8 Must-Bring Clothes for Traveling Light

Liz Paelmo

Enthusiastic Writer. Grammar Nazi. Mass Communication Graduate. Development Communication Student. Drummer.


Most of us walk along the road of “just in case” when we pack clothes for a trip. We think, “Oh I need to bring an extra jacket just in case the other one gets dirty,” or “I need this evening dress just in case I get the chance to dine in a fine restaurant.” Unfortunately, the just-in-case and what-ifs prompt us to pack more and prepare for something less likely to happen. To avoid the concept of overpacking, here are the eight essential clothings you must bring from top to bottom:

#1: Hat and Pair of Sunglasses

Your head and eyes need protection from the sun, especially if you’re about to travel to a tropical place or if you’ll visit the beach. One of each would be enough.

#2: Scarf

Scarves are versatile. They can serve as emergency handkerchiefs or towels, can be used for fashion, can warm the neck, or be used for religious reasons. If scarves aren’t for you, then handkerchieves might serve you well instead.

#3: Tops

cabinet-clothes-clothes-hanger When it comes to tops, my recommendation for indoor clothing is 1:2; that means you should bring one set for two days. For shirts and blouses to be worn outdoors, make sure you have one for each day and just bring one extra shirt. I repeat; ONE EXTRA SHIRT only.

#4: Cardigan / Light Jacket

A cardigan or a light jacket is practical when you have to go to an unexpected place where the weather could be an issue. Plus, if you do not have anything new to wear for outdoors anymore, they could come in handy. Remember the “just-in-case” scenarios? A cardigan or jacket could be used for those.

#5: Underwear

I don’t think I need to explain this much. Of course, bring one per day and bring an extra. Pack one brassiere, brief, trouser, or boxer for every day. Take with you at least one cycling if you are going to wear a skirt or dress during your travel.

#6: Shorts / Skorts

girl-shorts-outside-camera Either for indoors or outdoors, shorts or skorts are necessary too. Indoor shorts and skorts would follow the 1:2 ratio. Outdoor ones would follow 1:1, meaning one short/skort for every day, except if you’ll pack pants or a dress. Shorts and skorts can be worn twice throughout your trip as long as they are kept clean.

#7: Pants

The number of pants also depends on how many shorts, dresses, and skorts you’ll bring. Basically, if you want to travel light, wear one pair of pants thrice throughout your trip. Only your tops should be different per day.

#8: Shoes

feet-man-woman Two pairs of shoes would suffice. One for the streets and one for indoors like museums and restaurants. If you’ll use closed shoes every day for more than two days, bring two pairs of socks (simply wash them for the following days). If your feet sweat a lot, then you should bring an extra pair.


If you’ll travel for seven days, my recommendation is to bring:
  • one hat
  • a pair of sunglasses
  • a scarf
  • seven tops for outdoors (six if you have one dress, five if you have two dresses, and so on…)
  • two-three tops for indoors (home clothes)
  • seven underwears
  • a cardigan or light jacket
  • two shorts for indoors (home clothes)
  • two pairs of shorts/skorts for outdoors
  • two pairs of pants
  • two pairs of shoes
  • socks for closed shoes and cyclings for skirts and dresses
And that’s it! Remember: You need only to remove the just-in-case attitude and you’ll be able to travel light! Have fun!