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When it comes to travel, we’re all the same—we each put our pants on one leg at a time. Some of us just have far better travel pants than others, and that makes a big difference. A huge difference actually.

When you travel in a carry on bag, you only travel with two, maybe three pairs of pants or shorts. Weekend getaways and short work trips are even more spartan. Yet the pants you wear when traveling matter a lot, because if they’re not functional enough to keep up with airport security, comfortable enough for the long flight, and durable enough to handle life on the road, no polar-inspired fleece or fancy portable battery charger is going to make your travel comfortable.

You’ve gotta have good pants.

best travel pants

Travel Pants Checklist: Lightweight, Comfortable, Wrinkle-Resistant

A good pair of travel pants has three basic features—they’re lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and comfortable. That’s it. If all you can find in your budget is a pair of pants that packs well, feels good, and fits right, congratulations. If however, you’re willing to spend a few more bucks for a truly great pair of travel pants, keep your eyes open for features like deep pockets (you won’t lose anything on the bus), a designated passport pocket (it’s handier than you think), pickpocket proof pockets, zippered pockets (noticing a theme here?), and stain resistant or quick dry material.

Again, comfort, fit, and lightweight material are the most important, but everyone’s travel needs are different. So to help you pack the absolute best pair of travel pants I looked at some of the best new and established travel brands (and retailers) for travel pants and based my review on the following six criteria:

  • Fit — How do they feel on you? Is the sizing right?
  • Comfort — Are they comfortable?
  • Style — Will you actually wear these pants? Can you wear them on the trail and to a nice dinner?
  • Packability — Are your travel pants wrinkle-resistant? Are they lightweight?
  • Toughness — Do your travel pants stain easily? Will they rip or tear on the trail?
  • Features — Is your passport going to fall out when you sit down?

We know that “great travel pants” means different things to everyone. Some travelers need to look smart for work on the road. Others want a pair of travel pants that can take a beating for weeks on end. Still others just want a pair of comfortable travel pants for the flight with a few pockets to keep their important stuff safe while they explore Rome. Below is a list of our favorite travel pants. Pack any of these travel pants, and travel like a boss.
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Known as the land of sport, Melbourne, Australia is a hub of coffee, cricket, and culture in the land down under. Known to tennis fans for the Australian Open, racing fans for the Formula One Gran Prix, cricket fans for the boxing day test matches at the MCG, and fans of coffee for fantastic tastes and talented baristas, this cosmopolitan city welcomes all who visit. The central business district (CBD) and surrounding area provide entertainment of all sorts and there’s even more to see outside of the urban area.

From the cake shops of St. Kilda’s Ackland Street to the seaside vibe of the Docklands and everything in between, Melbourne is a city of character and color. Wander the laneways of DeGraves Street and the Block Arcade, grab some free wifi in a fantastic people watching spot at Federation Square, take in an afternoon stroll along the Yarra River or pick up a pie and a large long black (coffee) and grab a tram right out into the suburbs – no matter where you roam, Melbourne is filled with life.

Like many cities, you can spend two days, two months, or two years and never experience it all. Perhaps you have an afternoon to check out the beach in Port Melbourne, shop till you drop on Chapel Street, or take in the sights, sounds and smells of the Queen Victoria Market. Maybe you have a Sunday to spare to shop the Sunday Arts Market or take in the market along the banks of the sea in St. Kilda. If you’re lucky, you’ll have an evening to spare in the summer and can grab a concert at the Sidney Meyer Music Bowl in the Botanical Gardens or let your taste buds travel the world at the weekly Queen Victoria Night Market. If you’re visiting over Australia Day in January, or Anzac Day in April, and can take in all of the festivities and ceremonies designed to unite a shared community.

Even better, make the time in your visit to get outside the city. Ask a local for their suggestions, grab a car or a train ticket, and get on your way! Hike, sail, relax, learn, play and more in the many adventures that lie beyond Melbourne’s CBD. You can do a quick trip, an overnight stay, or throw caution to the wind and stay until you’ve had your fill. Go in search of what’s beyond – the magic you find may surprise you.

Pack a Daypack & Go

The great thing about using a city as your base for wider exploration is that you can leave all of your cumbersome luggage at your hotel or Airbnb and travel light with just a daypack.

Here’s your daypack packing list for day trips from Melbourne:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuit for the beaches
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks to munch

If you’re making it an overnight in Apollo Bay or elsewhere, add:

  • Pajamas
  • One change of clothes
  • A light jacket for cool evenings
  • Toiletry bag

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When you step off the plane in Australia, there’s nowhere else you could be. Even if you blindfolded me and stuck me on a flight without telling me my destination, as soon as I drank in my first breaths of Australian air I’d know exactly where I was (although I’d probably have an inkling once I’d been on the plane for the best part of 24 hours). The allure is in the combination of a scent in the air that you can’t quite put your finger on, like when you first detect a whiff of spring, and the sounds that greet you, as Australian birds make sounds that, to the ear of any non-Aussie, are indescribably exotic.

Packing for New Zealand and packing for Australia are not as alike as you’d think. Being an island the size of a continent and the 6th largest country in the world (Europe would fit inside it, if that helps you to fathom its magnitude), it should come as no surprise that the climates and landscapes will vary hugely. From ski slopes and Uluru (Ayers Rock), to paradise beaches, tropical rainforests and humming metropolises, Australia has it all.

This means that you’re going to need to pack according to the climate zones you’ll be encountering on your trip, with a nod to the time of year you’ll be traveling. What you pack it all in matters too. Not all backpacks are created equal. You need to find the right one for your adventures.

Basic Australian Packing List

Let’s start with the basics. No matter where you’re going Down Under, these should be in your bag: Click to continue…