Hello! I have returned from a most wonderful vacation to Scotland and Ireland, and I can’t wait to share some pictures with you, but before I do that, I thought I would do some post-trip analysis on what I packed and what I wore. Before I left, I showed you what I was taking and how I packed.

In the hopes that I might help someone else who is packing for a similar trip, and in the hopes that I myself will do it differently next time, here are some thoughts about what worked and what didn’t.

What didn’t work:

  • Like most people, I overpacked. I did not need a different outfit for each day. Most days I was wearing a jacket, and no one even saw what I had on.
  • I packed too many shoes, even though it was only four pairs. Next time I will pack one pair of comfortable walking shoes and one pair of flats.
  • I packed too many accessories. I wore one belt one time, and could have gotten by without it.
  • Packed too much jewelry…only wore my gold necklace and earrings.
  • Packed too many dresses….one would have been plenty.
  • Packed too many sweaters. I never once wore any outfit that included a belt and a sweater.
  • Did not need capris at all. Summer in Scotland and Ireland is not what we call warm 😉

What I should have done:

  • Packed my travel vests, and worn them most days
  • Planned simple outfits consisting of a pair of jeans or pants, and one top, with maybe something underneath or on top (like a vest)
  • Stuck with one basic color scheme, instead of two… pack everything to go with either black or navy, not both
  • Taken my basic black dress and several colorful scarves

What I did right:

  • Took layers and a good rain jacket
  • Packed my down puffy coat
  • Packed leggings to wear with my dress
  • Packed comfortable shoes
  • Took my long black thin cardigan
  • Took red and black large cashmere scarves
  • Took colorful chevron scarves
  • Packed Skinny Shirts and camis to wear under tops
  • Took small cross-body black leather purse to wear for dinners out

I’m sure I will think of some more things after I finish unpacking, but I know that the next time we go on a lengthy trip that includes bus touring, I will pack differently.

Having said that I thought I would show you what some of the other people on the bus were wearing, and you will see another reason why I would pack a bit more simply.  Let me just say this:  There were some days that I looked better than others, but I am proud to tell you that I won the BEST DRESSED ON THE BUS AWARD!  This prestigious award was presented on behalf of the three distinguished judges, Me, Myself, and I, after careful consideration and analysis of TOURIST BUS FASHION. Totally tongue-in-cheek, but I hope you will represent the USA better than this if you go on a bus tour:

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You know what…just don’t wear capris. You will be safer that way. Especially if it is cold. And you know what else?  Just don’t wear big white sneakers. I have told you that before.

While we’re on the subject of don’ts, just don’t do any of these:

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Well, that’s all for today. I will be back next time with some beautiful scenic shots, and you will see several more pictures of my lovely blue rain jacket. 🙂

18 thoughts on “HOW NOT TO PACK FOR A BUS TOUR”

    1. I know. What was I thinking?? I guess because it was 90 degrees here, I thought they were not summery enough. Not very smart. They would have been perfect!

  1. Oh Susan, what fun you had and now you’re home safe and sound! Be sure to show us which you actually wore of those 16 outfits you were prepared for.

    I fell for the joke about the best dressed on the bus award and then laughed when I realized that you awarded yourself. All that in spite of not taking your vests. The important thing was, you were prepared for the cold.

    Now that you’re home, you can enjoy capris and anything else cool. I gave up on the bermudas and am wearing denim skirts that just cover my knees, cool idea.

    Looking forward to the rest of the story.

    1. Thanks, Jean! It was really a great trip, and to be honest I did not worry too much about what I was wearing. Just enjoyed seeing all the beautiful scenery and meeting all the lovely people.

  2. Glad you enjoyed your trip. I gave up on capris, seems I could never get the length right and I ended up looking like your fellow travelers. Looking forward to the scenic pictures, I’ve heard that it is stunning countryside. Welcome back!

  3. Good decision, I think Roxanne. It is hard to find capris that are flattering. Sometimes they are fine if they are tight enough and not flared out and are exactly the right length, but it is tricky.

  4. Hi glad you enjoyed you trip, shame you didn’t get as far as England as we have had 90 in some places so far. Love your blog.

    1. I know! I was surprised that Scotland was so chilly. But we love England and will go there again, I’m sure! Thanks, Pauline.

  5. Best travel tip for packing: 1 top for every 2 days, 1 sweater/jacket for every 4 days and 1 pair of pants for every 4 days. This is my base and I add from there. If I have dressier events I will pack dress pants and a top (most likely both black) and use scarves and jewelry to change the look. I always pack a sweater or a polar fleece. Layers are key. Glad you had a good time. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

  6. Welcome home! Looking forward to seeing your pics and a breakdown of what you actually wore. I admit I was surprised you’d packed a outfit for each day, when I wear each item quite a few times. But I didn’t want to appear slobby when you seemed to want a totally clean top each day and who am I to try to influence others with my less than pristine ways! Besides, when I’ve travelled previously with an American lady, she carried huge and extremely heavy luggage so must have had an outfit for each day of our 2-3 week long holidays!! The important thing is you had a great time, looked good every day and YOU knew that you deserved that coveted prize!!

  7. Well, I learned my lesson! I think I just had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that it would be cool. I have been to the UK several times in the summer and it was warm, but Scotland and Ireland were both cool and rainy pretty much the whole time. If you are wearing clothes in hot weather, they don’t hold out for as long, so maybe my brain was just in summer mode. I did have a most wonderful time, and mostly did not even think about how I looked, which was the whole point of planning outfits ahead of time. Some did not pass the “photo test” but that’s okay. Only the good ones went on Facebook. 😉

  8. Outstanding advice, Susan! Your photos were wonderful and you looked comfortable and appropriate. I’m going to refer to this advice, should I ever leave sleepy ole Largo. Glad you had such a great time!!

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