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So you booked that (maybe a little) overpriced flight for the upcoming holiday travel season. Now what? Start by checking off your packing list. While commuter gadgets like portable chargers and noise-cancelling headphones are no-brainers, those long travel days ahead of you can (almost) be a breeze, thanks to the best new travel-friendly clothing.
Here are a few of our tips on what to pack for your upcoming trek, and the best gear to wear on the plane — and pack in your luggage.
What Is the Best Travel-Friendly Clothing?
First and, most importantly, everything you’re wearing should feel comfortable. What that means for each person will differ, but things like fabric, fit and how packable the items are will pay off when you’re on a flight and commuting. Here’s everything you should think about when shopping for travel apparel and accessories.
Comfort, Fit and Fabric: Fabric made with a bit of stretch can help keep you comfortable on a long flight or commute. We prioritized clothing items that offer a little more room so you can easily move around in them, or feel comfortable if you’re sitting for hours at a time in a tiny plane seat. Some apparel even comes with moisture-wicking materials that can help you feel fresh even if you’re far from your destination.
Packability: This feature is an important one. If you’re not wearing your gear, how easy will it be to pack down and stow inside your carry-on, checked bag or backpack? We recommend trying to wear versatile pieces that can pack away easily, or that you can wear for multiple situations. Shoes are usually a tough item to pack, as they take up the most space, so think ahead about where you’re going, and the type of footwear you’ll need most.
Most importantly, with newly-updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidelines, it’s still essential for vaccinated (and unvaccinated) individuals to protect themselves and other travelers by wearing a mask this season.
“Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations,” the CDC recommends.
The Best Travel Apparel
Below, we picked the best masks, jackets and our favorite apparel to make your next trip more convenient, comfortable and yes, a little more stylish too.
1. H_llo Friend Ultra Face Mask 1.0
Say hello to the H_llo Friend Ultra Mask 1.0, which you literally won’t be able to fly without right now. This reusable mask comes in about 20 different styles and colors, from olive to charcoal. We love that it comes with a glasses wearer’s favorite feature: a moldable nose bridge, plus a five-layer filter. It’s available in XS, S, M, L and XL sizing, so you can order them for your entire family.
2. Katin Trails Pants
Few travelers want to sit on a plane in uncomfortable, tight-fitting jeans anymore. The cozy Trails pants from Katin are our current favorite travel-friendly pants for flying. They’re simple and casual, yet still look modern and stylish at the same time. They’re more wearable than other pants thanks to cotton canvas and a bit of spandex, and include both a drawstring and deep pockets and button closures on the back. Best of all, you can wear them right off the plane directly into happy hour drinks.
3. Johnston & Murphy Hayes Penny Loafers
One of the biggest, celeb-favorite footwear trends right now happens to be downright classic: the leather loafer. This pair from Johnston & Murphy retail for under $100, but offer a timeless, expensive-looking pair of shoes you can wear for travel and formal events alike. They’re minimal enough that they’re easy to pack in your suitcase, and we love how easy they are to slip off when going through airport security.
Going on a business trip? These take you from airplane cabin to conference room with ease.
4. Vans Slip-On Core Classics
If you’re not looking for something dressy, go with a more casual pair of slip-on sneakers, like these Vans Classics. They go with everything, from slacks to denim, button-ups to graphic tees. And, just like the loafers above, they come in handy when your flight’s already boarding and you don’t have time to tie your kicks.
5. Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned Training Crew Socks
Even though we bought them for working out, we consistently travel with these cushioned Nike socks on our feet. Sure, sock are easy to overlook, but donning a well-made pair is more important than you might think when you’re earning those miles. These are made with the Nike’s popular Dri-Fit technology, offer plenty of breathability, and wick away unwanted moisture. In other words, everything you want for a day where you’ll be on your feet all day.
6. Compression Socks
If you’re settling in for a long flight, you’ll want to wear compression socks instead, which can help promote circulation when you’ve been sitting for an extended period of time. That in turn, could help to relieve discomfort, cramping and fatigue.
As the name suggests, the best compression socks for travel work by gently “squeezing” around your feet and lower leg, help to rejuvenate blood flow in your legs to keep them fresh and alert. Many also swear by compression socks to help relieve symptoms that come from varicose veins and excess fluid retention.
This handy three-pack is sized for unisex wear and comes in more than 20 different prints and colors.
7. Everlane Unisex French Terry Crew Sweatshirt
We’re never leaving the house without putting on a soft, cozy crewneck sweatshirt first. This unisex cotton crewneck from Everlane comes in three different colors and seven different sizes. The company says that the more you wear it, the softer it’ll start to feel. And if there’s one thing you want when you’re in the air, it’s a soft layer to keep you warm when you can’t control the in-flight AC.
8. Flint & Tinder Pack Blazer
The best travel-friendly apparel is gear that’s extremely versatile and stylish. This Pack Blazer from Flint & Tinder checks both those boxes, and, unlike your more sophisticated blazers and suits, it can conveniently pack down into your carry-on. We like its ample pockets, which helps when you need to carry and keep track of things like your passport, earbuds and wallet when you’re on your way to your gate. You’ll especially appreciate the microfleece hand-warmer pockets and its wind resistance all fall and winter long. Wear it over a crewneck sweater or with your favorite tee. Either way, you’ll get your money’s worth with this one.
9. Lululemon Warp Light Packable Jacket
If you’re trying to pack light, you’ll want an extra layer that won’t take up a ton of space like this Lululemon Packable Jacket. It folds down into its own pocket when you’re not wearing it, and its water-repellent finish is a must-have when you don’t have an umbrella with you. It’s designed with workouts in mind, but it’ll work just as well while traveling thanks to an easy-to-reach phone pocket and the four-way stretch fabric.
10. Amazon Essential Full-Zip Hoodie
Nothing makes for an easier — and cozier — travel outfit than a hoodie. A zip-up hoodie like this one from Amazon’s in-house fashion line, keeps you warm on the flight and on your travels, while giving you two pockets for your phone, passport and other essentials you need close by.
The full-zip lets you easily remove your hoodie at the security line, while the durable cotton blend construction is fully machine-washable, making your post-trip laundry run a cinch. Choose from more than 30 colors and a host of sizes online.
11. Monos Kyoto Pants
Monos is your one-stop shop for travel, with a selection of luggage, packing cubes and now, travel-friendly clothing. We love the brand’s Kyoto Pants because they’re extremely comfortable. Most importantly, they’re also really lightweight and easy to roll up in your pack.
Choose from multiple colors in clean, streamlined silhouettes and unisex sizing.