Every Smart and Stylish Traveler Owns These 7 Items


As someone who spent many years packing in a way that's best described as chaos, I can tell you that it's no way to live. I'm a pretty organized person but I didn't always have the tools that made for easy, successful packing, and it would make the preparing-for-a-trip process long. So I set out on a mission to study the travel wardrobes of stylish people while traveling (which Instagram makes easy to do) and did a little bit of trial-and-error reflection of my own. 

Now that it's a new year, I've been busy sorting out my travel plans for the next eleven months, and I'm already contemplating what I'll be packing for my various destinations. If you're in the same boat, this is the shopping round-up for you. Scroll to shop the best versions of all of the items I recommend you buy in advice for your 2023 (and beyond) travels. 

Versatile Basics


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Items that can be mixed and matched and work for day or night are key. Think blazers, button-down shirts, bodysuits, and simple slip dresses.

Shop versatile basics:

A Stylish, Sturdy Carry-On Duffle


(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

The most important travel item to me is my duffle that I bring on every single trip. It's black and nylon, so it's basically indestructible, and I can wipe it down after every trip without worrying about harming it.

Shop sturdy duffles:

Packable Accessories


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Functional accessories that won't take up a lot of room in your bag but are also chic can be found in every smart traveler's suitcase. A favorite of mine are Prada's Re-Edition Nylon bags.

Shop packable accessories:

Comfortable Denim


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

I never travel without jeans, but they have to be comfortable. Luckily, the options are plentiful.

Shop comfortable jeans:

Non-Bulky Shoes


(Image credit: @jennymwalton)

If you want to save room when packing, steer clear of shoes with platforms, lug soles, and block heels.

Shop non-bulky shoes:

Cashmere, Cotton, and Silk Pieces


(Image credit: @christietyler)

You don't want to devote your entire suitcase to one sweater, so opt for warm yet lightweight fabrics such as cashmere. During warmer months, cotton and silk pieces are lovely will take up minimal retail space.

Shop cashmere, cotton, and silk:

Neutral Colors


(Image credit: @lindatol_)

Unless you're traveling with multiple suitcases, it's best to pick a color palette and stick to it. For example, if most of what I pack is in the black or gray color family, I only bring a couple pairs of shoes to wear with every outfit. It makes outfit planning and accessorizing far simpler.

Shop neutral colors:

Next up, the best travel bags and accessories from Nordstrom.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.