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The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Function & Fashion

If there is one thing I’m getting better at doing, it’s packing my suitcase for any trip lined up on my calendar. Whether I’m visiting the hot & humid Amazon rainforest or snowy & cold Russia, I always keep a list of essentials to ensure my travel wardrobe is primed and prepared for any occasion!

Whether it’s your first long trip to a new country, or you’re packing up for a weekend getaway, you should always plan outfits with versatility in mind! I’ll reveal all my packing essentials for the most functional and fashionable suitcase pack.

The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Function & Fashion

1. A comfy yet versatile dress

Whether you’re venturing out on a long trip or a short one, having an outfit prepared for fancy dinners or nights on the town is always a good idea. There is nothing more sour than the frustration of having nothing to wear to that cute club you found on the corner of that bustling Italian street, so come prepared with a dress that can be dressed up as easily as it can be dressed down. Spruce up your dress with a statement necklace or scarf… or a colorful pair of comfy round toe shoes to complete your chic look!

Most Versatile Maxi Dress

2. A maxi skirt or maxi dress

Many Asian and Middle Eastern countries are full of temples that require women to be covered in clothing from the shoulders down. Coincidentally, these countries tend to be the hottest during the summer and fall months. Instead of shrouding yourself in a turtleneck and jeans in 90-degree weather, pack a versatile maxi dress or maxi skirt for more breathable coverage. Pair your maxi dress with a soft scarf for a quick shoulder-cover solution.

Transitioning a Maxi Skirt from Summer to Fall

3. Sustainable tees and tanks

Since simple tees and tanks are so easily pairable with jeans, skirts, and shorts, they tend to cycle through my laundry pretty quickly! I’ve found that investing in more sustainable and higher-quality material tees has allowed me to cycle through without worrying about odor, stains, or discomfort. Clothing made with hemp wears incredibly comfortably and can stand the test of all-day wear. (I even have some hemp dresses and hats now too!)

What to Wear When It’s Insanely Hot & Humid (Other Than a Dress)

4. Neutral colors

When packing your suitcase, make sure to pack the most practical clothing items with the most neutral and pairable colors. Though some fashionistas love to pop with colorful vibrancy decorating their blouses and shoes, I’ve had the best luck toning down my wardrobe colors while traveling abroad. Keeping it simple with worldly exploration in mind, with blues, blacks, beiges, and whites assure that you’ll always be able to pair your bottoms with your tops regardless of how you match them!

Pairing a Dress with Sneakers

5. Comfortable and walkable sneakers

The reality of travelling is that you will be on your feet for the majority of your days. In order to return to your hotel or Airbnb without aching sores and nasty blisters, you must protect your feet! A comfortable and fashionable pair of sneakers can easily match with your many daily outfits while still remaining functional. Even your sundress selection could look quite charming with a nice pair of white kicks!

Vintage inspired shorts outfit

6. A pair of shorts (or jeans)

Depending on which country you’re jetting off to, a couple pairs of shorts (or jeans) could be an essential must to your travel wardrobe. If you intend to travel during summer months, always pack light because the heat will get to you. Similar to skirts, shorts can be dressed up or down (jeans too!) for daily looks and are easily paired with just about any shoe you plan on packing!

7.) A light, waterproof jacket

Whether you’re visiting the tropics or going hiking in the mountains or just strolling through a quaint town – one of the best investments I’ve made is getting a light, waterproof jacket in a neutral shade. I have used this jacket on every single trip I’ve taken in this last 2 years – from Argentina to Russia and everywhere in between. I don’t even have to pack this jacket because I like wearing it on flights too. This is because it’s not terribly bulky and can keep me warm (if the plane gets a little chilly). However, it’s still breathable…so, I won’t die wearing it if I need to sprint across the airport!

8.) A Favorite Cardigan

Likewise, a versatile cardigan can be a great idea no matter where you’re heading to. Even if it’s 100+ degrees Fahrenheit during the day, you’ll likely still want something to cover up with at night! A cardigan can also be a great way to change up a dress or skirt…. and then be paired with shorts or jeans.


9.) A good tote bag or crossbody satchel

Though it may seem impractical to pack a bag inside of another bag, you’ll be thankful you did. Having a tote bag on beach days, shopping sprees, and even airport rides is just a matter of your own personal convenience. And a satchel can be a great way to keep your valuables on your person at all times without having to worry about someone swiping your wallet from your pocket. This will not only give you peace of mind but give your valuables a place to stay.

Always remember that you have to bear the weight of your bag wherever you go, so packing lighter comes with far more benefits than packing heavy. Don’t get bogged down by a heavy bag full of one-wear pieces, keep your focus on function and fashion! And no outfit is complete without your passport!

What are your fashion must-haves when traveling? Let me know in the comments!

The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Function & Fashion
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*Thank you to Purple Camel Media for partnering with me for this post.

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  1. I pack most of the things on your list. I bought a baggilini croosbody purse this year that i think will be awesome for traveling and instead of shorts i usually pack 1 or 2 joggers (i just bought a pair of olive joggers forn15.99 from jcpenney after seeing them on a blog post rhat will be so comfortable and can be dressed up or down for a variety of outfits.) Isually tey to pack light so like u said i like ronwear lots of neutrals so everything goes with everything. And a scarf to change up an outfit.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh yes! Joggers can be great too! I love wearing these Eddie Bauer hiking pants I got on sale a while back for long flights or for more active trips. Oh yes, a scarf is great as well! 🙂

  2. such a great and full of tips connected with clothes. I like to have at least one summer dress ( when is hot of course) when I am travelling too xx

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you! 🙂

  3. Courtney Byers says:

    These are amazing tips! This is so helpful for my upcoming trip to Europe too. I am planning to pack versatile items and neutrals like you said. I need to find a good crossbody that will help me keep my valuables close. Also, walking shoes like you said.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That is awesome, Courtney! I’m so glad you liked the post. I hope you have a fantastic time in Europe!

  4. These really are smart. I always take a dress because they can be so versatile. And the tote bag, satchel is super brilliant!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thanks, Jodie!

  5. Lee (@leethrifts) says:

    This is such a great list, Lindsey!!! All of these tips are so helpful and practical.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much, Lee!

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