Packing: A Delicate Subject…Travel Underwear 2


I have gone through all of my clothes in previous posts but there is one obvious thing missing- underwear. I have two little boys at home, so I am very aware that the word “underpants” makes everyone giggle and a little uncomfortable. My job as a guide is to make people a little uncomfortable sometimes with new experiences, so I’m going to be direct on this one. Let’s look at my underpants. (Tee hee hee!)

 For a trip of 3 weeks, I bring 7 pairs of underpants, minimum. That may seem like a ton but, let’s be honest, nothing makes you feel more gross than being out of clean underpants. Panties (another uncomfortable word!) are very personal. I like bikini cut in a soft, breathable material. For travel, I try to bring super light ones, I look for mesh or lace. I’m not doing this for the sex appeal, although I suppose that could be a bonus for some, I buy them because mesh and lace wash easily and dry in a snap. My current favorites are modal bikinis from Felina (see link below). They are very light and soft, wash and dry easily and, best of all, don’t have seams so they don’t show under your clothes as much. Best undies ever. I choose to bring neutral colors, black or beige mostly. You can find my favorite undies HERE.

Bras are another very personal choice. An uncomfortable bra can make you so miserable, and considering that you will only have two or three to choose from for days on end, you’d better choose well. If you’ve never gone for a bra fitting, this might be a good time to go. You will be shocked. I am a pretty big girl and rather busty, I’ve always worn a 38DD. I was finally coerced by my bestie Heidi to go and have a pro measure me and pick out bras for me. Seriously. You must do this for yourself. I had no idea that for all my life previously I was not wearing a supportive bra at all. It turns out the size was all wrong, I wear a 34G! Especially when you travel, having the girls held up properly makes a big difference in body comfort, in your back too. Go, do this for yourself and don’t scrimp. It will probably cost about $75 for a really good bra, but considering how much you wear it, it’s worth every penny. As far as colors, I bring one beige, one black and one that is pretty. I prefer unpadded bras in a lightweight material, lighter to pack and quicker to dry. In summer I bring a convertible bra that can be strapless or have straps attached in a variety of ways to suit my summer tops. I have a pair of clear plastic bra straps that I can use with tank tops and  halter tops if needed.

For a typical trip, I bring two or three pairs of socks. I like black ankle socks, they go well with my Asics Metrolytes, which I mentioned in an earlier post. Ankle socks are nice because you can wear shorts or capris with them and it looks ok. I also carry one pair of warm socks. I like smart wool socks, which are soft, warm and not itchy. They are great for the plane too. If you meet someone from Seattle in your travels, they are probably wearing these socks because they are simply the best way to keep your feet cozy.

To stretch out the time between machine washes, I will do a sink full of underwear on occasion. A better process, though, is to toss your bra, underpants and socks in the shower with you in the morning. I’ll soap up my hair, soap up my body, then soap up my clothes at the same time. I hang them in the shower after washing and they usually dry by the next morning.

 All of these items get stuffed into my packing cube for underthings, along with my bikini and my pajamas. I have packing cubes of various sizes and colors so that I can grab what I need without dumping out my whole bag.

 If you haven’t gotten on the packing cube train yet, now is the time to do it. They make life easier.

All of my suggestions about weight still apply to underthings. If you’re having a hard time deciding on which or how many to bring, pull out your scale and make a comparison. Always pick the lightest, although….I like to bring at least one sexier pair of undies and bra. Nobody will see them, but it makes me feel cute knowing I’m wearing them. If you don’t own any cute underwear, maybe now is the time to start!

 


About sarahinitalia@yahoo.com

Sarah Murdoch is a tour guide and guidebook writer for Rick Steves Europe. Her blog, Adventures with Sarah, focuses on packing tips, travel stories and advice for planning the best trip possible.


2 thoughts on “Packing: A Delicate Subject…Travel Underwear

  • mvaden1948

    Don’t forget if you are going to be in Italy on New Year’s to pack a red set (or buy them there)….it’s supposed to bring good luck for the following year to wear red undies to ring in the New Year….and that goes for guys too.

  • Carol Long

    Sarah, I was so happy to discover that you will have your blog on this site for another month or more. Your packing trips are great and I am trying to become courageous enough to follow them when I head off to Europe next summer. We will be “easyjetting” from city to city so your information has been most timely.
    Have not yet decided on what places to visit but I think Sicily has to be on the list!
    Many thanks, keep up the great work!
    Carol

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