Unless otherwise specified, all sizes in this post are listed in women's.
1. A plain white Madewell tee you can wear again and again and again because there's really no wrong way to pair it. Like seriously, I'd like to see an outfit it doesn't make sense with.
2. A padded tank that 1) looks incredibly cute and 2) eliminates the need for a bra. If the pandemic has taught me anything about myself, it's that #2 is my new way of life.
Check out this activewear essential on TikTok here.
Promising review: "I was so skeptical of buying these, as I’m not a crop top kind of gal and don’t trust built in bras! These shirts are magic. I bought two colors. I wore one to a theme park and it held me in and kept me comfy ALL DAY. I can’t recommend these enough for traveling, lounging, and everyday wear." —Nikki
Get it from Amazon for $20.99+ (available in sizes S–XXL and 20 colors).
3. Some budget-friendly high-waisted leggings if you've sworn off jeans and any other bottoms without at least 5% spandex.
Promising review: "I travel a lot and now won't get on a plane without wearing them. They are comfortable and thick enough and they have a deep pocket on each side. I put my boarding passes, ID, and credit cards in one pocket, and my phone and ear piece in the other so I'm hands free and can put my purse in my carry on without having to open it. The leggings look great with tunics or longer tops/sweaters and boots. They're also great for road trips and of course everyday use. I have them in navy, brown, and black so far. I also have the shorts version in pink and light blue to go under sundresses in the summer. I highly recommend these leggings." —JoJoBrew
Get them from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in standard and plus sizes, three lengths, and 25 colors/patterns).
4. An off-the-shoulder jumpsuit with over 33,900 5-star ratings and rave reviews from flight attendants!
Promising reviews: "This is perfect for travel. I've worn it as PJs, on a plane with a blazer, and for a nine-hour car trip. Super comfortable and goes anywhere. I'll definitely be getting more!" —My Cat Steve Judges My Purchases.
"I bought the navy blue to take on vacation after reading an article about how easy care these jumpsuits are. I loved it so much I bought the green. I take them out of my suitcase, hang them up, and they are ready to go in a few hours, no ironing needed. I get compliments every time I wear one of them." —AKSunshine
Get it from Amazon for $35.99 (available in sizes S–3X and 31 colors/patterns).
5. A pair of Levi's Wedgie fit jeans which will show off your best ~asset~ no matter what you throw on up top. Since they come in a bunch of classic washes, you *will* have trouble picking which ones to get.
When I slipped into these babies for the first time I couldn't believe my eyes. As someone with a larger butt and smaller waist, I'm accustomed to gaping and bunching in all the wrong areas but these fit like a glove and gave my backside just a lil' lift. They also hold their shape throughout the day so you don't have to hike them up or worry about a saggy bottom which is key when traveling as you often don't have time to do laundry!
Promising review: "Wedgie Straight and Ribcage are my favorite Levi's styles. I own several pairs of them. Jive Sound is a very staple medium wash to have in my wardrobe. Color goes with everything. It's made of 99% cotton and 1% elastane. Denim is a bit stiff. Feels a bit tight around the butt but became comfortable after a few wears. And it doesn't stretch out. I went with my usual size 25." —Melody
Get them from Levi's for $98 (available in sizes 23–33 and plus sizes 20–24, three lengths, and in 12 washes).
6. Or a pair of pull-on skinny jeans if you're someone who doesn't like leaving the house in something that could be considered loungewear but you do want to *feel* like you're wearing loungewear nonetheless.
Promising review: "OK, I'm not going to lie. I was skeptical about these pants. I hate buying clothes online without trying them on first, but the reviews here said that they run true to size, so I trusted them. I am SO GLAD that I did. These pants are everything I ever wanted. Make my butt look cute? Check. No nasty zipper to dig into my gut? Check. Perfect length for any season? Check. I can wear these with a cute blouse as a teacher, and still look professional, while still being comfortable. I feel comfortable wearing these basically any time, and I think that if you're lacking a pair of them and thinking about it, you should go get a pair. They're AMAZING." —AlySedai
Get them from Amazon for $23.35+ (available in sizes 2–28, in three lengths, and 18 washes).
FYI, if you have Amazon Prime, you can give these a spin before you buy them!
7. Croc platforms that *may* just be cute enough to convert the Never Croc-er™ amongst us. They're ultra-comfortable, waterproof, and can take a serious beating, too, if you need to shove them in the exterior water bottle pouch of your backpack because you bought more souvenirs than anticipated.
I have these in all black (as pictured above) and I am OBSESSED with them. They are my go-to travel/all-day walking shoe. They have gone around the world with me and walked 20,000-step days in NYC without so much as a hint of a hint of a blister. They're super easy to get on and off, v cushy, and are impossible to stain. I had my last pair for two years and they didn't even scuff at all — I had just completely worn off the soles so it was time to replace them.
Promising review: "These sandals are a game-changer. One of my friends got a pair and I thought they were the cutest shoes ever, I did a double-take when she told me they were Crocs. Really? That ugly clog-making company? Well, call me a Crocs convert because I want a pair in every color. I’ll die in these shoes because I’m never going to take them off. It feels like you’re walking on clouds, they’re so comfortable and supportive. The gradual platform looks edgy but is super easy to walk in, it does not feel like heels or wedges — I can still run after my toddler all day. These elevated sandals have changed me life. They go with everything — jeans, shorts, dresses. Buy the shoes, guys." —oh no
Get them from Amazon for $32.99+ (available in sizes 4–11 and in 14 colors/patterns; check out additional colors here).
8. Or a pair of handmade huaraches with all the airflow of a sandal, but also the benefit of a closed-toe design if you have any vacation activities in mind that are more intense than suntanning on the beach. (Zip lining, anyone?)
Macarena Collection is a Buena Park, California–based small biz with all sorts of Mexican-made leather sandals, embroidered Huipil shirts, and home goods.
BuzzFeeder Elizabeth Lilly has a very similar pair from the same small biz and here's what she has to say:
"I swear, these are the comfiest shoes I've ever worn straight out of the box. On my first day of wearing them, I walked about 40 city blocks with no pain, blistering, or rubbing. Zilch! I basically live in them now and, it turns out, they match with basically everything I wear. I most recently wore them on a day trip to Malacca, Malaysia. I walked all over Jonker Street in search of rice balls and baba cendol, and up a grueling hill to see the ruins of St. Paul's Church. Despite it feeling about 1000% humidity, these sandals kept my feet cool and comfy for hours and hours...like they always do!"
Promising review: "I am loving these shoes! They are high quality, super comfortable and go with anything. I bought them in both black and brown and have been wearing them daily!!!! I would recommend them to anyone. I read the reviews before I bought them and bought a half size smaller then I normally wear. They fit perfectly." —Sarah Niegocki
Get them from Macarena Collection on Etsy for $43.99 (originally $54.99; available in sizes 5–10).
9. A Pashmina scarf ready to be fashioned into a blanket or pillow when flying; a wrap when you're cold or need something modest for visiting cultural sites like temples; or even a shield from the sun as it offers UPF 50+ protection!
Promising review: "I absolutely love this wrap!! It is the perfect weight and size for travel. It didn't leave my side on an 11 day backpack trip through Europe and was used as a scarf, blanket, towel, and wrap all throughout the trip. Fashionable enough to dress up a basic travel day outfit, warm enough to keep away a chill on a cooler night, and light enough to pack away small into a bag or tie around a purse strap. I can't say enough great things! I am buying these as gifts for everyone I know who travels." —Jenn
Get it from Amazon for $46+ (available in six colors).
10. A pair of cropped, feather-light pants that do 👏 not 👏 wrinkle 👏, offer UPF 50+ protection, and dry in a flash in case you need to wash 'em in the sink before the next leg of your trip.
I have these in black and they are my go-to pants for travel days — especially ones that involve flying. The wide-leg design/silky fabric is ultra-comfortable, the pockets are large enough for smartphones, boarding passes, and passports, and the elastic waist/drawstring sitch guarantees there's no pinching or bagging even if you're sitting and/or standing for an incomprehensible amount of time. The sides also have some subtle darting that take them up a notch in the ~fashun~ department.
Promising review: "I can't think of anything I don't like about this pant. The material is wonderful and easy to care for. I like the crop as you can so easily dress them up or down. I have found traveling with two pairs of these, four or five tees, a wrap, a pair of sandals and flats, and wearing sneakers I can be gone for a week in a carry-on only. Couldn't live without them." —LaVon V
Get them from Athleta for $34.97+ (available in sizes 0–26 petite, regular, and tall and in three colors).
11. An oversized hoodie with a built-in sleep mask that ensures some quality shut eye whether you're traveling via plane, train, or automobile (AKA Lyft or Uber...).
Pond Los Angeles is an Asian- and woman-owned small business that creates bags and clothing perfect for traveling.
Promising review: "I fly a lot and am constantly trying to find a hoodie with a big hood to cover my eyes so I can catch up on some beauty sleep on the plane. I saw this product on Instagram and knew it would be a game-changer. I was able to use it recently for the first time on an early morning flight, and let me tell you, it is EVERYTHING I was looking for and more. It’s comfy, cozy, oversized, and the eye covers make you feel like you’re in a whole other world and not packed like a sardine on a plane. My over-ear headphone fit perfectly under it, and I got the best sleep I’ve had on a plane — EVER! Like other reviews have said, it is big, so size down if you want something a little more snug. It’s a little big, but I love my stuff oversized, so I am fine. I have been wearing it every day at home and can’t wait to get the black and blush one!" —Heather G.
Get it from Pond Los Angeles for $102.40 (originally $120; available in sizes XS–XL and black).