This Accessory Is A 'Suitcase Nemesis,' According To Samantha Brown

Accessories are a fun part of any travel wardrobe, from your favorite sun-shielding hat on the beach to the perfect scarf or shawl in Italy. However, one accessory is arguably more important than any other: your shoes. Comfy and stylish shoes are a staple no matter where you're visiting, but, unfortunately, they also come with the downside of being bulky and hard to pack in your luggage.

That's probably why travel expert Samantha Brown (@samanthabrowntravels) referred to shoes as a "suitcase nemesis" in a TikTok clip. To keep footwear from taking over her limited luggage space, the TV host suggests bringing only three or four pairs. Back in 2014, Brown told Footwear News that she had over 30 pairs of shoes in her closet, ranging from affordable brands to luxury styles. Still, she finds a way to downsize when on the road, and her tips are easy for any shoe lover to copy.


Traveling? How to pack only 3 Pairs of shoes. 1. Your travel shoes. We're going for total comfort and support. Listen there could be an emergency and you want shoes that cause no extra challenges. Sneakers, slip on loafers, an easy to remove ankle boot. 2. Main shoe for destination. No one wants to look like a tourist so you're going for comfort as well as a little refinery. I like a boot or a slip on loafer. 3. Dress shoes- you gotta look nice! A note about boots. Pay attention to the weight. Because of the sole or material they could be very heavy and you're going to feel that at the end of the day. Sandals- if I'm walking a lot in them they need to have a backstrap.

♬ original sound – Samantha Brown

The first type of footwear the globetrotter recommends is a travel shoe you can wear to the airport. She suggests choosing a comfortable, supportive shoe that can be easily removed at security checkpoints. However, if you're going on a wonderful winter getaway, Brown says to wear your cold-weather boots on your travel days, as they're too large and heavy to keep in your suitcase.

Pack shoes for your destination and planned activities

If your go-to airport shoe works for your destination, you'll only need to pack one more pair for your trip. Otherwise, Samantha Brown recommends bringing another style that fits the weather, terrain, and daily activities of your vacation spot. For instance, a trip to a Costa Rica resort by the beach warrants a good pair of sandals that are great for both walking and lounging around. Meanwhile, a city break may call for a pair of fashionable sneakers or flats with built-in support.

The third pair of shoes Brown suggests packing is a "night out on the town shoe." This is a classy style that might not be comfortable enough for daytime sightseeing but fits the dress code for a five-star restaurant or swanky bar. Heels, polished loafers, or shoes with luxe embellishments all work for this category.

Finally, the travel expert offers the option of "bonus shoes" if you still have space left in your luggage. These are thin sandals, flip-flops, foldable flats, and other styles that easily fit on top of your clothes or inside a spare pocket. Remember to keep your destination in mind when stashing bonus footwear — otherwise, you might just add unnecessary weight to your load.

Consider bringing a pair of throwaway shoes

To save even more luggage space, Samantha Brown advises travelers to throw out their shoes before they catch their flight back home. It might sound like a wasteful tip, but hear her out. Brown explained on a segment of the "Today" morning show that she likes to pack old sneakers, the kind that have been hanging in the back of the closet and never get used anymore anyway, and wear them one last time.

If you have a pair of shoes that you know are on their last leg and too worn for a clothing drive, bring them in your travel bag and leave them behind at the end of your trip. For Brown, this tip works especially well for running shoes, which tend to have a short lifespan. She brings an old pair she doesn't mind parting with, wears them during runs or gym sessions at the hotel, and leaves them behind when she's done, freeing up space in her luggage for souvenirs.

If you'd prefer a more eco-friendly take on this tip, try researching clothing donation boxes in your destination. Some cities have clothing bins on the streets, while other spots may have retail locations, such as H&M, that recycle old fabrics and materials. That way, your shoes get a second life instead of ending up in a landfill — or the back of your closet again.