Here are my top tips for a night out:
1 - Don't bother packing party/cocktail dresses.
- If you cant wear it as a casual piece of clothing it is a waste of space
- Bring something versatile, that can be worn with anything else in your bag
- You generally don't want to attract attention to yourself anyway
I brought a long sleeved oversized shirt that was elastic and skin tight. I would wear black tights underneath it and a little denim vest over the top with beige flats. I could wear this dress as a casual shirt or as an extra layer thermal type thing. The only problem I found was that it was a bit too hot to dance in at some night clubs. A plain black elastic type skirt never goes astray and then you can really change up your party outfits with different shirts tucked or untucked.
2 - Bring something that can dress up a casual/plain piece of clothing. I had a little denim vest that I could wear casually undone with a shirt or I could do it up over a plain skin-tight black dress and it would dress up great. I wore it so much!
3 - Plain black tights. These are great especially if your party city is a bit chilly! They also pack down small which is an added bonus.
4 - DO NOT BRING HEELS!! Only flats or strappy sandals intended for party and casual use. I say strappy sandals because you want to bring something that is going to be well attached to your feet. With the amount of walking you will be doing dressy thongs that don't somehow attach to your ankles will be the death of you. Also some places might refuse your entry if you don't have adequate footwear.
5 - A strong but small shoulder bag. You should find something big enough to fit your phone, money, I.D, the key to your hostel, map, as well as a scarf/thin cardi. You need something that will protect your important stuff
6 - A scarf or cardi (for cold weather). It is amazing what a $12 cotton scarf can do for warmth. I would often bring it instead of a cardi, cos I could tie it to my small shoulder bag or stuff it in. It would open up really large so it was like a blanket if it was too cold, or I could just chuck it around my neck. If I lost it well it didn't really matter because I could just buy another!
7 - A tiny little card wallet. You dont want to bring your purse with you. If fact the less important stuff you can bring, the less likely you will loose it. I would only take sufficient I.D and one of my travelex cash-passport cards (for more info on these see my post about moola). The little card wallet I brought would fit my cards perfectly.
8 - Only use the cash you have withdrawn for that particular night. I would NEVER use my travelex card unless it was an emergency. I would withdraw about $40-50 bucks, and would aim to go home with majority of it.
9 - Dont get drunk. As much as this is the obvious point to going out, you need to know your limits and still be very aware of what is going on around you. Stick with your hostel buddies and never go out alone. Common sense!
10 - Phone. Make sure you have charged it prior and that you have the local taxi and police numbers in it. Something really simple but could get you out of a tricky situation.
11 - Dont wear your favourite jewellery - very high chance of it disappearing.
12 - Make sure you bring a map with you. Getting lost is very easy and definitely not a good option.
13 - Dont get sucked in by those people on the streets that you meet during the day and they tell you all about this awesome club and the free drinks they will give you as they are promoting it, and the awesome night you will have. Its usually a massive scam to strip you of your money. Go and talk to your hostel guys at the front desk and find out all the goss on the con artists and the night-life. They will always be able to give you some good advice!
I guess the main thing to remember when packing party clothes is whether or not you can wear it casually as well as dress it up. I would only bring one particular outfit because you can always buy something when you get to your new country. Just accessorise it up or down with items that can also be worn casually! Enjoy!