Travel Wear Ideas – Sometimes, you just need to get away.
Traveling is more than just a fun way to see the world.
Studies indicate that traveling can make people healthier, and more productive when they return to work.
Of course, there are certain frustrations associated with traveling.
In addition to booking accommodations and transportation, there’s also packing to do.
If you’re taking a road trip, there’s limited space in your vehicle, and if you’re flying, you’ll get charged for extra baggage.
It’s also better for the environment.
For these reasons, it’s important to pack as light as possible.
Of course, this makes it tricky to pack enough travel wear for a long trip.
Luckily, we’ve compiled this list of tips and tricks to help you pack strategically.
Here’s how to make sure you’ll have enough travel wear without packing your entire closet.
Travel Wear Ideas to Keep in Mind
Figuring Out What You Really Need
You might have heard the saying, “It’s better to have something you don’t need than to need something you don’t have.”
While this can be good advice, it’s not always the case when it comes to travel wear.
Packing unnecessary clothes can end up costing you time, energy, and money.
Studies show that we only wear 20% of the clothes in our wardrobe.
So chances are if you don’t wear an article of clothing at home, you won’t wear it on vacation.
A good trick to packing lighter is to start off by laying out all of the clothes you think you’ll need.
Then, only pack half of those clothes.
This will help prevent you from over packing.
Make Use of Different Compartments
There are certain items of clothing that you’ll need to be able to reach more quickly than others.
For instance, you’ll need to access your socks and underwear more often than you’ll need to access your second pair of pants.
Make sure to pack the essentials in compartments where they’ll be easiest to locate.
Roll, Don’t Fold
Rolling your clothes typically takes up less room than folding.
Also, when you fold your clothes, you’ll often get creases that will need to be ironed out.
Rolling will avoid this problem.
Another way to fit more clothing in your luggage are compression bags.
They are simple to use and will astound you when you see how much space they save.
Choose Fabrics Carefully
Another way to eliminate the need to iron clothes while traveling is to choose your fabrics carefully.
No-iron shirts or dresses will hold up much better while traveling.
Also, make sure to choose fabrics that will be comfortable.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in a car or on a plane, you’ll want fabrics that are light and breathable.
Bring Versatile Pieces
One of the secrets to packing travel wear effectively is packing items of clothing that you can wear in multiple ways.
This will help cut down on the total number of items you’ll have to pack.
For instance, a well-fitting pair of dark blue jeans is a great item to pack.
Worn with a t-shirt, this can be a great casual item.
Add a button-down and a blazer, and you can wear them out to a nicer restaurant.
Pay Attention to Color Palette
One of the secrets to packing light for travel wear is to pack pieces, rather than outfits.
This way, you can make a variety of different outfits out of just a few items of clothing.
In order to do this, however, you must bring multiple pieces that go well together.
This is why it’s important to have a simplified color palette.
The more of your items that can be worn together, the more outfits you’ll be able to make.
Dress in Layers
One of the most challenging seasons to pack for is winter.
To stay warm, it’s important to pack heavier clothes, which take up more room.
A good trick for packing in winter is to packing multiple, lighter layers, rather than fewer heavy layers.
This will take up less space in your suitcase.
It will also provide you more flexibility in terms of having multiple outfits on your trips.
Wear Your Bulkiest Items
Even with packing layers, there are some bulky items like coats, sweaters, and boots that you’ll need to bring.
Instead of trying to fit these in your bags, wear these items, and pack the lighter ones.
This is especially helpful if you’re flying, and trying to only take a carry-on bag.
Always Bring Extra Shoes
No matter how light you’re trying to pack, it’s always essential to bring at least two pairs of shoes.
This is especially important if you’re planning to do a lot of walking on your travels.
Your feet will feel better if you’re able to rotate your shoes each day.
Also, if one pair of shoes gets wet, you will have a backup that you’ll be able to wear.
Again, if you’re flying, make sure to pack the lighter pair of shoes, and wear the heavier one.
This will free up room in your carry-on bag.
Look for Laundromats
You will be able to pack fewer articles of clothing if you can do laundry on your trip.
As you’re plotting your itinerary, look on the map to see if you’ll be close to laundromats.
Many hotels have a washer and a dryer for guests.
When you are out and about, exchange your dollar bills for quarters, as many laundromats are coin-operated.
You can also call ahead to hotels to find out if they’ll laundry facilities and if you can pay for it by credit card.
Many hotels even have services where the maid will pick up your laundry in the morning, and then drop it off later in the afternoon.
This way, you can get your laundry done without having to take time out of your day.
In some cases, you can wash articles of clothing in your hotel sink or tub.
Then, you can hang them out to air dry overnight or during the day.
Packing the Perfect Travel Wear for Your Trip
Using the tips in this guide will help you pack just the right travel wear that you need.
This way, you can focus on having a great trip, rather than dragging around a bunch of extra luggage you don’t need.
If you’d like more helpful travel advice, contact us.
Whether you’re new to traveling or a travel enthusiast, we have resources that can help you make your trips successful.
Travel Gear You Should Buy New
The key to traveling green is consuming less.
But when you’re packing for your next trip, there are some things you should buy new – either because they’re hard to find used (safe water bottles) or you wouldn’t want to buy them used (underwear).
In the end the investment will pay off.
If you’ve ever pulled a damp, musty towel out of your pack after a long day of travel, you understand the value of having a quick-dry towel.
Plus, they’re uber-absorbent and compact.
Elizabeth and I have traveled with our Aquis towels and, I have to say, they are life-changing.
Far better than the giant cotton monstrosities we traveled with before.
We use the hair towel variety, which are quite small but do the trick.
If you don’t already have one I’d recommend considering it before a long trip.
One drawback: I have yet to find a microfiber towel that’s organic (or even made of a natural material).
Walking Shoes or Boots
The last thing you want when you’re hiking 5 miles a day with a 20 pound pack is uncomfortable shoes.
Your feet will be sore enough with even the best boots.
This is especially important for longer trips, or trips where you’ll do a lot of strenuous hiking.
Comfortable boots that fit well are well worth the initial investment.
Find out which boots are best for you with the hiking boots buying guide.
Side note: Most water-proof hiking shoes are made with Gore-Tex, which is bad for your health and the environment.
But soaked socks are miserable, so it might be worth it to you to have dry feet.
In her post on the Gore-Tex dilemma,
Elizabeth hashes this out a bit more.
A sturdy, reusable water bottle is a travel essential.
Unfortunately, the water bottles many of us have relied on for years are made with bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical.
Which means the hard plastic bottles you have lying around your house or you find at thrift stores and garage sales probably contain BPA.
Even some stainless steel bottles (like Sigg) may contain BPA.
The good news is, there are alternatives.
I prefer Klean Kanteen because I try to avoid plastics when possible – why risk it?
But if you must use plastic, try out the new BPA-free bottles like CamelBak’s Better Bottle or the Nalgene Choice.
I haven’t tried out quick-dry underwear myself, but many travelers swear by them.
Elizabeth’s a fan of Ex-Officio underwear, as she mentioned yesterday.
And they definitely make sense in terms of packing less, doing less laundry, and having underwear that dry overnight.
And lighter luggage means less of an environmental impact.
Bonus Tip for the Women Out There: Diva Cup
I wasn’t convinced at first.
When I saw the Diva Cup at Expo East, I laughed – were there really enough women willing to put that up there to create a demand for the product?
But then I did my research and read reviews like Crunchy Chicken’s (read the comments, too) and I was convinced.
I’m now a believer in this silicone “menstrual solution.”
And why not?
It’s indefinitely reusable, comfortable, and a low one-time investment, and doesn’t create any waste.
Want to try it out?
The cheapest place I found the Diva Cup was South Coast Shopping.
For more smart travel shopping tips, check out The Ultimate Guide to Thrift store Shopping.