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Chase the Sun: Gear Up for Springtime Travels

By March 26, 2024July 2nd, 202410 Comments

OK grizzly bear, time to crawl out of your cave, shake it off, and see the sun again. It’s spring! I’m feeling a renewed sense of adventure and a big need to evolve into something new. One goal is packing smarter for my trips. After years, er, decades, it’s still messy.

maroon shoes with gold elephants for packing and spring travel apparel

But I have a plan now and have truly invested in garments that are high quality, long lasting, and made from sustainable materials. This has taken away a lot of guesswork and made me look better in well-fitted, high-quality clothes. I hope these suggestions help you level up your travel gear game, too!

Unbound Merino wool apparel for flights

Sometimes it’s breezy, other times it’s hot as Hades. I never know how the plane is going to feel at any given time. And honestly, I usually forget to check the weather where I’m going. 

To combat this hot mess style of traveling, my to-go basics for the plane come from Unbound. These are some of the features of this magic material:

  • Dries fast if it gets wet
  • Antibacterial, which means no odor for weeks (even without washing)
  • Minimal wrinkles and stretch

Wool might make you think of scratchy sweaters, but Unbound’s pieces are buttery soft. I personally like my muscle tank under everything to provide a protective layer and basic top if I need to shed a jacket or sweatshirt. I’ve worn my shirt on several international flights (and the long-sleeved one skiing!) without any fuss.

My husband digs his simple black T-shirt for switching from day meetings to casual drinks out with coworkers on a business trip. I’d love for him to try out more of the men’s line, because I think it would simplify his wardrobe and take the guesswork out of packing. Which for him, is often at the last minute!

A bonus? Unbound Merino looks super chic and classic. If you believe the hot tip of looking the part for a free flight upgrade, Unbound is the way to do it. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’m holding out hope!

And finally, sustainability is key. I used to shop for all my clothes at fast fashion stores, drawn in by sales and low prices. But those clothes rarely lasted, so I found myself shopping every few months. Investing in basics made from high-quality materials is my new traveler era and I’m never going back.

From plane to power hour: Pact!

Lately I’ve been chatting with fellow travelers about feeling “fresh.” Back in the day, I’d hop off a red-eye with no problem and collapse into a hotel. But these days, my leisure time is limited. I’m either going right to a meeting or hoping to start checking out the destination ASAP.

Eileen Cotter Wright wearing green sweatshirt from Pact

Along with this, I’m trying to keep my clothes simple. My drawers are overflowing with clothes spanning (gasp) decades in all shapes and sizes. I want to cut way, way back, and stick to clean and colorful basics that I can mix and match.

Online, I noticed Pact started offering more inclusive sizing and a wider range of apparel. I had a beautiful dress from Pact that grew with me during pregnancy and definitely wanted to invest more.

Eileen in san juan puerto rico in front of the i heart SJ sign wearing Pact dress

I’ll be honest: I actually commented on a post by Pact on Instagram that I loved the clothes and hoped to see more models of different sizes! The company got in touch with me directly and sent me a variety of pieces, from yoga leggings and a bodysuit to my favorite olive green twill pants from the new line. Actually, I’m obsessed. I’ve worn them everywhere from my brother’s baby shower to a business coffee meeting. It feels so nice to get out of jeans or stiff work pants. And Pact was right when advising me on a size—for me, an XL fits just loose enough to breathe, but still held a nice shape.

Also, I received some joggers and a sweatshirt for flights… I fell asleep on the plane for the first time in a WHILE because I was so comfortable. Not sweaty, not cold, and feeling on trend. Win-win-win. Similarly, again Pact is carbon-neutral, organic, and is working hard to offset the fast fashion industry with timeless pieces.

Pact clothing unboxing

Get your kicks on… easier with Kizik

Half of my trips are solo or with my spouse these days. The other half is with my two children, who are both under four years old. This means I have to make every step of the journey as simple as I can to stay focused.

Early on in my mom journey, I found out about Kizik sneakers, which you can pre-tie and slide on without bending over. Game changer. 

kizik sneakers womens athens in bahama

Choose from a million designs and styles to find what works well for you. However, I will say these sneakers aren’t really made for working out or super long walks, but they’re perfect for errands and everyday wear.

Another plane bonus: slide them on an off discreetly while flying for extra wiggle room!

To recap, here’s my go-tos one more time for elevated spring travel apparel:

  • Unbound Merino for flights, hot days, cool evenings, and looking your best
  • Pact clothing for comfort, focus, and casual style
  • Kizik sneakers for traveling parents and people streamlining their time

A few other brands worth watching:

Toad&Co is another company I found flying under the radar a bit, but I love its message and style. Laid-back, hipster-y, and cozy, the company has some great pieces for the transition from winter to spring. I have the Heartfelt Hoodie and it’s wonderful to wrap with just leggings or jeans. It has pockets and it’s great for baby wearing, too! I’m obsessed with the look of this fleece dress— it might be my next splurge! Markedly, Toad&Co has a great thrifting program as well, where it will buy back old pieces for someone else to love at lower costs.

Quince rebranded back in 2020 and became one of the biggest sustainable, affordable players in the game. Quince is famous for its $50 cashmere sweater. I love mine in navy, and have recently bought some clothes for the kids, too.

Let me know if you do change up your spring travel wardrobe. I hope this helps!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on them. This has no additional cost to you! As always, my opinions are wholly my own.

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Instagram @Pure_Wander.

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