There's a certain art to travel packing.
With limited space available you need to put careful thought into everything you take with you. In this way, the clothes you choose to pack are usually of primary concern.
And of all the clothing types, t-shirts can be particularly hard to decide upon.
After all, you may only have room for 4 or 5 of them in total. You see the piles of t-shirts in your wardrobe and imagine all the different things you'll be doing on the road. How on earth will you be able to cater for every travel situation with so little room available?
How do you make sure you have a shirt that's appropriate for everything you've got planned? How can you combine style with functionality? How will you be able to cope on the road with so few options?
Keep reading to find out everything you need in a travel shirt.
What Makes the Best Travel Shirts?
Here are 7 qualities of the best shirts for travel.
1. They're Functional
Great travel shirts and t-shirts score high on functionality.
Essentially, they need to get the job done! There's little point taking your favorite t-shirt if it's wholly impractical for the road.
For instance, make sure your shirts are weather appropriate.
If you're going somewhere hot and humid you'll need a t-shirt that's cool and breathable. You want moisture to escape, not get trapped! In this instance, a lightweight cotton shirt would be a much better choice than a sweaty synthetic fabric.
Likewise, somewhere cooler will require a warmer material, such as merino wool.
In fact, merino wool is one of the most functional materials out there. For thousands of years, this natural material has been keeping people cool, dry, warm, clean and comfortable.
You could also think about the material's ability to protect you from insects and the sun. These days you can find shirts that reflect UV rays and repel pesky insects.
A final useful bit of functionality is quick drying material. With limited shirts, you'll be doing lots of washing. And with unpredictable weather, you may find yourself in a downpour or two as well.
A synthetic material may be best for your quick drying needs.
2. They're Lightweight
The best travel shirts tend to be lightweight too.
Weight is always a factor when you're traveling. When you're constantly lugging your bags around you want things to be as lightweight as possible.
The same goes for your shirts. Make sure you don't pack shirts that are too heavy or bulky. They'll only take up space and add unnecessary weight.
To keep warm in colder climates simply layer up!
3. They're Comfortable
Of course, you want your travel shirts to be comfortable!
But similar to functionality, comfort depends on what you're doing and where you're headed. A comfortable shirt in a hot country probably means you'd need something lightweight and cool. In humid countries, it would need to be breathable.
They also need to be the right fit. For instance, too tight and it might feel constrictive and make you too hot. Too loose and you may feel too cold in windy conditions.
Be sure to get the right fit t-shirt in the right material to be as comfy as possible.
4. They're Durable
Next up is durability.
Your shirts will take a beating on the road. They'll be weathered by the elements, stuffed in your bag, overworn and over washed.
And in an ideal world, the ones you take will remain intact regardless.
The durability of a shirt usually depends on the quality of the fabric. High-quality materials with a greater degree of stretch could be worth considering.
Merino wool is a top option for durability too. But it'll cost you (see below for more on expense).
5. They're Versatile
The best travel shirt is a versatile one.
When you travel you encounter all manner of conditions, situations, and experiences. And without the luxury of abundant options, your limited selection of shirts will need to be particularly versatile.
The weather can change. Your environment can change. Your activities will vary. Your needs will change.
Make sure you pack travel shirts that will be as suited to the plane as to a hike. As good for a night out as for a long bus journey. And so on.
This way you'll be covered (literally...) whatever situation you find yourself in.
6. They Have a Neutral & Subtle Design
As we've already noted, you're unlikely to have a wide variety of t-shirts with you on your travels.
Meaning the ones you take should match the style and color of your other clothes. Simply, you want to make sure you can wear any shirt with any other item of clothing you have.
That way you won't be stuck with any garish combinations you won't want to wear.
Equally, subtle colors and styles are always better for keeping a low profile overseas. For safety reasons, it pays to avoid unwanted attention when possible. Dressing appropriately is a key way of doing this.
The best shirts for your destination generally cover your shoulders, aren't too low cut and just generally won't make you stand out like a sore thumb.
7. They're Reasonably Priced
A final consideration should be the price.
It's easy to lose things when you travel. It's easy to break and ruin things too. So avoid spending excessively on clothing that could possibly meet these fates on the road.
If money's a factor on your travels, be sure to keep your t-shirts to a reasonable budget.
Final Thoughts on Travel Shirts
Shirts and t-shirts can pose particular clothing conundrums to the would-be traveler.
With limited space and lots of plans, it's hard to know what to prioritize. That's why it's important to take the best travel shirts possible.
And as we've seen, this means taking shirts that are functional, lightweight, comfortable, durable, versatile, neutral and reasonably priced. Pack shirts that tick these boxes and you can't go wrong.
Now we'd love to hear from you. What do you look for in a travel shirt? Were you surprised by anything on the list? Or would you have included something else?
Let us know in the comments! And be sure to contact us about how our shirts might meet your travel needs!