When packing for a trip to Easter Europe it's important to keep two things in mind: the weather and European culture. Those brightly-colored sneakers and short-shorts may be all the rage in your hometown (or city) but, in Europe, they may help you stand out in a negative way. Take a look at these 10 tips before you zip that suitcase up.
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Clothing Worn by Eastern Europeans During Summer
During hot summer months in Eastern Europe, light dresses and skirts come out for Eastern European women, and slacks and summer shirts come out for men. Women will wear sandals or heels and men will wear summer footwear but usually not sneakers. Western women who fear drawing too much attention by wearing breezy dresses and skirts shouldn't - Eastern European women will upstage you even when you wear what you consider to be your most provacative outfit!
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Women's Dress for Summer Eastern Europe Travel
So, women, what should you pack for Eastern Europe summer travel? Plan to pack and wear comfortable, light clothing that you can layer for cooler days. Slacks and jeans are good, too. Include a couple of nicer outfits even if you don't plan on dining out at special restaurants or attending concerts. You might get some unexpected use out of them. In any case, you won't look out of place if you have to wear something a bit less casual for a day of sightseeing or museum hopping.
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Men's Summer Clothing for Summer Eastern Europe Travel
Men in Eastern Europe wear shorts less often than do men from the United States. While they are acceptable, if you want to fit in, slacks are a better option.
And if you go hiking? Pants are always better, even when it's hot. One word: mosquitos.
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Shoes for Summer Eastern Europe Travel
Eastern Europeans generally don't wear sneakers or running shoes as a part of their everyday wardrobes. Comfortable walking shoes are much less likely to signify that you are a Westerner. If you don't own a pair of these, make sure you test and break in a pair before you travel.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Clothing That Will Make You Stand Out When You Travel to East Europe
Generally, sneakers, shorts, and to a lesser extent, the typical "jeans and t-shirt" outfit, will make you easily identifiable as a traveler from the United States. The stereotypical tourist's backpack is also a visual clue. Messenger-type bags for men and shoulder bags for women are more in keeping with Eastern European style sense. In addition, you can keep an eye on their contents more easily than you can the contents of a backpack.
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Clothing for Summer Storms and Cool Spells for Eastern Europe Travel
Cool days, cloudy afternoons, and summer storms are typical and can catch you off-guard when you're sightseeing. When possible, carry light jackets or sweaters and an umbrella or disposable poncho. The poncho option will scream, "Tourist!" but it will keep you from walking around in wet clothing after a downpour.
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Clothing for Sightseeing Trips to Cathedrals in Eastern Europe
Summer travel in Eastern European countries where Eastern Orthodoxy is practiced will mean visiting cathedrals open for public view. Both men and women should have their legs and arms covered (short sleeves are okay), and women should have their hair covered. Men will invariably be asked to take off their hats when applicable.
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Minimize Your Summer Wardrobe for Eastern Europe Travel
Summer Travel in Eastern Europe means that you'll be able to pack a greater amount of clothing than you would if traveling during cooler seasons. However, you should still pack items easily discarded if you need more room on your return trip. In addition, try to pack outfits that are interchangeable with each other. Eastern Europeans don't generally maintain vast wardrobes, and it's okay to be seen in the same outfit more than once in succession.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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When planning your summer travel wardrobe for Eastern Europe, make sure to include your essentials as well as the items you might not have thought of - taking into consideration that you'll be returning with souvenirs, what you'll need to include in your carry-on luggage, and the fact that you'll have to lug your bags around yourself.
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Hiking Clothes for Summer Travel to Eastern Europe
If you venture at all outside the city, you'll no doubt encounter great hiking opportunities. Eastern Europeans take their hiking seriously - a little stroll to them might be much more than you expect. Make sure that you wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen, bug repellent, and cotton clothing that is comfortable and breathable.