Packed & Ready…but maybe you should rethink those jeans.
Travel fashion jeans are usually an impractical item to take traveling for three main reasons: they are bulky, heavy and take a long time to dry if wet. Yet, time after time travelers cram three or more pairs of jeans in their suitcase that they will most probably never wear. Below are some tips on packing smart when it comes to our beloved item of clothing:
Alternatives to jeans:
– If you are backpacking and are going to be walking, hiking or performing any extensive activity, than jeans simply don’t cut it. It might look dorky but invest in a good pair of hiking or travel pants. Some brands (like Columbia) manufacture travel pants that have zip pockets, advanced evaporation technology and sun protection.
– If you can’t be caught dead wearing travel pants than opt for linen or some type of fabric pant that is fashionable and functional. A huge South America trend is harem pants (if you are a non-believer, they’ll grow on you once you put them on!) Brazil and Argentina experience a lot of rain (both in summer and winter) so fabric pants are more practical since they dry quicker.
– Buy pants that don’t crease that easily since you probably won’t have access to an iron. Also stay away from light summer colors. Black linen, for example, creases but choosing a darker color means that it won’t be that noticeable (on the other hand white linen is not a good option).
If you absolutely MUST pack a pair of jeans than:
– Think about where and when you are travelling. As I live in Chile, I will use the country as an example. The temperature in Santiago in the summer can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius and the humidity at times can be overwhelming. In the month that I have been here, I have worn my jeans once. If you are backpacking in warmer countries one pair of jeans should be sufficient. However, the temperature in winter in the city can dip below zero so I usually pack two pairs to alternate between them.
– Be smart: stay away from fancy pants. Don’t bring bejeweled, torn, flair or any other type of “fashionable” jean. It’s not practical. Also don’t bring light colored jeans (white, light blue etc.) as they’ll get dirty quickly and you’ll be left with nada.
– Invest in mid-waist stretchy jeans (GAP 1969 Always Skinny jeans are my go-to) since there is a possibility of a traveler loosing or gaining a couple of pounds when backpacking.
– Don’t bring your $200 brand-name jeans. I think this one is self-explanatory