Packing light but efficiently is one of the simplest ways to minimize travel stress; at least, it can be, as long as you know how to do it. From choosing the correct carry-on to understanding how to properly pack dress clothes, here is your essential guide on how to dress for travel.
It doesn't matter what you wear on the road if it's all wrinkled. One solution, especially if you're a business traveler, is the SkyRoll Spinner. This carry-on sized bag has a built-in wrap-around garment bag that ensures dress clothes don’t fold — and therefore don’t crease. Another option is a small rolling garment bag, like the Samsonite Lift2 Carry-On Wheeled Garment, which is also very light-weight. For the ladies, a Spacepak High Heel Bag makes sure dirty heel bottoms don’t touch other clothing.
If you love your luggage and don’t want to swap, make use of packing cubes to stay organized, keep garments unwrinkled and save space, especially cubes with compression capabilities. I personally tend toward the smaller cubes as they can help you fit a lot into small pockets of space in your luggage, though at times the larger cubes are also needed. Luckily, they often come in sets with multiple sizes.
Instead of packing all of your favorite clothing, have a game plan. First, choose your color palette and stick with it. This way, you can mix and match pieces to create completely new outfits without having to pack as much. Also use accessories to add some pizazz to a look, like a scarf that fits with your color palette that can also be used as a belt. This trick is especially helpful with bulky items — like sweaters. For example, you can layer a Merino Wool or HeatTech-style t-shirt with a long sleeve cardigan in the chosen color palette.
There are a number of companies that make wrinkle-free clothing for travelers. For those times you don’t have these kinds of items, it helps to know how to properly fold your travel garments — and often a nice, tight roll is a great method. For example, if you have a shirt lay it out face down, fold one arm cuff across the back to meet the other arm cuff. Then, pinch the edge of both cuffs (they should be aligned on top of one another) and bring them down to meet about an inch above the hem of the shirt. From there, roll from the bottom to the top in a neat manner.
For pants, it’s wise to fold along the pleat as even if they do wrinkle it’s a natural area for some texture. Then, roll. It not only saves space, but there’s less material exposed to the other potential wrinkle-causing elements in your bag.
One of my favorite travel essentials is the Stonewear Designs Breathe Pant, as they’re super comfortable (although they’re surprisingly made from PET plastic bottles) and work as both lounge pants and slacks. They’re also wrinkle-free (for business) and moisture wicking (for adventure). Moreover, I’m a fan of cute yet practical SmartWool shirts that I can wear with jeans or to keep me warm while hiking. Leggings are great as pants on their own, pajamas or for an extra layer of warmth under jeans when it’s cold. Choose items that can work for a variety of scenarios to stretch your luggage space further and stay practical yet stylish.
Learning how to dress for travel can be daunting at first, but once you master these simple best practices, you’ll reduce a lot of the stress during your next trip.
What are some of your best tips when it comes to how to dress for travel?
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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