Traveling with your family can be both extremely rewarding and extremely difficult. When considering international travel with your children, it is very important that you, as the adult, are well organized for your trip. When being in complete control of everything is necessary for you and your children in a foreign country, the last thing you need while traveling is to worry about what to do when you stain your favorite white T-shirt! (The answer: don’t bring it with you to begin with.) Here are some tips for simplifying your wardrobe for international travel:

Choose a Couple of Pairs of Comfortable Footwear

Nothing can ruin a fun family trip more than having aching, uncomfortable feet in shoes that aren’t meant for walking and comfort. Even if you aren’t walking miles a day on your vacation, you’re still traveling with your children which makes running around inevitable. For a hot weather trip, one pair of good, simple sneakers and one pair of nice, flat sandals are best. For a cooler weather trip, swap out the sandals for a pair of good sturdy boots. Make sure the shoes you choose to bring are well broken in before you leave on your trip. Your feet will thank you!

How to Streamline Your Vacation Wardrobe Sneakers

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Wear Dark Colors

Nothing will streamline your travel wardrobe more than filling your suitcase with mostly dark colors for both you and your children. Dark colors will hide stains/dirt/children’s bodily fluids better than lighter colors- and the less you have to do laundry on your trip, the better. Dark doesn’t mean only black, either; navy blue, forest green, burgundy, charcoal grey, and dark brown can all hide stains and look great at the same time.

Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe

You’ve already chosen your favorite clothing pieces in a dark color palette, so it’s an easy next step to narrow your choices down to a few highly versatile options that can all be worn together. It’s best not to bring any articles of clothing that can only be worn with one other item in your travel wardrobe. If all (or at least most) of your clothing matches, it makes getting dressed every morning significantly easier. By taking the time to plan out your own capsule wardrobe beforehand, on the trip itself you’ll have more time and energy for thinking about your family and enjoying your vacation!

Choose Your Fabrics Wisely

For trips to hot countries, natural fabrics like silk, linen, and cotton breathe well and keep you cool. This is important if you want to minimize sweat and maintain a comfortable temperature. For cold countries, wool, fleece, and down are the best options to keep you toasty and dry. Wool in particular is extremely versatile and can be comfortable and breathable for both hot and cold weather. An added plus is that these are all very durable fabrics; there’s no need to waste your time with cheap synthetic fabrics that aren’t well made and will fall apart before your trip is over.

Bring a Comfortable Day Bag For All Your Needs

Whether you prefer a shoulder bag or backpack, bringing a comfortable day bag to use on your trip is essential. You’ll need to plan ahead for carrying your own things, in addition to the many items specifically for your children. If your trip is of an urban variety, a practical shoulder bag might be more useful in a place like Berlin or Rome. Likewise, if you’re going on an adventure that involves a great deal of outdoor activity, a good backpack would be your best bet.

These are just a few ideas to help you being the most comfortable on your trip that minimize the fuss. With a little bit of time spent planning beforehand, you can concentrate on enjoying your travels rather than worrying about wearing dirty clothes or wondering how you’re going to carry all your children’s extra layers around Paris all day. Traveling with your family is a true challenge, but bringing children with you to foreign locales can be an invaluable experience for both you and them. So pack your suitcase and your children’s suitcases with some forethought, smile, and enjoy your adventure!