I own a couple of pairs of denim jeans, which I like. . . . but not when I travel.
The things that make them great for doing things around the house make them a bad choice when you are travelling.
The strong, thick material which is great to protect your skin makes them some of the heavier pants around.
That thick material easily absorbs water but seems to takes forever to dry.
That means if you get them wet while you are out they will feel clammy and damp for hours.
It also means they can’t be easily washed in your room.
I much prefer lightweight travel pants.
N.B Those lightweight pants that look like denim but have plenty of Lycra are fine
Lots of people worry about packing when travelling somewhere cold.
Unless you are going hiking, or skiing I don’t find it that different.
How cold are you going to get?
When I am in colder places I spend a fair amount of time indoors in museums and cafes.
When going between indoor venues I am generally in heated public transport, in a car, or walking briskly.
A warm coat and a thicker pair of pants will generally be enough to keep me warm.
What to Take
Here are the differences between what I typically take and when I am going to a city winter holiday:
- A warm coat rather than a light weight jacket. I wear this to board the plane, so it doesn’t count as luggage.
- Long sleeved shirts rather than short sleeves.
- Thicker pants rather than lightweight ones.
- A lightweight jumper.
- A scarf you can wear.
- Gloves, in the pocket of your coat.
For a cold mountain holiday; like the above photo on the Athabasca Glacier, I might add:
- A couple of vests, or plain T-shirts
- Pair of Long Johns,
- Down body warmer.
What is the best travel Coat?
Well after trying various types of coats over the years I have settled on the 3 in 1 coats such as I am wearing in the photograph.
Generally they come with a fairly lightweight waterproof outer coat.
I’ve found Gortex is about the best material .
This coat kept me dry standing on the ‘Hurricane Deck’ very close to the Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara.
I usually prefer to use an umbrella unless it is really windy so I like a zip away hood.
The inner jackets, which can be zipped into the outer coat is the insulation layer.
As you can see this inner jacket also looks quite good as a casual jacket for cool evenings.
Together the two have kept me comfortable standing on a glacier and on a mountain top in the Canadian Rockies.
With 6 large external pockets a combined coat like this can help you get a couple of extra Kg on board the plane, as your coat doesn’t count in your carry on allowance.
I only travel with a few pairs of boxer shorts and socks so washing every couple of days in a necessity.
So how do you get things dry?
Here is what I do.
After washing and wringing out the items I lay them out on a bath towel.
Generally I aim to cover about half the towel.
Fold the remaining half over the clothes.
Then fold the middle over again.
Roll the towel tightly from the edge.
Leave for a couple of minutes.
The clothes won’t be absolutely dry, but no more than a bit damp.
Hang them up overnight and they should be dry by the morning.
My friends know I can’t resist buying loud shirts when I am travelling. . . . . but wonder how I find room in my luggage to bring them back.
Well I work on the principle of throwing things away as I travel.
When I notice a pair of socks gets a small hole in them; like this example they go in my travel box.
They can get the last wear the next time I am away and then its in the bin.
The same applies to worn underpants and stained, or slightly torn T shirts.
On a typical holiday i would probably throw away 4-5 old and worn items of clothes, . . . which means there is room in my bags for a couple of shirts.