Nancy Novogrod Nancy Novogrod
| Credit: Nancy Novogrod

Comfort was much on my mind as I packed for a one-week trip to London. I am heading to the airport for my overnight flight as I write these first sentences. This is my third trip in less than a month—the longest was to Asia for 12 days—and I am on a five-day course of antibiotics to help vanquish a head-cold-like malady I picked up in China. So why am I smiling—if that’s the right word?In truth, I am feeling rather comfortable. To begin with, I’ve covered the basics: I thought ahead and packed well, taking into account the weather in London (I went on for the last time just before closing my bag this morning), the length of my stay, and the events I would be attending. I limited myself to two basic color schemes—black and gray for day and evening (high heels, low heels, and boots); brown and cream for evening only (which means a single pair of dressy shoes). I brought one loose coat, which I can easily use over a sweater and jacket for layering, and an extra-light fold-up umbrella, in case those possible showers arrive. Enough detail! Let me just say that I won’t need to worry about this element at least, and I will be comfortable on the plane in my stretch corduroys, lightweight cashmere henley, and velvet jacket (which will fare much better en route with me than in my luggage).

Comfort is indeed the subject of our trend report ("Find Your Comfort Zone"), which we present each year in our January issue. The idea emerged from our awareness of the growing emphasis on a more human approach to hotel design and service, as well as to food, transportation, and fashion. You’ll find articles on all these subjects, as well as features on that bastion of haut-monde skiing, St. Moritz; the less-explored reaches of Puerto Rico; and Madagascar, a paradise for nature and man.

Finally, this month we bring you the T+L 500, our exhaustive 35-page global guide to hotels, as selected by Travel + Leisure’s highly discerning readers. What greater comfort is there for a weary traveler than knowing you’ve chosen the best place for shelter as you explore the world?

My Plane Clothes

Pants with some stretch are key, both for comfort and looking okay when I arrive; the lightweight cashmere sweater I’m wearing is a good first layer and won’t be too hot on the flight (the red scarf and the large cashmere shawl that’s in my carry-on will be enlisted if it’s cold); my low-heeled shoes are perfect for rushing through those long airport terminals, as well as on city streets; and the socks are an absolute essential—I shudder at walking through security with bare feet.