9 Tips for Traveling in Style Without Breaking the Bank

Written By: Eric Williams
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated August 20, 2022

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Traveling in Style Without Breaking the Bank

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of looking good when traveling. We always want to prioritize comfort, but having a put-together wardrobe can elevate your trip in surprising ways. 

Many people think you must spend a lot to look stylish, but the opposite is true. You can look effortlessly stylish without breaking the bank on your travels. 

This guide will look at how to travel in style on a budget and why it’s important to look your best.

Why Looking Good While Traveling is Important

No matter where you go in the world, there are three key reasons why you should put effort into your appearance when traveling. 

First Impressions

When meeting new people, first impressions count. Looking and feeling your best will help you carry yourself better and give a great first impression to new people. 

If you’re traveling for business, this is especially important. Research shows people form opinions about how trustworthy and powerful you are based solely on your appearance.  


Feeling good in your clothes also helps you interact more confidently with others. Quality, well-tailored clothes boost self-esteem, and you’ll carry yourself better in different countries. 

That confidence radiates outwards and shows people you’re worth meeting and listening to. Whether you’re a keynote speaker at a conference or on holiday, this will help you stand out.

Better treatment

In many places, being smartly dressed means you get better treatment. For example, if you go into a restaurant in Paris looking disheveled, you’re not going to get great service. On the other hand, being smartly dressed means servers will pay you more attention. 

How we look shouldn’t dictate the kind of treatment we get, but it does make a difference when traveling. 

Tips for looking good without spending a lot of money

For your next trip abroad, you can take some simple steps to look good without spending a lot of money on a new wardrobe.  

Pack light

The more luggage you take, the more you’ll pay in airline fees. Pack as light as possible to save money on your trip. Here’s an easy hack from Torbin Lonne on how to keep your luggage light:

“Another way to reduce the amount of space your belongings take up is to invest in travel-sized toiletries and packing cubes. Travel-sized toiletries are a great way to save space, and they can be easily purchased at most drugstores,” says Torbin Lonne of DiveIn

Plan your wardrobe

When packing for a trip, most people take the number of items of clothing they need to last the duration of their travels. But that usually ends up with a bag full of clothes that don’t work together as outfits and means packing far more than you need. 

When packing, think about outfits that you can put together. Once you have an outfit, take a photo and save it on your phone so you know what to wear while abroad. 

For example, one versatile windbreaker jacket can be worn with various outfits, helping you save money and pack much lighter.

Create a capsule wardrobe

When planning your wardrobe, try to build a mini capsule wardrobe so it’s easy to mix and match outfits. Pick items with the same color palette and diversify the type of items you pack. 

For example, two pairs of pants, a jacket, and three tops can easily make a week’s worth of outfits for your trip.

Choose affordable yet stylish clothes

The best way to look stylish on a budget is to avoid logos. Stick to simple pieces with classic cuts to look stylish. 

Rather than splurging on expensive brands, opt for plain clothes that fit well to save money while traveling. Even some affordable tailoring will elevate clothes and make you look much more stylish with minimal effort. 

Choose expensive-looking fabrics

When choosing clothes that look expensive, the fabric is key. Thin, coarse fabrics look cheap and will give that disheveled look you want to avoid.

Luckily, the fabric doesn’t have to be expensive to look high-end. Some great fabrics to incorporate into your travel wardrobe are:

  • Wool – great for colder climates
  • Linen – better for warm climates
  • Leather
  • Silk
  • Velvet 

When you’re honing your style, forget about current trends. Fads pass quickly and will make your clothes look dated within months. However, having a great personal style is classic and will always make you look put together. 

Lianne Wiggins, the head of womenswear at Matches Fashion, sums it up perfectly:

“There is still an appetite for newness, so I do believe trends will continue to emerge; however, this is being countered with brilliant, timeless investment pieces that can be kept and worn for years to come.”

Buy versatile pieces

Versatility goes hand-in-hand with affordability. The more versatile your clothes, the more wear you get from them, and the less you need to buy to pad out your wardrobe. 

For example, a tailored, simple t-shirt can easily be worn with shorts for a day of sightseeing and then elevated with a pair of trousers for a business meeting with a client. 

Whenever you are considering buying something new for a trip abroad, ask yourself, how many outfits can I make with this item? If it doesn’t fit within your capsule wardrobe, save your money and move on. 


Adding accessories to your wardrobe can transform outfits and help you create more outfits with fewer pieces. 

Adding just one or two pieces of jewelry can instantly change an entire outfit and elevate it from day to night.

As with clothing, accessories don’t need to be expensive to look great. Aim for simple pieces that you can mix and match when traveling. 

Don’t forget your beauty products

The final step of creating a stylish wardrobe for your travels is your beauty products. A good skincare routine and some makeup will complement your personal style, help you look your best, and give you confidence. 

“One way to ensure that you look stylish and put-together is to bring along makeup that complements your outfit and personal style. This can help you feel more confident and self-assured when meeting new people or exploring new places,” says Sarah from A Beauty Edit.


Having a stylish, well-thought-out wardrobe is key if you’re working while traveling. You’ll make a great first impression, exude confidence, and look fantastic in your photos. 

But looking great while traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. Don’t fall into the trap of splurging on a new wardrobe for your next trip. Instead, create a timeless, simple wardrobe that encapsulates your personal style.  

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