How To Pack The Perfect Travel Bag

We all experience that moment--you’re looking at an empty bag, a pile of clothes and your boarding pass and it’s like you are trying to decipher a 3,000 year old dead language. Not to mention long TSA check-ins, delayed or missed flights, and crying babies can turn a simple one hour flight into a monster. That said, arriving at the airport having packed lightly and properly can go a hell of a long way in putting you in the right frame of mind (well, that and a beer at the airport flight before you board). It’s all good though because we’re going to walk you through some packing essentials to keep you both traveling light and looking stylish whether you’re hitting the road for work or skipping town on a much-needed vacation. Let’s pack this in, shall we?

Find The Right Bag First
These days, a good travel bag has to meet some a lot of seemingly impossible demands: fitting the ever-changing airline carry-on requirements, being light enough to haul between taxis, shuttles, hotels and back again, and strong enough to hold together after all kinds of abuse. While convenient when you’re on the go, even backpacks can feel like they weigh a million pounds when you’re standing in the boarding line. That’s why it’s crucial to find something versatile and easy to carry. After many miles logged ourself, we love the versatility of a lightweight leather or canvas weekender, specifically ones with a lot of extra pockets for organization. Alternatively, a simple hard shell roller is lightweight and durable, especially if it’s got a clamshell design that offers extra space and organizational capabilities. Garment bags should fit into your other luggage, or fold in half, compact enough so that they don’t take the place of your carry-on.

A Proper Dopp Kit
Don’t neglect a properly stocked dopp kit, it will keep you from making last-minute store runs to grab a few items that you assumed your hotel or host would have available. If you’re a regular road warrior, it’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars and doubling up on dopp kit items and just keeping a fully packed toiletry kit ready to go in your suitcase. It’s just one less thing you’re going to have to pack. Don’t forget an Airborne or two, that plane air is about as healthy as sucking on an exhaust pipe.

Keep It Light By Packing Smart
Waiting in long lines and being packed into small spaces for an extended amount of time is already aggravating. Packing light can help relieve stress from your trip, skip the hassel and expense of chcking, and at the very least, help you sprint through the airport like Le’Veon Bell breaking a TD run. The key to packing light is packing smart. Start by thinking through all of you dressing situations and doing a little planning on what you’re going to wear. Plan properly based on what you’ll be doing (meetings, bars, clubs, dinners, the beach) and go from there. Pack multi-use items that can be worn in different ways. Decide on lighter laying options instead of heavy and bulky outer-wear. Being able to easily carry that bag on your shoulder throughout your trip is a convenience you won’t regret.

Versatility Wins
When it comes to packing for weekend trips pieces that are versatile are very important. You want to pack clothes that can easily go with each other and be worn in a multitude of different scenarios. Business trip? Keep it to the essentials and pack items that can be multi-use. Basics like a navy suit, dark denim, a versatile blazer, a great pair of loafers, and simple shirts can go a long way in both professional and social situations. If you’re headed out of town for some fun with the boys or on a getaway with your significant other, don’t over think what you’re going to wear. Don’t be afraid of trying dressing your best, just because you’re trying to pack light doesn’t mean you should forgo looking stylish. A blazer and a knit tie can be just as valuable dressing you up on a weekend getaway as they can on that business trip.

Keep It Low-Maintenance
As we mentioned, versatility is a huge key to packing light and those thing that require more care and extra attention many not be worth it. Sure, those tan suede monks or that leather jacket are sick, but they may not be the smartest thing to pack. Unpredictable stains and accidents happen and the last thing you want to do on your short trip is spend time in an unknown town looking for a trusty dry-cleaner that can restore your gems. Keeping it low-maintenance also means not over-packing; if you are asking yourself “what if” about a certain piece when packing, then there’s a good chance you don’t need it.