How to build a basic travel wardrobe

Woman on the beach wearing Dressfield dress

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The first time you try your hand at anything will always be the most difficult, and travelling is no different. This covers everything from the initial organising, packing and the actual travelling, but as you become more experienced and versed in the world of travelling, things start to become a little bit easier. The first time you go travelling you will likely be wondering how to organise and pack enough clothes for the duration of your trip.

If you are travelling for a short period of time then packing shouldn’t be any more difficult than packing for a holiday, but when travelling for long periods of time you need to approach your packing a little differently, as you don’t always know exactly what activities you will be doing, and locations you may visit.

To help you pack successfully I’ve put together this guide to building your basic travel wardrobe.

Start with the essentials

The key to creating the best travel wardrobe possible is to start with the basics whilst asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is this an essential item?
  • Will it be suitable for my journey?

The last thing you want to happen is to pack a suitcase full only to realise your outfit choices are not suitable for the climates you are travelling through, or the activities you have planned.

Plan your outfits

When it comes to planning your outfits, you need to keep in mind the kind of climates you will experience in the locations you are travelling to and what type of activities you will be doing. Knowing the answers to these two important questions will help give you an idea of the outfits you will require on your trip. To pack efficiently choose interchangeable outfits, so items that can be worn in collaboration with other items you have packed. This will save room in your luggage and give you more choices when looking for an outfit for the day.

Start with the basics and build your wardrobe around these. This includes things like:

  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Strappy tops
  • Trousers
  • Comfortable shoes

If you want to make a statement whilst travelling or show a bit of your personality you can always include some personalised clothing in your packing list. This way you have a physical item that will hold memories for years to come. To get your personalised t-shirts check out Banana Moon Clothing or any other established personalised clothing company.

Gather your must-haves

With all the planning involved and the excitement about your trip it can be very easy to overlook the essentials that you will need. Essential items include things like socks and underwear. Now, you may wonder why this isn’t further up on the list and the reason for that is simply the packing space. Once you have gathered the outfits you plan on taking, and any other essentials you can use underwear and any other must have items to fill the gaps left in your luggage, this means you aren’t using valuable space.

Another thing to consider is that you can wash your underwear whilst you are travelling, and it is likely that you can buy more on the road, so if you do run out of space when you are packing, it doesn’t have to dampen your travel spirits, just make sure you pack enough for the first week or so of your trip!

A few basic must have items to include ion your luggage:

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Plasters
  • Reusable water bottle

When travelling it’s always a great idea to pack a reusable water bottle to avoid dehydration along the way, and to cut down on single use plastic. When choosing one for your trip try to find one with a built-in filter meaning that any water source can be fresh drinking water.


Now you have gathered what you need to put together your basic travel wardrobe, you can begin to accessorise! With your outfits in mind you can decide what accessories would work, whilst staying functional. After all, travelling will bring its mishaps and things will be misplaced, so any valuables or sentimental items are probably best left at home in a safe and secure place.

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