How To Not Look like a Tacky Tourist Abroad

As the fall semester winds down, many lucky collegiates get ready for a new, exciting adventure abroad. A popular place that many American students choose to study abroad is the amazing, culturally-rich and diverse continent of Europe. But before you can say "Adios," "Arrivederci," or "Au Revoir" to America, it is important to know what to pack in your suitcase to blend in with the European style and not look like a tourist.  


1. Ditch the College Sweatshirt

Ahhh your favorite college sweatshirt. That one you snuggle up with while watching Netflix on a Friday afternoon or you pull out of your bag halfway through that lecture in a freezing classroom. While you can certainly pack this gem of a sweat garment in your bag for your own personal, downtime in the comfort of your abroad residence, it is probably not the best idea to go out for a leisurely stroll past the Eifel tower or Trevi Fountain sporting your college gear. Such clothing garments make it easy to spot an American tourist, and a young adult student for that matter. So swap out your favorite sweatshirt for a cute, in-between jacket such as an oversized jean jacket, bomber, or other light, lined coat. Having a solid, basic in-between jacket that you can throw on over any shirt or sweater is the perfect way to stay warm abroad and not stick out like a sore thumb amongst the stylish Europeans that pass you by.


2. A secure, zippered bag is a MUST!

Gone are the days where you can comfortably leave your backpack, laptop, cell-phone and winter jacket at your favorite spot in the library as you leave your study perch for minutes and hours on end. While traveling to all of the incredible cities and countries in and around a cross Europe, a cross- body medium-sized bag with a zipper is an essential accessory to have. Not only will a neutral bag help you blend in with the European locals, you'll be able to keep all of your valuables in a central, easily located and safe place. One of the simplest and easiest ways to be a smart tourist is to always keep your bag around your body (not limply dangling over one shoulder) and completely zipped up so that you can return to America with all of the important belongings you brought with you to your time abroad.

3. "Work-Out" Apparel is Exclusively for Working Out

With the recent roll out of athleisure lines from various U.S. designers, it is easy for American college students to believe that the rest of the world views work-out clothes as being deemed appropriate for everyday wear. However, while in Europe, it is time to push your work-out clothes to the side and trade them in for a trendy pair of jeans, as Europeans do not typically go out wearing leggings, sneakers and a work-out top. Reserve your "I just rolled out of bed for my 8 AM class and may head to the gym later" outfit of comfortable leggings, a work-out tank and fitness zip-up for those times abroad when you will actually be engaging in physical activity.




4. Sweats are generally a "no-no"

Let your fashion flag fly while enjoying your time abroad in Europe! There is no better occasion to show off some funky, new clothing styles then when strutting your stuff down the streets of Europe. As a general rule of thumb, it is important to recognize that Europeans typically dress up more than Americans do on average. With that being said, it is probably a good idea not to show up to a meal or a museum tour wearing sweats or leggings. Dare to push yourself out of your style comfort zone while abroad by ditching the sweats for a patterned skirt or pair of embellished jeans!