NO MATTER WHERE YOU’RE HEADED, THESE PACKING STRATEGIES WILL ENSURE THAT YOU’RE TAKING THE RIGHT GEAR FOR YOUR GETAWAY—AND THAT YOUR STUFF ARRIVES IN PERFECT CONDITION.
When it comes to transporting all the goods that make up a man’s life for travel, there are ways to plan—plus a few handy tricks—for optimal organization and a wrinkle-free presentation upon arrival. Whether you’re a hyper-meticulous guy or more carefree about gathering what you need, these tips—gathered from stylists and regular-guy frequent fliers—can help you ace the art of perfect packing.
Grab the Right Travel Bag
It’s wise to diversify your options when it comes to picking what kind of luggage fits for your trip. A reliable carry-on roller bag will work for most travel scenarios, but there may be times when you need something larger, a rugged duffel, or a versatile, expandable piece. If you’ve got those on hand, you’ll be ready to grab whatever you need when the time comes.
Master the Configuration
Maximize space in any luggage item by packing strategically—think of it like a game of Tetris® when fitting all the pieces together. Heavy items like shoes should go on the bottom (near the wheels) in a Shoe Cube or Shoe Sac, and these can be stuffed with socks or rolled-up ties so you’re not leaving any cranny unused. Continuing with the weight of your items, heavier pieces like trousers and sweaters can go next (placed inside of a packing cube or garment folder), with lighter, jersey items like T-shirts rolled inside of a smaller packing cube and placed on top. When placing your dopp kit, consider whether you’ll need to reach for it right away—in which case, it’s best placed near the top (or in the door of your travel bag). If it’s heavier and you can stash it, place it toward the bottom, near your shoes.
Place Bags within Bags
Pro travelers swear by the right dopp kit, and the aces we talked to tend to stock up on similar pouches to keep other smaller items organized as well. Think about pouches like Pack-It sacs to keep gadgets, chargers, and cords neatly together, and a dopp kit or toiletry kit that keeps items organized in various zipper pockets and bottle-sized slots—the Pack-It Wallaby has a spot for everything from shaving cream to razor, and can be easily unzipped and hung in your hotel shower. When it comes to pre-planning, think about what items you need to pick up in travel-size, so you’re not lugging around a full-size tube of toothpaste.
No matter what bag you bring, use a packing checklist to ensure that you’re taking only the most essential items on your next getaway—and that you don’t leave anything behind.
Kelly O’Reilly is a lifestyle and travel writer (and former hotel publicist) splitting her time between NYC and Colorado. When she’s not pounding the pavement, hitting the trails, or racking up frequent flier miles she’s looking for art and good pancakes.
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