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Picnic Essentials

Picnic Essentials

A dozen ways to turn your garden-variety picnic into a Tuileries-worthy déjeuner sur l’herbe.

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Photo by Levi Brown

Ipanema-Inspired Heels

Sophia Webster heals

The next best thing to sand between your toes: these Ipanema-inspired patent-leather-and-grosgrain heels by Brit Sophia Webster. Tall and tan and definitely lovely. $485.

Photo by Carmen De Witt

Best Golf Shoes for Travel

golf shoes

Q: I am hoping to play golf on an upcoming business trip, but hate packing my bulky golf shoes. Any tips? —Joe English, via e-mail

A: You could stash them with your clubs, but I’ve got a better idea: Ecco just released a new water-resistant golf shoe (pictured; $190) that can be worn with jeans for a casual dinner as well as on the green (don’t just take our word for it—Fred Couples wore them throughout the 2012 PGA tour). If you’re headed to a rainy locale, also consider the three-layer nylon golf jacket by RLX Golf. It folds into a tiny, easy-to-stow bundle.

Packing is rarely easy—we're here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

Packing Tips for a South Africa Vacation

Packing Tips for South Africa Vacation: Solumbra safari shirt

Q: I’m going to South Africa next month. I’ll need safari gear for a week at Sabi Sand Reserve and clothes for several days in Cape Town. What will work in each location? —Mary Catherine Blake, Sandy Springs, Ga.

A: It’s best to limit your color palette to neutrals (an especially good idea on game drives, where bright reds and jarring prints can provoke wildlife). Solumbra’s safari shirt (pictured; $80) has sun-protective qualities and wicks moisture away from your skin. For Cape Town, where daytime highs hover around 80 degrees in January, try this lightweight top from Lemlem ($200). It’s made of handwoven (and tissue-thin) Ethiopian cotton, with a pattern derived from local textiles. For a night out, A.L.C.’s peach-colored silk georgette dress ($645) is easy and chic. Lastly, Coolibar’s wide-brimmed crushable canvas hat ($45), rated UPF 50+, will keep you cool in both the city and the countryside.

Mimi LombardoPacking is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

 

Photo by John Lawton

Longchamp's New Luis Barragan Tote

Luis Barragan Longchamp bag

Paris-based Longchamp, beloved by prepsters for its fold-up nylon travel carryall, is introducing something graphic: this canvas-and-calfskin bag inspired by Argentina’s country estates and the vivid work of Mexican Modernist architect Luis Barragán. Arm candy, indeed. $640.

Photo courtesy of Longchamp

Trip Doctor: Spring Packing for Paris and Barcelona

Paris street fashion

Q. I will be traveling to Europe this coming May and will only be able to bring one 22” carry-on and one overnight bag (that will fit under the seat). I'll be in Paris from May 5 – 11, and then in Barcelona from May 12 – 16.

The weather should be okay, but most likely there will be rain. I'm stumped as to how to best pack so I'm prepared for anything while packing as light as possible.

What shoes would you recommend for daytime walking (a lot of walking!)? Jacket or sweater? How many pairs of jeans? How many tops?

This is my first big trip to Europe so I'm trying to be proactive and figure out now what is needed. Since I will be responsible for lugging my own bags from Paris to Spain, I am truly limited for packing purposes. —Marianne VanAuken, Chandler, AZ

A. Since this is your first trip across the pond you should know Europeans' idea of casual is a bit more pulled together than Americans'. Parisian culture is steeped in fashion history and they take it seriously, so if you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, bring your best casual looks and buy some new things too. I always think of myself as a representative of our country when abroad and step up the style quotient.

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LV Speedy: Audrey Hepburn’s Handbag of Choice

LV Speedy

In 1965, Audrey Hepburn called Louis Vuitton with a small request: could they make a mini version of their Keepall duffel just for her? The answer: Mais oui, Madame. Now a globe-trotter’s handbag of choice, the LV Speedy ($2,490) has been upgraded with embossed leather and a shoulder strap—making any holiday chic, Roman or otherwise.

Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure's style director.

Photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Trip Doctor: Carry-On Luggage Recommendation

Victorinox carry-on luggage

Q: My carry-on is beat, and it’s time for a new one. What do you recommend? —Jonathan Curley, Seattle, Wash.

A: In the new world order of carry-ons, lightness is key. Victorinox’s 22-inch model ($299) is hard-sided yet weighs only six pounds. It also has maximum maneuverability thanks to its eight wheels. (If you are used to two, scooting around the airport with this many is truly life-changing.)

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo courtesy of Victorinox

Jia Collection's Reversible Winter Coat

reversible winter coat

Q: We’re spending two weeks in Stockholm in February, and I want a new warm winter coat. I can only take one, so I’d like it to be versatile. Recommendations? —Marna Eklund, Palo Alto, Calif.

A: I’m currently obsessing over Jia Collection, a line of convertible clothing by Chinese designer Jia Li that includes dresses, cardigans, and more. Her hunter green cashmere-and-Italian-wool jacket with leather trim ($940) is toasty and reverses to ash gray. Two for the price of one!

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

Best Sun-Protective Clothing for Travel

Sun-Protective Clothing: Parasol shirt

Q: My husband and I are traveling to Brazil. We both have fair skin, so we’ll be wearing plenty of sunscreen. Does sun-protective clothing really work? —Sadie Walker-Jones, via e-mail

A: Definitely! Clothes are rated on a different scale, though: UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor. The average T-shirt has a low UPF (anywhere between five and eight). By contrast, all of the following have the highest possible amount—50-plus. Parasol, founded by a former Vogue editor, offers pieces made of quick-drying Italian Lycra, while Coolibar creates its fabric from Australian eucalyptus trees (both also wick away moisture to keep you cool). The Patagonia line comes in everything from wide-brimmed hats to leggings.

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

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