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Simone Gasser is today’s travel fashion girl. She lives in Zurich, Switzerland, a perfect home base for trips to European countries and the rest of the world. Her blog is called “Dancing around the World” because it combines her two passions: travel and dance.
Some of her traveling is actually dance related since she is a teacher and performer for both belly dance and Bollywood dance. Thanks to this, she is regularly invited to participate in dance festivals, often in places that she normally wouldn’t go to. She is a city girl and totally addicted to Istanbul which she visits once or twice a year.
Read on to find out her travel style and top packing tips!
Interview: Simone Gasser
Q: How would you describe your travel style?
Well-prepared explorer. Planning a trip and finding out the best places to go and things to do is part of the fun of traveling for me. I remain flexible though and am ready to change those plans any second if necessary.
Q: Do you prefer to travel carry-on or with a regular size suitcase or bag?
I have been a Samsonite girl for many years. Their luggage is not cheap (I always buy it on sale) but really good quality.
For longer trips I usually prefer a medium-sized suitcase that I check in and just a large handbag for my iPad and whatever I should need during the flight, no hand luggage.
I have been working on constantly reducing the things I pack and am now able to do carry-on only, at least on the way to my destination. But I love shopping, so I leave with some empty space in my suitcase and fill it up during my trip. I always pack an extra duffle bag that I can take as my carry-on in case I should buy a lot of stuff.
So on the way back I usually have to check in my suitcase, even if it’s a small one because it gets too heavy.
Read our tips on how to pack and safely transport souvenirs.
Q: Are you an overpacker or do you underpack?
I have become really good at minimizing my packing. That’s not only regarding clothes but also accessories. One of the best ways was when I found really small plastic tubes for my skin care products.
My trick is to pack my suitcase a few days in advance with whatever I think I might need. Then I unpack everything, have a good look at it and usually take away at least 2 – 3 pieces of clothing and one pair of shoes.
Take a look a the three best travel containers!
Q: How do you stay stylish while traveling without access to an entire closet?
I am the queen of color coordination! I will stick strictly to packing only one color plus neutrals like white, grey and black. This way I can reduce the amount of accessories and shoes to bring along. But since everything matches I have a wide variety of possibilities to mix and match my clothes.
Maximize your packing with these tips on mixing prints!
Q: What are your three must have travel essentials?
Black pants, white t-shirt, iPhone.
Q: What destination was the most fun to dress for?
When I prepared for my first trip to Japan last year I chose pink as my color, combined with “glitter”. Think full on Hello Kitty! Actually I went shopping in the sales with this specific trip on my mind and it was great fun to see what I could find to match the theme.
Q: What destination surprised you the most with the ways locals dressed or their type of clothing?
I was not so much surprised but impressed by the clothing in India on my first trip there. So much that nowadays I only put on Western clothes for the flight to India – but from the moment I arrive I wear Indian garments exclusively.
Usually I will pack a few salwar kameez sets and then go shopping for the latest styles during my first days there. Because fashion changes in India just as anywhere else! It’s also a great way to ensure that you are always dressed properly.
Take a look at our India packing list!
Q: What’s your preferred travel outfit on a plane?
I used to wear trouser suits to fly – I think it helps if you look a little business like when you travel. But I am going slightly more casual these days.
As all the clothes that I own are comfortable (after all I also have to wear them in the office all day long) I can just pick anything from my travel wardrobe, but usually I will wear the heaviest items.
Check out some of our favorite airplane outfits!
Q: What are your favorite travel accessories?
Scarves – I always have to protect my head and neck from the sun or cold, wherever I go. There was a time when I had to literally ban myself from buying more scarves because I have so many!
Q: What are your favorite travel beauty essentials?
Sunscreen, no matter where I go – you always walk outside for hours when you travel. I’m a big fan of Paula’s Choice products which I need to prevent my skin from breaking out on the road.
Q: Do you have any specific hair or makeup products that work great for travel?
I have uncomplicated, straight hair that doesn’t need any special treatment.
If I can get my hair washed for little money at my destination or I am staying at a hotel that provides shampoo, I will not bring any hair products.
I pack little make-up and usually put on just enough to look good in my holiday pictures. Unless of course if I am going to be performing at my destination – then I’ll bring more make-up and a hairpiece!
Q: How many pairs of shoes do you travel with and what styles?
I have a LOT of shoes in my closet… But I try to limit myself to 4 pairs, mostly flats. I like to change my shoes every day because I think it’s healthier for my feet not to always walk in the same ones.
If I go to a place where I expect to go out and dance tango at night, I will need an extra pair of of tango shoes – or two if I go to Istanbul for a week where I usually dance every night and simply can’t be seen wearing the same pair of shoes every time!
Check out TFG’s tips on choosing the best shoes for travel.
Q: Do you have any recommendation for cute or comfortable footwear?
I love GEOX shoes, they look good, always fit me and are very comfortable.
Find out our top 10 cute and comfortable travel flats.
Q: What was your biggest travel fashion or packing mistake?
Beirut! Before my trip to Lebanon I had traveled several times to Egypt and gotten used to dressing very conservatively. I kept my look along those lines at first and it was probably the first time I looked like a tourist because I was wearing too MUCH clothing!
On my second day I walked around in tight capri pants, a t-shirt and stylish shoes and somebody asked me for directions in Arabic – that’s when I knew I got it right. Lebanese women are practically born in high heels and you can pretty much wear whatever you want in Beirut as long as it’s stylish and fashionable.
Q: Finally, any travel packing tips for new travelers?
Try to find out how much cleanser, creams, shower gel etc. you really need for your trip – it’s probably much less than you think. Then fill them into the smallest containers you can find. This will significantly reduce the weight and size of your luggage.
If you’d like to be interviewed on Travel Fashion Girl, please submit your details here.
For more traveler interviews, please read:
- Interview with Julia K
- Interview with Chalsie Mew
- Interview with Solene Debies
- Interview with Anna Paparizou