5 Wardrobe Essentials for the Savvy Traveler

I love to travel! If you’re like me, you find it much simpler not to check baggage, even for an overseas flight. That’s why I make such an effort to fit everything into my Travelpro wheeled suitcase and only bring versatile wardrobe pieces that can be worn multiple ways.

However, this post is not about my favorite luggage. This post is about travel wardrobe-essentials. All of my travel wardrobe essentials are practical, comfortable, and can be mixed and matched for a variety of looks.

5 Wardrobe essentials for the savvy traveler pinterest image

***Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.***

The Essential Handbag

When traveling in cities, train stations, bus stations, airports, or wherever there are crowds, a secure handbag that will confound would-be thieves is a must. Okay, so this first wardrobe essential is actually a wardrobe accessory, but it is an item that goes well with the rest of my wardrobe, is fashionable and a thief-deterrent all at the same time. It’s the Travelon Anti-Theft Cross Body Bucket Bag, (I prefer the black one) and I have witnessed firsthand its effectiveness.

Not too long ago, I was riding the Paris Metro with my elderly parents, and a group of young ladies jostled up beside my mom. She had a Travelon bag in brown. They stood near her for a few minutes and I gave them my best “Don’t even think about it” stare. As I watched, I saw one of the young ladies shake her head slightly, as if telling her friends “No.” Then, the group of ladies moved to a different spot on the train.

Did they move away because of the features of the bag, such as the locking zippers or the slash-resistant cable inside the shoulder strap? Or was it my beady-eyed stare? I don’t like to suspect the worst in anyone, but my dad has had his pocket picked twice while traveling. Theft happens, and the Travelon bag is the best way I know to be prepared. The main compartment is roomy (I fit an iPad in it) and it has side mesh pockets good for water bottles or an umbrella. A small compartment has RFID-blocking organization spots for credit cards and a passport. I could go on and on. It’s an amazing bag.

5 must have wardrobe essentials for the savvy traveler are detailed in this post for those who love traveling. Packable, simple, fashionable, budget-friendly and easy-care travel wardrobe items perfect for any trip are described. Looking for the perfect, simple travel outfits to make packing a snap? Needing to find a secure travel handbag? Check out this indispensable list before your next trip!#travel #traveltips #fashion #traveloutfit #traveler #traveling #travelessentials #travelpacking

The Essential Walking Shoes

The next most important item on my essential travel wardrobe list is a great pair of walking shoes, which I wrote about in a previous blog post.

Since my feet are narrow, I prefer having a strap, as shown in the picture. My color of choice is black, but the pair I have on in the photo are no longer available. I’m going to order a new pair, but I haven’t found a new shoe in my size yet. If the link above does not take you to your size shoe, you can click around in Amazon to find a different size selection. I appreciate this style of shoe because it is not clunky. These shoes may be dressed down for walking around on tours during the day, then dressed up for going out to dinner in the evening.

The Essential Piece of Outerwear

On my first overseas trip, back in college, I was advised to bring a lightweight, waterproof jacket. That excellent advice has proven true over and over on each trip that I have taken, especially when touring London, where rain showers happen frequently and unexpectedly. My latest favorite jacket is black and very packable.

It can be rolled up tightly and stuffed into my Travelon handbag. (I just had to mention that handbag once again.) Be sure to get a jacket with a hood.

The Essential Pants

Depending on where you are going to be traveling, you might choose a lightweight pair of capri pants or a heavier pair of pants in a solid color.

Shorts were not always appropriate for me to wear at some of the locations I visited, so capris are a good warm weather option. I always go with black, because it matches the other travel wardrobe essentials on my list.

The Essential Skirt

A wrinkle-free skirt that can be rolled up, stuffed into a bag and still look fabulous is a necessity. Again, my choice is black. The length will vary depending on your destination and the events you may be attending.

When shorts are not an appropriate choice for your warm weather activities, a dependable skirt can save the day. You may already have a terrific travel skirt in your closet.

Customize the Rest

I hesitate to get too specific about wardrobe choices, because so much of your specific needs will depend on your destination and the type of traveling you plan to do. If you are going to do a lot of hiking, your choices will be different than if you plan to be on a tour bus for a lengthy amount of time. These basic pieces will give you a foundation from which to build your own essential travel wardrobe for your adventures.

In addition to basic travel wardrobe essentials, here are a few more travel-related items:

White noise machine: Good for travelers who are light sleepers or who sleep with someone who makes noise.

Silver Sharpie markers: Good for labeling items. Does not bleed through as much as black, and is easy to see on dark items.

What About You?

What about you? Do you have a favorite travel wardrobe essential? I’d love to read about it if you care to leave a comment.

Streamline Your Packing Strategy

Do you want to avoid overpacking on your next trip? Never check a bag again when you use this Capsule Wardrobe Packing List.

Capsule Wardrobe Packing List

It’s digital, customizable, printable, and FREE to subscribers of the Fluxing Well site.

Happy adventuring!

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18 thoughts on “5 Wardrobe Essentials for the Savvy Traveler”

  1. Such great ideas! I always travel with a carry on so space is limited. Packing mix and match wardrobe pieces that can be layered is a must. I wear my bulkiest items going and returning home, like my hiking boots. And I fly wearing my big plaid wrap that doubles as a blanket on the airplane. I’ve got to check out that handbag! I’ve never yet had a problem but I like the look of it!

    • Cindy,

      Thanks for the great travel wardrobe tips! Shoes are definitely my downfall when it comes to packing, so I like the idea of wearing your bulkiest items when you are flying. The handbag is the best, and I’ve even lent it out to family members for their travels. Thanks so much for your enthusiastic comments.


  2. Great list! I agree with all your wardrobe suggestions for their versatility and ease of packing. I love using a cross body bag at the theme parks. I feel like everything is safe and accessible. The silver Sharpie is a wonderful idea– I’ll have to try it!

    • Ana,

      Yes, I love the way a cross-body bag frees your hands. I hope you get to try the silver Sharpie idea. It’s worked well for me. Thanks for commenting!


  3. Huge fan of the lightweight and waterproof outer-layer! It has bailed me out more times than I can remember, haha. There’s nothing like a piece of gear that’s so helpful and yet so compact 🙂

    For some reason, dressing comfortable is a highly underrated part of travel, especially the action of traveling on planes, trains, etc. I’ve got my “go-to” rotation of the comfiest shirts I can find and I’ll never fly without them!

    Safe travels.

    • Chris,

      I appreciate your travel wardrobe tips. You definitely put your travel wardrobe to the test on all of your journeys. Thank you so much for your feedback and sharing your ideas.


  4. A lot of items– HaHaha
    Maybe we men don’t need more items in our baggage

    • Jitendra,

      I’m not sure if men struggle with the issue of shoes like I do. I’m always trying to pack lighter! Thanks for your comment.


  5. I love to travel and I love your tips! I got quite interested in the white noise machine. I am a light sleeper and I guess this could be quite helpful. Thanks!

    • Hadassah,

      I know some people travel with a small fan to make white noise, but I don’t like air blowing on my face when I’m trying to sleep. I hope you do get to try the white noise machine. Happy travels, and thanks for commenting!


  6. Reading this makes me realize why it is so much easier for me to pack than my wife. She does a good job but I usually only take the shoes I’m wearing, some shorts, tshirts, socks, underwear and I’m done. I travel in a small backpack and try not to every check a bag. I like the roller back you have.

    • Mike,

      I admire your light packing! That is always my goal, but somehow, I get foiled by my footwear every time. I’ve gotten some great ideas from the comments on this post, so maybe there is still hope for me. Here’s to packing lighter and avoiding having to check a bag! Thanks for sharing your packing tips.


  7. Thank you so much for sharing this collection. I love the essential pants.

    • Natasha,

      I’m glad you like the wardrobe essentials I shared. I take the travel purse on all of our trips, and I love the way it’s able to hold a huge amount of items without being too large. Thanks so much for your comment!


  8. I like how all the clothes, shoes and bags are the same color for easy coordination!

    • Elease,

      Yes, I seem to rely a lot on black. My mom thinks I wear too much of it, but it’s so easy to coordinate with other wardrobe pieces. Thanks for your comment, and happy traveling!


  9. I love the silver sharpie idea! Will definitely be using that one.

    I would also always pack a scarf – many religious places (churches in Italy, temples in Thailand, etc) will not allow you in with bare shoulders. The scarf quickly solves that problem.

    • Rachael,

      Yes, you are exactly right about the scarf. That’s a good one to add to the list. When I was in the Vatican museum, getting ready to enter the Sistine Chapel, I noticed the scarf technique you mentioned was employed by quite a few bare-shouldered ladies. Thanks for the great reminder. Happy travels!



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