Note: This post is based on my experiences over the years. I am not affiliated with any of the brands I mention.
Every person has their own style and preferences. I am one to combine cuteness with comfort. Keep in mind, I am not a hiker, so while I do walk a lot and explore the old sites, like Petra, I do no mountain hiking. If you are looking for clothes for hiking purposes, this post is not for you. I hate sporty clothes – I own only one Jeans, which I have worn on most of my flights for the past decade and switch it up with other trousers for some shorter flights. But where I can help it, I ditch trousers 😊 On the other hand, I do own a lot of suits (due to my previous work requirements) and formal dresses, but I would never wear those while travelling because they aren’t comfortable.
For travel I usually go for dresses and skirts/shorts, whenever possible (unless I am going to somewhere with freezing weather or extremely conservative). In this post I will list a few options I found, which worked perfectly depending on the season.
I usually pack one outfit per day of travel and very rarely re-wear things, as I travel the way that I don’t do laundry (unless I go somewhere for months ). With this, I can usually do carry on only luggage for up to two weeks for my own clothes, especially easily if I am going to a warm destination. I can do that for Spring-Autumn season as well.
That said, I am the one who takes max 2 shoes and very little number of toiletries – I don’t bring my own shampoo or hair styling products, for instance. I only bring a small pouch with creams and foundation/liner/mascara. Plus, I include mosquito repellent/sunscreen where needed. That’s basically all my liquids.
For longer than two weeks it’s harder with carry on and I may need to bring checked-in luggage.
Travel Clothes according to seasons and destination countries
Travel clothes for summer season (or other hot season) – non conservative countries
If I am travelling in summer to European countries, Latin America or some parts of Asia, I go for short/mid-length dresses or skirts/shorts. First of all, they allow me to move around easier, but also they take up much less space in the suitcase 😊
This is the type of travel that allows me to not even think about what to bring, I just choose from what I wear on an everyday bases.
Travel clothes for summer season (or other hot seasons) – conservative countries
The most difficult thing is finding clothes for conservative countries, while it’s terribly hot. Long sleeve tops and trousers are simply too suffocating in this season. So the best solution is bringing long dresses (if you like wearing them). I personally never owned a long or even midi dress before travelling to Arab and South East Asian countries. As I only needed those items for travelling, I tried to find cheap options, disregarding the quality – my thinking was that I will only wear those maximum a couple of times a year, so spending a lot of money on them would be illogical.
There are a few options for finding cheap things – I look at heavy discounts on Debenhams for instance, there are also H&M, Forever 21 and similar. But I found Shein to be the best option for cheaper dresses, which don’t easily get ruined by washing and look nice. Most of their items (polyester and cotton) say to wash on cold, but I usually wash them at 30 C and they are fine. Also I had to wash them at 60 C once, because of the bed bug scare and they held up.
You could look through Amazon as well for cheap items, however, I find that the same quality things are triple the price than Shein and not really worth it.
I do know that there are concerns about Shein for not following labor rules, but to be honest most of the companies, even those priced significantly higher (unless they are Fairtrade and so on), are using cheap labor in Asian countries unfortunately and I am not in a position to afford only the environmentally conscious, Fairtrade, clothes. If I did that, I would not be able to afford anything else but basic living expenses, and wouldn’t be able to travel at all. That said, I don’t use anything, as fast fashion. I use the same clothes until they get completely ruined. Hence, many items are in my closet for 10+ years, I just have enough to switch them up.
So here are a few of the items I wore in Thailand Royal Palace, Angkor, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, etc.
For some people, dresses may not be as comfortable while walking a lot. I hiked all around Petra and Angkor with long dresses without problems, but most people will prefer trousers.
I supplemented the dresses and skirts with lighter weight trousers, whenever I didn’t have enough dresses for my trip.
Some of the countries are more complicated – for instance, Saudi Arabia and Iran. For those one would need to be covered to the ankles and ¾ sleeves. To meet those needs, you may look at leggings and tunics or trousers with tops covering bums.
Travel clothes for spring and Autumn season – non-conservative countries
For these mid-seasons I usually take layers, which can be switched up to make new outfits.
I personally adore tights, especially colorful ones, which are perfect for autumn season, as they don’t weigh much and light up the outfit. So, I normally would wear a short or knee length skirt and top or a dress with a cardigan or jacket and colorful tights (I have thicker and thinner tights depending on the weather). That’s my go-to outfits for daily use as well in Spring and Autumn. I feel like I can make very cute outfits this way, while keeping my luggage lighter.
This may not sound comfortable for some people, but for me this is very comfortable, as my tights are usually not too narrow and I move around much easier in them than trousers, but of course this is a personal preference and may not work for everyone.
I also supplement them with trousers, sweaters and a trench coat for particularly cold days and for flights, but as I don’t much like those and they are heavy, I try to minimize their use.
Another suggestion I have for this season is cashmere and merino wool cardigans and/or sweaters. I own several pieces of those, and they turned out to be the best for travel, as they are very light, compared to other types of warm clothes and they don’t easily smell, so can be re-warn a few times. Cotton and synthetic warm clothes are actually much heavier and difficult to carry. While these are not cheap by far, you can find basic pieces on discount on Onequince website and on Macy’s (in winter season). For instance, this cardigan was 42 USD on Macy’s:
Keep in mind, these may peel sometimes. You can use the cashmere comb to get rid of those peels.
My other cardigans and sweaters are cheaper and less warm for relatively warmer days. I try to go for cotton, but some are synthetic. Those come from different places, including Zara, H&M, 6pm website offers and wherever else I find discounts.
Travel clothes for Spring and Autumn Season – conservative countries
This one is easier in conservative countries, as on colder days cover-up doesn’t feel suffocating. For this I use my least favorite style – trousers and/or midi skirts with a top and cardigan or sweater. As I hate flowy trousers, I wear skinny trousers with items that cover bum, depending on how conservative the country is. If you wear flowy trousers though, you don’t need to do this.
Here is what I wore in Morocco for instance (it was winter when we visited, but the weather was like spring in Europe).
Travel clothes for Winter (and other cold seasons)
I don’t usually travel in cold seasons, as I hate cold 😊 So I am not the right person to give much advice on this. But when I do, I love my cashmere and merino wool sweaters (see above) under a coat and La Canadienne boots for the combination of warmth and lighter feeling.
Shoes for travel
I have heard from many people over and over again that the wrong shoes can ruin a trip. Well, maybe not ruin, but it will certainly complicate things and cause a lot of pain. Just on a recent trip I took boots, which were not sufficiently tested and I regretted it a lot. Had to go and buy new fabric shoes to help my feet recover.
Here are a few things which worked for me pretty well over the years:
Shoes for city walks in summer/spring/autumn
I always despised sneakers, so for cities and other surfaces, which don’t require hike, I used to always wear flats – my go-to flats have been Crocs, Walking Cradles, Softwalk, Vionic, Cole Haan, Aldo and some other cute flats with rubber soles for comfort. I did have some more stiff ones too and I’ve walked a lot in them, but they were not as comfortable certainly 😊
Lately, I have tried Skechers slip on shoes, which is something in the middle between the flats and sneakers. They aren’t useful for rainy weather, as they are fabric, but they are certainly extremely comfortable because of foam sole and arch support.
Another similar slip-on I recently tried (basically bought because I needed something to help my feet), were Puma shoes. They aren’t something I would normally wear before but once I tried them, they work quite nicely with most things and don’t look chunky and ugly, like usual sneakers. These work fine in complicated terrain as well.
If you love sandals and other open shoes – Birkenstock and all the brands I listed above for flats are pretty good. I personally prefer to have my feet fully covered when travelling, as I walk too much and they get rather dirty if I am wearing open shoes.
Shoes for beaches
Most people prefer sandals or slippers and then go barefoot on a beach. I hate walking barefoot anywhere public, so I have Crocs cutest sandals, which double down as beachwear, slippers for shower, as well as sometimes city walks (if my feet are tired and need a bit of space). If you walk too much in these (I am talking nonstop all day, not a few hours), they will still eventually hurt your feet, but otherwise they are perfect.
These are my trusted Crocs:
Shoes for colder and rainy weather
This is the most complicated type of shoes I always have a hard time choosing. There are hardly any comfortable boots, which don’t look clunky and ugly. Plus, whatever its soles, boots are never sufficiently comfortable because they are heavy.
I normally am not able to walk a lot in heavy rain or cold, so I am ok with semi-comfortable as a result. I have successfully used La Canadienne waterproof leather boots in the past. They last rather long and fit fine. They are quite expensive, so look for discounts, when you can get them for about 100 USD (lately that has been more difficult).
Other comfier boots include Rockport, Vionic and Dr. Scholl’s. I have lately been hearing about Vessi, as great waterproof option. I am now planning to try it out and will give info, once I do.
I will be happy to get any other recommendations for comfy shoes for colder weather.
Accessories for travel
Scarf for travel
I always have a scarf or two in my suitcase, notwithstanding the country I am travelling to or the season. The thing is that you can use scarves for so many purposes:
- First of all, if you are visiting less conservative countries, but you need to cover up for religious sites, scarf is a perfect accessory to allow you to wear anything throughout the day and just quickly cover up, when needed.
- Obviously, scarves also serve the purpose of making you warmer, when needed. Even a thin scarf is good if you enter an air conditioned, cold supermarket or transport during a hot day. Similarly, they are great for Autumn or Spring evenings, when it gets colder.
- Scarves are also great for modifying your look, giving you some color, etc. They can be making a whole differently looking outfit. I have scarves in most colors: red, blue, purple, pink, green… Just putting them on a dull black coat will make the outfit nicer.
Umbrella for travel
I try to carry an umbrella during my travels, unless I go to a place, where rain is impossible during that season. I have a couple of colorful umbrellas, which I love. They make for great photos 🙂 Alternatively, I have purchased an umbrella at the destination a couple of times. You find some lovely ones in China and Korea for instance.
Obviously, it’s a heavy thing to carry, if you are only bringing a carry-on, so you may substitute this with a cute colorful raincoat.
Bag for travel
I always try to go for crossbody bags, when it comes to travelling. While in some safer countries I have used a shoulder bag, crossbody bags are easier to keep an eye on. For me basically any small crossbody bag is fine, as long as it looks sturdy. I always keep it at the front of my body and if anyone at all comes close to me, I clutch it.
Lately, I was suggested to try Travelon crossbody bag, which has numerous anti-theft features. If you have used it, let me know what you think of it.
I used to carry bigger bags before to make sure to fit some things I thought I would need throughout the day, but really, unless I went out of the city for the day and I found no water or food there, bigger bags were not really necessary and just tired me. Nowadays, I carry a cotton tote bag in my small bag. In case, if I need to carry anything additional, I dump them into this cotton bag. I have several given to me at various events and they come handy.
Socks for travel
I guess many of you think this is a strange addition. However strange it may sound I often carry spare thicker socks in my bag. This is unnecessary in Western countries, but anywhere else in the world, it can come handy. I use them to enter religious places, which require you to take your shoes off, people’s homes and even some cafes and restaurants in some countries. This way, I don’t go barefoot or in my thin socks somewhere, where tons of people walk around.
Belts for travel
While belts may be considered heavier accessory and not so comfortable, they can be useful for finishing a look. I usually bring a couple of belts with mainly for dresses.