It’s so hard remembering all the things you need to pack for your trip. One minute you’re running around like a puppy on Adderall trying to find that flattering pair of jeans you just can’t forget, and the next you’re bawling your eyes out on the floor of your room convinced you might just have to stay home. This packing thing is just not worth it. (Seriously me before leaving to study abroad for a semester in Chile).
Trust me, I’ve been there!
Inevitably, as I’m packing my brand new makeup brush and five pairs of super cute dresses (that I probably won’t end up wearing), I end up forgetting at least one of these clothing essentials.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of the ten items that, no matter the destination or the climate ahead, I always pack in my suitcase.
Click here if you want to download a FREE pdf checklist with these items, along with extra space for you to edit the list as you like.
1) Fuzzy socks
I’m kick-starting things with an item that may sound a little funny, but it’s true. I ALWAYS bring a pair of fuzzy socks with me when I travel and even keep them in my carry-on.
Because those planes get so damn cold! Or hot. It’s really only on or the other, let’s be honest. But in the case that it’s cold, which I usually think it is, I have a pair of nice fuzzy socks to warm me up. People might look at you funny, but it’s worth it, I swear. Those tiny little airplane blankets just don’t do it for me, so I always keep cozy socks on me as a back-up.
2) Yoga/sweat pants
I normally travel in yoga pants anyway but if you don’t, I’d recommend bringing a pair or two. They’re a nice multi-purpose item to have since they can triple as pajamas/comfy travel pants/workout pants (although who really wants to worry about that on vacation other than fitness nuts like me? Not sure, but if you fall into that category too, you won’t regret bringing a pair.
Even if you’re going to a warm location, you may appreciate a pair of yoga pants in case it gets cold at night.
3) Multi-purpose jacket or sweater
For me, that’s my jean jacket. Again, you never know what kind of weather you’ll run into and it’s nice to have an extra layer that’s both warm and fashionable.
4) Sports bra
Sports bras are great to travel in both for comfort AND you won’t set off any alarms at the airport (I was once searched because of an underwire bra). And, again, it’s nice to have if you like to work out even while you’re traveling like I do.
5) Tennis shoes
Tennis shoes, sneakers, trainers…whatever the heck you call ’em, you’ll need a pair.I once forgot to bring a good pair of tennis shoes on a 3-month-long European trip and regretted it time and time again. First off, just like many of the other items, tennis shoes are comfortable and practical for when you’re traveling.
They also double as hiking shoes if you’re not doing intense trails, of course. While in Austria, I hiked more than one mountain in my Nike tennis shoes and they’re no worse for the wear.
Tennis shoes are also always good for long days spent wandering foreign cities. Trust me, your feet will thank me later.
Even if it’s going to be cold, you never know when you’ll need one! Iceland was cold when I went in April, but I got to warm up in some hot springs with my swimsuit. 🙂
P.S. – If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and want tips from locals about what to do and where to go, read more here! You may also get to see folks wearing costumes like this one if you go at this time of year for this festival.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of jeans! I can almost guarantee they will always come in handy, so I’d pack at least one pair or more. The great thing about them is they can be dressed up and down, making them very versatile, which is the most important thing in a travel essential!
8) LOTS of underwear
This one may sound a little funny too but it really is practical. Underwear doesn’t take up a lot of space and is a great space filler for shoes or breakables in your suitcase.
If I’m going on a trip for 2 weeks or less, I’ll seriously bring underwear for every day of the trip. That’s because you never know if/when you’ll be able to wash your clothes at all and I don’t know about you, but re-wearing dirty underwear is where I draw the line!
**Extra tip: Bring an extra pair or two of underwear in your carry-on if you’re checking a bag in case your checked bag gets lost. It’s one thing to re-wear an outfit but another to re-wear the undies you wore on the plane.
OK, OK, I know. This one isn’t technically a clothing item but, whether it’s warm or cold, they always come in handy!
I’d also recommend putting your sunglasses in some type of a case. I know it takes up extra space but the last thing you want is your sunglasses getting smushed and broken under all the other stuff you’ve brought.
10) Old shirt
I’d also recommend bringing some type of simple old shirt that isn’t very important to you. You can use it as an extra layer or when you’re out exploring. And then if it gets ruined on your adventures, at least you won’t be upset about it!
So there you have it! These are the ten clothes I always bring with me when traveling, no matter the destination. Let me know if I’ve missed any essentials and if you want to hear more! And, don’t forget to click here for your FREE editable copy of this checklist.
Now I want to hear from you…what are YOUR travel essentials?