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I am overdue for writing this post on what to wear as a mom who travels most of the year. When I had my daughter over 2 years ago, I knew my wardrobe would change. And well here we are.

As a full-time traveler with often my now toddler in tow, I’m very intentional about what I pack. I also can’t have two separate wardrobes for trips with and without her — so I need clothes that look good whether or not I am chasing my 2-year-old. I’m in a variety of climates, often in Europe or Mexico, so I have a rather “capsule approach” to my wardrobe.

I will say this about my style — I don’t want to look like I’ve just walked out of Athleta but I also don’t want to be in unrealistic clothes that I have to tiptoe around in. The sweet medium of I’m going to need to walk 6 miles today, possibly carry a toddler, and then maybe sit down for a client meeting. It’s a tall order.

If I could describe it in a few words, I aim for that classic French chic with staple pieces, I don’t shy away from lived-in linen, and I splurge on the everyday pieces instead of the one-offs (because I want to feel good the majority of the time).

As I am about to embark on a 7-week trip that entails 4 different countries with all distinct climates, I’m sharing what I pack for most trips. The irony is most of these things would be in the suitcase for even a 1-week trip.

What to Pack As a Traveling Mom


Shoes

When I begin to pack my wardrobe for a trip, I always start with shoes. It’s how I start most days by deciding what I want to wear on my feet. I find that if my shoes are comfortable, then I can do most things, but the minute they aren’t, well the day is done for me.

Sneakers

Without a shadow of a doubt, I have at least 1-2 pairs of Adidas Sambas with me. I always wear one on the plane, and pack the other. I go for a white pair and a black or fun colorway, all of which pair with dresses or pants. I’ve tried hundreds of other sneakers, my Vejas are pretty good but don’t last the mile like Sambas, and while I love my Allbird Tree Runners, they just don’t suit with dresses (they’re great if I have the extra room, and will be hiking around.).

Long-Haul Sandals

My best purchase of the year has been the Fishermen Sandals from Freda Salvador. They’re so comfortable and pair well with jeans to dresses. It’s my go-to for spring through summer. I always pack a pair of Eleftheria Sandals from Ancient Greek (I’m on my second pair with studs now I love them so much), and if I have the room, I’ll toss in my Hermes Oran Sandals — this is the best dupe for them. The other pair of shoes I always bring is a pair of rubber Havaianas. They come for every trip.

Other Shoes For Consideration

A few other shoes that come with pending the event. These black Aeyde ballet slippers are a favorite purchase, I can walk pretty far in them as well. If I have a shorter trip and the room, I do love my Sezane Loafers with a slight heel. For boots, I live in my Combat Boots from Vince (similar). I don’t wear heels anymore these days (my ankles can no longer really), so I don’t typically pack a pair.

My Optimal Shoe Packing List for Summer/Spring:

  • 2 Sambas (wear one on the plane)
  • 1 Rubber Flip Flop
  • 1-2 Leather Sandals
  • 1 Fisherman Sandal

My Optimal Shoe Packing List for Winter/Fall:

  • 2 Sambas (wear one on the plane)
  • Combat Boots, Ballet Flats, or Loafers

Dresses + Skirts + Sets

What to Wear: The Stylish Traveling Mom Edition

Dresses are almost midi or full-length these days, because you know, bending over for your 2-year-old is never forgiving. Skirts I can take or leave most trips, I find them more of a hassle, and I don’t know why. And I live for a good linen set. These are my go-to’s…

Dresses

I’m a tried and true Dôen fan. I would empty my bank account for all things Dôen, but I wait for sales like their annuals or when Netaporter has them. The Ischia is my favorite one, lightweight and easy. I love their Leanne, and I picked up the Marianne for this summer. I find them timeless, forgiving and can be dressed up or down. Other brands I’ve worn over the years are Spell, Free People, and I love MIRTH as well.

Dôen dupes: I know that the prices are high, so when I’m looking for a more affordable option, I always check Gap, Banana Republic, and Target. At Gap, this season I love this Linen blend Midi and this Convertible Linen dress.

Skirts + Sets

I’ve yet to find a skirt I love, though I hear good things about this Staud one. Now the one thing I have in every summer suitcase is a Deiji Linen Set (in black here). They’re so comfortable, and I love that you can wear the top or shorts solo.

My Optimal Dress Packing List for Summer/Spring:

  • 2-3 Dôen dresses
  • I Deiji Set

My Optimal Dress Packing List for Winter/Fall:

  • 1-2 long sleeve Dôen dresses

Denim + Pants + Shorts

What to Wear: The Stylish Traveling Mom Edition

I and my bottoms are in a tumultuous relationship. You will never find me in 100% cotton jeans, I need stretch, and I need to feel like I could do the limbo if one broke out at a party. So take that for what it’s worth…

Denim

I wear pretty much one brand in denim and it’s Madewell in their curvy line. I’ve worn several cuts over the years in varying sizes, and my favorite right now is the kick-out crop. I am a true black denim girl, I don’t love blue denim much personally, so I bring two black jeans on most trips. I have a white pair as well from Madewell that I’ll wear occasionally. Pro tip: I cut my jeans to hem to a better length, and love the natural hem look.

Pants + Shorts

Another pair of pants I added to the rotation was black linen. I like my Lioness pair (under $75) a lot. I’ll typically wear the shorts from my Deiji set, and then I added in a pair of linen shorts from Madewell. I’m more of a linen bottom person in the summer as I find that they’re easygoing.

My Optimal Bottom Packing List for Summer/Spring:

  • 1 jean
  • 1-2 linen pants
  • I-2 linen shorts

My Optimal Bottom Packing List for Winter/Fall:

  • 2-3 jeans

Tops + Knits + Jackets

What to Wear: The Stylish Traveling Mom Edition

I have a range of tops, but most of the time I’m always in my go-to Dôen blouses. I like a good T-shirt, I have some opinions on those. And then a solid coat that is comfortable.

T-Shirts

I have 3 very set styles of t-shirts for the trip — ones to sweat in, ones that are more cropped, and ones that are a bit more flowy. I wear the Skims Boyfriend for active days, I live in The Great for a more tailored look, and then I’m an Anine Bing girl for an oversized, “fashion t-shirt” if that makes sense.

Styled Tops

In the summer and winter, I always have the same 3 blouses in my suitcase from Dôen — I have their Jane Blouse and their June Blouse in a few different colors. They’re so easy, I feel comfortable and it pairs with everything. Another top I added this year was a linen bandeau to wear with linen pants.

Knits

I have a few different knits, I do like mine from La Ligne and my two Gap ones a lot (this button-up cardigan and this split hem striped one). I also wear a chunky knit sweater jacket (similar) from MIRTH all the time. I found this Jenni Kayne one to hold up well, and it’s thin and packs easily. My other favorite knitwear is this Jenni Kayne sweater coat.

Jackets

So many ways to approach jackets, but I like for year-round, this oversized blazer in green or black. I almost always have one with me. In the winter, I’ll pull out my big black puff jacket from Orolay or one of my wool coats. In the spring/summer, I also wear this Anine Bing shirt jacket a lot.

My Top Packing List for Summer/Spring:

  • 3-4 t-shirts
  • 3 short sleeve blouses
  • 1 blazer
  • 1-2 knits

My Top Packing List for Winter/Fall:

  • 3 t-shirts / 2 long sleeve
  • 3 long sleeve blouses
  • 1 blazer
  • 2-3 knits
  • 1 coat

Swim + Accessories + Bags

Swimsuits

I’ve lived in a Hunza G or the You Swim for several years now. They’re great and durable, and I feel good in them. Every 2 years I will say the Hunza G has to be replaced if you’re sitting on pool edges, which is the only downside. And then I always have this sarong from Monday Swimwear.

Accessories

I wear Black Ray-Bans most of the year, and every once in a while I’ll pack my Celines. I’m not a belt person, but would consider something like this.

Bags

My suitcases are all Away luggage, which I’ve used for years. My backpack that doubles as a camera bag is this Lo & Sons Hanover (I use this if we are taking individual tech bags) if not we use a bigger camera bag that Travis carries. And I use this chic Diaper Bag on the plane and for travel days (full toddler gear list here). Out while roaming on the ground, I always use my Longchamp Pliage that I pack in the suitcase to take out. I have several purses I love but because I have a camera in hand most days, the Pliage is my go-to.


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What to Wear: The Styled Traveling Mom Edition

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

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Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

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Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

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6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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