Do you travel with the same, simple outfits every time? Are you wearing the same outfit in every souvenir photo that you take along the way? You may need to check out these travel hacks to look fashionable anywhere you go!
Traveling light is just not my thing, but I admit that I’m cautious of showing up at an airport or hotel with thirty-five bags of luggage.
Over the course of many trips abroad, I have learned to bring essential elements of a perfect travel wardrobe. This is how to gather the best things to pack, so you can put great-looking outfits together on the fly! (look at that, another pun!)
Number 1: Have A Loose Plan or Agenda
In the 21st century, there is really no reason that our attire can’t always be weather-appropriate, so start planning your wardrobe by checking the weather. The biggest of all travel hacks is to plan!
The most important part of this task is to plan a loose schedule of events that coincide with the weather.
If you see that there are two days of rain or cold forecasted, those are your “museum days”. I refer to museum days as any event that I want to explore where I can be inside of a building. Perhaps it is checking out a cathedral or a cool library with amazing architecture.
Those are the days that I will plan to be inside and I will pack appropriate attire for that.
Image by Marissa Grootes via Unsplash
My outside days can consist of touring a countryside, enjoying alfresco dining, or taking in the local shops.
For these, I will want to have layered outfits planned. Outerwear that travels well by being darker in color works best for multiple wears.
Try to stay clear of anything that would require ironing or one that may attract static cling in changing temperature and humidity. Unless a trip is more than a couple of weeks, I typically only pack one coat and a few lightweight jackets for outerwear.
Number 2: Plan simple outfits and pack essential layers
Temperature varies – no surprise. Thirty degrees in California feels very different from thirty degrees in London.
Wind is a factor as well making the weather feel cooler than it actually is when travelling outside of your normal locale. For that reason, I always have these three items with me on most trips, (certainly my European jaunts):
- A hat – Essential for inclement weather and bad hair days
- A scarf – Easy to pack and perfect to pull out if you need to warm up your neck
- Gloves – I hardly ever need these, but when I do I’m so glad I have packed them
a photo from Ellen Phillips travel archive
Whenever possible I try to book stays at hotels with laundry service if I am planning on a stay of a few weeks or more.
This is a great way to pack half a wardrobe and save the weight in your luggage. I will say however that hotel laundry service isn’t the most economical part of my travels. When considering the baggage fees that airlines charge though, it may be a viable option for your next extended venture.
Number 3: Consider Footwear
As for shoes, always pack good walking shoes for touring days. Aren’t you glad I included that secret hack? Here’s what, though. You will definitely be more fashionable if you can find a comfortable pair of grey or black walking shoes.
Most Europeans really only wear white or light colored shoes in the gym. If you wear white Nikes to a museum, you will stand out as looking like a tourist.
Plan your outfits so one pair of dressier heels works with all of your outfits. I have traveled in the past with multiple pair of heels and it’s just a waste of my precious luggage space. One pair of heels, one pair of walking shoes. If you are staying for longer than three weeks, consider changing up your footwear with one additional pair of shoes.
Changing up your footwear is recommended by podiatrists to allow your leg muscles some variation due to walking stress, and to allow the insoles to get back to its intended support.
Number 4: Always pack simple accessories and bags
Finally, accessories! I always pack one pair of hoop earrings, one pair of studs, and one “evening” pair. Rings, bracelets, and necklaces are minimal.
Remember that theft and pickpockets may be prime in your destination, so why bother anyway?
In fact, I typically treat myself to a new piece of jewelry on my travels. My jewelry box is filled with fun pieces that I’ve collected from around the world. That’s one of my “things”.
For days that I will be roaming through shops, I will also pack a reusable canvas bag for my purchases. This is small enough and flexible enough to fold up nicely in my crossbody until I need to pull it out to use it. I have one that I’ve used for years and it’s perfect. Take your time to invest in one for yourself and you will be glad you did!
Bonus Tip: Don't Pack Toiletries
This one has been a great space saver for me. I only bring my small makeup bag that fits in my purse or carry on.
First, this will save time in security where you will have to pull out every bottle or compact. It will also save an amazing amount of space in your luggage!
Secondly, any airport will have a Boots or a drugstore where you can grab whatever you need for a week or so. Yes, it’s a bit more costly but I just factor that in to my daily budget and off I go.
Added bonus: I have found some amazing products in other countries that are fun to try for a week! Embrace the culture and step out of your comfort zone. I have some amazing cosmetics that I have found abroad this way and they look fabulous!
More Travel Hacks Coming!
I will have more posts on packing and interchangeable outfits that are tried and true for any trip I take. I also have learned what I can buy along the way to save luggage space. Stay tuned!
What’s your thing to collect on your travels? If you want to travel lightly, maybe you plan to buy some of your clothes on your trip – that’s fun as well.
Traveling is such an amazing experience! Don’t let your fantastic vacation get bogged down because you have packed the wrong things.