If you travel a lot, you probably put a premium on comfort. Especially on a plane, you need to be able to move freely and avoid temperature extremes. Being comfortable also means fitting in with your surroundings and having the confidence that comes from looking your best. Know your destination; the shorts and t-shirts that fit in beautifully in Australia will stand out like a sore thumb in Milan. Here are a few other guidelines.
Pillow and Blanket
Many people like to travel with their own pillows, especially if they are designed for extra support. Leave it at home and you may suffer headaches and a stiff neck for the duration of your trip. If you cannot fit your normal pillow in your suitcase, try to find an inflatable version in the same shape. You can experiment with varying firmness levels to find the most comfortable option. It also helps to bring an extra blanket. You can use it on the plane (so much better than the small flimsy ones they hand out), at hotels, and even drape it over your shoulders during chilly evenings. Fleece fabric is a great choice for this because it is warm, lightweight and available in so many colors and prints.
While lounging around your house, sweats are fine. While traveling, opt for more style. Choose versatile, classic pieces in fabrics that resist wrinkles and never need ironing. For maximum flexibility, stick to one color family so that each piece coordinates with every other piece. For bottoms, choose leggings, maxi skirts and jeans; top with simple t-shirts, knit sweaters and button-down shirts under a blazer or duster-length cardigan. Pockets are a plus; just don’t fill them until you are through the security check at the airport. Whatever you pack, make sure it is lightweight and rolls up compactly. For any destination where the weather can be unpredictable, layers are the key.
Shoes and Outerwear
If you are traveling to a cold climate, bring one fabulous coat. It may be heavy and bulky, but staying warm and dry — while knowing you look chic — will make it worth its weight in gold. For warmer destinations, you may be able to make do with a light rain jacket and a mid-weight sweater. Shoes take up a lot of suitcase space, but the right ones earn their spot by combining comfort and style. Athletic shoes are perennial favorites, as are slip-on flats in basic colors like black and nude. Your wardrobe and the purpose of your travel will dictate other shoe choices. Business trips require dress shoes, beach holidays call for sandals, and camping expeditions necessitate hiking boots. Remember to bring socks appropriate for each type of shoe; tuck socks into the toes of shoes during packing so they do not get lost or left behind.
A sensible outfit and comfortable shoes are a great starting point, but without accessories, you can end up feeling naked. After all, accessories can transform your outfits and define your style. Accessories are typically small and light, so you may be tempted to bring quite a few, but you do not need to. Limit yourself to two pairs of earrings, one metal and one with sparkle or color; use the same rule for rings and necklaces. Scarves are a traveler’s best friend because they are small yet make a big impact. Scarves add color and interest to simple, monochromatic base pieces. Additionally, some scarfs double as blankets, while others contain pockets to stash everything from your passport to some extra cash. When it comes to wallets that go in your pocket, the smaller the better; opting for radio frequency ID protection may give you added peace of mind. If you carry a purse, a small cross-body style will be comfortable and practical. If you need to haul your laptop or other large items, a slim backpack with multiple compartments can give you hands-free organization and convenience, while still looking chic.