Packing Weekend Getaways

The 10 Best Weekend Travel Bags for Men

Welcome back to Elevated: Travel Style for the Modern Man. In this month’s column, I’m focusing on men’s travel bags—specifically weekend bags and duffels. Whether it be an overnight trip or a long weekend getaway, a cool, casual overnight bag is key when a short stay is on the horizon. A good men’s travel bag looks good but is functional, too. From a classic pebbled leather number to a bag that adjusts to a variety of sizes, these shipshape options will outperform on your next trip.

Cole Haan GRANDSERIES Leather Duffle

Crafted to be the most dapper and sophisticated of the bunch, this pebbled leather duffel bag is one of the sleekest men’s weekend bags on the market. Yes, it’s a bit of a splurge, but its classic design makes it particularly versatile; it’s equally at home on a business trip and on a casual weekend away.

Everlane Mover Pack

From tossing it into gym lockers to lugging it through airport security, I’ve put my Mover Pack through the crappiest of experiences and it hasn’t underperformed yet. It can be carried either over the shoulder or by one of the grab handles on the top and sides. However, my favorite part about this bag is the separate shoe compartment because I hate when my clean clothes have to touch my dirty sneakers.

Etsy Personalized Weekend Bag

A quality, personalized weekend bag that ships fast and won’t break the bank sounds like it would never exist, right? Wrong—GiftsForGuysCo on Etsy offers exactly that. Featuring numerous stylish options and almost 1,000 five-star reviews, this bag is a solid self-buy or gift for a good buddy.

Public Rec Pro Weekender

For a minimalistic everyday option, the Pro Weekender has you covered. Though it’s not much of a visual standout, I love this bag for exactly that reason: It leaves me feeling super under the radar as I casually drift through my day. Built functionally and dipped with a waterproof polyurethane bottom, this one is a practical must-have.

The North Face Base Camp Large Duffle Bag

Anyone that’s experienced a brutal winter in the Northeast knows that The North Face builds some quality items, meant for wear and tear—and this duffel is no exception. No matter the weather conditions, this bag will get you through it with a water-resistant and sturdy ballistic nylon exterior.

Herschel Supply Co. Outfitter 50L Duffle

From backpacks to totes to messenger bags, Herschel Supply Company has been getting people’s stuff where it needs to be since 2009. Its 50L duffel in camo merges the brand’s grade-A design (complete with a shoe compartment and stow-away backpack straps) with its recognizable look and logo, creating a classic weekend duffel bag for men.

S-Zone Canvas Weekend Bag

The perfect weekend bag comes oversized in six classic colors from S-Zone. Because this has the most spacious design of the bunch, you can literally carry anything you need for a night or even a week if you have to.

Uncommon Goods Adjustable Bag

Deciding which size bag is the right one for any upcoming trip is a continuous issue I have that I am not proud of. I tend to go for the larger, figuring I’ll probably pick up an extra item or two up on my adventure, but I sometimes feel silly having such a large weekend bag to carry almost nothing. Thankfully, this adjustable bag from Uncommon Goods combats my problems by shapeshifting from a tightly packed smaller configuration at the beginning of my trip to an overpacked duffel bursting at the seams when I head home.

Peak Design 35L Travel Duffel

Considering the world feels like it’s ending these days, you may think it’s a bit late to get in on the sustainability game—but I can assure you, it isn’t. Peak Design’s 100 percent recycled, waterproof travel duffel is a timeless tote that’ll make you feel as good as you look carrying it. Whether you’re an all-black kind of guy or willing to spice it up with a bit of sage, this bag looks great no matter the choice.

Filson’s Medium Duffle Bag

A water-repellent exterior is key when it comes to getting your wardrobe to and fro in one piece—especially when it looks this good. Filson’s well-designed Medium Duffle has top-carry handles, an adjustable shoulder strap, leather trimmings, and rust-proof brass.

Tyler’s Fashion Picks for February 2020

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Although we still have a bit more time in the brisk cold temps, I’m already trading in my winter coat for a classic Levi’s denim jacket in hopes of wearing the warmer weather into existence. Though it hasn’t worked just yet, I’m continuing to push through by adding a brightly colored undershirt from Everlane. Paired with a comfy pair of drawstring pants that I can get away with wearing at the office and these Cole Haan sneakers I refuse to take off my feet, I can go straight from work to happy hour afterward and fit the vibe both ways. I’ve also been super into carrying a disposable camera around recently whenever I remember. I figured it’s just a more exciting way to capture my life these days!

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Tyler Schoeber is a production specialist, photographer, occasional writer, travel style guru, and general Renaissance man at SmarterTravel. Follow his adventures on Instagram at @tylerschoeber.

Packing Weekend Getaways

The Ultimate Weekend Packing List

When it comes to packing for a weekend trip, the contents of your suitcase (or backpack/duffel, if you’re flying Spirit) will depend what you’re doing. But whether it’s a ski trip, a wedding, a thrilling outdoor adventure, or a beach getaway that dictates you pack mostly bathing suits, you’ll want to consult a list of all the items you could possibly want in your arsenal, and narrow it down accordingly.

Some things you can leave off your weekend packing list, however. This includes any toiletries you could go a couple of days without, especially in lieu of whatever the hotel has: shower toiletries and hair-styling tools included. Can you use the hotel blow dryer instead of your own? Probably. Can you go even further by forgoing shaving supplies for a couple of days? Not a bad idea—but it’s ultimately up to you, and what you will need once you’re in the destination.

[st_related]The Essential Carry-on Bag Packing List[/st_related]

Here’s what to think about bringing for your weekend getaway, and what to leave in order not to overpack, from toiletries to gadgets and beach necessities.

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip

Think about what you’re going to actually be doing and plan outfits for each day to narrow down your clothing needs. You can do the same with toiletries, electronics, and essentials: What will your few days away actually demand? Only bring those things.


Toiletries packing list

Items that you might usually bring but can forget about for a few days include a first-aid kit, shaving supplies, your full-size makeup bag (maybe just put the essentials into a smaller sleeve) or bulky shaving kit, and the unnecessary bathroom items that you can get for free at the hotel, like moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, and a comb.

Aftersun/aloe and bug spray might also not be necessary—or could be available on site wherever you’re staying. Because most weekend trips aren’t international, we’ve left off most medications and similar over-the-counter items you can easily buy if you end up needing them.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hair-styling products
  • Glasses and/or contact lenses/solution
  • Makeup/makeup remover/any other face necessities
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Medicines/birth control/vitamins you need daily
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen/lip balm with SPF
  • Disposable wipes

Beach Gear 

Beach Gear packing list

If you’re taking a beach trip, the packing gods rejoice: Most necessities are small and worth throwing in your bag. Just forget the bulky items like a beach umbrella, beach chairs, snorkel gear, and floatation devices (what hotel doesn’t have these nowadays?). Don’t bother with coolers or beach safes unless you’re driving, and towels can also probably be found at the resort. The only few things left to consider are: 

  • Waterproof phone case
  • Portable speaker
  • Bathing suits
  • Cover-up
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Collapsible beach bag


Clothes/Accessories packing list

If you’re not planning on heading to the gym, forget the athletic shoes and workout gear and walk everywhere instead. In fact, try to narrow your shoes down to one pair that you can wear the whole time. Leave behind pricey jewelry you might lose and won’t need for a few days. But don’t skimp on clothes, and ones you love to wear—you’ll want to be comfortable so you can focus on the destination. It’s unlikely you need all of the following, but here’s what to consider: 

  • One pair of versatile, casual shoes
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Undershirts/bras
  • Sleepwear
  • Shirts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Shorts
  • Dresses/skirts
  • Light jacket/sweater
  • Belt
  • Small purse/clutch
  • Athletic shoes
  • Workout gear

Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials packing list

Every trip demands a reusable water bottle and some snacks for the road, but you can probably leave behind longer-trip necessities like a laptop, emergency contacts, and an itinerary (or just keep the latter info in your phone).

  • Water bottle
  • Passport/ID
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Snacks


Electronics packing list

Aside from the usual phone, chargers, and maybe a small tablet for reading, go light on the electronics for a few days—you don’t have too much time to explore, after all. But if you’re flying with strict weight limits, as most weekend-getaway flights are basic-economy, you might also want to stash a portable luggage scale in your bag.

  • Cell phone
  • Kindle/tablet
  • Electronic chargers
  • Adapter
  • Headphones or earbuds
  • Portable luggage scale

Other Weekend Getaway Packing Tips

What’s Essential: If you only leave the house with a tote bag’s worth of things, they should be your wallet (ID, cards, maybe some cash), whatever toiletries you require (medications, toothbrush/toothpaste, and makeup and/or face and hair creams you need daily), and a handful of versatile clothing items you love to wear. All of those things can fit into a pretty small amount of space, basic-economy restrictions be damned.

Secret Weapon: Packing cubes that are on the smaller side can help compress everything you need and organize it by type. Also consider that you’re probably allowed both a carry-on bag and a personal item—which makes a roomy personal-item bag a great hack for getting more onto the plane.

Leave at Home: When it comes to a three- to four-day weekend, no one needs half the stuff they pack into their suitcase for a usual longer trip. Step away from the large electronics, any unnecessary creams or gels (the hotel or rental’s will probably suffice for the few days), outfits you’ve never worn before, and pairs of shoes that are questionable when it comes to comfort.

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10 Best Bachelorette Party Destinations (That Aren’t Las Vegas)

Whether you’re a soon-to-be bride or the maid of honor, the best bachelorette party destinations are the ones that have something to please everyone in the bridal party.

The Best Bachelorette Party Destinations

From a secluded New England island to a city tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains, these non-Vegas destinations are the perfect spots to celebrate the future Mrs.

Miami and Miami Beach, Floridabest bachelorette party destinations

Beaches, nightclubs, hangover-curing cuisine, and one of the most famous Instagram backdrops in the world—the Wynwood Walls—what more could you want in a perfect bachelorette party destination? Miami and Miami Beach are two of the best bachelorette party destinations in the U.S.

Spoil the bride-to-be at The Confidante where you can book a private beach workout session, blowouts, mani/pedis, brunch, a poolside bungalow, cocktails, spa treatments, champagne buckets, and request connecting suites with ocean views and a private terrace.

Other bachelorette party ideas in Miami include a private yacht charter, exploring the city’s museums—like the fitting World Erotic Art Museum—a walking Art Deco or cocktail tour, and rooftop-bar hopping.

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Nantucket, Massachusetts

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What to Wear at a Destination Bachelorette Party

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.