What do you take travelling to Europe? Expensive bags and shoes or no?

  1. Hi,

    I am planning a trip to Europe with my boyfriend for the month of September and early October. We will probably go from Germany to Venice to Croatia and back to Paris. (I am excited because I will be in Paris during Fashion week- if anyone has any advice on how to get into shows or take part in fashion week please leave comments, however I may start a new thread just to answer that question!)

    My question here is:

    1. Is it foolish to travel with expensive shoes and bags when
    a. I may be staying at bed and breakfasts and budget hotels were I
    am exposing myself to different conditions every night and possible
    b. I may be exposing the bag to heat, sweat, smoke etc.
    c. I may be making myself a target for theft
    If I should not travel with expensive bags, then what bag (within $400) is a great travel, carry every day go with everything bag?
    If I can travel with expensive bags, then what bags should I have (what types of bags... i.e. one large day bag and one night bag -- I was thinking the YSL muse and a Chanel).

    Ideally I would like a bag that is better to carry over the shoulder than the Muse, I don't want to have to think about my bag when I am touring around by foot.

    2. If anyone lives in Europe, or has travelled during that time of year, is it still warm? Should I think spring/summer or fall/winter clothes? Especially Paris in early October...hot or cold? I am afraid of going to Paris decked out in Spring/Summer fashion, only to find that everyone has already moved on to Fall... and it's cold!

    3. If anyone has been to Paris or Croatia or Venice and knows a great hotel or apartment...

    4. PLEASE SHARE YOUR OWN TRAVEL STORIES or horror stories (if you ruined a bag, got robbed, or lost a pair of Chanel shoes!)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Take something neutral, no huge brands especially if you're to use the subway ("metro").

    One big no-no is the typical tourist disguise, too sportwear for Paris: bagpack, Nike shoes, K-way jacket and shorts.

    Just dress comfortable-neutral-city like and you'll feel at ease everywhere.
  3. Hello

    How fantastic, I hope you have a superb trip !

    I live in England, and have travelled only to Paris out of those destinations. In October it will be cold and grey, very unlikely to be warm enough for leaving a jacket or coat behind !
    Also, I am always amazed at how Paris is small and this means that there doesn`t appear to be richer or poorer areas, it is more jumbled together. Personally I wouldn`t take items with logos, you will relax more if you know your bag etc is more discreet.

    An umbrella is a great idea, I have been caught in sudden downpours after emerging from the Metro !

    Good luck and enjoy yourself.
  4. This is exactly my advice. Many people come here and dress down thinking they will look poor and not worth a thief’s time, but, in fact, you do just the opposite. Try to dress like a French girl, and you will be fine. I always take my friends shoe shopping when they get here to avoid the "those shoes aren't from around here" look. In October, I would definitely dress in layers and maybe carry something "typical" like a Longchamp bag (not expensive, practical, and not tourist style!) You will fit right in.
  5. I have travelled around Europe quite extensively and now live here...

    On holiday,the most important thing is to be comfortable both physically and emotionally. And you'll do that best by wearing sensible clothes which look good,too! I wear the same casual clothes that I would usually wear at home when I travel.

    1) I would certainly not teeter around on cobbled streets with heels,for example. I have taken Moschino flat gold sandals and Jimmy Choo momo flats on holiday and they fit the stylish but comfortable bill. But,I also had flipflops and trainers for expeditions requiring those. 3-4 pairs of shoes should do you.

    Bags...I've recently actually found my large black muse to be a good travel bag because it is inconspicuous,it carries a lot and it is not easily damaged.But that was summer and it fitted over my bare shoulder easily. With a jacket I see your point concerning the muse...and I find Longchamp a great mid-range bag brand too:biggrin: .

    I'm considering taking my reissue as an evening bag on my next trip...I'm just going to have to pack it *very* carefully and not let the bag it's in out of my sight when in transit.

    2) Sept/October is not exactly *cold* yet,but it is definitely autumn and you'll need multiple light layers that you can carry around,add on and peel off as required. You'll need an umbrella,but you could buy it here of course:P .A light rain jacket is great if you're going to be outside a lot and if you have luggage room.Closed shoes may be required too.There can still be some lovely days at that time though,especially in the South,so i hope you'll be lucky.You'll be ready to buy heavier autumn things when you get back to Paris for fashion week!

    3) I have been to those places but couldn't possibly name anywhere I stayed :lol: . We belong to the "seek accommodation on the day,each day" group of travellers.

    4) I am grabbing as much wood as I can,but thus far I have only had wonderful travelling experiences. I love to travel and somehow I have been very lucky.:flowers:

    Have a great time!!
  6. definitly, a trench and an umbrella. I always walk around in flats unless I am taking a cab.
  7. Do not!!! think of wearing heels in Venice! you'll end up in a canal:biggrin: I go to Venice regularly & its fantastic but you have to understand that the whole city is basically exactly as it was in the 15th century; read very cobbled streets! Also, at high tide or after a lot of rain, the whole of St Marks square becomes flooded (not joking) & the council put out tables to form a walkway so that you can navigate it & keep your feet dry.

    Also, a general tip on Venice, you're gonna get lost! accept it! even Venetians get lost there! There are virtually no road names & quite often you'll be walking down a street (or more accurately an alley way!) & you'll come to a canal! so they you have to go back & try & find a way round it. But thats the fun of Venice! its all one big adventure! I've been lost for hours there! but as you walk round you can see all the fabulous arcitecture & sights that guide books don't really tell you about.

    One thing that really bugs me is how everyone goes on about how expensive Venice is, rubbish! of course, if you're gonna have lunch in St. Marks square you are gonna get stung! but thats no different to London if you want to eat in Piccadilly or if you want to eat on the Champs E'lysee in Paris! just don't eat at the tourist hotspots & you'll be fine! I recently went to Dublin (really didn't like it) & it was sooooooo much more expensive than Venice!

    Anyway, back to great shoes!:biggrin: Venetians look great 100% of the time! I certainly would not walk round in sports wear you'll feel like a sore thumb. All the women are very well maintained, they are massively proud (& rightly so) of their own Italian brands so if you really want to fit in, carry Fendi or Gucci, Tods is also very big! Venice is all about the style! not fashion.

    In terms of a hotel, bearing in mind what I said about getting around, I always pick a hotel that is near a major destination (the cheaper ones tend to be round the piazza Roma) that way, providing you are floowing the signs for that place, you know that your hotel can't be far!:biggrin: In Venice, you arrive in the Piazza Roma, that is the last place aa car can enter the city (cars don't go too well in water!:biggrin:) & then you have to get to your hotel from there. So all throughout Venice you'll see people dragging suitcases round, looking for their hotel.

    Personally, I like to stay on Lido, that way, direct from Marc O'Polo airport I get the 10 vaporetto to Lido & its easy to walk the main street to my hotel.

    Take the vaporetto, never a water taxi! what will cost you 50 euros in a water taxi will cost you 5 euros on a vaporetto!! Also, they are the best way to see the city! take the Vaporetto 1 from Piazza Roma to St Marks Square & you'll see what I mean, this travels the whole length of the Grande Canal, under the Rialto Bridge, past the palazzos! its fabulous!

    Generally, September is pretty warm still, but like someone said take an umbrella! It rains a lot here in europe! but that is what makes it a beautiful lush green place.

    I'm sure I'll think of some other tips on the place so I'll post the mas I think of them!:biggrin:

    Havea great time! Venice is beautiful! my favourite city in Europe!

    Oh, & the Guggenheim is fabulous!! the garden sculptures are magnificent!
  8. I think you could bring a combination of both regular & expensive shoes and bags. The expensive stuff could be fun for a nice night out. You don't want to go out to the bars and restaurants in Nikes, right? However, definitely bring something inexpensive & comfortable for walking around during the day. If you're like me, you'll want to pound the pavement to see everything there is to see. A comfy pair of shoes makes it so much easier. When I was in Ireland last year I used my Coach Hamptons Weekender as my day bag. It was perfect. I could shove guide books, water, an umbrella, my camera, a cardigan, a snack & my wallet in there. Plus, Coach isn't as recognizable (I think) in Europe.

    If you're worried about safety in your hotel, look for places with a safe in the room. You can shove your purses/shoes in there. I suggest www.expedia.com. I planned our entire vacation last year using expedia, and I'll be using them for our England/Ireland trip next year. You can find some great hotels on there for not a lot of money.

    If you want any help planning your trip, or where to look for good deals, feel free to PM me. I love vacation planning and searching for hotels, and I'm really good at it!
  9. I go to Europe twice a year and have been doing it for 20 years - I have a few rules - Take a good bag with full zipper closure, wear it high on your shoulder so your arm covers it. DO NOT take one with skinny straps! Wear the most comfortable shoes you have and switch off constantly. Bring bandaids. Always take extra care in crowds (that rule applies everywhere) I have never had a problem. Have a great trip! (I can recommend a hotel in Paris if you pm me with your budjet).
  10. This is good advice about the handbag straps. There is something else I had never considered until it happened in my neighbourhood! A woman was carrying a shoulderbag, walking on the sidewalk, with the bag on the side of the street. Some hoodlums in a car grabbed her bag, she was attached to it, and the rest of the story is a terrible tradgedy. Carry your bag away from the streets, no matter what city you are in. It is always hard for me to remember, but apparently this is not a one time occurrance!
  11. I think your lodging will play a very important part in the type of items you can bring with you, especially if you'll be switching bags out and leaving them in your room while you're out and about. Like clothing, I layer my bags--items like my wallet, passport, and necessities live in a Coach wristlet or my epi pochette, which lives inside a Boogie bag, which all gets slung about in a Herve Chapelier shoulder tote while on the flight. That way, I can switch bags out depending on the occasion.

    Regardless of the location or the time of year, I daren't leave the house without a light shawl or cardigan and the omnipresent umbrella for those sudden downpours! Whenever there's a great deal of walking to be done, I swear by my Tods loafers or my Pedro Garcia skimmers, which are a dream to walk in. Still, I don't go anywhere without blister plasters and antibiotic ointment.

    I have reasonably good luck locating accomodation using Kayak, though if you're on a budget Rick Steve's books are worth looking through for recommendations. I would definitely check out Trip Advisor and see what the reviews are for the various accomodations at your stops.

    Have an absolutely fabulous time!
  12. Bring what you are comfortable with. I've been to Europe carrying only designer bags and was fine. I do suggest wearing flat shoes, especially in Venice (a lot of walking on cobblestones).

    I think you are a target to thieves if you 1. look like you don't know what you're doing 2. look frazzled 3. are obivilous to your surroundings -- ie do your research so you don't look like a "tourist."

    Wear spring or fall clothes but bring a trench or jacket. If you are planning to go to Fashion Week, you'll need to dress like an "editor" and don't bring your bf because it's hard to crash the shows, especially with a SO. (Very few men go to the shows.) The editors I've seen in previous seasons wear lots of black and lots of layers, think Lou Doillon. Or just dress very chic. For the parties afterward, you'll need fun clothes.

    Have fun! :biggrin:
  13. I have found that one or two pair of good jeans, 2 pairs of knit pants in neutral colors, like St. John, two knit jackets, and a few tops, some sporty some strappy shells, is all you need, longchamp is a great choice for a bag, tods and especially stephane Keliau shoes which are made in France and can be bought there are sooooo comfortable and good looking, also one or two cashmere pashminas in pretty colors, trench,a pencil skirt, a pair of sandals and a small handbag, I don't think I would take a really good evening handbag, instead, I would take a trendy, multicolor flower or print bag that I would not worry too much about.-Have a great trip!!!!
  14. Parisians wear dressier jeans and lots of black. Wear comfortable broken in shoes and bring more than one pair you can alternate. When I go, I wear a pair of Pumas one day, Uggs the next (I know they are ugly to some but they are great for walking) and loafers the next. I would also bring a bag you can drape across your body. Do not fill it very full because the weight will kill you after a few hours. Layering your clothes is always best. As for hair, I never go wrong with a sleek ponytail fastened with a clear elastic band and understated/minimal jewelry.
  15. All of the above is excellent advice, but allow me to add an alternate opinion on shoes, obviously depending on your unique circumstances.:smile: I'm on the "not tall" side and have never left home in flats - plus all of my pants are hemmed for heels.

    So I find I do equally well in a taller wedge-type shoe on the cobblestones - in October especially, you'll also be able to wear a boot with a higher, wide stacked heel without too much trouble. I've never had a problem with these - even in Venice, getting on and off vaporettos, etc.

    You may be fine wearing flats (most people can pull off the look perfectly well and still look chic - I'm not one of them), but I've always been more comfortable wearing something like the above on the days when I'm planning on going in more upscale boutiques as opposed to sightseeing.

    Have a great trip!