This past Thanksgiving I was asked about how I manage to travel everywhere and pack so light, and I mentioned the 3 Shoe Rule. With complete astonishment and surprise, the 6 women around me mentioned that they knew nothing of the 3 shoe rule! I realized that something I am an expert in (trust me) could really help people with their packing, so I have decided to let you in on all of my crazy packing tips and secrets to help you stress less for your next vacation.
Packing Tips: The 3 Shoe Rule
To start, let me give you some background. By now you know I am an avid traveller, but you might not know that my mother was a flight attendant. Because of this, flying standby my entire life meant always traveling with a carry-on suitcase, because you never knew if you would get to your destination with or without your suitcase otherwise. That means that ever since I could board a flight I have been traveling with a carry-on suitcase. That’s right! Ski vacation? Carry-on. Las Vegas bachelorette? Carry-on. 2 week honeymoon? Of course a carry-on! Many people do well with packing the right clothing, but where they struggle is shoes. Too many shoes!
Quick story here. My parents would take us on a family trip to Disney World every year and I was allowed to invite friends. My friend Carlie (shout out to Car!) showed up at my parents house with a giant suitcase and a carry-on. My parents were astonished at how much crap this 13 year old girl thought she needed on this vacation, so they took the liberty of editing for her. I distinctly remember them digging through her bag and throwing all of the shoes that they didn’t think she needed in their trunk. Although Carlie was aghast at first, she realized she definitely did not need all of those extra shoes.
Flash forward to now and I am still very strict about this rule! When you are limited to 22 vertical inches of space in a carry-on, you have to be diligent. Now remember, that doesn’t mean boring! You can still pack your favorite items to wow your friends, but you don’t need to wow them more than 3 different times, ok?
I’ve laid out the 3 shoe packing rule for you here, broken down by different types of trips. Whether its a beach vacation, hiking trip, city jaunt or wine tasting, you can see that no matter what, there are only 3 different pairs of shoes you need to pack. Without further ado (and throwback stories), let’s get you packing!
Wine Country Weekend
Pro Tips: Always pick a versatile sneaker that looks cool but can also be used for light running and moderate gym activities like a Nike Flyknit or Roshe. They are lightweight but still work for weekend workouts. Ankle boots are a must for a country vacation as you want to fit in but stay clean in case you step into anything…. smelly.
Pro Tips: Pick a leather sandal in a neutral tan or black for more versatility. Avoid thong shaping so that your big toe won’t hurt and forget the crappy rubber flip flops that only work for the beach. Have more fun with the cut and color of your wedges since you will be wearing them only at night.
Pro Tips: Have fun with your boots and pick one with a small heel so that you can wear them walking around town but they still feel cool and dressy for night. From a classic black pump to a crazy colorful heeled sandal, your heel choice is the place for you to go wild and show off your style.
Pro Tip: I suggest only one pair of heels that works for the wedding and any other wedding pre-parties that you have to go to. The other choices depend on if you imagine yourself working out or not, and where the weekend is. I definitely suggest these breathable rothy’s for the day after dancing- they will be the only thing to fit your swollen feet!
Pro Tip: This is where you bring out the heavy duty hiking shoe, and double up on sneakers in case by chance one gets impossibly dirty. The third shoe choice depends on where your hiking… hawaii? Bring sandals. Machu Picchu? Bring ankle boots.
Pro Tip: SKIP THE HEELS. No really, a great over the knee boot will work wonders here, but do not waste your time wearing heels. You will look ridiculous and risk breaking an ankle. All boots, all the time. Choose a knit boot to double as an after-ski cozy solution or a slipper to wear around the ski lodge.
Pro Tip: Depending on what type of business trip it is, you could bring 2 sets of heels to make it seem like you tried. Otherwise breathable flats and sneakers will be fine!
Have a particular trip coming up that you need help packing for think would be a challenge to my 3 shoe rule? Write in the comments below or email me at Stefanie@thestylesafari.com