A built-in perk of soft adventure travel is that you can avoid the need to bring along all of the bulky, specialized equipment necessary for specialized activities like hard-core mountain climbing or scuba diving. A few easy-to-pack essentials will keep you ready for action.
Having a casual bag to take on the plane and around town makes it much simpler to transition between activities and relaxation. Large women’s totes made from woven, natural fibers are available at a variety of discount department stores, and allow you to easily carry everything from cosmetics and a cardigan to a wrap dress and heels, along with newly-purchased souvenirs and an extra clutch purse. Men can get similar travel mileage from a casual messenger bag, which allow stylish storage of such things as a clean tee shirt, mid-day shaving supplies, camera gear and a tablet device. (See also: Travel Bag Solutions for Digital Nomads)
Shoes suitable for wet or slippery environments help you to stay prepared for light adventures like paddle boarding, crossing creeks and navigating narrow, wet cobblestone sidewalks during walking tours in historic cities. Teva makes a number of options, and Vibram FiveFingers produces a unisex type of foot glove with light tread which packs flat while providing a bit of traction on boats and other potentially precarious surfaces.
While a great active-wear swimsuit is a given, other travel clothing items can be just as critical. When I need something I can throw on in a jiffy, dresses made of a wrinkle-free jersey fabric are my first choice. They can roll up for easy carrying in my travel tote, and are usually available at retailers like Dillards, Ross, Macy’s and Marshalls. Another great item to include for both men and women is a water-resistant jacket such as a windbreaker, preferably the type that folds up into a package the size of a small, flat pillow.
Small, incidental items can make all the difference for activity and weather transitions. Small umbrellas from Dollar Tree take up less space than the full-sized version and hair sticks allow for a quick off-the-neck hair style while taking up no more room than a pencil in your purse. A flat foot file is also a great tool to have on hand after a day of pounding the pavement between museum tours and café coffee hours. They take up minimal luggage room and allow for a bit of touching up before slipping on those strappy sandals for an evening out. (See also: Tips for Looking Your Best on the Road)
Photo Credit: Pictures of Travel Places