How to be practical AND look polished at the airport

The only smart and stylish accessories you need besides your passport.

The only smart and stylish accessories you need besides your passport

At a certain point in time, not long ago, it became acceptable to wear pajama bottoms and your high school hoodie to the airport. As unfortunate as this may be, I get it — when you're crammed into the smallest seat known to man for four to eight hours with recycled air and a strangers arm hair touching you because you refuse to give up the armrest, you want to make the ride as comfortable as possible. It's also easy to forego your everyday style when traveling to save luggage space and the headache of wrinkles and creases. Some of your most prized fashion possessions simply aren't meant to be packed away into a suitcase. But lucky for you, it's 2018, and there are now a ton of great pieces available that ARE made with travel and style in mind. So skip the sweats and keep reading for practical and trendy style-on-the-go tips!

The wool runner

It's not realistic to pack four pairs of shoes for your vacation, so find one that's perfect for every setting! Introduce yourself to the only shoe you need this summer: the wool runner by Allbirds. Hailed by Time Magazine as the "the world's most comfortable shoe", it's perfect for sprinting through the airport with tears in your eyes as you're about to miss your flight. Made with merino wool, the shoe's durability and simplistic design give it major versatility — great for wherever your travels may take you: cities, countrysides, beaches, mountains, your backyard (sorry about that flight)... The padded insoles are lined with merino wool as well, which reduces moisture from sweat, meaning no odor. What I love most about them is that they're machine washable.

Wool Runner, $135, (available in mens and womens)

The fanny pack

It's time to stop making fun of your Auntie Gail for bringing a fanny pack to the grocery store because it's the big trend of late that all the cool kids are sporting. Keep up! These things make traveling incredibly convenient, and now, incredibly stylish too! Love them or hate them, they're taking over the world, which means an array of shapes, sizes and prices to consider before you buy one (or two). Here's a great place to start: for ladies, I like the "Aiguilette Belt Bag" by Avec La Troupe. It's modest in design but makes a statement with the color. For guys, I like Stussy's "Stock Side Bag".

The pocketable topper

Traveling with coats and jackets is a pain, isn't it? They take up a lot of space for something you might not even use. But when that rainy day or cool evening sneaks up on you while you're on vacation, you need to be prepared. I recommend UNIQLO's Pocketable Parka. They're water repellent, lightweight, wrinkle-free and so affordable. Roll it up and stuff it into the carry-a-long pouch to stay tucked away until you need it.

Pocketable Parka, $39.90,

The perfect carry on

Whether you're flying near or far, carry on luggage is key. These bags hold everything you want to keep near and dear, and when the airline loses your luggage, what's inside could be your saving grace. My favorite of the moment is called The Prowler, by Canadian brand Taikan (pronounced "taken"). They're design mantra is simplicity meets high-quality. Made from durable cotton canvas and Italian leather, it's polished and practical too. The Prowler's neutral colors and classic design makes it super-unisex (a term I just invented meaning it's the highest tier of gender neutral design). This isn't the kind of bag that gets thrown on the floor of the plane — please handle with care.

Prowler Carry On, $329.99,

The travel hat

Traveling with hats isn't always easy. They're awkward to pack and you risk damaging them every time you send your luggage off on the airport conveyor belt. This is why you need to pick up a hat that is designed for travel, like the Audrey Hat by Tilley. If this hat doesn't scream vacation, I don't know what does. Tilley's hats are made right here in Canada from rice paper, which may sound delicate, but they're actually quite durable. If you aren't going to wear it while travelling, stuff a few pairs of socks inside and expect a ready-to-wear, wrinkle free hat when you reach your destination! There's even a secret pocket to stash your valuables. Shhh!

Audrey Hat, $125,

The on-the-go fashion-fixer

Here's a bonus item that will keep you and the people around you happy all summer long (you'll want to show and share it with everyone, trust me). This On The Spot Travel Kit by The Laundress is your go-to-fashion-fixer while you're on the road. The Crease Release is a great quick fix for shirts and skirts after a long ride in a train, plane or automobile. The Fabric Fresh spray deodorizes outerwear, sneakers, and luggage. My personal favorite is The Static Solution: it's an amazing alternative to those harsh sprays full of chemicals that we can't pronounce. If you can't say it, don't spray it.

On The Spot Travel Kit, $30.50,