Dear Eric,

My husband and I are traveling together to Europe to visit our son and daughter-in-law for the holidays. We’ve decided to carry on and travel light. I’d like to feel sporty yet chic, and my husband just wants to be comfortable. Can you help us? What do you suggest?


Mr. and Mrs. Adventurer


Well, Adventurers, I think you’re in for a great trip — and hopefully a little romance, too.

The fabulous thing about fashion is that you can fit a lot into a small container, and when added with a little personal style of your own, you’ve got a chic, personalized look. Here’s how it goes: You’ll need a pair of slacks or cool skinny jeans, maybe one of each, along with a pair of leggings, a dress, a few long-sleeve tees, a cardigan or sweater vest and a great statement coat that will take you everywhere.

You both should choose shades of black, gray or navy. They will all blend together, look terrific and appear new when paired differently. Add one color of your choice; orange and bright blue are hot right now. Then experiment with this season’s fashion trends: statement coats, leather, cheetah print, quilting, scarves, vests and bold sunglasses. Keeping your clothes neutral for traveling means more freedom to layer and still look chic.

Pack a dress that can take you many places. Choose one that can be dressed up or down so it’s fashionable for cocktails and dinner and still looks great paired with a sweater over it for a more relaxed look. Consider wearing boots on the plane, but choose wisely: comfort first, the ability to get them on and off easily second. Boots are very chic right now and will look good with everything in your bag. Add a pair of ballet flats or sneakers if you feel you need to have another shoe option for your excursions.

Your husband should bring two to three pairs of his best jeans, especially a dark washed pair for dressier occasions. Also pack a pair of sweatpants and a pair of dress pants if he has room, along with one classic white collared shirt. The rest could be long-sleeve polo shirts or T-shirts for layering. A cool cashmere, wool or leather vest or fleece pullover would be great for layering, too. Travel in a sport coat that can easily be dressed up or down and a pair of all-weather, comfortable boots. Add a great hat or ball hat that will help make him feel at home, and don’t forget to pack him some warm socks.

You’ll both need gloves. Seek out some that are touch-screen compatible so you can use your smartphone. Be sure to contact your mobile carrier before you leave on your trip; there are incredible apps that can help you with everything from directions and restaurant choices to language barriers and money conversions. I’d also pack a compact umbrella; it’s always a great thing to pack when traveling abroad. I’ve heard some people save room in their luggage by packing old undergarments and throwing them away as they go to make room for new purchases during the trip.

The backpack is well suited for your plans to carry on. It’s truly this season’s chic travel accessory for both men and women. Multiple compartments make it easy to stay organized and will help keep you relaxed and focused on fun during your adventure.

Your trip sounds awesome. Safe travels and happy holidays!