The Best Women’s Clothes for Travel • Tested by a Full Time Traveler

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womens clothes for travel

After five years of traveling around the world, it’s safe to say I’ve tested some of the best women’s clothes for travel. Clothes, accessories, and shoes are not created equal and I have my personal favorites.  I know what it’s like planning and packing for a trip and not knowing what to throw in your suitcase or how durable and easy certain clothes are.

That’s why I wanted to share with you my most comfortable, stylish, and rugged travel pieces and brands to hopefully make your purchasing decisions a little easier.

Favorite Women’s Clothes for Travel

prAna Mantra Pants

I literally live in loose free-flowing pants when I’m at the beach. Actually, I just live in them all the time! (I may or may not be wearing them right now). My favorites are made by prAna. Their Women’s Mantra pants are made out of hemp and recycled polyester while offering 50+ UPF protection. They are perfect for beach destinations, especially if you find yourself in more conservative areas. These pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag.

Kathmandu Rain Jacket

No matter the season a rain jacket is always essential for traveling to anywhere in the world. My rain jacket is made by Kathmandu. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof.

Rainbow Sandals

I’ve said it before (okay, I’ve mentioned it all over this site), but I’ll mention it again. Rainbow Sandals are my absolute favorite flip flops in the world. The first time I picked up a pair was in college. I was hesitant to spend $50 on a pair of flip-flops, but all the beach kids raved about them so I went out and reluctantly purchased a pair. Those leather flip flops ended up lasting me four years, and they probably would have lasted longer if they weren’t stolen from my bag in Thailand. I am now on the second pair that I bought when we lived in NYC four years ago and they are still going strong. Never will I not own a pair of Rainbows.

Pitusa Swim Cover-up

A cover-up is another one of those beach vacation clothes you should always travel with. Not only do they look cute but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays. Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit so this is where the cover-up is essential. Most of my cover-ups come from Pitusa. Pitusa only uses Peruvian and Indian cotton and employs women from Peru, Bali, and India to make the products. As a fan of fair trade, I love that these are made in ethical work environments. These Pitusa dresses are also so beautiful they double as a night out dress (but are sheer so wear something underneath).

Swimsuit

There should always be at least one swimsuit in your luggage no matter where you are going. You never know when you will find yourself at the beach or with a pool. I travel with at least five bathing suits so that I have options and never have to put on a wet bathing suit. My favorite bathing suits lately have been made by Adore Me.

travel clothes for women

prAna Halle Pants

You may have noticed prAna mentioned here a few times. No, this post is not sponsored by prAna or anyone else for that matter, I genuinely believe they make great high-quality women’s clothes for travel. I’ve had prAna Halle pants for years and think they are the best all-around travel pants for women.

I bought them at REI before we started traveling four years ago, and they still sit in my bag today. They are durable, water-resistant, and roll up into capris. There are also multiple pockets to stash all your knick-knacks when you are traveling. I typically wear these when I’m hiking or being active, but choose the right colors and they can go with casual days out. These pants run large so consider purchasing a size down!

Alala Activewear Set

I love wearing yoga pants and activewear when I travel. One I like to practice yoga, two I like to stay active, and thee, I find activewear to be the most comfortable type of clothing around. I’ve tried Lululemon before but I personally like Alala better. Alala makes high-quality yoga pants and tops for all the girls like me that like to stay comfortable. Their comfortable, yet stylish travel hoodie is a personal favorite too. Use the code “TWP15” for 15% off your order at Alala.

Galapagos Packing List

Alala Range Dress

At some point of every day, I am in my range dress when I travel. It’s super comfortable, soft, and can be worn over leggings or as a dress making it a versatile travel piece. On top of all that Alala products are stylish women’s travel clothes and high quality.

Yoga Democracy Leggings

I always travel with yoga pants, sports bras, and breathable tank tops. One of my favorite brands to buy yoga pants from is Yoga Democracy. Yoga Democracy carries yoga pants that have fun designs, yet they are still extremely durable. All their gear is made from recycled nylon from material like a fishing net that damages our oceans. It’s estimated that there over 600,000 tonnes of this fishing net litter is going into our oceans, so wearing Yoga Democracy is choosing to fight against that. They are eco-friendly, USA made, and sweatshop free! Use the code TWP20 for 20% off your purchase. 

Teva’s

I’m sorry, but the Teva Hurricanes have to be the most comfortable women’s travel sandals on the planet. Sure, they may look a little nerdy and the stylish celebrities may laugh at you. But who cares! Seriously though Teva’s have long been regarded as a top rated women’s travel shoe and for good reason. They are comfortable, durable, and come in hundreds of different styles.

Galapagos Packing List

Travel Socks

One pair of long hiking socks are always in my bag. My favorite is Danish Compression socks. I always usually have at least one pair of wool socks in case I am in cold destinations. The rest are typically ankle socks so that I can wear them while I’m working out or just wearing tennis shoes.

Buff Headband

I travel everywhere with a Buff because it pulls my hair back when it looks like crap, keeps the sweat out of my face, and also protects from the sun. They are one of the best travel accessories for women (and men!).

Travel Shirt

A few comfortable tank tops and shirts are always in my bag. I typically pack solid colors so that they can with everything. My travel shirts range from tank tops to stylish tops, and then just regular sold shirts that go with everything. My main goal with a travel shirt is that it’s an easy-care travel clothing item.

Costa Rica

BugsAway Button Up shirt

One button up hiking shirt always finds a way into my bag or suitcase. This is exceptionally necessary for if you’re hiking a lot or on safari in Africa. A good hiking or safari shirt should be lightweight, comfortable, breathable. Both ExOfficio andColumbiamake insect free, light and loose shirts like these. A light shirt like this is one of the best women’s clothes for travel you can have in your suitcase.

Sunsets in Tanzania

Hoka One Ones

Hoka-One-Ones are my favorite all-around shoe for being active. I recently upgraded to the Speedgoat 2, which has been named the Editors Choice by Runner’s World, and they are great for traveling. They are lightweight and save you extra pounds in your precious airline luggage. They fit well and stable and great for any day on the trail. I’m particularly happy with their traction, which has kept me from falling more than once on some muddy trails in South America. As for comfort the Speedgoat 2’s have a nice cushion feel and decent arch support.

Hoka One Ones

Sanuks

There aren’t many shoe companies better suited for beach footwear than Sanuk. Sanuk’s laidback style can be seen in almost all of their products, but some of their most popular is the Donna Hemps. These are hemp slip ones that are good for just about anywhere near the coast. They have a premium, molded EVA footbed with an antimicrobial additive to reduce odor and are extremely comfortable and durable. When I want something as free as a flip-flop, except covering my toes I turn to my Donnas.

Osprey Farpoint Backpack

The Osprey Farpoint is the bag I have had for years and love it. I’ve repeatedly named it as the best travel backpack and for good reason. It’s a unisex bag, but I still find it one of the best Osprey backpacks for women and it’s definitely the best backpack for Europe on this list

It has become the golden standard for travel backpacks. The backpack is referred to as front loader meaning it opens similar to a suitcase for easy access. It’s pretty lightweight, features a removable daypack, zip-away suspension, and a side handle to top it off. The side handle of the bag is an added bonus, making it easy to grab out of an overhead bin and carry it off of a plane. Most backpacks are built for hiking, but with the Osprey you get a travel-specific bag.

The only drawback of the pack is the less comfortable suspension and its unisex design which means it is not ideal for every woman. However, the portability makes it an awesome choice for the best women’s backpack or men’s backpack. The front load and the ability to keep your clothes folded is awesome. The 40L is great for carry on luggage while the 55L and 70L are good for long-term trips.

Travel Pajamas

I always travel with at least one outfit that I consider my “pajamas.” Something that I can lounge around in on days when I feel like not doing anything. This usually consists of comfortable pajama pants and a tank top, but occasionally I will travel with a silk kimono as they are super comfortable.

Travel Dress

There’s always at least one dress in my bag so that I can have something dressy to put on should the occasion always. The kind of dress I pack is dependant on where I’m traveling. If it’s Europe, nine times out of ten my dress will be black – black is always in Europe. If I’m traveling around tropical destinations like Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands I like clothing made by smaller companies. Lately, I’ve been wearing Cool Change dresses because they are light and flowy. Their styles are unlike any other dresses I’ve seen and I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve gotten with them. Get 30% off your purchase with the code WORLD30 (limited time only).Living it up in Hawaii

If it’s an active vacation I’ll pack one of my dresses made by prAnaas they’re a bit more heavy duty and often have a built-in bra.  Keep in mind you can almost always find dresses where you are should you forget one.

Airplane ride in Hawaii

Packable Down Jacket

If I’m traveling anytime besides summer you can bet there’s a down jacket in my bag. Packable down jackets are well fitted, warm, have a good shell weight, and are comfortable. However, their most favorable aspect is their portability and just how lightweight and packable they are. A good down jacket should be able to pack into the shape the size of a football or smaller and not take up much room in your suitcase. I have two down jackets. One made by Patagonia and one made by Cotopaxi and love them equally.

Don’t ask me about my outfit it was 6am

Patagonia Flannel

If I’m traveling in the fall or winter there is at least one Patagonia flannel in my bag. Flannels are good travel clothes because they are comfortable, warm, and can be work over and over before they need to be washed. Another nice thing about flannels? They’re the ideal Instagram fashion choice in the fall.

Iceland's Ring Road

Handful Sports Bras

I could probably count on two hands the number of times I wear a regular bra in a year. I usually live in sports bras because they are comfortable and keep me motivated to stay active. No matter what kind of bra lover you are there should always be at least one sports bra in your bag, they are an essential women’s travel clothing item. While I have tried many throughout the years and have found Handful the most supportive and reasonably priced. Handful makes activewear productsthat empower women. All their pieces are supportive, stylish, and durable.

Patagonia Vest

Like prAna, Patagonia is another brand that I will always buy again and again. Although expensive, their products last for years so I find most things from the company to be a great purchase. I love wearing vests particular in the fall and winter. Although I even have one in my summer bag right and now and just pulled it out in Peru. You never know what the weather will be like so it’s not a bad idea to always have something that will keep your body warm on you.

womens clothes for travel

Patagonia Fleece

I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at all the Patagonia mentions, but they have been one of my preferred brands for years. We were on a three-month snowboard trip last winter and I wore the Patagonia Fleece in the photo below every day. Guess what? It still looks and feels amazing, after I washed the smell out of it of course. Their fleeces like these keep me warm and comfortable in the fall and winter.

Skiing in Austria

Youphoria Travel Towel

Even though most places we stay provide bath towels there is still always a travel towel in my bag just in case. I’ve had the Youphoria travel towel for three years now and it’s still in great shape. From hostels in Europe to camping across Africa it hasn’t let me down. Check out more travel towels here.

My favorite places to find women’s travel clothes while traveling

  • Decathlon is all over Europe. They carry mostly sporting equipment and clothing. They are like Dick’s Sporting Goods in the US but A LOT cheaper because they manufacture most of the things in their store. I’ve bought leggings, tank tops, sports bras, hats, a winter coat, swimming goggles and so many more things. They are mainly in European cities, but are often outside the city so you will usually need a car to get to them but it’s worth going!
  • Primark is an Irish clothing store that sells cheap clothes at a cheap price. If you’re American I would say they are comparable to a Marshall’s or Burlington Coat Factory. They are located throughout Europe and the UK and have a few stores in the US. You can find fantastic and affordable women travel clothes in Europe here.
  • REI If you’ve read this far you know by now that I love REI. When in the US, we shop at REI for all our outdoor needs. Their knowledgeable and carry excellent products and their store is fair to the employees.
  • MEC The Canadian REI. So yes, it’s great for outdoor gear.
  • Macy’s When I’m home I still like to get all my stylish night clothes at Macy’s.

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