I am not a light traveller. Packing everything into a carry-on for a two or three week trip is not my style. Heck, we put a suitcase in the hold for our four day trip to Las Vegas. That’s because I like to have options for both day and night, and plenty of clean clothes to avoid doing laundry. I also like to swap out my bags and shoes and feel that I look my best. And then there is also that bit of extra space in case I find something nice along the way. 

That said, our luggage is never overweight, and I do meticulously plan my outfit options for each day of a trip. I pay special attention to footwear because I’ll have a miserable time if my feet aren’t happy. Here are three simple footwear packing tricks for air travel that I’ve learnt over the years. 

Travel in your bulkiest pair of shoes

Wear tall boots, booties, wedge sneakers or the heaviest and most cumbersome pair of shoes you intend taking along on the trip to save space and weight in your suitcase. Granted, these shoes aren’t usually an easy “slip-on-and-off” style when checking through security, but the process only takes a few extra minutes of your time. You won’t hold anyone up if you move to the benches provided to put your shoes back on. I’ve found it totally worth the extra effort if it means I save space and weight in my suitcase. Plus, wearing bulky shoes with socks means foot coverage when you take your shoes off at the security check points. (I prefer not to walk barefoot at the airport). You can remove bulky shoes aboard the plane for extra comfort, and pop on another pair of cozy thick socks.

Pack multiple pairs of shoes for any length of trip

Shoes are bulky and heavy, which is why people prefer to pack as few pairs as possible. The point is not to pack the kitchen sink, but I do believe in bringing backup pairs for comfort reasons. Greg and I prefer to see a city on foot, and walk long distances when we’re on holiday. If a pair of shoes doesn’t work out as well as I hoped it would, I must have backup pairs so that I can continue enjoying our holiday with happy feet.

On the second night of our recent trip to Vegas I walked from the Bellagio to the Venetian in new gold heels, which killed my feet. I couldn’t wear the gold shoes again on that trip. Luckily I had dressy booties as a backup option that I could wear with wide leg black trousers for evening occasions. I also had comfortable flat Beatle booties to wear for long walks during the following days. It was so, so worth it to bring three pairs of shoes for a four day trip.  

Pack footwear in your carry-on

You can save weight and space in your checked luggage when you pack footwear, and other heavy items for that matter, in a carry-on. This is a little inconvenient, so I only do this when our checked luggage is near the weight limit.  

These footwear packing tips won’t work for everyone. For some people packing extra light is essential. Others are really uncomfortable wearing bulky shoes on a plane. How you pack and dress when travelling is as personal as your sense of style. The most important thing is that your packing strategies work for you.