One of the most challenging aspects of traveling is trying to figure out which clothes to pack. Whether you’re planning a trip to marvel at the natural wonders of Iceland or to Texas to tour some of the El Pasohouses for sale, the bulk of what you put into your luggage is likely to be clothing. The more you bring, the heavier that suitcase is going to be to lug around and the more it can cost you, with baggage fees, typically around $30-35 for the first piece of luggage, but they can be as high as $200 or more.
Minimizing is key, but then the problem becomes what to take with you so you don’t end up not having enough. Learning how to choose the right clothes to pack can help you strike the best balance.
Every item in your suitcase should have multiple uses. For example, shoes, which can be heavy and take up a big chunk of space. Don’t bring footwear that you’ll only wear once, instead pack shoes that will work for multiple outfits like sneakers for sightseeing and working out in. Or, flats that look stylish when you’re out walking the streets of Paris that might also work with that little black dress.
Exercise clothing can serve double duty as pajamas. Why bring both shorts and pants for hiking when you can pack one pair of zip-off pants, serving both purposes. Clothing that can be worn on your daily outings and adventures, then dressed up a bit with a scarf or a different pair of shoes for night, is ideal.
Pack with color coordination in mind. Neutral colors like khaki, taupe, brown, grey, black and navy dress up easily and can be very versatile. If you want your pieces to combine easily, so that you can bring fewer of them, black-white-grey clothing is going to be a lot easier to mix and match than red-green-blue. The ability to remix and layer pieces for various venues and temperatures and venues can be essential when it comes to packing lighter and having the clothes you need once you arrive. Keep in mind, darker neutrals don’t show dirt as quickly as lighter pieces.
Of course, that doesn’t mean everything has to be in a neutral color – choose one or two bolder colors to complement your neutrals to create the maximum number of combinations with the pieces you have, without having to look too drab.
Consider the Dress Requirements of Your Destination
If you’re traveling for a wedding, you know you’re going to need something dressy, but what happens if you plan to visit say, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome or a Muslim country where dress is conservative? Be sure to do some research to find out what’s expected so you’ll have the appropriate clothing.
The fabrics you choose can make a big difference in terms of how much room clothing takes up and comfort. You might need clothing that keeps you warm, clothing that keeps you cool or a mix of both, depending on the destination. Choose materials that resist wrinkling or look good wrinkled. Merino wool is great as its thermoregulating properties mean you’ll stay warmer in the cold and cooler in the heat. Nylon and polyester wick moisture to keep your skin dry, plus they’re lightweight and wrinkle-resistant.