The Most Comfortable Pants for Travel (If You Don't Want to Wear Leggings)

Always look smart when you travel; you never know who you’ll meeta piece of advice my mom would always give me before I jetted off on a trip. Of course, I wouldn’t always listen to this advice (my early 20s were unquestionably my more sloppy traveling phase), but nonetheless, the phrase still swirls around in my head before every voyage.

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to travel pretty extensively, and while I’ve certainly worn my fair share of leggings on many a trip, I’ve come to a point where I’m craving more stylish travel pant alternatives, which brings me swiftly to our subject today: What are the most comfortable and chic pants to travel in if you don’t want to wear leggings? In short, a pair of pants that don’t make you look like you’re in a yoga class, but are still soft, stretchy, non-restrictive, and most importantly smart and stylish. (I want to be considered for that upgrade, after all.) This most often takes the form of cashmere, cotton and lightweight fabrics with a drawstring or elasticated waists. 

As market editor, I've done my best sartorial digging to bring you the pants that are seasonless, elegant, soft, and comfortable for your next flight. Scroll below for 17 chic options and get inspired by the leggings alternatives fashion girls are wearing right now.

Fashion influencer Monikh opts for sleek dusty blue sweatpants with center seams that make them look super smart. The elastic waist is key to comfy travel.

Julie Sariñana knows the power of cropped black straight-leg sweat pants for traveling. These are super soft and stylish.

Brittany Xavier opts for high-waisted loose and tapered pants in a lightweight fabric.

Arielle Charnas making us want to run out and buy a cashmere matching set ASAP.

Are these not the perfect cropped khaki travel pants? They also nail this season's utility trend.

Shop chic and comfortable pants for traveling:

These (pictured above on Monikh) are made from soft Peruvian cotton-terry and for a pair of sweatpant, they exude a seriously smart silhouette.

Lightweight and smooth to the touch, the olive hue is super versatile for traveling. There's also a sneaky back pocket for your cell phone.

I always turn to Vince when I want to invest in a timeless basic. The front pleats and tie belt on these pants add a hint of polish to the easygoing silhouette made from a lightweight stretch knit.

Classic and cool, these ûber-soft Supima cotton-terry pants feature a drawstring waist and elasticated cuffs.

I've always loved AG Jeans for their superior stretch denim fabric. If you're a jeans girl, these are perfect for traveling.

L.A.-based brand, Lunya have the softest and most comfortable lounge pants around. These are made from airy and breathable Pima cotton.

These look seriously smart—great for commuting, work, and travel. The Luna fabric they're made from is smooth and structured with surprising stretch.

I've worn these khaki chinos on several trips already and I love the softness, stretch, and versatility.

These could totally pass for smart work pants if you're going on a business trip.

These are made from a warm knit with elements of merino wool and cashmere, and we love the belted waist for a more sophisticated look.

Athleta's travel pant game is strong. These aren't the only ones I'm featuring in this edit. They're made from a featherweight stretch fabric and feel silky sleek and light as air.

New York Times Fashion Director Vanesa Friedman recommends this brand for travel basics. These ribbed pants are made from thin, silky-soft summer cashmere.

Skinny jeans in a super-stretch denim are a welcome legging alternative. 

The cute ruffle hem adds a charming touch to these soft and stretchy hacci fabric lounge pants.

Ribbed knit will keep you cozy, chic, and comfortable. We love the cropped silhouette and handy drawstring waist.

There's a reason this is called the Jet Set trouser. It's made for comfort on that red-eye flight and is perfect for that 9 a.m. meeting after you land. It's wrinkle-resistant, sharp, and super comfortable with a no-pinch waistband. 

These will take you from the plane to your next activity in utmost style.

Not your average track pants. These comfy and roomy pants feature a high-waisted drawstring elastic waistband and a cropped wide leg. They look great with Birkenstocks or sneakers.