A travel steamer helps ensure you don’t show up to your friend’s wedding/graduation/special event looking like you’re wearing a crumpled paper bag.

Today I want to talk about an item that rarely ends up in people’s suitcases, and yet is something that should be at the top of your packing list if you’re heading off to a special event.

Let’s say you’re traveling interstate to attend a friend’s wedding: you pack a nice dress (or suit if you’re male), heels (or dress shoes), purse, accessories and so on. You think you’ve got everything you need. But when you arrive at your destination and open your suitcase what are you faced with? A crumpled suit or a wrinkly dress. Sigh. It hardly screams black tie when you rock up to a wedding looking like you mistook your evening gown for a nightie.

Unfortunately suits and silk dresses are not the kind of thing you want to press an iron to, and that old trick of hanging your clothes to de-creasify in the steamy bathroom? It doesn’t always work (many hotel bathrooms I’ve seen are surprisingly un-steamy). Besides which, you simply may not have enough time until the wedding/event to hang your outfit and wait for gravity to do it’s thing.

For situations like these, I’ve found my trusty old garment steamer to be an absolute lifesaver. It’s lightweight and packs up relatively small, gets super hot in minutes and the creases just kind of fall right out of the clothing. I use mine all the time (and not just for traveling) since it’s easier and faster than ironing and I never have to worry about burning my clothes. I use this steamer and love it, but consumer search has done a great roundup of the best garment steamers so you can find one that suits your needs here.