After my last blog about my backpacking essentials many bloggers requested me to write something about travel clothing so here is what I take along during my solo adventures.
I like to travel light and also to travel smart, this means that I plan according to the climate of my destination and also the climatic zone that I will pass through during my transit. This list is not a full proof one and I would say that it would be absolutely personal choice at the end. What works for me may not work for you but I hope to just give you an overview so that it can help you in your next trip.
It’s not only during solo trip but during my family trips also I take most of them, it’s basically a mix of comfort, style and ergonomics that I follow. So without wasting time let me get straight to the point.
Convertible Pant – These I have added to my stable recently and have been my must during my last few trips. These pants can easily be converted from a full length pant to a three quarter pant or shorts. This means that you do not have to take separate sets of full length trousers and short pants, just a pull on the zip and your pants will convert to a short one. Some of these pants come with pockets with zip which will help you protect from pick pocketing. Two pairs of these trousers will be more than enough considering you wear one and keep the other in stock.
Denim Pant – I usually prefer the stretchable type since its fit is perfect and easier to move around. You may also like to look at the Levis Commuter Series which can also be taken along. I just carry one denim pant since its quite heavy fabric and I want to avoid raising the weight of my backpack.
Dri Fit T-shirt – These are something new that is fast catching up, you don’t need to worry about sweaty stuffy t-shirt anymore, and these have a special fabric with micro pores all around which ensure that the fabric itself breathes in fresh air thus preventing sweat from forming. Similarly to trousers have two or three depending on your length of travel.
Casual Shirts – Sometime I mix in some casual shirts along with T-shirts, the added benefit of causal shirts are its foldable long sleeves which you can always use to cover and protect your hands during long exposure to harsh sun and to roll up when you need to feel the wind.
Photographers Vest – Don’t think that these are only for photographers, anyone can wear them and I have seen many tourists who are not photographers wearing them. You get two types basically one with full fabric and the other with mesh, it depends on the season of travel. For tours during cold climate the full fabric one would be comfortable but if its bit hot climate then I would recommend the mesh type which will not feel sweaty. The benefit of these vests are its multiple pockets, you can store various items around different pockets. You can keep pen and paper in one pocket, your mobile phone in the other, a couple of memory cards can safely rest in one of them while all the tickets and passes can be stored in another. Some of these come with large pocket in the back to store maps and documents also. Easily available online so choose as per your requirement.
Ankle Socks – I carry around three pairs of them and all black coloured. Ankle length looks cool and smart either with long trousers or with shorts. These can either be work with shoes or with sandals and black colour ensures that they don’t look dirty during long travels.
Slip On Shoes – I hate tying up my shoe lace over and over again specially during photo shoots it’s difficult to tie and untie shoe lace with a camera backpack. I have faced quite difficulty entering religious places where I need to open my shoe since I have to keep removing them. To avoid all these hassle I use a sneaker which can be slipped on and these come without laces, just an easy elastic grip ensure a good fit.
Roman Sandals – I always take them along with my shoes. You cannot always wear shoes and especially where water is involved, its best to use these instead. These are light thus can easily be included in your backpack.
Towel – I feel comfortable in carrying a small bath towel in my backpack, it’s been used less but I have used it in places where I have to share a room and have been provided only one towel by the hotel.
Wind Cheater – No matter where I travel I have one of these in my backpack. During long flight I feel extremely cold and these will make sure you get very comfortable feel. These also double up as a rain coat thus can be used when the weather changes suddenly and you need to protect yourself from a light drizzle.
Neck Warmer – Considering cold climates I always pack these neck warmers, I never like mufflers which I feel extremely cumbersome and difficult to manage, but these neck warmers sit comfortable around your neck protecting them from cold. These have adjustable ends so depending on your neck size these can be easily adjusted.
Hand Gloves – I don’t like heavy hand gloves since I do extensive photography during my tours and my fingers need to be absolutely free. These fleece hand glove are light and are quite warm, these come in various sizes so ensure that you get the right fit else these will either be extremely short and tight or loose.
Beanie Cap – These are must if you are visiting somewhere with cold temperature. It’s always advisable to cover your head from extreme cold weather and since I have a tonsillitis problem thus I always need its service. These are usually flexible and can easily have a good fit around your head.
Hollow Fill Jacket – If it’s a real cold climate that I am about to face then these are always in my backpack, these can be really warm and keep you heavily protected from harsh cold climates.
Fleece Jacket – If it’s just a cool climate that I about to face then just a fleece jacket is enough. I take the one with a hoodie so that if it becomes a little chiller than what I had initially expected I would just slip on the hoodie over my head and put my hands inside the pocket to warm them up.
Thermal – Again it all depends on the destination of my travel, if its extreme weather that I am looking at then a thermal trouser is enough for me. Just wear them under my denim and I am good to go. Always remember to buy the right size with a good fitting to ensure maximum warmth.
Inner Clothing – This is something which I give most attention to while travelling. I usually travel with 5 – 6 sets of inner garments and never repeat a set next day. Every morning a fresh set would be used and I plan to wash my used ones and dry them overnight. If you can maintain this basic hygiene then you need not worry about long sweaty journey. Additionally I would also recommend the use of Clotrimazole powder for a real good maintenance of bodily hygiene.
And What the Ladies Prefer
While most of the items mentioned above are unisex and can easily be worn by women also the ones mentioned below are additional. I am no expert in these so most of the recommendations are from my wife and that of few other friend of mine who travel quite often and have been kind enough to answer my list of stupid questions.
Leggings & Jeggings – These are the preferred choice of most Indian women travellers these days. Leggings come in variety of colour and patterns and can be easily mixed and matched. Jeggings are more recent introduction and most have slowly started migrating to these. Jeggings also come on variety of colours including the printed ones.
Tops & Kurtis – These are the best pairs with Leggings and Jeggings, while leggings and kurtis go hand in hand while tops and jeggings go well. You can also wear Kurtis with Jeggings also.
Scarves & Stoles – With the above two combo Scarves and Stoles are now preferred. Scarves being the shorter variety and more apt in causal urban environment whereas Stoles can double up to cover the head and ears when bit cold or can easily cover the hands during extreme sunny weather.
Accessories – Shades are a must and so is Sun Screen Lotions. For the makeup part it all depends from person to person so I leave that to the individual to decide.
Some Packing Tips
Packing In Plastic Bags – I use plastic bags to store my pants, t-shirts, shirts, accessories etc. inside my backpack. I use separate plastic bags for each of the clothe type and keep a separate plastic bag to store the used ones. This way it’s easy for me to pack and unpack my luggage and I can easily know which packet has what and do not need to unpack all. Also I keep all my clothes rolled up, this way space can be managed and maximum can be packed in.
Toiletry Bag – I keep all my toiletry items inside a hanging toiletry bag, this way I don’t have to take all of them out and can just hand the bag inside the toilet in some hook. All the contents are displayed right in front without being required to be taken out altogether.
The list of items mentioned above are of my compilation and in no way depicts a traveller be it man or woman. Every traveller has their individual choice and it’s perfect for them. I hope you have got a glimpse of what I carry during my solo trips and also got a glance at what I and my wife carry during our family trips. Enjoy and have a good and safe journey ahead.