Don’t wait until the last minute to think about what to pack for a business trip or vacation. With clever tips from some of our favorite bloggers, you too can emerge from transit looking suave and sophisticated, rather than a crumpled mess.
No matter what the weather, occasion or mode of transport, here’s how to plan ahead, travel light and pack well.
Edit what to take
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, decide what you need and lay it all out on a bed. Include everything – clothes, shoes, accessories, toiletries and gadgets. Chances are you’ll have far more clothes than you need. As a globe-trotting travel blogger, Jon Bailey of 2 Dads with Baggage says:
“I’m constantly trying to fit too many things into a carry-on bag. Edit yourself. I lay a few choices out on the bed and make sure they all can be worn together interchangeably. Then I remove things until I have just enough to get me through the days of the trip.”
But what might an ‘edited’ pile of essential clothing look like? Benjamin Rascoe, over at Dapper Professional, recommends choosing a color profile so that everything can be mixed and matched. Want to know what a successful fashion blogger puts in his suitcase? His coordinating blue and brown edit includes:
- Blue blazer
- Medium blue dress slacks
- Dark denim
- White dress shirt
- Stripe pattern dress shirt (light blue preferred)
- Brown loafer dress shoes
- Various ties and pocket squares in the burgundy and white color ranges
Rolling and folding
If you’ve found it difficult to edit as ruthlessly as you’d like, try separating your clothes into two piles – the must-haves and the nice-to-haves. Pack the must-have pile first, and any spaces can then be filled with non-essential luxuries.
Travel blogger Jon Bailey from 2 Dads with Baggage shares one of his favorite simple, space-saving tricks: “Roll your clothes for packing to avoid wrinkles, and turn jackets inside out to keep a nice press on.”
Having tried and tested many methods while traveling for photo shoots, the Samuel Windsor blog teams uses a combination of rolling and folding to keep wrinkles to a minimum. Traveling for a formal event like a conference, job interview or wedding? To arrive calm and crease-free, take a quick look at our step-by-step guide to folding dress shirts. And if you’re traveling with a suit, our simple infographic may be of help.
Shoes and accessories
Are you traveling for business or to an event that requires a suit? Your shoe options will be guided by your formal attire. But if you’re planning a more casual city break or vacation, you can be a bit more relaxed with your footwear.
“If you’re trying to pack light,” says Charles-Philippe of Bespoke Unit, “plan your outfits ahead and take at least two pairs of shoes. The ones on your feet and a spare pair in the bag so you can alternate. Again, it’s important to ensure that they’re adapted to your needs.”
Limited to just one pair of shoes? Nicholas from Quintessential Gent shares a simple pearl of wisdom: “Brown will work with mostly everything. Try a dark shade of brown over black.”
What to wear for travel
Your tickets are booked and your luggage is carefully packed, but what do our travel-loving bloggers reckon you should wear in transit?
For George over at Be Stylish, comfort is key. He says: “make sure you’re traveling in something you’re comfortable in, which maintains your sense of style. Some great items to travel in are a loose shirt and chinos. Skip the belt…and keep the shirt flowing over your trousers.”
But, if you’re attending an important event with a smart dress code, Sven Raphael Schneider at Gentleman’s Gazette recommends that you dress up. Why? “Your luggage can get lost,” says Sven. “That happened to me just last year on the way to my best friend’s wedding where I was the best man. If I had not worn a nice pair of pants…I would not have been able to attend the wedding without looking like a complete douchebag.”
Whether you prefer to dress for comfort or style, Antonio Centeno, writing a guest post for Art of Manliness shares an excellent tip for airport shoes. He says:
“I personally love slip-ons, as they make travel so much easier when you have to go through 6 metal detectors over a 24 hour period.”
What’s your best travel advice? Leave us a comment below to swap tips with other well-heeled travelers.