A Hijabi's Guide to the Art of Traveling Stylishly

Posted on May 14, 2015
Melanie Elturk


It's vacay season and I'm thankful to say that I travel a lot. Throughout the years, I've picked up enough tips and tricks to master the art of traveling stylishly. No one likes to scream "tourist" when they travel (leave your shiny white sneakers at home) yet you want to be comfortable at the same time. Read on for my tips on how to travel stylishly - wherever you go. Also be sure to check out 'A Hijabi's Guide to Packing for a Weekend Getaway,' 'A Hijabi's Guide to Packing for Your Honeymoon,' and if you're going somewhere hot, check out 'How to Beat the Heat + Summer Wardrobe Essentials!'

1) The Perfect Travel Bag

The purse you carry when traveling is absolutely crucial to your style approach - so you want to make sure you bring along the right bag. I like to pack light, so I usually take one (or two purses MAX) so I carry a purse that coordinates with everything (if I bring a second purse it's usually a smaller handbag for a night out). I love to travel with large, roomy totes with lots of room for everything you need while traveling - your camera, phone, sunglasses, wallet/passport, medicine, hand lotion, etc.

I also like to make sure the purse has a top zip (to protect yourself & make sure nothing falls out when it's under the seat in front of you during flight). Make sure it's not super heavy and comes in a color that will coordinate with everything. I love a sturdy tote, or a cross-body with handles in case my shoulders start to hurt. Here are my picks: Tory Burch York Buckle Tote, $295; Henri Bendel Crossbody Tote, $250; Kate Spade Holden Street, $378.



2) Shoes - Don't be Afraid of Height!

I also don't like to pack a lot of shoes (I usually end up taking 2-3 pairs) and you're obviously going to want to take something comfortable but that doesn't mean you need to pack your chunky cross-trainers. I like to look for stylish yet comfortable shoes that I can walk in all day. I've found that shoes that you slip on can start to hurt after a ton of walking, so the more secure - the better. Meaning lots of straps or at the very least an ankle strap - something to hold your foot in.

Don't be afraid of height! Most people think that you must travel in flats - but I beg to differ! I have plenty of wedges that are more comfortable than some flats I own and with different clothing options, I often need some heel height so I typically pack one pair of stylish flats as well as some comfy wedges. Here are my picks: Via Spiga Vanna, $180; (just scored these on eBay for an upcoming trip, and they're soo comfy!), J.Crew Corsica Espadrille Wedges, $128.


3) Plan Your Outfits Ahead of Time

What you pack is going to depend on your destination, and I like to try and blend in to my surroundings, so when I visited Africa for example, I worked a utilitarian look with lots of khaki's and safari green. When I'm at a resort, I'm sure to pack lots of tropical looks with floral skirts and bright colors. One thing I do to save space is pack pieces that coordinate across different outfits. Below, you'll see I worked the denim shirt in two completely different ways while in Spain. (I actually wore it a third time that trip!)

Whatever you take, make sure you plan out every item in your outfit before you go. This will save you time at your destination and ensures you pack only what you need. Snap a photo of your outfit on your phone and refer to it at your destination so you remember what you put together - including your shoes, matching hijab and accessories. Having trouble putting your outfits together? Read my blogpost on that here.

4) Light Jacket, Blazer or Shawl

If you're traveling somewhere that gets chilly at night, or you get cold on airplanes, be sure to pack a light blazer or shawl. Again, bring something that coordinates with everything else you packed, like a light trench or neutral shawl. Here are my picks: Zara Loose Suede Jacket, $279; J.Crew Double Breasted Blazer, $198; Gap Short Trench, $88.

5) Accessorize!

I don't like to pack any fine jewelry when traveling but I do love to spruce up my outfits with some fab fashion jewelry. It's an awesome way to add high-impact to your look with little effort. (Take a look at the two necklaces I paired with the denim shirts, above). Here are my picks: BaubleBar Fringe Strand, $58; J.Crew Crystal Foliage Bracelet, $68; Ann Taylor Stackable Ring Set, $39.50. 


Questions? Have more tips? Leave them below and be sure to follow @hautehijab on IG for more travel inspired posts!