Travel Wardrobe

Essential Travel Wear For Backpacking

Let’s face it, negotiating a travel wardrobe is a pretty difficult task; condensing your whole clothing collection into one bag is by no means easy, especially when you have to take into consideration all of the different climates you will be encountering, not to mention the different activities and cultures that you will face!

Because of how difficult this task can be, it’s well worth investing some time into finding out what travel clothes and accessories are a must for your trip before you start to think about packing.

There are a handful of absolute must-have items that you will want to have in your travel wardrobe. You will likely be recycling your outfits for the duration of your backpacking trip and so you will need to make sure that your travel wardrobe consists of clothes that are made from durable fabrics. You will also need your travel clothes to be:

  • Good Quality
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight

Keeping comfortable

The clothes that you take in your backpack will be the clothes that you wear day in, day out for months on end; you will also likely be wearing these clothes for extended periods of time (for example, on long overnight buses) so it's really important to make sure your clothes are comfortable!


  • Select breathable and comfortable material such as cotton. 
  • Make sure that you select clothes that fit you well! Loose clothing is advisable for backpacking - it is more breathable and much more comfortable.If you are a plus size then there are some great plus size travel clothes available to choose from; check out this guide to combining style with plus size clothing.
  • Ensure that your clothes are tailed to the activities you will be doing. For example, check out quick dry clothing if you expect to encounter cold weather climates of are planning to do hiking expeditions. Similarly, look out for SPF clothing and clothing with insect repelling properties if you will be doing a lot of outdoor pursuits - this specialised clothing will not only keep you comfortable, but safe.
Shopping in Bangkok

Haggling for clothes in Bangkok can be quite entertaining...

How to beat the living-out-of-a-bag look…

One of the things we just have to accept as a backpacker is that our clothes are going to get crumpled. Fact. You will seldom find an iron in backpacker accommodation, let alone the time to use one! Thankfully, there is a way to combat this constant disheveled look, and it’s by investing in wrinkle-free travel clothing.

There are plenty of options to choose from ranging from wrinkle-free travel tops to trousers to skirts. Wrinkle-free travel clothing is definitely an advantageous addition to a backpacker's travel wardrobe. Discover what wrinkle free clothing items are a must, where to get them as well as DIY methods to preventing crumpled clothing in this guide.

You can also discover my secret to avoiding crumpled clothing when travelling...

Is your backpacking trip going to involve some hiking expeditions?

If so, your travel wardrobe will need to incorporate quality hiking clothing. It is also worth spending some time searching out the best hiking boots that you can find – these can range from waterproof hiking boots to light weight hiking boots to custom made hiking boots if you have special requirements (definitely a good option!).

Additionally, if you are on a tight budget then there are plenty of great cheap hiking boots available – just make sure you know what key features to look out for so you don’t miss out on quality.

Health & safety accessories

A must-have accessory in your travel wardrobe is a travel money belt – these come in a range of sizes, materials, and can vary from belts, to neck wallets to bra purses – there is one to suit every need.

Worried about long flights? Grab a pair of compression travel socks – these will help to combat deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

A travel wardrobe for keeping warm…

Make sure that you pack enough warm clothes for your trip. Even if you are not planning to head too cool climates, don’t be fooled into thinking that it won’t ever get cold. Often the evenings are dramatically cooler even in warm places. Pack at least one long sleeved item (such as a light fleece) to combat the cold!

If you are heading to cooler or rainy climates then you will definitely want to pack a quality travel raincoat – there a number of excellent travel jackets out there to choose from. Make sure that you select a durable jacket with lightweight properties. In tropical places when it rains it pours and this will be an item that you will thank yourself for having with you!

…And for keeping cool

If you’re heading to some pretty hot climates on your trip then you will need to think about travel clothing and accessories to protect you from the sun.

The first sun protective item you will need in your travel wardrobe is a sun hat. There are so many sun hats on the market that it can be hard to know which one to choose. Considering your sun hat is going to take some battering being squashed into a backpack for months on end, it’s important to choose a sun hat specifically designed for travelling.

There are plenty of packable sun hats out there and these are a much better option than delicate crushable hats that will easily lose their shape from being squashed in a backpack.

There are many women’s sun hats and men’s sun hats out there – find out what the best sun hats are before you splash out.

Protecting your skin from the sun should be at the forefront of your mind when in hot climates. Sunblock clothing will go a long way in protecting you – invest in a few SPF clothing items to keep you sun-safe on your trip.

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