts

While I've not been on this tour, on many other RS tours there were times when there was no time to shower after the day's activities and change in to fresh clothes before dinner.

My experience has been the opposite. There’s usually at least 30 minutes or so to get cleaned up.

My standard dress up outfit is a knit dress and a pair of ballet flats. Easy, comfy, and simple. Add bling or no bling as desired.

Posted by
11154 posts

"I'd suggest you also write out a quick packing list for this trip, then when you come back make notes on what worked and what you'd do differently next time. Do it right after you get back - you think you'll remember but you won't, lol!"

I just want to emphasize this point. Doing this has been VERY helpful, and just as Pam says, if you don't make the notes right after you return, you won't remember the next time. By having an accurate list, I find packing goes much faster and is much less stressful than when I did it from memory.