The Best Ways to Care For Your Clothes While Traveling

Just because you're on the road doesn't mean your threads have to take a beating.

Keeping your threads clean and well-kept is easy enough when you're at home. Taking proper care of your clothes when you're on the road presents more of a challenge, but if you pack smart, bumpy rides and cramped accommodations won't make a dent in your wardrobe.

Bring shoe polish

It's easy to get your lace-ups scuffed when you're hustling through the airport, or when they're jostling around in a suitcase. Pack a small tin of shoe polish and you can do a five minute touch up at the hotel before you slip into your suit.

Wrap shoes before packing

To prevent unpacking a bunch of scuffed-up shoes, wrap each individual shoe in a rag before you pack them into your suitcase. That way, they won't be rubbing against anything damaging like belt buckles or metal hardware from your luggage, and they won’t get any of your clothes dirty.

Pack nicer clothes in a garment bag

These are incredibly helpful for safeguarding any of your especially nice clothes. A sturdy one protects your garment's shape to keep wrinkles at bay, and separates them from the rest of the clutter in your suitcase so that delicate pieces don't get shuffled around as much.

Keep your toiletries in a leak-proof bag

You should be using a quality dopp kit for your travels, of course. But if you're not, at the very least you should pack all of your toiletries into a durable plastic bag or two. If any of the bottles break, it'll prevent the soap or shampoo from wrecking your clothes.

Always have small packs of laundry detergent

You had one too many glasses of red at your buddy's wedding and spilled some onto your favorite tie. Or accidentally got some of lunch onto your dress shirt. Don't leave it unattended and let the stain set in -- you may not be able to get it out once you're finally back in front of your washing machine. Thankfully, lots of washing detergent brands make small, individual load-sized packets that you can use if you need anything washed while you're still traveling. Toss a few of them in your suitcase and hand-wash in your hotel sink or tub when you've got some down time, then hang dry.

Pack a brush to clean your favorite clothes

A clothes brush is your first line of defense against dust, crumbs, and marks on your nicer clothes that you can't toss into the washing machine. Pack one when you travel and you'll be able to take good care of your suits, coats, and blazers with just a few quick swipes.

Have a mini sewing kit on hand

If you're handy enough with a needle and thread -- it’s a great skill to have -- pick up a pocket-sized sewing kit and stow it in your suitcase. If a button pops off your shirt right before dinner with clients or your buddy’s wedding, you can make a quick fix rather than having to scramble for a new outfit.

Got any travel secrets of your own that we missed?

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