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2 week trip with just a carry-on?

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Replies to: 2 week trip with just a carry-on?

  • dazedandbemuseddazedandbemused Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    edited February 18
    Regarding theft:

    I have a slash-proof locking cross-body purse from Travelon for travel - big enough for all valuables other than my laptop. I wear it with my hand on the top, although the zippers all have a locking mechanism so it's not that necessary.

    Our backpacks don't have *any* valuables in them other than small laptops. We have TSA-approved locks for the zippers on our backpacks.

    Nothing is a guarantee against theft, but we make it difficult.
  • greenwitchgreenwitch Registered User Posts: 8,479 Senior Member
    I think there is quite a wide range of "sneakers". You can have comfortable, neutral colored sneakers that look like good walking shoes, with more flexibility to the soles and upper bodies than most walking shoes would have. Then again, you can have flaming neon striped sneakers with huge chunky soles that beg for attention.

    Most neutral colored shoes will not draw attention, whether they're Clarks or Sketchers. There's a lot out there that fits the bill. I would call mine sneakers, and my one arthritic toe is very happy with them!
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,201 Senior Member
    Patsmom, those look like European styles. Black is nice.

    Abasket, jmho, some have experienced the difference when dressed one way or another. I go, in large part, to interact, not just sightsee. To experience more. I've said, eg, that sitting in a cafe brings as much pleasure (both the people watching and sharing their customs,) is as much part of the experience. Sometimes, more than climbing another tower or taking another photo by a monument.

    I don't think I've ever judged a tourist here based on clothes, except when they either look outrageous, to being with, or are elegant. But I have seen the difference when someone in Europe thnks I'm local enough, on first impression, rather than coming at me with English or assuming I'm another (often difficult) tourist. At a resort, who cares? But in town, someting more than a tee, blue jeans, and Keds works for me. It IS who I am.

    Somewhere, I said that DH wore his Grrman hiking shoes (a "Tract" style, leather, ties on the side, goes with the historcal local hiking outfits) to Turkey. Nearly every street merchant greeted him in German.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,074 Senior Member
    Agree to disagree. I embrace "traveler". :) And I embrace my athletic shoes for style, comfort and versatility.

    Seriously, neutral colored shoes to not draw attention?! Way too much focus on shoes to satisfy others!

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,569 Senior Member
    edited February 18
    But I have seen the difference when someone in Europe thnks I'm local enough, on first impression, rather than coming at me with English or assuming I'm another (often difficult) tourist.

    Presumably, you (not your clothes) appear European or one of the significant local (and not heavily despised) minorities in the area, so that you can "disguise" yourself with clothing and shoes as someone who lives there in a way that may fool the locals. Not everyone happens to have such an appearance that allows that, so this type of advice may not be applicable to all readers.
  • TNE2011TNE2011 Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    Sent my son to Europe for 6 weeks with just a backpack and carryon. He also took camera equipment. Some suggestions to add to the above. A paper clip to open phone (he needed this to change sim card). We wrapped duct tape around a pen, so that he would have some if needed and didn't take up any space. Dr. Bronner liquid soap in 3 oz bottles - multi purpose shampoo, soap, and laundry soap (luckily he did not need make-up or special hair products). He needed to do laundry once a week. Used packing cubes to keep organized. He stayed in each city for one week at a time. Hooked water bottle to backpack with a d ring caribiner clip. Kept passport, ID etc. in a belt wallet (could also use a neck wallet).
  • mom60mom60 Registered User Posts: 8,050 Senior Member
    Last year I asked the athletic shoe in Europe to a group of German and Swiss residents who were visiting friends of mine. Age range was teens to 60’s. All of them said sneakers and athletic shoes don’t scream American. It is an overall look. They all said they wear athletic shoes often but they are part of the fashion statement not for comfort. They all said said they wear Adidas and Converse regularly. Even a low profile Nike. What they said they don’t wear is heavy duty clunky athletic shoes and visable white socks. That type of athletic shoe does scream American.
    My H who 90% of the time wears shorts and surf store t shirts and athletic shoes which should scream American is rarely ever taken for an American. He has a complexion and look that in many countries let’s him blend in. Whether it’s Egypt, Hungary, Spain or Italy etc he is always spoken to in the native tongue.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,479 Senior Member
    @patsmom -- you're about to cost me some money for shoes!
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,735 Senior Member
    We are big fans of doing just carry-on luggage plus backpack (though admittedly it is all stuffed to the gills).

    Tips:
    - I have 2 pair of travel underwear and a few pairs of other underwear.
    - the packing is easier if sandal weather (no socks)
    - I bring long sleeved silky white top that can work on its own or under any of my short sleeved shirts. For winter I'd bring black instead.
    - Sport fabric (Arctic Cool or similar) packs small, breathes well
    - I pack windbreaker and fleece and a pair of thin dollar store gloves for cold/windy days
    - I bring one top that I don't love, leave it behind (more space for souvenirs)
    - We use travel cubes to keep the bags from becoming a jumbled mess

    More details follow...

    For a 2012 May Western med cruise, I had carry on luggage and DH had a big bag with room for my overflow. But we had 7 night in one "place" (cruise cabin), so it worked ok. Probably the train Barcelona--> Mardid would have been easier with smaller bags, but it was not too painful.

    For 2015 May 10 day trip with the kids, they talked us into carry-on luggage only. That was great and made us much more nimble. The kids each had big backpacks, but DH had wheeled carry-on plus small backpack. When doing the bridges / steps in Venice, I was glad to NOT have a big bag (and was delighted when DD swooped up behind me to assist with the heavy wheeled bag). DH and I did go to laundrymat in Rome while kids were on bike touring day, and it is actually a fun memory for us. We had lunch in a cafe down the block.

    For 2018 Sept 3 week trip, we stuck with our rule for carry-on only. That was tricky since it included a canal boat week, more casual clothes.. but we did it But we had washing machine/dryer in Barcelona rental unit and washing machine (air dry). We also did wash at laundrymat in Toulouse - it was a bit of an issue finding a place (most are drop-off pricey places)... but then we found one across the street from a wine bar - perfect!
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,201 Senior Member
    Lol. <-- Nothing I've said claims a disguise. I see it more as respect and do the same in US cities. I personally feel not everyone in our destinations is there to serve us or endure us.

    Nor did I mean, dress like whatever "most" people wear.

    It's a subtlety, not a mandate. One I enjoy. Europe and many other countries are diverse and know it. But this is a preference, so you go as you wish. Lol, I don't pass for teen or college age. Don't dress like them, either.

  • deborahbdeborahb Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    edited February 18
    Whoever said that you see a lot of dark sneakers in NYC and that isn’t so different is exactly right. NYC dress is much more like Europe and different from many other parts of the US. Remember that Americans are perceived as arrogant in much of the world and demanding to wear “our” styles reinforces that stereotype.

    Europeans, on average, walk far more than the average American, and have found many styles and brands that accommodate this and lots of resourceful travelers have posted examples such as Merrill’s that are dark leather shoes that go the distance. And blending in increases our safety.

    Not one bit about pretending to be anyone other than who we are. More about showing respect and reducing risks.

    @patsmom this is a great example of suitable comfortable shoes to wear i Europe.

    Also, I did see white tennis shoes back in style in Amsterdam last year - worn by women under age 25 with skirts and yes, hose - just in case you want to copy that!!😀
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,074 Senior Member
    There are two totally different wavelengths going here. I'll take my wheeled carry on luggage, backpack and non-black Nikes or Tevas that allow my feet to explore for miles upon miles a day and won't be worried about blending in and of course, will treat the people whose country I'm in with the same respect as I would treat the people in m own country. Au Revoir!!! :)
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,201 Senior Member
    I have no doubt I could travel with any here and not pay much attention to what you wear, even shoes. Or how much time you spend washing clothes.

    As for Tevas, they could probably be a whole thread on their own. As long as a traveling companion is easy going and not dependent or fussy, I'm fine. @Abasket, my dear travel friend wears huge, white sports shoes and matching pastel outfits. Couldn't ask for a more laid back adventurer. My prefs come from the fact Ilike to stop, soak in the atmosphere, listen in to others' conversations, make eye contact, do as the locals do.

    Bon voyage. :)

    Now I wonder what we all do on our trips, after all the hiking.
  • LizardlyLizardly Registered User Posts: 2,454 Senior Member
    I try to blend in in NY and not abroad, which is kind of funny. I have a collection of black and gray items I only wear in NYC.
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