“Cuba Body” & Tips For Cheap Travel Fashion Essentials

Do you feel like you dress better when you travel or is that just me? For shorter trips, I plan my outfits to the T so I don’t over pack. For Cuba, I refused to pack pants because I hate them so much. Pants, especially in hotter climates, are torturous. As you guys know, I like to thrift travel so being comfortable enough to walk long distances for free is key.

When we decided we were going to Cuba, Banin and I met several times a week and worked out like never before. Every time I’d try to eat junk or skip a meal or chicken out of a squat set, Banin would repeat the “Cuba body” mantra to get me back on track. I’ve always been a gym rat as a runner but dedicating 4 days a week over the past three months to specific body parts was extremely helpful in order to see results.

I quickly realized I didn’t have enough choice in my closet to celebrate my body. I felt like the #firstworldproblems version of Cinderella trying to go to the ball in rags. I had to be super creative to achieve this so here is me sharing some tips to make your travel wardrobe look new, cute, and comfortable for cheap.

Note: None of these clothes are name brands and are all under $10, borrowed, or given as gifts.

Go through your closet



Trust me, you have the staples in there. Neutrals and solids are the way to go because they’re so easy to mix and match. When you only have a carry-on, you cannot afford to pack multiple signature pieces. Rompers are great for this because it’s an entire outfit in one piece (only tricky when you have to pee and end up completely naked in a public washroom).

Go through your sister/mother/friend’s closet



I’m so lucky my sister has a solid fashion sense and lets me borrow her clothes from half way across the world. Both the crop and skirt are hers. Though I didn’t repeat the skirt, I did mix the crop with my beach skirt as casual evening wear.

White t and jean shorts go a long way



I had the white t, but not the shorts. Luckily, Banin let me borrow hers and this was probably my favorite outfit all week because it was so comfortable.

Never compromise on shoes



I usually take my New Balance running shoes but they don’t photograph well at all. These high top Converse knock-offs, on the other hand, are comfy and versatile. I’m not a big flip flop tan fan so I find these perfect to keep your feet one color.

Pack extra hair ties

Some countries don’t have a surplus of water so quick body showers are much easier with hair ties. Banin and I shared a hair tie because she forgot to pack one.

A staple black strap on bag is a must



Can’t emphasize this enough. I bought this bag 5 years ago and I’ve taken it to every single trip with me. It’s leather and therefore water proof and the cross body strap allows me to shop and dance hands-free!

Repeating an outfit is not the end of the world



I wore this dress three times that week. The last time was with a lot of perfume.

Value Village!



After packing, when I realize I don’t have something I really need, Value Village always does. In this case, it was this cover-up and another baseball cap. I also wore this EXACT outfit in Rio two years ago.

Pack a light jacket



I only packed for Cuba weather and when we got to Chicago, we were the only idiots in summer dresses while people beside us wore Canada Goose. We called this look “literally underdressed and figuratively overdressed”.

I am by no means a fashion guru and the way we dress changes in different cultures and climates. But as a person who packs a lot, I hope these tips help for a summer look. Also, let me know if you have any other tips I should include!


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