Let’s face it. Packing isn’t fun. Despite all the folding and sorting, the destination you’re headed for is hopefully worth the added stress. But if you’re drowning in a sea of polos, sport coats and corduroys, you’re going to need some serious help. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered in this breakdown of what every guy should pack. You’re welcome.
Start by setting your bag on a bed or sofa. Also consider what type of bag you will need for your trip. A holdall will do well for the weekend, but if you’re going somewhere for more than a couple of days you may need a suitcase. Place the heaviest items on the bottoms of the suitcase and roll up t-shirts and underwear and place them along side of your suitcase. Consider the nature of your trip. You don’t pack eight pairs of shorts for a two day business trip. Vacuum bags are perfect for carry-ons as they allow you to pack an extra outfit without the added bulkiness.
Location, Location, Location
If you’re headed to Hawaii, you’re obviously going to want to leave the pea coat at home. Where you’re going obviously will affect what you’re going to be taking with you. Check ahead and see what kind of weather you’re going to be running into, and pack accordingly. From there, you’ve already eliminated a large number of unwanted items.
Toiletries are among the most important things you’ll need to pack. You’ll want to prioritize, as most men end up overstuffing here. Things like razors, shaving cream, toothpaste and brush are provided free of charge by many hotels, if you just ask. Razors also make for difficult questions at security if you put them in your carry on bag.
If you use a specific moisturiser, facial cleanser, toothpaste or electric razor, these would be the things to pack. Deodorant and cologne too. Put your toiletries in checked luggage to avoid safety regulations regarding liquids and gels.
Make sure you put this bag in a corner of your suitcase where it’s not likely to encounter too many bumps or bruises. You don’t want moisturizer all over your dress pants the day before your brother’s wedding with the dry cleaner closed.
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may want to add or remove items from this list, but we’re just going to give you a general outline. Bring two t-shirts, two polo shirts and a dress shirt. We know that this doesn’t apply for every single vacation but it’s a starting point for you. If you’re going on that ski trip, you’re going to need sweaters. If you’re going to Cabo, you’re going to need an extra t-shirt. While you might be tempted to bring enough clothing for the whole week, avoid over-stuffing your bag.
Again, this list is flexible, depending on your destination. Avoid bringing jeans on business trips, as they’re excessively casual in most environments. Chinos are a great, flexible choice, so bring two pairs. Bring one pair of dress pants and one pair of shorts. Again, seriously consider your destination. If you’re going somewhere hot, swap out a pair of chinos for another pair of shorts. If you’re going on a business trip you might want to consider bringing an extra pair of dress pants and skipping out the shorts altogether. If you’re going someone tropical and hot, don’t forget your swim trunks! You don’t want to end up wearing trunks from the hotel gift shop.
Probably the most essential thing to pack, keeping a pair of clean underpants around is incredibly important when traveling. Whether you’re backpacking across Southeast Asia or in a six hour conference call in the Chicago Hilton, it’s reassuring to know that no matter what else happens, you’ve got a clean change waiting for you. The cautious might consider packing a change or two into your carry on. That way, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll be set for at least a couple of days in the meantime. Pack one pair more than however many days you’ll be gone, with seven being your upper limit.
Stuffing your shoes saves space. It also keeps the smallest of your items from shifting around and from you wondering where your other black dress sock is, while helping the shoe maintain its shape. Socks are probably the only thing we’ll recommend you bringing more of because putting your feet into your dress shoe for six hours is not comfortable for you or anyone else around you that may have to potentially deal with foot odour.
If you feel the need to bring an extra pair of shoes, put them in a shoe bag so that they won’t stain or damage your clothing. Going to a business or formal event? Then you need dress shoes. Going somewhere hot but starting off somewhere frigid? Sandals, or flip-flops. We’ve said it a million times already but consider your destination.
If you absolutely need to pack a suit, either wear it, or pack it in a garment bag. Barring that, turn the jacket inside out and fold it into quarters. Once you’ve reached your destination, hang the jacket up in the bathroom and take a hot shower. The steam ought to get out light creasing. However, the toughest of wrinkles will need a good pressing.
The Carry On
Now that we’ve got your suitcase covered, it’s time to pack the dreaded carry on bag. Expecting to pack everything you might need on a flight into a small bag might seem like a challenge, but we assure you you’ll be fine.
Stay simple and stay accessible. Bring absolute essentials. Remember that you can no longer bring liquids over 100 grams onto a flight in your carry on, so make sure you get rid of that water bottle before you go through security. Bring a book or magazine. Things like snacks are provided on most flights. A small sweater might be worth taking, but if it’s too much space, ditch it, as the airline will most likely supply blankets. Remember, vacuum bags are a great invention, but don’t expect to be packing a second week’s worth of luggage in your carry on. Only bring what you need or can’t check – like your laptop.
You may be asked to remove your laptop so it can be scanned through security or have to empty your carry on for a random check so make sure you haven’t packed your bag like a clown car. You don’t want to be spending half an hour in security unpacking and packing when your flight leaves in thirty minutes.
- Pack for Your Destination: Tailor your suitcase to fit your regional needs. Bring sweaters if you’re visiting Finland, but bring extra shorts if you’re visiting Cuba. Be sensible.
- Don’t Overload: Things like sunscreen and sunglasses can always be bought there if you’re pressed for space. Pack smart.
- Bring Extra Basics: It won’t kill you if you bring extra underpants and socks.
- Don’t Overload Your Carry On: Only put into your carry on things you can’t check (laptops, etc.), or absolutely need for the flight (a book, your phone, passport, etc).
Before you head out on holiday, make sure to check off these things before you head out. Feel free to change and alter this list as you see fit.
Pre Trip Preparation
- Ensure you passport & entry visas are up to date
- Empty all the trash cans and composts in your home
- Unplug electrical things in the home
- Have mail temporarily stopped or ensure a friend can check your mailbox periodically
- Get all required vaccinations
- Toiletries & toiletries bag
- Two t-shirts
- Two polo shirts
- One dress shirt
- Sweaters / Extra t-shirts
- Two pairs chinos
- One pair dress pants
- One pair shorts / Additional chinos
- One week’s worth of underwear & socks
- Suits, neckties and shirts packed appropriately
- Electrical adapters
Still nervous about packing for your trip? Still need some travel advice? Use the comments box below to pick up some tips from the community!
Latest posts by thecarry (see all)
- Incase ‘Terra’ Bag Collection - October 18, 2011
- Resistant x Bedwin & the Heartbreakers Messenger Bag - October 11, 2011
- Herschel Holiday 2011 Lookbook - October 11, 2011