Ahhh… the age old question about whether one should pack jeans for travel. When I see pictures of celebs arriving at the airport in their favourite denim threads, I think, “Yeah sure, definitely, I’ll look like celebrity if I bring my jeans”. But maybe I should look at the practicalities first…
There are a zillion articles and blog posts that say you should not pack jeans when travelling. The reasons for this include:
- Weight: Jeans are heavier than other items, thus making your backpack or suitcase heavier and harder to carry. Imagine your train about to leave the station, and you’re late, so you need to run for it, and your backpack is starting to hurt your back… that extra weight difference could make you miss or make your train…
- Laundry: They are harder to clean and take a long time to dry. You might opt to find a laundromat, but this can be expensive and they may not be easy to find. So your other option is to hand wash them in the sink at your place of accommodation… What are you going to do if they still haven’t dried after a day and you need to move on? Chuck damp jeans into your suitcase? Wear the damp jeans? Throw them into a plastic bag and crinkle them?
- Bulk: They tend to be bulkier than other items so they take up more room in your suitcase. If you’re trying to pack light and have a small suitcase, this extra room will make a big difference
- Heat: Jeans are just not appropriate for warm climates as they make you feel ridiculously hot, or they can be very cold against your skin when travelling to a cooler climate, making it harder to stay warm.
- Travel pants are the best alternative: they are lightweight, versatile, and durable, so you wont even miss your jeans.
These seem to be the main reasons why not to pack jeans… BUT if you’re like me, you will be on the ‘Pro side’ of taking jeans. Here’s why:
- Style: well duh. The most important reason is wanting to look stylish on your trip. 😉
- Versatile: Jeans can be worn casually or dressy, during the day or at night, for sightseeing or dinners or travel days… the list goes on.
- Durability: they are tough and durable enough to last an extended trip, and still come home looking fab.
- Pockets: not all pants have these, and you may just need that pocket (although you would need to be careful of pickpocketers).
- Comfort: Most people find jeans to be comfy and this is important when travelling. You might need to sleep on a train, or you might need to be in them all day until you finish sightseeing. Well, not all jeans are comfy, but the ones you bring with you for travel generally are…
- Weight: they really don’t weigh that much. Their weight will probably not make that much difference to your luggage, and if so, wear them when travelling in between destinations. Problem solved!
- They don’t need regular washing: You wont need to clean them as regularly as your other clothes. If you have a dark wash, then chances are you wont even notice if they are dirty for a little while.
I will be bringing my jeans with me, no doubt about it. I brought two pairs of jeans with me to Geneva in winter and it was the best thing I did – I lived in them for the month! I often wore thermals underneath and they looks great with boots. And honestly – they weren’t that hard to clean or dry… just make sure you hang them over a chair or something similar and that they get some airflow so they dry properly. I hung mine in the bathroom and they still dried relatively quickly.
Now that I’m about to embark on a trip to Europe, the question has come up again – should I bring my jeans? Well there’s some things that I need to consider for myself personally:
- I’m bringing a suitcase, not a backpack. So the extra few grams my jeans weigh will not affect my ability to pull my suitcase along. There’s also plenty of room in there for the jeans to be packed.
- Jeans are my go-to clothing item. When all else fails, I wear jeans. This is because they are versitile and go with plenty of items in my wardrobe.
- I know I will wear them because I love them. There’s no point bringing something you don’t like or wont wear. Obviously, if you’re not a jeans person, then don’t bring them.
- I have worn them in and they fit perfectly. Nothings worse than bringing something you just bought and then finding out it doesn’t fit so well or there’s an annoying quirk about it.
- I don’t own travel pants. I’m not going to buy them either. And I don’t have the money for them. Plus I don’t really like them anyway…
- Jeans will be suited to my activities – shopping, sightseeing, nights out, travel days etc.
- I’ll be travelling to and from multiple climates. Although I may not wear them for every day, I’m sure I’ll wear them for particular days and locations.
- I can always take jeggings instead. If I’m worried about any of the cons about taking jeans, jeggings are the perfect alternative – they are lighter and less bulky than jeans, dry quicker, and come in a heap of styles and colours.
So to sum up, if you are deciding whether you should pack your jeans, ask the following questions:
- What is the whether like at my destination? Hot/Cold? Summer/Winter? Multiple climates?
- What activities will I be doing? Shopping? Sightseeing? Hiking? Swimming?
- Are they jeans you wear all the time? Are they old or new? Do they go with other items in your wardrobe?
- How will you wash them? Are you willing to hand wash if there’s no laundromat near your accommodation? If it’s a shorter trip, will you even bother washing them?
- Is backpack/suitcase weight a factor for you?
- Would you prefer another alternative like travel pants or jeggings?
After asking those questions you should have a better idea about whether you should pack your jeans.
I hope that helps people in their decision about whether they should pack their jeans. It has certainly supported my original idea about bringing them, and now I know that (for me personally) packing my jeans is a great idea!