When you're packing your suitcase to go on vacation, the number of shoes you feel like you have to bring is a little ridiculous and sometimes more than a bit overwhelming. A lot of your choices depend on the outfits you're going to wear and the activities you're going to do; if you know you're going to be walking a lot, for example, you'll probably want to bring a pair of tennis shoes. If you're going to the beach, you know you'll need flip-flops. If you plan on going to a nice dinner (or two), you'll need a pair (or two) of nice heels--and bam! Before you know it, you're out of luggage space, and you haven't even packed your favorite outfits yet.

We're going to take a stand that's potentially controversial: sandals are the best and most important pieces of footwear to bring on almost any vacation. In fact, if you have to choose between sneakers, heels, or sandals, you should always choose sandals. Why? Sandals are more versatile than you might think; a good pair can go with most outfits and activities ranging from casual to classy and relaxed to a busy night on the town. You can get away with wearing them just about anywhere. Here's a list of ways that sandals can be worn and specific reasons that vacation sandals reign supreme.

  1. While never a good idea for hiking, a lot of sandals are built to handle miles of walking. Wearing a comfortable pair of sandals can be a relief for your feet if you plan on vacationing in the middle of summer. When you go to amusement parks that require hours of standing in line, a solid, comfy pair of sandals can make your day a lot less painful and give your feet a chance to breathe. Just remember to put a little sunscreen on your feet to avoid a painful 2nd day at the park. Though tennis shoes do offer protection for your toes, they don't have a monopoly on active footwear anymore. Get yourself a good pair of squishy active sandals and say goodbye to vacation sneakers forever!
  2. Leave the heels at home; they aren't comfortable anyway. One of the greatest advantages of sandals is their versatility. Sandals that have black or even faux leather straps can easily match a dressy outfit, and if you happen to find a pair that also doubles as activewear and let you dance the night away? Major score. Sandals like that will keep you stylish AND comfortable while you go to all your fancy vacation dinners, so you don't have to be in pain for the sake of beauty. After all, you should be more focused on the experiences you're having than the shoes that you're wearing. It's really a win-win-win situation.
  3. Flip flops are a sandal perfect for any beach or poolside vacation, especially because they're so easy to take on and off as you navigate walking through sand, and they are usually made to survive getting wet. While we wouldn't recommend flip-flops for long days at theme parks or fancy dinner nights, you can wear them almost anywhere else. They don't draw a lot of attention as a shoe, so unless it's snowing outside, you're not going to get any weird looks when wearing them.

Are you convinced yet? When you go on vacation, you don't need one pair of sneakers, two pairs of heels, one pair of flip flops, etc.; you just need one or two good pairs of sandals that can match any outfit. Not only that, when you get home, they are just as versatile! Save yourself time and hassle the next time you go on a spring or summer vacation and rock your favorite sandals the whole trip!