There’s more to pre-vacation prep than composing your out-of-office email. Wherever you’re headed this summer, here’s what to pack — and how to pack it.
Do you like to check in a proper big suitcase or are you a strictly carry-on guy? Either way, you’ll want to make the most of your packing space (and leave some room for souvenirs).
There’s a lot to be said for making a list, and travel guru Rick Steves has done the hard work for you with a checklist of all of the essentials, from underwear (5 sets) to pants (2 pairs). It’s on the minimalist side (Steves regularly travels to Europe with just hand luggage) but makes a good starting point.
Stick to a limited color palette for maximum outfit combinations; and look for smart fabrics that travel well and don’t crease. Also: check out any dress code pitfalls before you travel. Some resort restaurants, for example, forbid swim shorts, sandals and sleeveless tees.
When it comes to shoes, even minimalists concede that you’ll need more than one pair, so make sure to pack your sandals. With memory foam insoles, the Laguna Flip Flop Sandals are a comfy alternative to traditional flat-soled flip flops.
All the experts agree: Packing cubes are a must. These handy zip-around bags will compress all your stuff — so you can squeeze a little bit more in your suitcase — as well as keeping everything organized.
Other top tips? We like Travel & Leisure magazine’s idea of adding dryer sheets to your suitcase to keep everything smelling fresh; Conde Nast Traveler’s insistence on laying out all your clothes beforehand instead of stuffing everything inside and hoping for the best; and — for Marie Kondo fans who are really serious about this — the KonMari guide to folding up your clothing, in one easy-to-follow video.
Your travel wardrobe
Professional-level packing is not just about what you put in your suitcase; frequent flyers know that how you dress for the journey also counts. Wear anything bulky or semi-formal (a blazer, say, or your “proper” shoes) to travel in, freeing up valuable space in your case and enhancing your chances of an upgrade (hey, you never know). Don’t forget slip-on shoes (The Dockers Beacon Boat Shoe, Nobel Casual Sneaker and Homer Boat Shoe are all good options) to get through airport security quicker; and if nothing else, take travel-sized toiletries if you’re going hand luggage only. You don’t want to be that guy.
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