5 packing essentials

Trip Tips: 5 things to Pack for your next trip

Before you start your vacation adventures, your first focus is packing. Don’t let the stress of wondering what to wear and what to pack, ruin the anticipation of your trip. There are some vacation packing essentials that can guide any traveler, no matter where you’re headed. Begin with these clothing basics and use these tips to save room in your suitcase for your favorite souvenirs.

Athletic apparel 

Considering the various cramped traveling spaces, like cars, trains or planes–comfort should be prioritized. Opting to pack sportier looks allows your outfits to double for any traveling days and active adventuring days, whether you’re going out for a walk or a full-blown hike. This versatility makes it a packing essential. Achieve that best vacation look by shopping for the cute-while-functional athletic wear that has become popular.

Athleisure packing essentials

One best-known brand, Lululemon, is reliable and has many fashionable options but can be expensive. Save your money for the vacation margaritas by buying your favorite athleisure clothing from an online consignment shop like thredUP. You can get a stylish yet cozy Lululemon look for less and still have plenty to leave a great tip for the bartender.

Formal wear

Vacation is a great time to go ahead and put your best dress forward. The number of formal outfits you need will ultimately depend on your vacation plans. If you are really pressed for space, bring an outfit that can appear dressy or casual given the right shoes and accessories.

Casual look for little black dress

A solid colored dress can easily be dressed up or down. Even if you don’t have any special events planned, you never know when something unexpected could pop up and you’ll have wished you had brought at least one nice thing to wear. Have at least one dressy ensemble ready in case you decide to go out for a nice dinner. A simple black slip dress is lightweight and you can easily layer a jacket or sweater or button down on top or wear a tee-shirt underneath for a dressed-down look.

Travel Capsule - little black dress

In the spirit of saving money for your trip, your formal wear does not need to be expensive to make you look fancy for your night out. Consider asking a friend to raid their closet for something they already have or try a service like Rent the Runway, where you can rent a trendy upscale look.

Comfy casual outfits

We tend to have this glamorous vacation identity that we pack for, when the reality is, we mostly end up wearing the same favorite shirt all week– just in different colors. Sticking to the basics will make up the majority of your day-to-day vacation wardrobe.

Try to start your packing with your favorite comfortable clothing. When deciding which outfits to bring among your normal go-to’s, you will want to begin with clothes that you can mix and match. A mix and match travel capsule of comfy clothing should serve as the basis of your packing essentials. Warm or cold weather, jeans classically provide the kind of outfit flexibility we are looking for. Whether you’re building an outfit around full-length jeans, cropped jeans or jean shorts, you’ve got a solid foundation. Leggings are also a good way to curate a stylish look while staying comfortable.

Comfy outfit packing essentials
Comfy outfit packing essentials

When you’re picking out your tops, consider their material first because you never know how long you’ll be out sight-seeing. Pick light-weight breathable fabrics like cotton. Classic t-shirts and tunics make for great all-day wear with little room for wardrobe malfunction to worry about.

Pick colors that you can wear interchangeably with the pants you packed, which with jeans and leggings should leave you with plenty of variety. As you pack, plan for the unexpected. Buttoned shirts, especially chambrays are a great neutral staple and can add a casual polish to outfits. Be sure to pack clothes that you will feel comfortable in and that you won’t have to fuss over on your travels.

Comfy outfit packing essentials

Appropriate footwear

There is much to consider when you’re deciding what the best travel shoes are for your particular vacation. You’ll need to take into account the terrain, weather, and of course your itinerary. And if there is a time to be honest with ourselves, it is when we are choosing shoes. It’s one thing to feel like you might be dressed a little too fancy or have picked out a shirt that’s a little too snug but it is entirely different when you can’t keep up with your schedule because your feet are in pain. Comfortable footwear should be included in your packing essentials.

Sneaker options today make it a no-brainer for comfort and practicality as well as being on-trend. A simple white sneaker, like the Adidas cloudfoam, always hits the mark, while one of the many colorful options can add some of your personality back into your vacation wardrobe, especially if you stick with neutral colors for your outfits. It is a versatile must-have, ready for whatever activities you have in store.

Sandals can also be a versatile option for your vacation needs. Opting for strappy sandals, while not recommended for all-day excursions, could be worn out to a nice dinner. Round out your comfortable footwear with a walk-able ankle bootie that can take you from day to evening travel activities.

Necessary accessories

Your accessories are largely determined by your personal style and where you’re going. For warmer destinations, you will definitely need sunglasses, and/or a hat. You may also want to pack a light jacket or sweater for the evenings or to jazz up one of your casual outfits. 

For mild or colder places, you’ll need to layer. Coordinating with your basics you packed here is a must. Pack a mid-layer sweater/cardigan that can be paired with most of the tops you brought. Pack a light outer-layer like a utility jacket that would pair perfectly with one of your leggings and tunic combinations. 

If there is even the slightest chance you’ll run into rain, you will want to have a rain jacket. Vacation plans may not be able to be changed once they’re booked, so if you have a walking tour planned for a rainy day, you’re going to be glad to wear your rain protection rather than stuck holding an umbrella all day. 

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