Every backpacker has a long-travel day story. Such as: 'I had a 10-hour flight, then an overnight in an airport, then a 6-hour flight, and finally an all-night bus'. We've all been there and sympathize entirely. But, that's the life we picked out for ourselves, and reaching new corners of the map often requires some hefty travel.
However, there are little tips and tricks to make those long airplane hauls, or bus rides, a little bit more bearable - the most important being comfort! If we're comfortable, we can endure everything planes, trains, and automobiles throw our way. But therein lies the rub, what are the best clothing and gear items to make those long travel days as comfortable as possible?
Well, that's why we're here. Sit back, take notes, and let's dive into Travel Fashion 103: Best Outfits for Travel. We'll cover each aspect of your travel threads from shoes to hats, along with life-saving accoutrements, to make your long-haul flights as comfortable as possible.
The workhorse of your travel day getup, pants take you through the terminals, constant sitting, and perhaps sleeping. What's more, they're probably the hardest outfit item to change out in the event they're not as comfortable as you'd hoped. All the more reason to get it right the first time!
For the female travelers out there, we offer our Harem Pants. Freakishly comfortable barely scratches the surface of these epic travel threads. These pants are incredibly flowy and loose, providing unparalleled motion and comfort with absolutely zero binding and pinching.
What's more, our harem pants are also very breathable, keeping you nice and cool no matter what the heat is doing. This feature makes these pants a particular favorite for bus rides through South America or Asia, but they also shine for long flights. Our eleven different color and style options also mean that you're sure to find the perfect pair to suit your style.
Gentlemen, we haven't forgotten about you. Focus on pants that use stretchy and comfortable materials. Eddie Bauer's Guide Pro Pants – with 94% nylon and 6% spandex – are an excellent example. This type of material blend provides exceptional comfort from your airplane seat to sleeping on the terminal floor, and everywhere in between.
To keep those pants in the up and locked position, consider adding our plastic anti-theft belt into the mix. The non-metal design can pass through security metal detectors without being removed, and keep your cash safe at the same time.
Bringing it together, your best long travel day pants will be comfortable and provide plenty of freedom so you can find that perfect position without pinching or restriction. Now that we have the pants sorted out, let's move on to your top.
From t-shirts to jackets, your top plays a huge role in your outfit for long travel days. You don't want to get too hot and start sweating – chicken bus through Colombia, anyone? – nor do you want to be freezing on long flights. Therefore, Aim for shirts and tops that are designed to keep you comfortable in all circumstances, from huffing and puffing through mile-long terminals to kicking back in your seat.
Now, achieving this level of comfort is different for everyone. Maybe you layer your favorite t-shirt with a cozy hoody, or perhaps you deploy a comfortable coat. But for our part, there is one material that we love that achieves the perfect level of comfort: merino wool.
Merino wool is a backpacker's best friend - there are so many reasons why it's becoming so popular. It provides phenomenal temperature regulation – keeping you warm in colder temperatures and wicking sweat away from your body in hot weather to keep you cool. What's more, it's naturally anti-bacterial, thus eliminating that unsavory multi-day traveler's funk – you know what we're talking about.
More and more clothing manufacturers are producing exceptional merino wool t-shirts and tanks, such as Western Rise and Icebreaker. Check them out, experience the plush comfort, and never look back.
For a little more warmth, consider including a warm and packable fleece or coat. Our only advice in this department is a hood. It's comfortable, warm, and perfect for disconnecting from the surrounding chaos of a busy terminal or bustling flight.
Like we said earlier, the ideal top material and warmth will be different for everyone. So focus on quality materials, consider your past experiences, and bring extra layers if you're worried about getting too cold.
Now that we've covered the pants and top portions of the perfect travel outfit for long days on the road, let's move on to your footwear to make long flights and bus rides more bearable.
Just thinking about stinky and sweaty feet from hours on a plane or bus is enough to make us cringe. So do yourself – and travel buddies – a favor and keep those feet comfortable on long travel days. In this department, our advice mirrors that for your shirt selection: wool.
Wool socks will keep your feet comfortable, warm on cold planes, cool on overheated buses, and stink-free. Darn Tough Socks out of Vermont produces some of the most hardwearing and cozy socks on the market.
Remember, we want our travel threads to work everywhere we go, and a sturdy pair of socks certainly falls into this category. Comfortable on planes and buses, hardy enough for a backpacking trip, and stylish enough for hanging out at the hostel.
In terms of the actual shoes for your flight or bus ride, focus on comfort. It could be tempting to wear your clunky hiking boots to save on space and weight in your bag – we've been there – but trust us, your comfy pair of general travel shoes are just what you need.
Starting from scratch? Check out Vessi Footwear and peruse their selection or waterproof and incredibly comfortable shoes that have recently been attracting more and more attention throughout the travel community.
Now that we've covered your best travel threads for long flights and travel days, let's turn our attention to how you can accessorize to be even more comfortable!
Do you know what separates the cozy and content travelers from the...not so much? Well-planned accessories: items that keep you comfortable from beginning to end without adding unnecessary bulk or hassle to your repertoire. Let us give you a few examples.
First off, we have an infinity scarf for the ladies out there. It's both comfortable and versatile, making it a must-have option for just about any travel day. The scarf itself is warm and soft for a little added comfort factor while traveling. Or, you can turn it into a makeshift eye mask to help catch some zzz's wherever and whenever you need.
To make a good thing even better, we've included a hidden stash pocket in this scarf. This addition makes it a convenient and useful repository for your essentials – phone, wallet, credit cards, cash, etc. – while on the road and off the radar of nefarious pickpockets.
For the gents out there, be the envy of the airplane with a packable blanket. Stay warm on a chilly plane, have a pillow for your seat, create a cozy nook in the airport terminal – or have it on hand for your girlfriend to steal. The gold-standard in this department is a down-filled blanket. It packs down to almost nothing, yet offers exceptional comfort in any circumstance.
What's more, you can take this packable blanket backpacking for chilly mornings or add an extra layer to a cold hostel bed. It's as versatile as it is useful, making it an essential addition to your travel threads for a long day on planes or buses.
Well thought out outfits and accessories aren't the only items a seasoned traveler should have on hand for a long flight or travel day. There's a plethora of travel-oriented gear out there that's specifically designed to make your trip as pleasant as possible. Let's cover a few of our favorites.
Airports and planes are dry, paving the road for a thirsty experience. Nip that problem in the bud with our insulated water bottle. This snazzy-looking bottle will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours and hours. It's genuinely the perfect hydration buddy, so you're not longingly eyeing the refreshments cart that's still 25 rows away. Just remember to fill it up after you pass through security, and not before!
We all know the stress of packing up our gear for a big travel day – wondering just how on earth we're supposed to get everything to fit. That's why we created our foldable backpack. Stuff it with the essentials and use it as a convenient carry-on for your flight, or simply pack it down to the size of a book and stow it for your next destination.
As life-long travelers who have spent our fair share of nights in an airport, we know the importance of an occasional fresh-up all too well. Furthermore, we all know that person in the bathroom who's allowed their bag to vomit its contents all over the bathroom counter. Don't be that person, and keep all your toiletries organized in our toiletry bag. What's more, this bag includes a hook so you can hang it up in the shower at your next hostel or hotel.
Our last gear suggestion for a seamless day of traveling is a lightweight inflatable pillow. Lean it against a plane window, nestle it onto a tray table, or put it on an airport couch. These pillows fold down to about the size of a couple of card decks, yet provide exceptional comfort for your travels. Furthermore, you'll then have a pillow for everything from camping to hostels for the rest of your trip.
Now that we've covered your best outfit and accessories for long days of travel, let's bring it all together from the bottom up.
Feet: Aim for comfortable and moisture managing socks, preferably wool-based. Sheath these socks in durable yet cozy travel shoes that you'll be comfortable wearing for the majority of your travels abroad.
Pants: Non-bunching and lightweight pant-wear is best. Look for stretchy nylon-spandex blends or our very own harem pants.
Tops: Merino wool shirts are the absolute best for a long day of travel. Comfortable, warm, and odor-resistant. Don't forget to include a warm layer for chilly airplanes.
Accessories: Look for anything that will add to your comfort or convenience. Try our infinity scarf, or a down blanket, or a water bottle to keep you happy and sane wherever your travels take you.
There you have it, intrepid travelers! Be comfortable, be prepared, and be the happiest person on your next long flight with an incredibly comfortable outfit and well-planned accessories. And don't forget to let your cool and funky side out with some fun style choices!
At Active Roots, we appreciate all the world has to offer us travelers, and we do our best to give back when we can. This means that a portion of every single sale goes towards a worthy cause to help keep this world beautiful for everyone to see. Help protect our rainforests, give elephants the help they need, or provide clean water to those who need it.