I love to travel, but I hate packing because it’s a huge mental chore. It’s hard to pare down all the gear you have at home into few enough things to fit into two bags — especially if you, like I, work on the road and can never be sure what kind of ridiculous activities you’re going to find yourself doing. Shoes are the worst. I always want hiking boots, but don’t want to leave my running shoes at home because I’m a running fanatic, and there is never room for both.
It’s even harder on cycling trips because you can carry even less.
Over the years I have found certain articles of clothing, accessories, and gadgets that are functional across a wide range of situations — from jungles to mountaintops, to hostel pubs — that have made packing much easier for me. Here are some of the things that I often carry.
Travel Clothes and Accessories
1) Switch Boreal Sunglasses | $170:
Switch sunglasses have interchangeable lenses for different light conditions. Anyone who has gone snowboarding on a sunny morning that changed into a cloudy, flat afternoon knows that being able to change from glare-resistant to high-contrast eye ware can make a huge difference.
2) Jack Wolfskin Thunder Bay Fleece | $110:
I like simple basic functional clothing. This fleece is durable and warm with two zip-up pockets to prevent losing things while on the go. Best of all, it zips into my Jack Wolfskin shell as a liner making a wind and waterproof winter jacket and saving space in my backpack.
3) Brooks Podium LS Running Shirt | $28
This functional running shirt wicks moisture away from your body, helping to keep you dry when you sweat, and keep you warm in the rain. It also rolls up into the tiniest tube for packing, hardly wrinkles, and looks smart on nights out.
4) Craghoppers Kiwi Zip-Off Cargo Pants | $67:
They cost a bit more than I usually like to spend on pants, but, being beige and made of a poly-cotton blend, these pants hide stains well, perform two functions, repel water, and pack small, and come with a lifetime guarantee. I think they were worth it.
5) Merrell Chameleon 4 Ventilator GORE-TEX | $140:
Merrell has pretty much owned the hiking shoe market, and for good reason. I like them because they are waterproof and rugged enough for the majority of hikes, but still light enough that I can go running in them, and look pretty good for nights in the pub.
Looking for affordable travel gear and accessories? The Lakeside Collection has a great selection of travel amenities.