Traveling can be an exhilarating experience, offering opportunities for adventure, self-discovery and immersion in new cultures. For women travelers, packing efficiently and effectively is essential to ensure a stress-free journey. By considering the destination, climate, duration of the trip and personal preferences, you can assemble a versatile and well-rounded travel wardrobe.
Diane McLaughlin, manager of Lee Tracy in Pensacola, shared this advice for travel packing: “When choosing your wardrobe to pack for travel, consider the fabrics. Make sure they are breathable, easy to launder and try to find a good non-wrinkle fabric whenever possible. The less TLC your clothing needs, the more fun you will have on your trip!”
Choose a pair of sturdy and comfortable shoes suitable for exploring various terrains, and include a pair of sandals or flip-flops for beach destinations or relaxing by the pool. Bring a versatile pair of shoes for evenings out or more formal occasions if those activities are on your itinerary.
“When I have women coming in looking for outfits and ideas for an upcoming cruise, vacation, holiday or even a work event, I always suggest my travel line by Clara Sun Woo. We’ve been carrying Clara S. for over 15 years, because of her fabrics. She uses a poly-rayon-spandex mix that is out of this world. Not only is it extremely comfortable, but it’s also wrinkle free. It’s super flattering on every body type and size, and her fabrics simply drape effortlessly. She designs everything from dresses to jumpsuits, basics to bomber jackets, and every style pant and top you can think of,” McLaughlin said.
What you pack it in matters as well.
“When I travel, I tend to pack it all in my carry-on. It doesn’t happen always, especially on winter trips, but I try – it’s easy to do if you give it a whirl – my sister just returned from a 10-day trip to Italy, and sure enough, got it ALL in her carry-on” she exclaimed.
McLaughlin suggests exploring the great travel cubes available and researching vacuum packing options that save space, allowing travelers to pack more.
Consider leaving a little extra space in your bags for additional purchases made on your trip, or plan to ditch some of your clothing before your return trip to make room for items you pick up along the way. Plan to hand wash and re-wear some items if your stay is for more than a few days.
Choose accessories with weather in mind. A stylish hat and a pair of sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun and an umbrella or rain jacket could save a travel day from ruin. It’s a good idea to limit your jewelry to a few versatile pieces to accessorize your outfits. It’s wise to leave expensive or sentimental jewelry pieces at home to avoid loss or damage.
McLaughlin also suggests packing the bare basics and using the capsule packing method.
“Every woman needs a good white button down, a pair of jeans, a blazer or cardigan, a nice pair of black dress pants with a good tank top or camisole. With these basic necessities, adding layers and switching out pieces offers a wide variety of looks. Pick a color scheme, maybe two or three colors, and stick to those when considering what to pack. They can all be varying shades of a certain color, but you can mix and match much easier when your color palette jives. Many women play it safe with black and white, but have fun with bold accessories, add a striped tee or a super colorful scarf or kimono.”
Scarves can add a huge pop of excitement and do double duty as belts, and they take up little room in the suitcase.
“Throwing in a fun dress is always a good idea – wear it during the day with a cute pair of sneaks, or later on at night with a wedge or little heel. Bottom line, wear what makes you happy,” McLaughlin said.
Give your outfits a test run before you leave for your trip. Ashley Herkie, contributor for the Facebook group Travel Fashion Girls, has good advice.
“Dress comfy first. It doesn’t matter how cute you want to look, if you’re not comfortable then it’ll never be worth the pain,” she said.
Herkie suggests that travelers shouldn’t be concerned that they look like tourists.
“No matter how hard you try you’ll never look/dress like a local and that’s OK. Vacation is where you’re supposed to wear the outfits you wouldn’t normally wear and go a little bit out of your comfort zone. Don’t ever think you’re doing too much, or you’re overdressed. You’re on vacation; have fun,” she said.
Each of us can choose to be our own worst critic or best champion. Others are more concerned about how they look than how you look. You are spending lots of money on vacation and travel. Give yourself the freedom to wear and do what you want.
Carry a lightweight daypack or tote for daily outings and excursions, and pack a smaller bag for evenings out or when you only need to carry essentials. Invest in a travel wallet to keep your important documents, such as passports, ID cards and travel itineraries, organized and easily accessible. RFID blocking wallets can help provide safety for microchipped information. The technology reduces the reader’s signal power which prevents the microchip from working. In turn, that means your data is kept safe by making it more difficult to read the information on your ID card, credit card and passport.
Transfer your essential toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and skincare products, into travel-sized containers to save space and comply with carry-on restrictions. Check TSA and airline websites for up-to-date guidelines.
Remember to place any necessary prescription medications and basic over-the-counter remedies in your carry-on bag or purse. Stash a change of underwear and other essential items in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets delayed or lost. It’s also a good idea to keep your tablet or smart phone handy for accessing travel apps. Ensure you have the necessary chargers and adapters for those devices.
By packing strategically, you can create a travel wardrobe that is comfortable, versatile, stylish and fun. Remember to consider the climate, duration of the trip and activities planned to ensure you have the appropriate clothing and accessories. Traveling light and focusing on essentials will not only make navigating airports and transportation easier but will also allow for more flexibility during your journey. By following this comprehensive packing guide, you can embark on your travel adventures well-prepared and with confidence, ready to enjoy many exciting adventures around the globe.