Travel Fashion: Get the Right Gear
Think travel's glamor days have waned? When men wore sporting suits, ties and freshly shined shoes and women sported chic ensembles with matching hats and handbags? In most places, stylish travel wear has given way to gym shorts and flip-flops. You may even spot an occasional pair of pajama pants and slippers in the airport security line or highway rest stop.
Of course, you can do your part to raise the bar. For starters, don't go hither and yon toting subpar luggage. There are a number of luggage options that won't cost a fortune, but that will add some color, texture and panache to your travel style.
Check out discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Tuesday Morning and Ross for sometimes name brand, durable luggage. Occasionally, you'll find matching sets (if that's your thing) and most of the time you can find a carry-on bag and 26-inch (66-centimenter) wheeled suitcase for about $80 total.
Sporting goods stores are good places to pick up a large duffel bag, a piece of luggage that will come in handy if you're traveling internationally or for extended periods. You could even fold a large duffel compactly and pack it into your suitcase, in case you need more storage on the way home. Also watch sales at sporting goods stores to pick up a backpack for less than $30 that can double as a personal item during air travel or provide handy access to your wallet and a change of clothes during car travel.
If you're packing business or formal attire, a garment bag is a good investment because it will help keep clothes crease-free -- especially if it's equipped with straps that hold your clothes in place. Inspect the hook from which the garment bag will hang in the closet; it should be heavy-duty-enough to handle the weight of clothes [sources: Fodor, Steele].