From a traveling perspective, the last two summers have been a story of postponed trips, banked airline credit and, in general, inactivity. The pandemic has pushed plans with travelers delaying regular travel along with once-in-a-lifetime trips until the Covid coast is clear. It also made people more reflective on what they want out of life; in short, many have decided to book that big voyage this summer for fear that we could be locked down again (Monkeypox, anyone??) In our shop at Stanley Marketplace we speak with customers daily about gearing up for trips of a lifetime. These folks tend to be looking eastward with European journeys. It doesn’t hurt that Denver now has direct flights to Iceland, Paris, London, Frankfurt and Munich. As you prepare for your journeys I have a few tips for packing:
We associate wool with cold weather and for many of us, itchiness. Merino wool is different. Merino is best known in the United States as a base layer for skiing but our Scandinavian companies use it’s technical qualities to design fantastic shirts to deal with varying temperatures (including the heat).Wool is anti-microbial and anti-fungal which is a fancy way of saying, self-cleaning. What this means for the traveler is that when faced with an extended period of living out of a suitcase, packing wool items means you will need to bring less and not seek out a laundromat in Budapest. You can wear a wool (or wool blend) shirt for an entire day and simply hang it up and it will air itself out and be ready for the next day. A few of my favorites are the 100% wool t-shirts from Ivanhoe of Sweden, the blended long sleeve 5Mila from Amundsen of Norway and the Primo Merino blended tees for men and women from Elevenate. A new favorite is a blended wool polo shirt by Ivanhoe. The Elis shirt incorporates all of the breathability of wool with the softness of Tencel which is made from trees. This all-natural fibered shirt is comfortable enough for a day pounding the pavement while looking at home in the finest bistro. These practical wool elements apply equally to socks and we even see some companies incorporating wool into pants, shorts and for the hardcore minimalist….underwear! I highly recommend wool for every adventure.
Layers, Layers, Layers
Coloradans are used to layering. Whether we are venturing out in the city or into the foothills we tend to bring clothing for any and all kinds of weather. Packing for a trip demands the same kind of preparedness. I tend to approach it the same way I do for a concert at Red Rocks. I know that there will be a bit of exertion followed by a period of time where anything from heat to wind to rain can happen. For concerts and travelling, I always bring a packable shell that I can break out for lower profile protection against the elements. My favorites for this season are from Haglöfs from Sweden. Haglöfs’ L.I.M. Shield Hood for men and women is a wind breaker that is also water-resistant. This thin jacket packs into its own pocket which can be used as a pillow on a bus or train. I am also a huge fan of vests for travel due to their compact nature and ability to keep your core warm. They can also cover wrinkled shirts and dress up a t-shirt!
You have got to accessorize!
When travelling internationally many people like to keep their passports with them at all times. For the longest time the “best” option for keeping important items secured to your person was the much-maligned fanny pack. Sure, the Rock wore one at one point (who hasn’t) but I feel like I have found a better alternative from a company right in our Denver backyard. Colorado based Adventurist Backpacks produces Swedish style bags for people on the move. The Sidekick is built to hold your phone, passport right on your hip. It is also big enough to carry a travel charger to keep your phone power at a level you want it to be at. It is also extraordinarily cute and at $39 a small price to pay to keep your important items all together.
Exhale and have a great time
All your bags are packed and you are ready to go and whether you are one of those travelers that plans every day to the minute in a google doc (sheepishly raises hand) or you prefer to go with the flow I wish you a summer full of adventure and travel.