France Packing Essentials

Whenever I go on holiday, I really enjoy experiencing new things. Sometimes the destination is a place I've never been and everything I experience on the trip is new. Sometimes, it's a repeat destination but I make sure to participate in a new activity. I just love "broadening my horizons" or whatever.

Though I've been to France multiple times, this upcoming trip has a lot of "firsts" for me. It's the first time I'll be traveling to cities besides Paris (not counting the handful of times I had to go to Beauvais and Orly because I had flights out of those tiny airports). It'll be my first time on a train in France (not counting the metro). Also, it'll be my first time driving a car in Europe (don't worry, I drive a manual car currently). Ooh, which reminds me, I've got to tell you guys about my experience getting an international driving permit. That'll be shared later this week once I've got the post put together.

It's all super exciting and I have all these random ideas floating in my head. One thing I'd love to do is buy fresh flowers and make a flower crown to sport on a sunny day - which means I'm contemplating what I might need to pack in order to execute that (and I predict that this will not happen). I'd also love to eat at a really tiny restaurant where there are only 4 or 5 tables and the chef brings you out whatever (s)he's decided to cook that day and you just eat what's placed in front of you. I was able to do this on my first visit to Paris but I think that was sheer luck. And, I really want to wear a striped tee, sport a boater hat, and cycle over a little footbridge. I've got such cool dreams, right?

Anyway, let's get to the meat of this post. One thing I'm crazy excited about is planning what I'm going to wear while we're abroad. French women are notoriously chic and gorgeous so I don't want to stick out like a poorly dressed sore thumb. I want a wardrobe that looks classic and effortless. 'Eer are what I consider to be zee essentials for a trip to Frahnce in zee summ-air:
A striped tee is so classic, right? I definitely need one of those. Red lips and a smudgey cat eye are also on my must-have list, as is some simple gold jewelry and of course, my camera. Also, a smart trouser, sundress, and comfy but stylish shoes are on the list. I haven't been on a trip where I cared about my outfits this much in a while. I think the last trip like that was Istanbul. Every other trip since then was a beach/swim holiday which is so much easier to plan and pack for because it's just a bunch of swimsuits and breezy dresses that take up virtually no room in my suitcase.

Here's my Polyvore collage with some actual stuff you could potentially buy, if you were interested. Some of the pieces I included are quite pricey, but you could totally find similar things at H&M and Forever21 for much cheaper.
I plan on mixing and matching a few tops and bottoms to keep my luggage light, as we'll be doing a bunch of city-to-city traveling and I'm not keen on dragging a ton of weight with me everywhere we go. Plus, my sister and I like to share my carry-on sized spinner so I've got to consider the fact that my suitcase space is being split in two.

I'm still in North Dakota but I brought my travel journal with me so that I could do lots and lots of planning (which I did). I think I've got my outfits down pat. Tomorrow, I head back to NJ (basically I lose a full 12 hours to travel) so I'll have plenty of time in the airport to think about finalizing my packing list. We've got three days to go before we hop on that plane to Europe, baby. ACK! I'm bursting with excitement.