How to pick the perfect pair of travel jeans

When you are travelling there’s not always time to do laundry. This means that your clothing items need to be versatile. That being said jeans are a common staple for many travelers. People wear jeans frequently and denim is a durable fabric. The distressed denim trend makes a few rips and holes on a pair of jeans look fashionable. The popularity of jeans means there are different colours and styles to choose from which can complicate matters. How do you choose a few pairs? Or one pair to wear whilst travelling. In this post I intend to cover all the basics regarding travel jeans, including how to pick the best pair of jeans and how to keep them looking great.

Choose a darker pair
Darker denim is often the best option. Like I said you might not be able to wash your jeans regularly. The darker colour will hide the accumulated dirt. Yes it’s gross but, at times travelling requires skipping laundry day.

Consider the season
If you are travelling in summer then a dark jeans might not work well for you. Countries like South Africa my home country can be hot during summer. The colour black attracts light making black denim jeans a sun catcher. Try to still get a darker jeans but, with a lighter denim fabric that way you won’t get to hot. During winter and Europe thicker warmer jeans are what I wore. And I usually worse opaque tights under my jeans for extra heat, there are long john styled underwear available for both men and women in places like Germany. Denim alone won’t stave off the cold if you aren’t used to freezing temperatures.

Choose a good fit
Your jeans need to fit your body well. No one is comfortable in tight jeans. Remember that you will be walking to see the sights. And don’t forget about eating the local cuisine. Room is needed for your stomach to expand after eating. Extremely tight jeans are a no go. The jeans I wore in Venice fit me well allowing me to enjoy the gelato.

The cut
Skinny jeans are still all the rage for both men and women. The hipster, bell bottom cut is making its way back onto the shelves this started last year in South Africa and I continue to see this style of jeans at South African stores. For my travels I stuck to skinny jeans as they are more likely to match with my blouses, shirts etc.

The stretch
I love stretchy jeans. For me they tend to feel silkier. With these jeans I don’t look like I’m wearing my mom’s jeans because I can wear them a bit tighter. I’m petite so this matters to me. If you go for stretch denim jeans it means that you can go for a more tailored cut.

Black jeans in  Göttingen Germany

The feel
All jeans are equal but, some are more equal than others. Some pairs are soft. They never scratch your skin. Certain types of denim can be a bit abrasive. My advice is to touch the inside of the jeans with your hands. Rub your finger tips on it to feel the texture. Softer is best to prevent your skin from getting irritated.

The quality
I own two pairs of name brand jeans. One Levi and one Sissy Boy I don’t care about labels much. Brand name jeans might be your favourite kind. And can be a good investment. I often choose to not wear expensive items when I’m travelling to deter would be pickpockets etc.
I wore no name jeans on my travels. The trick is to check the quality of these jeans. Like I said touch the jeans. Then look at the stitches, the stitching should be neat and durable. Check the zips and or buttons. Inspect the pockets. Pull the jeans around a bit between your hands. If a pair of jeans are being sold for very little you should inspect it closely.
The upkeep
Hotels can charge a leg and an arm for laundry. Your hostel might not have a drain plug or you might be travelling to a place like Cape Town which is experiencing a drought. With jeans you can get away with not washing them for a long time. Chip Bergh the CEO of Levi’s created uproar when he suggested that people never wash their jeans. Never is a long time so I disagree. But jeans do fade from over washing. Rather eliminate stains by dabbing the reverse side of the stain, so inside out with a cloth dipped in lukewarm soapy water. On the top of the stain place a cloth which you don’t mind getting dirty, the stain will seep out through the front of your jeans this way.

Use baking soda, (bicarbonate soda) to get rid of smells or just hang them outside in the sun. The sunlight and air will get rid of odours.

You can also spray your jeans with water mixed with white vinegar once your jeans is dry it won’t smell like vinegar. Vodka also removes smells in denim; try the cheaper kind drink the more expensive kind ha ha ha. I put my jeans in a Ziplock bag and then into the freezer to remove odours. The germs aren’t killed this way but, they won’t smell bad after you do this.

Soak them in a bit of soap water, or water with vinegar then line dry outside if they are still mouldy.
If your travel jeans have become too dirty then turn them inside out and machine wash them on cold to stop discolouration. And if your skinny jeans are no longer tight and skinny then tumble dry your jeans for roughly 15 minutes to get them back to their original shape.IMG_20181101_170525-01-01.jpeg

I’m now thinking of the Sisterhood of the travelling pants movie and how that pair of jeans was posted all over. Do you have any tips when it comes to travel jeans please let me know? And how often do you wash your jeans? I’m open to chatting, emails, comments and online collaboration. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate it.

Happy travels!
xxx Nikki xxx


  1. ellieslondon says:

    👖 I am always looking for jeans! I think I went something like four years with only one pair (I still only have three pairs as finding good ones is a pain for me as I’m almost 6ft tall!) I like you tips on how to clean them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks I’m so short. I almost always have to have my jeans cuffed. Luckily my aunt does all my alterations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fernweh Friday says:

    I like a stretch to my jeans for travel too, as they’re more forgiving when you’ve eaten a big bowl of pasta or one too many gelatos. Oh wait, is that just me? 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely me too so you aren’t alone 🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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