Types of Outfits
Travel outfits can be broken down into categories: airplane comfortable, activity appropriate, and seasonal necessities.
Some of these outfits can, and often must, overlap into multiple categories. After all, suitcase space is limited.
Your outfits should be neutral in color so to make mixing and matching easier. Black, white, gray, blue, and beige are good choices. If you crave splashes of color, be sure that it is something that doesn’t clash with your other clothing color choices, or consider adding in color only with accessories.
Technically, this category works for more than just airplanes. If you are planning your outfit for a train ride or a long road trip this works as well, but due to airport security demands and the prolonged feeling of being squished into a tiny seat, airplane clothes need to be extra comfortable and convenient.
Tunic tops or tunic sweaters are a great airplane outfit for women and cardigans and pullovers serve as a great staple for anybody.
Socks are often overlooked with the mentality that any old pair will do but traveling can be extremely physically taxing on your legs and feet so it’s important to choose the right socks. Being cramped and sedentary for the duration of your transit risks deep vein thrombosis - a condition that causes swelling and dangerous blood clots. Choosing compression socks can help you avoid this.
Compression socks are also helpful with the swelling that results from increased walking. If you have a job stuck at a computer screen, it’s likely that you will find a week of walking tours can cause serious pain and swelling as your legs and feet adjust to the long hours on your feet. Plan your packing accordingly.
When packing, you must always be sure to take your itinerary into consideration. Your destination and intended activities will help determine whether you need to bring a swimsuit, hiking boots, or a fancy outfit.
However, because these items are likely not to be used throughout your regular everyday life, it’s vital that you consider the comfort level of each item. Make sure, for instance, that if you plan to hike then the boots you bring should be broken in. Personal experience will teach you that new boots can feel fine in the store, but lead to your feet bleeding and blistering when walking long distances.
A fancy outfit for a special occasion can present a unique conundrum. With limited suitcase space - especially given the strong case made for carry-on only in our post [Here] - how can a single event’s outfit be justified? Needs must of course, but if possible, find a simple dress that can be dressed up or down in order to use it for more than just that one event. Opting for ballet flats instead of heels can also make packing a little easier.
The seasons have arguably the biggest impact on what needs to be packed for a trip. Both the weather where you depart and arrive should be factored into what you pack. Summer heat means light breezy outfits and sun hats but a snowy winter requires more thought.
Cold weather will demand thicker clothing, but there are a few ways to squeeze those cozy outfits into your bag. Layering your outfit will add even more thermal insulation than a single puffy coat and means that you can choose items that won’t take up as much space.
Types of Materials
Wool, or man made cloth like acrylic, are the perfect travel materials. Both these types of cloth wick sweat which is an unfortunate byproduct of increased movement, activity, and stress.
Warm and cozy activewear is a fantastic option because it is generally made from the types of fabrics that perform well with intense activity. Many activewear outfits are even fashionable enough to wear out to excursions, like a museum tour, while still being comfortable enough to lounge around in during long stretches of transit. With activewear, you get both form and function.
Since it can be difficult to find socks in man made fabrics, you should know that wool is a surprisingly great option for those sweaty activities. It is astoundingly useful for temperature regulation by keeping you cool in warm weather due to its ability to wick sweat and warm in cold weather because it’s water resistant nature will help protect you from rain or snow.
When deciding between wool and man made materials it is helpful to note that activewear does not have the same thermal properties as wool and may not always keep you as warm, however wool can be quite expensive.
In addition to wicking sweat, there is still one major reason why these fabrics work best for travel. They are easy to wash.
Washing clothes on vacation can be a necessary hassle. Unlike at home, however, washing on the go usually means hand washing and line drying. Cotton absorbs a lot of water and makes line drying slow and may lead to damp clothes even after hours. Man made fabrics and wool wash easily and dry quickly.
We hope you found our travel packing tips helpful. If you have any tips you’d like to share or a favorite travel outfit, please let us know in the comments section below.
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