Traveling With Ties
Travel and fashion are often at odds. Packing becomes a balance between available space and proper care. Do you have enough room to properly store all the ties you'll need? And where is that shaving cream going to go to avoid any spills and stains? Here are some quick tips to help make traveling with ties a little less of a hassle.
Which Ties To Take
Before you even start packing for your trip, make sure you know exactly what kind of events you'll be attending. Imagine having to attend a formal dinner and realizing your black tie is hanging on the rack in another state.
When you're trying to determine how many and which ties to bring, don't stray too far from your usual routine. If wearing a different patterned tie every day is important to you, pack one for each day of your trip. If you're okay with wearing the same striped tie after a day or two, you can pack less. There's no right or wrong answer, only storage limitations.
For most men, a short trip usually requires one black or at least solid dark color tie, a somewhat formal patterned or striped tie, and then a more casual tie.
Whichever ties you decide to bring, make sure they are neat and clean before you pack them. (See our post on how to clean a stained necktie.)
Packing Your Ties
Packing neckwear can be nerve-racking. Rips, spills and wrinkles are constant threats to even the most carefully packed garment, but neckties are particularly susceptible.
One of the most popular ways to pack a tie for a trip is to roll it up. You can use an empty toilet paper tube or some other small cylindrical tube or you can just carefully wrap the tie around itself. When you're done, stick the wrapped tie in a shoe or, if you're concerned about spills, a sealable sandwich bag works as both storage and protection.
If you'd rather be a little more sophisticated, you can purchase a tie case. A decent tie case can store and protect at least two ties while fitting snuggly inside your suitcase. They usually look great, but they can vary in price dramatically depending on taste.
One other note: Even the best storage methods can sometimes lead to wrinkles. If you find yourself with a rumpled tie, hang it in the bathroom while you shower and let the steam help smooth it out. If that doesn't work, neckties can be ironed. Just be mindful of the material and heat setting used so you don't burn the tie.
Keeping Your Ties Clean
Keeping your ties clean can be difficult enough on its own, but what about adding in the hassles of travel?
First, try to avoid wearing your tie on the plane. While this may free up storage space, planes have too many uncontrollable factors that can make your tie messy. Not only do you need to be concerned about your own messes, but you're probably sitting close enough to someone else that you need to worry about theirs, too. One strong bout of turbulence and a drink could easily splash onto your tie.
For packing, try to avoid putting ties near anything that might spill. It's best practice to put both spillable items and ties in sealable bags to minimize any potential damage. A soapy suitcase would be bad enough, but hopefully you can save the ties.
If you spill something on your tie during the trip itself, refer back to our guide to cleaning ties. Keep in mind that it's not always possible to clean a stained tie, especially when your resources are limited when traveling. If a tie is an absolute must on your trip, make sure to bring a spare.