The Ultimate Stress-Free Travel Wardrobe

Tips for Stress-Free Traveling – 1 Checked Bag + 1 carry-on tote

Stress free travel wardrobe
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The Ultimate Stress-free Travel Wardrobe will help you plan the perfect travel wardrobe to keep you looking stylish and feeling comfortable.

This packing list is for 10 – 15 days.  Adjust based on the number of days you’ll be traveling.

The first rule of stress-free travel wardrobe planning is to remember that wherever you are going will have stores – and in those stores, you can buy anything you forgot or need + it can be a fun local activity.

The second rule of stress-free travel wardrobe planning is to bring clothes you love, that you feel good in, that are comfortable.  These are the clothes that make you – YOU.

The third rule of stress-free travel wardrobe planning is that layers are your friend and the weather will surprise you.  I’ve had snow in Colorado in July, 80-degree temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska in April, and everything in between.  How many of you own a tacky tourist sweatshirt because you failed to plan for colder temperatures out west at night during the summer?  If you pack with layers you’ll be prepared for just about anything.

Tips For the Ultimate Stress-Free Travel Wardrobe –

Packing List Philosophy:

The trick to successfully packing for any destination at any time of year is to pack so you can dress in layers, plan for rain and expect the unexpected.  I like to choose clothes that work together in a simple color palette.  My favorite for any time of year is – Black, gray, ivory | cream | or camel + blue jeans & pops of color.

  1. When you choose your clothes, forget the advice to choose just basics, choose things that you love.
  2. Consider your destination and what activities you have planned.
    • Europe tends to be a little dressier than the US, so you can bring all your cute tops.
    • If you have a mix of hiking and city sightseeing plan to bring versatile pieces that will work for both.

Stress free travel packing 1 checked bag + 1 tote bag
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First things first – I’m not a packing minimalist, I’ll check 1 bag that will weigh in just under the 50 lb limit and I’ll carry a small tote with me on the plane.  I don’t do laundry on the road – I’m too busy overdoing it with sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking to even think about laundry.  Just reading tips about minimalist packing creates anxiety, and it doesn’t sound like fun.  I don’t want to pack all my worldly belongings into a backpack or wear the same top 3 times during a week.  I want to have a great time, feel great and look great.  I’ve packed this way whether I was budget traveling, business traveling, or cruising.

What to Wear on the Plane – Your Stress-Free Travel Wardrobe:

Here’s my go-to travel outfit:

  • Black Leggings
  • Black Top
  • Poncho for winter or Kimono for summer – I usually go for a dark print.  The poncho doubles as a blanket and the kimono keeps drafts from ruining your flight during the summer.
  • Boots or Flip Flops
    • On a long trip, I wear my heaviest & bulkiest pair of shoes – this is a pain at security but this saves space and weight in your checked baggage.  Once I’m on the plane they come off and comfy shoes or slippers replace them.
    • On a short trip, I just wear flip-flops for summer or a pair of uggs in winter.  These are easy to get on and off.  I don’t worry about my bare feet on the ground but if you are concerned just slip on a pair of socks that you can take off once you are through security.  I’ve read that some people actually wear 2 pairs of shoes so they can remove the pair that touches the ground.  That seems a little neurotic to me.  Germs are a part of life and if you are traveling overseas, whether first world or 3rd world you will be exposed to germs that you are not used to, don’t stress this, just take precautions that fit your life and health conditions.

What to Pack in your Carry-on Tote – Your Stress-Free Travel Wardrobe:

This is what I carry on most flights:

  • Travel pillow attached to the tote straps
  • iPhone
  • IPad – I download reading material and movies for entertainment – I don’t carry books or magazines, they can all be downloaded.
  • Chargers for all my electronics
  • Any medications – I always take allergy pills, Alleve, Tums and Zantac.  Regardless of where you are traveling it’s highly likely that you will eat foods that are not part of your day-to0day diet.  Better safe than sorry.  On overseas trips, especially on cruises and on trips to countries that different sanitation standards I pack and antidiarrheal and anti-nausea medicine.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Essential oils
    • Lavender – to help with sleep and relaxation
    • Peppermint – for focus and it helps with nausea and jet lag
  • Stainless steel water bottle
  • An apple or an orange
  • a pack of cheese crackers or a protein bar

What to Pack in your Checked Bag – Your Stress-Free Travel Wardrobe:


  • 3 or 4 Pretty tank tops or spaghetti strap tops – these are super versatile pieces that can stand on their own in warmer climates or look great under a cardigan, sweater or poncho, so they can be your pops of color, or stick with your color palette.
  • 3 Cute short sleeve tops – again these work great on their own or can be layered under a sweater or cardigan, so feel free to add color
  • 2 or 3 Nice long sleeve tops – to be worn alone or layered
  • 2 Dresses – 1 Black and 1 with a print or a solid color – these are for dinners, so pick dresses you feel awesome in
  • 1 Pair dark blue jeans winter | light blue jeans spring or summer – minimal distressing
  • 1 Pair Black jeans or casual black pants – or a choice from your color palette
  • 1 Pair Gray jeans or casual pants – or a choice from your color palette
  • 2 Nice black or gray leggings – not sweatpants or yoga pants
  • 2 to 4 cardigans or sweaters – I bring 1 black, 1 print or color, 1 ivory and 1 camel or gray.  Choose the weight of your cardigans based on the season
  • 1 Leather Jacket Fall or Winter | 1 Jean Jacket Spring or Summer
  • 1 Lightweight Rain Jacket
  • 1 Pair of socks per day
  • 1 Pair of underwear per day
  • 1 Pair of Yoga Pants for hiking trips or active days.
  • 1 or more scarves – this can help dress up outfits, keep you warm or cover up in churches.  They weigh nothing, take up very little space and can be tied to make vest or kimonos. I usually pack 2 or 3, 1 basic color and 2 fun colors or prints.
  • 2 Sweaters – just bring 1 if its spring or summer
  • 1 Tanks to wear under sweaters.
  • Hat – choose based on season, actives and, your personal style
  • Gloves or mittens in winter

Stress Free Travel Shoes
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Tips for Choosing the Right Shoes For Your Trips

  1. Choose shoes you love and will work with your travel color palette.
  2. Make sure you bring shoes that have already been broken.
  3. Plan a 3 or 4-mile walk on city streets and parks (walking the mall won’t tell you how your shoes will feel on uneven, cobblestone, city streets), even if you’ve owned your shoes for a while, you still need to do a trial run at home.  I have a pair of shoes that I’ve worn several times and walked long distances in them, but when I did the 3-mile test I had blisters on the back of my heels by mile 2.  I’m glad I did the test before I left home.
  4. You also want to plan on walking up and down hills and inclines, to see how your shoes perform.


  • 2 Pair of Walking Shoes – Choose a good, attractive pair of sneakers or other comfortable shoes, you’ll walk more on vacation than you do at home.  I like to alternate shoes, it keeps my feet from getting sore and blistering.  In summer you can bring a cute pair of walking sandals in place of one closed toe walking shoe.  Some days I’ve walked over 7 miles just sightseeing, shopping, and eating.
  • 1 Pair of Cute Flats or Wedges – Flats and wedges are perfect for dinner and drinks.  The sidewalks and streets in Rome are uneven and old cobblestones and can be slick when it rains, trust me, leave your heels and home and bring a cute flat.
  • All Seasons Bring 1 Pair Short Flat Boots – Flat boots are easy to walk in and they keep your feet warm.
  • Fall/Winter Bring 1 Pair Tall Flat Boots – For colder days and dinners.

Stress-Free Travel Wardrobe Examples for Different Seasons

Stress-Free Winter Travel Outfit

Colosseum Rome Italy and a Women in a leather Jacket
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This is the perfect late fall or early winter stress-free travel outfit for city sightseeing.  Dressing in layers allows you to add or subtract to make sure you stay comfortable in changing temperatures.

The outfit:

Charcoal sweater, black leather jacket, black skinny jeans, a wool hat, flat short black leather boots, and a black cross body bag.

Stress-Free Fall Travel Outfit

Stress free Fall travel outfit
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This is the perfect early fall stress-free travel outfit for city sightseeing.  Dressing in layers allows you to add or subtract to make sure you stay comfortable in changing temperatures.

The outfit:

Light gray sweater, black skinny jeans, flat black sneakers – just add a black cross body bag and you are all set.  Adding a lightweight under camisole will keep you warmer.

Stress-Free Summer Travel Outfit

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cute stress free summer travel outfit
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Stress-Free Spring Travel Outfit

Spring stress free travel outfit
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stress free travel makeup
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Stress-Free Tips For Staying Beautiful on the Road:

  1. Bring only the essentials.  You’ll be too busy seeing amazing things to spend extra time on your make-up.
  2. I keep a stash of sample sizes from Ulta and Sephora + the gifts with purchase sizes.
  3. Before you leave for the trip try going 2 or 3 days between shampoos (especially if you have long hair).  Use dry shampoo at the roots in between washes.
  4. Buy refillable travel bottles and fill them with your favorite products – you don’t have to limit yourself to the products that come in travel sizes.
  5. Leave the hair dryer at home – most hotels and condos you’ll rent will have them.
  6. If you have to bring a styling tool, bring your flat iron.  Your flat iron is by far the most versatile styling tool.  You can use it to smooth flyaway hair, create a straight style or create curls or waves + it packs small and can be tucked into an empty space.


  • Shampoo and Conditioner – I bring mine from home – my hair is picky and I know how my shampoo and conditioner will affect my hair.  If your hair isn’t picky you can pick-up shampoo and conditioner in Rome.
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Face Wash Towelettes
  • Moisturizer(s)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste – Put this in your carry on, you’ll want to brush your teeth before you get off your overnight flight – trust me.
  • Razor
  • Hair Brush
  • Flat Iron
  • Hair Ties
  • Tide Stick
  • Body Lotion
  • Body Powder
  • Make-up – Foundation, concealer, lipstick, bronzer, eye-shadow palette, and mascara


Iphone and tablet for stress free travel
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Electronics & Other Handy Things:

  • IPad or other Tablet – Load books, magazines, and movies before you leave home and you’ll have plenty of entertainment for any free time or long layovers.  Leave the laptop at home unless you are on the road for longer than 2 weeks or you just can’t live without it.
  • Smartphone – this replaces your camera (the new phones take great pictures), maps, and travel guidebooks, and in some cases tickets for tours and attractions.
  • Travel pillow
  • Travel Power Strip – You need something that will convert your electronic into plugs that will fit into electric sockets in other countries + you’ll need to charge several items at a time and power outlets will be at a premium.
  • Luggage Lock – Petty theft and pick-pocketing is a problem in many big cities and even in smaller tourist towns in other countries always lock your luggage while using public transportation and even in your hotel room.  Most hotels have an in-room safe, place all valuables in the safe.
  • Umbrella
  • Wine Opener – I learned the hard way – a wine opener is necessary for opening a bottle of wine :-).  And I like to have a bottle in the room so I can sip on a glass while getting ready for dinner.




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