Idea for you blog, but really just selfish inquiry and much needed style help! For this frazzled pastor! Question what does a plus size pastor wear for a 12 day church trip to Israel in February where the weather can go from 30-50-70 degrees? We can only pack 44 lbs.
Lucky you! How wonderful!
Here are some thoughts from Yours Truly about packing for such an excursion.
Ten Packing Tips For Pastor Trips
1. Choose a color palette and resolve to stick to it. That means that everything goes with everything else. Don’t underestimate how much easier this will make your life once you get to your destination, but how much time and thought goes into choosing the colors and garments that all work with each other.
2. Consider making your main bag a sturdy canvas bag or knapsack style if you’re going to be on and off buses. This is not a professional trip in terms of needing to look smart exiting the taxi or rolling through the hotel lobby. This is an excursion and you are not “on role” here as you would be, say, going to a conference as a presenter. Make sure your bag is on wheels and can take a lot of being thrown in the back of a vehicle and crushed by others. You will not regret it if your bag has at least a few separate compartments. I would not recommend a regular plain old suitcase.
3. Bring a cross-body day bag or rucksack that you can roll up and stick in your suitcase exterior pocket. This will be indispensable for sightseeing. Also consider bringing a very small crossbody bag for throwing on when you’re just jumping out for a cup of coffee. I bought one from Baggalini that just fits my camera, a little guide book and some lip balm and I used it every day on my big sabbatical trip to Turkey and Greece.
4. The right shoes are absolutely central to the success of this trip. You may spend as much time making footwear decisions as you do about your entire wardrobe. You know why this is okay? Because if your feet are bothering you, that’s all you’ll remember about the trip. “We walked where Jesus walked, and I just remember that I got a blister and my arches were killing me!” Know your terrain and seek high and low til ye find the right footwear. This is a particular passion of PeaceBang’s, who refuses to wear sneakers in public as she feels that it simply screams “Ugly American” and who will spend weeks researching and trying footwear that will be comfortable, supportive and trekky enough but not look like she is wearing tires on her feet. It’s a challenge.
5. Choose cotton garments for breathability. This is assurance against getting stinky. Make sure the cotton garments fit well (no shapeless Hanes T-shirts) and have a touch of Spandex so they pack well without wrinkling horribly. Learn to roll your clothes for packing; never fold.
6. It helps if all of your garments are in solid colors, leaving you to add a few interesting print accessories that take up no room in your luggage but that add visual interest and versatility when you’re basically wearing the same thing for two weeks. OR, I like to pack only solid black pants and black sweaters and then a few bright patterned tops.
7. Women need to pack a skirt. A pull-on knee-length is fine, or a nice maxi style for evenings out or religious sites. Women also should pack a lightweight shawl or two. I have a beautiful featherweight cashmere blend that I bought in Turkey that I can roll into a small enough package to fit in a tiny purse.
8. Febreze and Woolite are your indispensable aids in keeping your garments fresh through many wearings. Consider packing old undies that you can toss away as the trip wears on, leaving room in your bag for purchases.
9. Standard Levi jeans are very heavy and not really appropriate clothing for such a trip. Look for comfortable pants with some stretch to them, but nothing too sporty like yoga pants. Guys can wear chinos or other types of slacks.
10. Layers! You told me that Israel might be 30 degrees at night, 50 during the day and up to 70 degrees. When traveling anywhere, but especially in such climates, I have a uniform of pants or skirt, long camisole or tank top (or empire waist sleeveless lightweight tunic top) cardigan over that and scarf in my bag for warmth around the neck. Hair up, hat and crossbody bag.
11. Bonus Extra! I think that safari jackets are a really great item for travel. They have a nice shape to them, they have that flattering drawstring waist or belt, and they’re classics that go with almost anything. The neutral color works for everyone and you can really brighten one up with a pop of color around the neck with a little cotton scarf. A terrific, versatile travel garment.
What say you, pigeons? I’ve never been to Israel but I’m sure many of you have. Please proffer your advice in the comments.
Jackie, have a wonderful, blessed trip. Send photos! Kiss of peace, PB