7 Essentials to Pack when Touring a New City ...

Whenever you're touring a new city, it's always super important to know the things you need to pack in order to have a comfortable and memorable experience! As I'm approaching my next trip (Washington DC), I've been thinking hard about what items are essential when touring a new city - especially when planning full days of adventure. I always tend to pack too light with inappropriate footwear, so this time around I'm doing some planning in advance! Here are some essential items you need to bring with you on your next vacation to a new city.

1. Comfortable Shoes

Seriously, THE most important items to pack when touring a new city are comfortable shoes. And I don't mean shoes you can grocery shop in and be fine. I mean athletic shoes that are meant to be walked in all day without the formation of blisters or sore feet. They aren't the most stylish but they are the best option to guarantee a pain-free experience if you plan on doing a lot of walking. I always end up buying shoes while on vacation due to lack of planning - not this year! I'll be sporting my new black leopard print Nike Frees!

2. A Cross-body Bag

When traveling to a new city or during any vacation, cross-body bags are the best type of bag to carry because it means you're hands free while carrying all your essentials. It's almost like a stylish backpack! Just make sure your bag isn't too big and heavy because you can strain your back, neck and shoulders.

3. Layers!

While on the subject of layers, make sure you check the weather forecast for the location you're going to. Unpredictable weather is the worst, especially when you come unprepared! Also keep in mind your activities and pack layers that can easily be removed.

4. A Camera

I know most of us have smart phones these days with a pretty amazing camera built in, but it definitely doesn't compare to the quality of an actual camera. If you're blessed to own a professional camera, even if it may be cumbersome to carry along, definitely remember to bring it! It's worth the inconvenience and the obvious "tourist" look for wonderful captured memories.

5. Transitional Outfits

When packing for vacations that involve a lot of touring and walking around, you want to pack in such a way that outfits can easily transition from day to night. That way you save a ton of extra space in your suitcase and it's just more functional that way. You can make simple changes to your outfits with shoes and accessories which take up less space in your suitcase than bulky clothing.

6. A Water Filter/Water Bottle

It's generally a smart idea to pack a portable water filter when traveling. If you're used to tap water tasting a certain way, then having a filter can be in your best interest. It's especially important when traveling to places that have Giardia in the water (stomach bug that makes you sick). Also remember your water bottle! Getting stuck without water handy isn't fun - I know I get super cranky when I'm thirsty and/or hungry!

7. Reading Material

Travel time means down time so you're going to want to bring along some reading material to pass time with. Flights, delays, long car rides or even hotel relaxing require some good reads to keep you occupied. I always buy a magazine or two for flights and a book I've been wanting to read for a while.

Traveling to a new city or location is always exciting and adventurous! Traveling is one of my favorite things in the world and it's always a better experience when I come prepared. What are your go-to essentials when traveling or touring?