Packing Tips: What to Wear on Food-Loving Adventures

Think of these as recipes for staying stylish on gastronomic jaunts

Whether food is the purpose of a trip, like taking an intensive Italian cooking class in Tuscany, or the bonus, like finding the freshest fish taco in Cabo, it’s always the number one priority for food-loving travelers. The only challenge is narrowing down a world of options (literally) to decide on your next destination. And once said destination, be it near or far, is chosen, you have to decide what to pack.

Some people manage to throw in 20 mix-and-match essentials in 20 minutes flat and look fabulous. But for the rest of us, a little more contemplation is required. Tackle packing like meal planning — breakfast is like shoes, lunch is bottoms, dinner is tops, desserts are your accessories, and snacks are your extras like a camera, water bottle, reading material, etc.

We’ve assembled the packing essentials for four possible gastronomic adventures. Like a good recipe, use these as a springboard, and then add your own spice. Besides what to pack, it’s key to think about how much you pack. Approach packing like food — everything in moderation. Quantity doesn't equal quality, which is why you won’t find any elastic waistbands here.

Foodie Road Trip

Road trips are about the slow simmer and not so much the full boil — living in the moment versus reaching the destination at full speed. The priority is brunching at local cafés, snacking on freshly picked peaches, and savoring lingering dinners in each town’s "it" brasserie. If you only make it 200 miles in a day, c’est la vie.

What to Pack

Hitting the road means long periods of sitting, and eating steadily along the way requires clothing that’s high on the comfort scale.

  • Tech: TomTom GPS, Yelp app
  • Ladies: Shorts, crew-neck sweater, scarf à la Thelma and Louise
  • Men: Worn jeans, chambray shirt, Ray-Ban shades
  • Carry It: Beckel Canvas Duffle
  • Extras: Cooler, Vapur water bottle

 

Wine Country

Visiting wineries is both an indulgence and an education for travelers. Sipping pinot while listening to each vintner’s tales of "this red’s bouquet" or "that varietal’s best vintage" is like being back in school — except you want to be there and wine is part of the lesson. Just remember to use the spittoon if you’re driving.

What to Pack

Visiting wineries involves temperature extremes: air-conditioned tasting rooms and stifling hot outdoor vine tours.

  • Tech: iPhone apps like Wine Wherever, Wine Notes, Snooth, and Drync
  • Ladies: Flowy dress, jean jacket, hat
  • Men: Shorts, henley shirt, cardigan
  • Carry It: Roots Omer’s Pack-tribe backpack
  • Extras: Picnic blanket, cheese and crackers to snack on between tastings

 

New York City Restaurant Tasting

Restaurant enthusiasts could literally nosh on gourmet delights in the Big Apple’s restaurants for every meal over a three month period and not even begin to crack the surface. And when you have fresh Italian markets like Eataly, organic restaurants like ABC Kitchen, and corner bistros like Cafe Cluny, we’d leave the cooking to someone else, too!

What to Pack

NYC moves fast — so fast you might not even have time to hit your hotel room for a full wardrobe change, so select a day-to-night ensemble that can be dressed up for the evening!

  • Tech: Urbanspoon app
  • Ladies: Colored jeans, jean shirt, leather jacket… Add a black tank and leopard blazer at night
  • Men: Dark-wash jeans, button-up shirt, blazer with pocket square… Add a scarf at night
  • Carry It: Kate Spade Messenger bag

 

Moroccan Market Hopping

The spices, colors, heat, bustle, and clamoring din surrounding you from every angle of Marrakech’s souks will provide a total sensory experience for even the most calm and collected travelers. Take a cue from your college psychology 101 class and adopt the flight-versus-fight mentality to shopping for everything from spices, dried fruits, and terracotta tagines to carpets, leather goods, and copper jewelry.

What to Pack

Loose, breathable clothes with a money belt tucked underneath are key, along with a bag with sturdy handles that fully closes. Pack items with cultural sensitivity in mind, and leave the diamonds and pearls at home.

  • Tech: Small digital camera
  • Ladies: Flats, long skirt, long-sleeved shirt, headscarf, sunglasses
  • Men: Khaki pants, white linen shirt, hat
  • Carry it: Flux Diplomat Tote
  • Extras: Buy those there!

(All photo boards courtesy of Trish Friesen)

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