To travel the world is a remarkable thing. But to travel the world without looking like a drowned rat by the end of your round-the-world (or any other trip longer than 2 weeks) trip? That is an even more remarkable feat.
I may have been travelling for a long time now (more than half my life), but believe it or not, I have only mastered the art of not looking like a sack of potatoes while travelling quite recently.
Well to be honest, I feel I will be a full-fledged travelista if and when I get my hands on a travel-friendly garment steamer. *birthday’s coming up. just saying*
When I worked as cabin crew a long time ago, the travel was more intense but we at least had pressing service. Either that, or a steam iron was available for crew before we report for flight duty.
I hated ironing (still do) so when I had my first easy steam iron experience as an airline cabin crew – I was beyond amazed. To my eyes, it was like bibbidi-bobbidi-booing frumpy clothing into sleekness. It was magic.
But it’s only recently that compact-sized garment steamers made its way into the market. I think this will be a game-changer in the way many people will travel.
So this post is how I have managed all these years to look a little bit respectable while travelling (check back on this again in a year or so because who knows, I may then be travelling with a travel garment steamer!)
1.) Travel with a bleach stick
Yes, I dare to travel in all white. I like variety in my clothing and don’t want to be that restricted that I only travel in dark colours.
Bleach sticks like this one are very handy and won’t even add a pound or half a kilo to your luggage.
It’s very handy for that dreaded food / wine spill which almost always happens whenever you think it couldn’t possibly happen to you.
It’s a very handy and practical gift to give not just to travellers because let’s face it – these stain accidents happen to the best of us any day.
2.) Pack clothing made of non-crease fabric
I love kaftans because they are low-maintenance clothing that looks high-maintenance. Of course it depends on the destination you’re heading to. As majority of my travels are to island and resort destinations, I do have a lot of flowy pieces. But I take these to urban destinations as well such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Packing kaftans may take up some space (because that’s quite a lot of fabric), but you just fold it in a packing cube, then when you get to your hotel or accommodation, hang it (using a proper hanger) at least for a night, and the next day it will look wrinkle and crease free.
3.) Versatile tops will serve you well
In general, I like ‘flowy’ pieces that allow a lot of movement. I like tops that have this kind of fabric and feel.
Tops that allow you to explore the city during the day, and still be able to have a dressy dinner at night.
I admit that these tops will look even better with the help of a garment steamer but similar to the kaftan trick, I also hang them the moment I reach my accommodation / hotel.
If my tops do end up coming out of my luggage a bit crinkled and I’m in a rush to go out, nothing has helped me more than a Philips garment steamer (many hotels have this upon request). Any top will be completely wearable within seconds of using it. Best part of the steamer is that it’s really compact and not bulky like a regular iron, perfect size to pack into your bag so you can look stylish for your entire trip.
4.) Pants that allow movement are the best for travel
While jeans will always be a staple in any traveller’s luggage, I like wearing loose pants that give a lot of movement and space.
Pants like the one I’m wearing on the above photo are great for long-haul flights (they not only look like pyjamas, they feel like it too). And if work requires me to head out and explore the city right after a flight, then these pants ensure I am comfortable throughout the day.
Here’s an example of such pants that offer such versatility. I wore them to a 5-star hotel in Manila, and a few months later, I was scaramouch-ing in it around the streets of Seoul:
5.) Make it functional
Everyone wants to look cute and stylish but if your clothes don’t allow you to run, hop (or cycle, in my case), ditch it.
I’m all for looking stylish but for a relatively active traveller, functionality is very important to me.
This is also probably the reason why you may never see me wear heels in my travels.
6.) Just Have Fun With it
I sometimes will purposely wear pieces that absolutely don’t match just for the heck of it. Because it’s fun, because you can, and because there really are no rules.
It depends on the situation of course. In the photo above, the only activities planned during that day were snorkelling, lunch by the beach, a spa treatment and lazing by the pool. Days like this — you must wear whatever it is you want.
7.) Dress like your travel personality
I’d also like to point out that how we dress ourselves is a reflection of our personalities.
The reason why my overall travel wardrobe seems to comprise of flowy, colourful pieces that you can jump up and about with – is that my personality is not too different from that most days.
It’s all about comfort and if what you wear supports your mood and attitude, then you will feel your best.
And that is the biggest hack of them all: Comfort and ease = happiness and style.
How would you describe your travel wardrobe style / personality?