When getting ready for a big trip, whether, for business or leisure, packing travel clothing and footwear can be one of the most challenging tasks. Just trying to predict the future and determine all the items of clothing and footwear you need to pack can be downright stressful. Also, the utter need for traveling light further makes packing difficult.
When it comes to choosing comfortable travel clothing and footwear, there are two parts to it. Firstly, what you’ll wear on the to and fro journeys, and secondly, what you’ll be in throughout the trip. Whether you’re traveling by plane, car, bus, train, or boat, you are bound to be cramped in a tight space, often with complete strangers. Having said that, you’d surely not want to finally arrive at your destination looking like you just got out of bed. By wearing something fashionable yet comfortable, you can certainly ease the pain of traveling long hours.
The later twentieth century saw new developments in synthetic fibers and fabrics useful to travelers, thus bringing about the existence of travel clothing as a separate category of dress. The best travel clothing is of a general, flexible style, and can be worn in at least a couple of different situations. For your personal comfort in different countries and cultures, it helps to buy clothes that are versatile.
While choosing the best footwear for travel, you need to consider important factors like comfort, support, weight, functionality, style, and durability. Don’t sacrifice comfort for style, in fact, go for a harmonious blend of both. For instance, chunky heels provide better support and more area for weight distribution. Lightweight shoes are obviously a huge perk.
The main idea is to carry proper footwear to your travel destination and not overpack shoes that won’t be of much use. The best way to pack smart is to choose footwear that you can pair with a large variety of clothes and that you also enjoy wearing. Whether you are planning to take a road trip or a cross-country flight or a fantastic cruise, sneakers provide the most comfort.
How to choose comfortable travel clothing?
Here are 7 tips to select comfortable travel clothes that would make your trip absolutely pleasurable:
- Choose easy separates – The thing about separates is that they go with just about anything. You can make little go a long way, i.e., layer up, wear as is, or play mix-and-match. Your separates become much more useful if they are in monochromes.
While you travel, it’s very important that you wear loose clothes you can move freely in. For instance, a flowy long-sleeved top which is loose around the neck for extra comfort and a roomy pair of jeans for a relaxed look.
For bottom wear, try culottes for something even more lightweight or fitted pants made of elastane-blend stretch denim. For informal and lively outfits, comfortably fitting casual dresses are the ultimate choice, for instance, a flowy midi or maxi dress.
- Go for layers – The key to packing light is layers. For instance, if your getaway destination has cold weather, you don’t need to pack in one massive jacket to keep you warm. Instead, you can bring smaller pieces to wear in different ways.
Depending on your travel destination and the time of year, you may experience extremely varying temperatures throughout the day. Dressing in layers will certainly protect you against such varying weather and aggressive air conditioning.
Go for pieces of clothing that you can wear together (mix and match), as well as individually for varying temperatures and weather conditions.
One way to do it is to stick to a color scheme. By maintaining a color scheme throughout a travel wardrobe, you can pair all clothing that you take on a trip, together. Thus you get multiple outfits out of a few pieces of clothing. The added advantage of a color scheme, besides eliminating extra clothing, is that you need only one or two pairs of shoes to match all clothing.
If you choose your layers well, you’ll have less bulk and more outfit options. Clothes that can play multiple roles save time, money, and space.
All ladies love camisoles and tank tops. For the base layers, these add very little weight and space. You can wear these pieces of clothing under virtually anything for added warmth. The bonus about them is that you can also wear them in warmer weather, for exercise, or to sleep in.
For the presentation layers, i.e., what people will see you in, you can pack cute cardigans and thin sweaters.
- Material Matters – Pay utmost attention to what fabrics your travel clothing is made out of. In order to anticipate what clothes you will need, check the weather of your travel destination ahead of time.
If you’re going to a warm place, then comfortable and stylish options such as moisture-wicking performance fabrics and high-quality lightweight wools fit the bill. What’s more, these are readily available. Such fabrics keep you cool in the heat, and you can wear them as base layers in hot temperatures. Most importantly, you can wear them for a few days without them smelling like it.
Furthermore, consider the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) when it comes to selecting appropriate travel clothing for hotter regions. All fabrics block ultraviolet (UV) rays to some degree, however, sun-protection clothing performs far better in this aspect. A garment with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50 blocks 98% of UV rays. Sun-protection clothing is rated from 15 (good) to 50+ (excellent), and this protection remains intact.
If you love traveling to the tropical forests, beware of several insect-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, and encephalitis, among others. Besides taking the necessary pre-travel precautions such as appropriate vaccinations, make sure to carry clothing designed from insect protection fabrics. Such clothes are treated with permethrin, an insecticide effective against mosquitoes, ticks, bugs and plenty of other insects. Permethrin is manufactured specifically for fabrics to protect your skin from insects, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommend its use.
While traveling to cold regions, in addition to a sweater, gloves, woolen socks, and woolen cap /scarf, you must carry a comfortable pair of jeans. Jeans are pretty much the only type of clothing that is useful in warm and cool climates. Also, carry a weather and wind-proof jacket that would be versatile in any kind of weather.
With the rise of athleisure, make your journey comfortable by wearing joggers or leggings. Add an element of fun to your journey clothing with on-trend stripes and splashes of color.
Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which sportswear has become more versatile, comfortable and fashionable. So, now you can wear clothing designed for gym workouts and other athletic activities in other settings, such as at the workplace, at casual or social occasions, and even while traveling.
Overall, choose natural, light and breathable materials like cotton and linen over synthetic materials like polyester. Such comfortable clothing materials will keep you feeling fresh throughout your journey.
- Know your detailed itinerary – Have a good knowledge of which activities you’ll be indulging in, at your vacation getaway. For example, you could carry yourself comfortably in a pair of grey shorts and one of your best t-shirts for a day trip to a museum or for a nice game of polo.
When it comes to business travel, choose neutral bottoms or trousers to pair with multiple tops or shirts for different looks during different business-related events.
For pants, shorts and skirts go for neutrals such as brown, black and khaki. These colors coordinate well with everything. So, you can save precious luggage space by ditching the bright colors for your bottom wear.
Last but not least, be prepared for anything and everything. One of the most appealing aspects of travel is the unpredictability, i.e., no matter what your itinerary says; it’s very likely that you’d find yourself in places that you hadn’t expected. So, the key strategy for choosing travel clothing is to find a fashion retailer with a large variety – both in style and class. This way you have clothing appropriate for any and every situation, right from city touring to wilderness exploring.
Go for wrinkle-resistant clothing – Such clothes can be packed and unpacked sans the usual creases associated with packing. Choosing wrinkle-resistant clothing is particularly important when traveling for business purpose.
While you are on vacation, the goal is to buy shirts and pants that you can remove from your baggage, give a good shake, and wear for a trip to the beach, pool, or to a casual dinner. Wrinkle-resistant performance fabrics like merino and denim are some of the smartest choices. Such fabrics also save space.
Ditch metallic accessories – While doing air travel, avoid wearing metallic accessories so that you can pass easily through the airport security checks. Also, for personal comfort, wear pants that don’t need a belt. In this regard, leggings make an awesome option.
Be aware of the cultural norms of your travel destination – We all dress to impress, however, while traveling, it’s often smarter to wear to blend in and to play it safe. Dressing appropriately in some regions is absolutely critical for your own safety and for keeping yourself away from trouble with the law. This way of getting your travel wardrobe right also shows respect for the sensitivities of cultures in regions where tradition commands a more conservative approach in general.
If visiting the Middle East and Africa, for instance, avoid tight-fitting, skimpy clothing. Dress conservatively and keep in mind that covering up here is part of the religion. So, bring some type of scarf for covering the head, particularly when visiting holy sites in such regions.
How to choose comfortable travel footwear? – Consider your travel itinerary, i.e., about where you will be traveling and what activities you will be doing.
Here are 7 tips to choose comfortable footwear that would suit your travel itinerary :
- City Tours – If you will be visiting mostly cities, either for work or leisure, then you will require stylish and comfortable travel shoes. So, there’s no point packing heavy and bulky hiking boots for your trip. For business travel, particularly, a pair of black-colored oxfords fit the bill.
The best travel shoes for your stay in cities are walking shoes or sandals that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable and sturdy. Rubber soles make them slip resistant and wearing small socks would prevent rubbing against the skin. Carry enough pairs of socks so that you can wear a new pair each day.
- Staying in shape while you’re traveling – You might want to stick to your fitness regime and visit the gym in the hotel where you’d be staying. So, don’t forget to pack a pair of trainers or gym shoes, else you’ll feel miserable.
- Emergency planning – Closed-toe shoes are an ideal emergency pair of shoes and are also suitable for visiting many nice bars or restaurants in cities.
- Backpacking adventure – In case you’re planning a backpacking trip, waterproof shoes are the best bet. They also prevent the formation of fungal infections on wet feet in a hot climate. Enjoy your backpacking adventure by walking comfortably through rice paddies or shallow rivers. While wearing enclosed footwear, wearing silver socks keeps the feet healthy and odorless by absorbing sweat and by killing bacteria.
- Some serious trekking – Hiking on some serious trails needs ankle boots made of leather which prevent the ankles from twisting while on uneven ground. A smart tip is to wear these hiking boots at least three weeks prior to your trip so that the shoes get sufficient time to adjust to the unique shape of your feet. In order to prevent rubbing and to keep the sweat away from your feet, while hiking, carry sock liners to wear under your socks.
- Icy adventures – Warm and waterproof snow boots must go in your luggage if you are planning to do a ski season or a thrilling adventure on glacial rivers. Also, a good grip on the sole is vital. This way you get to enjoy your trip without the misery of having freezing-cold feet.
- Beach holidays – When traveling to a beach destination, carry thick-soled plastic sandals or comfy wedges. Wedge sandals elongate your silhouette without compromising on comfort and usability.
Robust beach footwear minimizes the amount of sand that gathers beneath your feet when walking on the beach.
For women, an interesting element about beach footwear is matching its colors and style with the bathing suit or bikini.
Overall, seek breathable and durable clothing and footwear for travel purpose.
It’s best to select wrinkle-proof, drip-dry clothes that resist wrinkling when packed or worn, save space in a suitcase, and can be washed in a hotel sink and hung to dry. Don’t forget about layers and color schemes which would make your travel even easier.
Comfort and style should be on the top of your mind while packing travel footwear. Also, make sure that you’d have utmost comfort in your journey shoes.
On reading all the tips to choose comfortable travel clothing and footwear, you’d know the way to pack smart and to travel smart, thus alleviating unnecessary stress.
She is a blogger who loves to write in different verticals. She co-authored Supercharge Organic Traffic: A popular course focusing on Organic Traffic for E-commerce. Her hobbies are traveling and reading.