After A Year Of Traveling, Here’s My Definitive List Of Cozy Packing Essentials

After A Year Of Traveling, Here’s My Definitive List Of Cozy Packing Essentials

May 31, 2022

Blog post written by Lisa Ray

Girl in airportCredit: Pixabay

In about a year of traveling (which I started once it became reasonably safe to do so again), I’ve learned a great deal about how to simplify the process. I've gotten better at finding deals, booking on-ground transportation in advance, and all sorts of little things. Perhaps more than anything though, I've honed my packing skills and managed to pare down to the must-have essentials that I need for each trip. While there are always a few location-specific items that need to be factored in, I've largely figured out a sort of staple of items I pack for every trip, without making my bag heavy.

Because I personally used to find packing somewhat stressful, I want to share some of my essentials to hopefully help others focus on what's needed, and eliminate the excess.

girl in hat

Credit: vuoriclothing Instagram

A thin tee shirt hoodie

Having a simple, lightweight tee will do absolute wonders for you during your trip, and if it happens to be a hooded one, it’s all the more versatile. These garments tend to be super comfortable, and give you the option of cocooning a bit (hood up, hands in sleeves) if you want to catch a nap during a flight or long bus ride. They also tend to keep you just warm enough, but never so warm you start to sweat. There are quite a few brands out there that make great tees and hoodie shirts, and I’ve grown partial to Tommy John and Vuori in particular –– though I may be trying out the apparel from Splice discussed in a prior blog post here as well!

Girl in running shoes

Credit: hoka Instagram

The right pair of sneakers

Comfortable tennis shoes are a godsend –– in general, sure, but for travel in particular. They’re easy to take off and put on at airport security, cozy on long trips, and good for walking. I have been using adidas Ultraboost (I refuse to believe anything is more comfortable on the soles), and Hoka One Ones have served me well for longer walks on trips, too. With my Ultraboosts getting a bit worn though, I’ve also just tried out some of Lululemon’s new sneakers, and may be sold on them. They’re as stylishly simple as everything Lulu does, and provide a great mix of lightness and support.

Girl in jacket

Credit: baubax Instagram

Convenient outerwear for chilly planes

I’d love to be wrapped up in a blanket burrito style on the plane as much as the next person –– especially for those longer flights. But who wants to carry a blanket around for the rest of the trip? Instead, I’ve gone the comfy outerwear route. The Ladies Skyline Full-Zip Fleece jacket has been a go-to, since it’s basically like wearing a soft blanket but it’s lightweight. And given that The North Face is good enough for potential professional athletes, it’s good enough for me. On the other hand, if you’re headed to a rainy, windy place, check out Baubax Women’s Windbreaker 2.0. It’s one I only recently discovered, but it can stand up to inclement weather without being bulky –– and it’s got pockets! (Not nearly enough of a given these days….)

girl outside

Credit: outdoorvoices Instagram


Comfy pants

Jeans are great, but I’m not one to sit on a long flight in a pair of tight pants. This is why it’s important to find comfortable pants with some give that you can wear basically anywhere. Leggings fit the bill, but ladies, we have other options! A comfortable, stretchy pair I particularly like is the Rectrek Pant by Outdoor Voices. It’s a comfortable, versatile option. And not for nothing, the Outdoor Voices spring collection that's coming out soon looks to have some great travel pieces in it as well.


Credit: llbean Instagram

Great Socks

You wouldn’t know the struggle unless you’ve been somewhere far from home… without good socks. Options like the Merino Wool Ragg Socks from L. L. Bean are great if you find yourself traveling somewhere chilly, and they’re basically indestructible. I’ve also been known to get the Low-Cut Ankle Athletic Socks by Heatuff. They come with a small tab on the back that stops the sock from slipping down inside your shoe, and also offer some protection as a cushion between the shoe and the back of your foot. They’re pretty neat! Bottom line: It’s worth spending a few extra dollars now and then on quality socks if you travel a lot.

Whether you’re limited to carrying just a backpack or you simply want to keep things light, packing just the essentials and making sure they’re high quality is a must. If you’re heading to places you’ve never been and you’re not sure if they have the right stuff, you need to bring your own… but that doesn’t mean you need to overpack and shove your entire life into your carry-on.

content intended only for the use of By Lisa Ray


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