14 Clothing Essentials for Any Vacation

What to pack and wear for your next trip.



It is true that most of us (62% in fact!) are guilty of over packing. But don’t stress, your suitcase doesn’t have to outweigh your excitement of getting out the door. We’ve rounded up these simple planning tips and fool-proof travel items that will have you wheels up for any journey… and wheels down on a smartly-packed bag that sets your mind at ease.

Look good, feel good

First, pick items that are easily interchangeable within a two or three color capsule wardrobe, plus a few colorful accessories. Comfortable basics like these will take you off the plane and straight into any itinerary:

Merino wool shirts

Basic natural antimicrobial, all-weather merino wool shirts like these men’s shirts from Unbound and bamboo shirts like these from Tasc Performance layer perfectly.

Wrinkle-resistant pants

Versatile wrinkle-resistant pants like the moisture-wicking, quick-dry men’s Latitude Travel Pants from Orvis and women’s Brooklyn Ankle Pant from Athleta work anywhere.

Knit blazer

A knit blazer like Bonobos’ Italian Knit Blazer or Old Navy’s Built-In Flex Blazer for the guys or Ministry of Supply’s Atlas Knit Blazer or Old Navy’s Boyfriend Blazer for the ladies feel more like a sweatshirt, yet looks business classy. (Bonus: Travel blazers like these from Eddie Bauer are also your friend in any situation!)

Cozy travel wear

Braless tops from LA-based JJ Winks.

Cozy travel wear, like these clever, buttery-soft braless tops from LA-based JJ Winks are a must when travelling. Lightweight AllBirds shoes are sustainable, cool and comfortable and help you limit to 2-3 pairs of shoes (Yes. You. Can.).

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Form, meet function

Make a list and plan your outfits in advance, planning for the elements too. From air pressure to air conditioning, blocking sun to blocking bugs and germs, this gear has you covered:

Air filtration

G95 Bioscarves and Biogaiters with proprietary air filtration make for a travel-friendly face mask alternative.

Bug-repellant clothes

ExOfficio BugsAway bug-repellant clothes protect you from insect-borne diseases and are EPA registered to last through 70 washes.

Clothes with built-in SPF/UPF-shirts

Clothes with built-in SPF/UPF-shirts, like this Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Marietas Sun Wrap or Men’s Long Sleeve Weekend Polo, give sun protection without the hassle of sunscreens.

Compression socks

Sockwell compression socks made from breathable wool/bamboo blends in fun patterns will give you happy feet at 10,000 feet — especially perfect are the new men’s RoadTrip and men’s In Flight patterns!


Madewell's packable straw hat.

Hats like Madewell’s packable straw hat, the crushable floppy wool hat at Sustainable Travel & Living, and Buff’s foldable spot cap you won’t have to hand carry.

Unique, chic and one-size fits all

Lay it all out, then get your road warrior’s red pen ready for some ruthless editing. Remove ‘just-in-case’ items and repeat after us: “if I really need it, I can buy it”. Make the job easier with these super-chic multi-taskers:

An artisan-made, organic-cotton quilted Kimono Jacket by Anchal will have you traveling on-trend.

The Dreamsoft Travel Scarf from Zestt Organics makes for an all-in-one scarf + shawl + blanket.

Plush Cashmere’s unique ombre Sally Cape is equal parts fun, elegant and oh-so-soft.

This kid’s monkey travel blanket from Zestt Organics is a cuddly companion that’s easy to transport.

You’ve got the list, now to find your inner Tetris champion. Maximize space in your luggage by leaving the heaviest items to wear on the plane, roll your clothes versus folding, and use packing cubes, like these made from recycled water bottles. Still have anxiety about being short on socks? Wash those worries away with wallet-size paper laundry sheets.

Here’s to taking the stress out of how you’ll dress – let the journey begin!

Author Lauren Smith is an avid traveler to over 40 countries (and counting!) and Founder of, offering hundreds of carefully-vetted low-waste, recycled, non-toxic, give-back and other planet-friendly products for every day, every journey.


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