Whether you intend to travel to Bali or some other overseas holiday destination, deciding what clothes to take can consume a lot of time, especially if you’ve never been there before. Once thing to remember is that blending in with the crowd can help to avoid becoming the target of pickpockets, scammers – especially if it well known that you are staying in a villa – and even the racial hatred that seems to be so prevalent in some countries.
People in western countries have a very relaxed idea of casual attire, which is not the norm in many Asian countries. Since your clothing is often what makes you stand out in a crowd, here are some tips on what to pack for your overseas holiday and what to leave at home.
- For couples, wearing matching T-shirts will make you stand out as a tourist, something you want to avoid if possible.
- Wearing a T-shirt with a national flag, swearword, a religious symbol or a hand depicting what could be considered a rude gesture is out.
- Wearing skimpy clothing is something that should be avoided in most Asian countries as it is offensive to the culture. People in shorts and sleeveless tops are generally not allowed to go into temples, churches or some clubs.
- Open-toed shoes, sandals and flip-flops should be left for beachwear only, as many countries are unhygienic and you can sustain scratches or cuts that quickly become infected unless your feet are protected. In addition, in the event of a plane evacuation due to fire, leather lace-up shoes will protect your feet from burns and cuts.
- Jewellery is best left at home because it only attracts pickpockets.
- In some countries, brightly patterned shirts are the norm; it others it is better to wear colours such as navy, blue, tan and grey. White is a sign of mourning in some parts of Asia, while black and blue attracts the tsetse fly in central Africa.
- While jeans have become well-accepted in most countries, those that are extra baggy or ripped are still frowned on. Besides, jeans take ages to dry if you get wet.
- Polyester and other man-made fibres are popular for tourists to wear because they don’t crumple, yet they can do nasty things to your body. Not only do they make you hot and sweaty because they don’t breathe, in a fire they melt and stick to your skin, causing burns that could be avoided if your clothes were of natural fibres such as cotton or wool.
- If you wear a backpack, always carry another one strapped to the front for your valuables. Backpacks are very easy for people to rob in a crowd.
- Don’t carry a large camera around your neck; take a small one that can be placed in your bag or a pocket. And never carry a mobile phone in your back pocket.