Once a trip itinerary is nailed down, it’s time to sketch out everything you’ll need to successfully execute the plan.
Do we have time for family activities as well as relaxation? Am I optimising my rewards points and miles?
Just as important is making sure you’ve got the right travel clothing. No one wants to spend their morning debating which outfit might work for a hike, only to realise they forgot a good pair of wool socks and must run to the store.
The best travel clothing is versatile and can be worn in at least a couple different situations. I’m going to share my 5 tips to guarantee you’ll choose the right travel clothing, along with a couple brands I’ve come to trust over the years.
1. Be prepared for anything by choosing a retailer with plenty of options
When I first fell in love with travel, one of the most appealing aspects was the unpredictability. No matter what my plans were or which city I visited, I always seemed to find myself in places that I hadn’t expected.
Through time and a few situations that I was (hilariously, looking back) not dressed for, I’ve learned that it’s always best to be prepared for anything and everything. My travel wardrobe has evolved to reflect this, making leaps and bounds in 2017.
One key strategy for keeping travel packing easy is to find a fashion retailer with plenty of variety – both in style and class. LYST is a supplier I’ve embraced because I know that wherever I’m headed, they’ve got something appropriate for the situation. For both men and women, from clothes to bags to accessories, their online store has something for just about anyone.
2. For long-term travel and trekking, invest in a great pair of shoes
One of the biggest factors in a comfortable travel experience is shoes. I’m more than willing to pony up for a good pair of shoes or hiking boots because they are the anchor to any wardrobe. Think about it: shoes are typically the last thing you choose for an outfit or outing but it’s so critically important that they are up to the task at hand.
Consider where you’re headed, and how much walking you plan to do on a daily basis. Shoes are one of those things that make a huge difference no matter the season, and no matter whether you’re going urban or trekking a peak. A bad pair of shoes can flat-out ruin a trip. I recall walking around Disneyland in old sneakers that caused painful blisters. Other holiday-makers thought that tears welling up were due a sensation of overwhelm in the happiest place on earth. Not so. It was only my squelching socks soaking up throbbing, bleeding sores.
A good pair of athletic shoes or boots are a must in pretty much every situation. This is especially true if you’re taking the family out on a national parks tour, or making your way across varied terrain. I’ve got size 15 feet, so if I can find shoes, anyone can.
3. For adventure travel and unpredictable weather, find a multi-purpose layer
No one wants to be stuck in a rainstorm wearing a hoodie. Personally, I’m not one for big bulky jackets when I travel because they’re hard to pack and really only come in handy in extreme situations. I’ve tried a number of different jackets over the years and what has proven the most useful is one that is thin and durable, but also waterproof and able to be used as a shell. If there’s ample pocket space, that’s a slam dunk.
For both men and women, SCOTTeVEST is exactly what I’m talking about. Not only are their jackets among the most fashionable on the travel market, they’re versatile in ways that will come in handy when you’re faced with weather or need an extra layer of safety for your pocket stuff.
I love how their jackets feature pouches on the inside for your phone, passport, tablet, and more – all perfectly concealed. I’m partial to The Enforcer jacket in particular, because it’s super slick and stylish in addition to being functional. It goes with everything.
4. When packing casual, it’s all about ‘The Roll’
Among my most beloved packing techniques is something I call ‘The Roll’. This refers to the process of rolling a piece of clothing, usually a t-shirt or pair of shorts, and packing it in cylindrical fashion in your suitcase or bag. When traveling with the kids, this is a smart way to do a quick overview to make sure they’ve got enough clothing options and that nothing is forgotten.
The goal is to buy shirts that you can take out of your baggage, give it a good shake, and put on for a trip to the beach, pool, or a casual dinner. Buy shirts that are thin, lightweight, and 100% pre-shrunk cotton. Wrinkle resistant performance fabrics are the smartest choice.
This technique saves space and avoids wrinkles. Most online clothing retailers will specify what their t-shirts are made of, making it easy to choose one designed from a durable material.
5. Bring items that can mix and match with each other
One of the best ways to keep your bag light is to choose clothes that can play multiple roles. For example, a pair of grey shorts that looks great with a t-shirt for a day trip to a museum as well as with that nice polo for dinner afterwards. Mixing and matching saves time, money, and space.
6. (BONUS) Now find those clothes in that suitcase
What’s the point of bringing the right travel clothes on your trip, when you can’t find them in your suitcase? I use eBags Ultralight Packing Cubes to organise the clothes in my suitcase. They come in 3 sizes for foolproof stacking, and bright colours so it’s easy to identify which cube is which in dim hotel lighting. I suggest choosing different colours for each member of the family for easy identification. Once you start using eBags packing cubes, you won’t know how you lived without them.
Keep in mind that to feel comfortable in different countries and cultures, it helps to buy clothes that are of a general, flexible style. Save your brain power for choosing the best places to go, not what you’re going to wear once you get there.