Well Dressed Travel Tips: Ten tips to ease up your packing anxiety for that trip that is coming up, and turn your luggage into an easy and accessible tool to help you look and feel great the entire time you are away from home.
1. Develop a separate wardrobe just for traveling.
The key is to find packable separates that can interchangeably create several different outfits. Each piece must follow some basic Travel Wardrobe Rules; ‘, ‘
- look fabulous and feel terrific,
- be made of low maintenance fabrics, like micro fibers, knits and jerseys,
- the styles must layer well together (because you never know what you are going to do next)
- must be simple in design,.
- stick to one or two common neutral colors.
These clothes will always be fresh because you don’t wear them enough to get bored of them, they are simple enough to stay fresh, and if you like a little pizzazz and flare to your look, they can easily be freshened up with fun and colorful accessories. Your complete travel wardrobe should fit into a 22 inch check in bag and work for a 5 day trip with no additions besides undergarments, toiletries, and accessories.
The items you should collect to complete your Travel Wardrobe are:
- That proverbial “little black dress”, whether it is black, blue, brown, or polk-a-dotted, it just needs to follow the travel wardrobe rules (remember that dark colors show less dirt and wear)
- .A Shawl, Scarf, or other light cover up like a cardigan
- Pants (with stretch for comfort) Jeans are always a good travel piece
- A Skirt or a second pair of pants in a different style
- 3 tops of different styles. sweater sets work well for traveling
- 2 simple T-shirts as under layers or for warmer weather
- An athletic bottom and matching top or Jacket
- Sleep wear outfit with a cover-up
- One great jacket that is wrinkle resistant, and preferably rain resistant but light in weight. (some good places to check are upscale travel shops, greatjacket.com, and MycraPacNow)
- A pair of travel slippers or flip flops, which ever you prefer
- A pair of shoes that you can comfortably wear all day, but wouldn’t mind wearing to a nice restaurant. (Aerosol and Eco, as well as higher end brands like Colehan, make comfortable, fun, fashion forward styles)
Some places to look for these great easy pieces are outdoor stores like REI, active wear stores like Lucy, and surf wear brands like O’Neil or Volcom. For men, golfing stores usually have a nice selection of low maintainence clothes with a more polished look to them. Chico’s makes some great travel friendly separates for women, and American Apparel is a great resource for comfortable cotton jersey in an array of colors for both men and women. The Bliss catalog also has a nice selection of apparel with a few stylish pieces that are perfect for travel. Also try websites like babettesf.com which offers high end, low maintenance easy to wear pieces, “Travel Jersey” at yansifugel.com, and travel sites like magellans.com and travelsmith.com.
2. Accommodate specific needs for each individual trip that you go on.
There will be some items you’ll want to add to your pre exiting Travel Wardrobe for longer trips, theme holidays or just because you need that extra spice.
- You’ll need a complete outfit for the beach, or hiking, or any other special activities you may be participating in on that trip.
- Undergarments, one set for each day of your trip if it is less than 6 days and 1 set for every two days of your trip if it is longer. Be prepared to do some laundry, even if it means a hand wash in the bathroom sink. Travel packs of laundry detergent, now available on the market, are perfect.
- Shoes you can WALK in all day.
- 2 extra tops and 1 extra bottom (for every 5 extra days you are gone)
- Socks and hosiery
- 1 fabulous pair of shoes for fun, (try to keep them on the comfortable side)
Create all of your outfits on paper and make sure everything you bring works in more than one outfit.
3. Have a good collection of travel accessories and a separate travel pouch for your jewelry and accessories.
You may want to keep some special travel accessories that are fun and add spice to your wardrobe but won’t devastate you if they end up lost at sea or get left behind in a hotel room. Large colorful bangles and beads made of durable, less expensive materials are always fun for this job. Scarves and heavier grosgrain ribbons are great alternatives to belts on your travels; they take up much less room in your bag and can add a much needed splash of color. Keep these in a separate pouch so that they are easily accessible. Don’t forget a purse that can fit in your carry-on and matches your Travel Wardrobe. A clutch or large wallet is an ideal solution for this job.
4. Have a pre-packed traveling bathroom kit for toiletries and grooming paraphernalia.
This bag should remain packed and be ready to throw in your suitcase at any time. If you are a high maintainence girl or guy, and like your products, try to find them in sample or travel sizes, or put some in a small plastic travel bottles that can be found at camping stores, beauty supply stores, organizational stores and some drug stores. You may want to double protect these liquid items with Ziploc bags so that your shampoo does not end up all over your favorite silk scarf. Grouping like items separately will also help you stay organized during your travels.
5. There are certain items that you should always carry on the plane with you and keep close at hand.
Always pack your makeup bag and your jewelry, (especially if it is valuable) in your Carry-on. Have something to read or do. Pack a clean pair of underwear, a small t-shirt, socks and deodorant, if you have room, carry on a whole outfit. Have what ever medication you may be on, with you at all times. Also pack an emergency kit in a small pouch, this should include; 2 days worth of prescriptions and aspirin, Band-Aids, shout wipes, feminine products, travel tooth brush and paste (brush-ups are a terrific alternative product), hand wipes, facial wipes, moisturizer (preferably with SPF 15 or above), chap stick, “Airborne” or “Emergen-C”.
6. On your travels, dress presentably,
people will take you more seriously and treat you with respect. If you are bringing a suit, wear the jacket with some jeans, it will make you look more put together and help keep the jacket from getting as wrinkled. Wear comfortable shoes that won’t give you blisters, but try to wear the ones that would take up the most room in your luggage. Dr. Scholl’s socks are great for those swollen feet a lot of women get while traveling. If you are wearing open toes shoes, throw them in your carry on to put on while in your seat.
7. If going on a trip for a special event like a wedding, make a separate bag with every detail to complete the carefully thought out outfit. Plan out the entire outfit on paper to make sure you have thought of every detail. Carry this bag on the plane with you as your second carry-on item. Even if this means taking three suitcases for a 3 day weekend, its better than losing your bridesmaids dress in your lost luggage.
8. Have good luggage and efficient packing products.
Find ways to save space and keep your garments as wrinkle free and fresh as possible. Space Bag makes travel size space savers that push air out and minimizes size (these are also great for dirty laundry, but do not keep things from wrinkling). Make sure that you have a designated pouch or packet for dirty laundry. Small items, like underwear, hosiery, and bathing suits should be contained in something so they don’t fall out during a security check. “Eagle Creek” makes a terrific packing system with pouches, cubes, tubes and envelopes that organize, protect, help keep things from wrinkling, and can self contain everything in your suitcase. Placing Dreyer sheets between layers is a terrific way to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
9. How you pack makes a difference.
Roll softer garments and fold stiffer ones. Roll things inside one another to keep them less wrinkled. Pack socks and underwear inside of shoes to help keep their shape, and put athletic socks around the outside of your shoes to protect them. Place shoes and rolled garments at the bottom of the bag and the folded garments on top. For the folded items make sure that you alternate thicker ends like collars and waist bands. Dry cleaning bags are great between layers to prevent wrinkle causing friction. Belts and accessories should be snaked around the perimeter of bag.
10. Do some research on travel products that may help you and plan ahead.
There are many wonderful, very helpful products out there, which just may be the answer to your traveling dilemmas. Many of your everyday products come in travel sizes, so do a little research before you depart. Make sure you make a list of everything you’ve packed, it will keep you organized and will come in handy if your luggage gets lost. What ever system you chose, pre-pack a few days before your trip so that you can give your system a test drive, make sure that it works for you, and that everything you need fits in your luggage. Remember; start planning ahead so you are prepared before you go.