Europe beckons. But first, you must pack.
For many of us who are currently seeing more rain than sun, summer vacation is like a lofty dream. While you probably can’t hop a flight out of town fast enough, you need to deal with the logistics of packing the luggage. It’s not exactly a part of traveling anyone looks forward to, but we’re here to make things easier.
Read on for a streamlined packing list that emphasizes multifunctional pieces so you can spend less time packing and more time actually enjoying the vacation. Because a big part of traveling in style is getting from point A to point B succinctly.
1. A sturdy dopp bag filled with the essentials for good grooming
Pack pint-sized versions of everything you usually use at home. In addition to obvious essentials like toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, and a comb, don’t forget the gentleman’s essentials – a razor, brush, and shaving cream. We like Baxter of California Travel Kit with Dopp Bag because it packs everything we need into TSA-friendly containers, from face wash to shaving cream and after shave balm. We recommend a travel razor like the Merkur 45 Bakelite Safety Razor, and a boar bristle brush made specifically to fit neatly into your luggage, like Kent BK4 Traditional Small Silvertip Brush.
2. Comfortable shoes and running shoes
Traveling is hard on your body. Even if you’re used to eating well and working out, chances are during a trip you’ll change your diet and exercise regimen (i.e. there will be none). Carve out just half an hour every day to take a morning jog around the city in these Nike Free 4.0 Flyknits, developed with Stanford athletes for fast, easy movement. In gray and black, they’re pretty slick, too.
For the rest of the time, stay stylish yet comfortable in some low-profile chukkas. Wear these during your flight to pack one less thing in your luggage (or to make room for your running shoes).
3. A basic T-shirt
Summer vacation packing necessitates considering the weather. Less is more if it’s warm where you’re going, and when it’s 89 degrees and humid, nothing beats a T-shirt. This gray Club Monaco Cotton-Blend Melange T-Shirt literally goes with everything, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
4. Underwear and extra socks
While we’re advocates of packing light (and thus minimizing frustration), you should always have a few extra pairs of socks and underwear. If you’re bringing dress shoes, consider Mr. Gray Loafer Socks in Charcoal, which keep feet dry and go invisible under loafers.
For underwear, stick to breathable fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen. We’re fans of Sunspel’s superbly fitted boxers in Begal Stripe.
Fun Fact: Sunspel has been making underwear since 1860 and crafted Daniel Craig’s t-shirts for the James Bond movies.
5. A neutral dress shirt
For those fancy nights out your significant other is surely to schedule, J. Crew’s Ludlow Shirt in Japanese Chambray can do no wrong. Made from Japanese cotton denim, this shirt is tailored enough for a Michelin Star restaurant but casual enough for grabbing lunch at the deli the next day. The stiff spread collar and sleek Ludlow silhouette keep you looking classy even in the most unfavorable conditions.
6. Jeans and khakis
You really only need two pants – dark-wash denim jeans, and khakis for special occasions. Gap makes a nice pair of straight fit dark wash jeans. These cotton jeans are sharp and comfortable for large bouts of walking.
For khakis, we like Banana Republic’s Modern Slim Non-Iron Cotton Pant, with non-iron technology that keeps them wrinkle-free and worry-free.
7. A multipurpose lightweight jacket
If you’re visiting an area with unpredictable weather (here’s looking at you, Birmingham, UK), dress light but prepare for the worst. J. Crew’s Barbour Sylkoil Ashby Jacket keeps you dry without adding too much insulation or bulk. That means you can throw it on in the morning and not have to worry about shivering come nightfall.
8. A high-quality weekender
Traveling light means packing smarter. Invest in a solid weekender bag to avoid throwing in extra baggage. Keep it classy by not going for rolling luggage.
This green Filson Small Duffle Bag is made of cotton canvas with 100% bridle leather straps for durability.
9. A warm blanket
Never settle for those paper-thin airplane blankets again. Integrate some of the comforts of home with a warm blanket like the Faribault Mill Military Navy Gray Wool Blanket, which has been made to the same specifications as the original in 1917. This blanket accommodates a wide range of temperatures, and double cloth construction keeps it light yet breathable. It’s also easy to spot clean in case you spill some in-flight tipple.
10. A world time watch
A watch is always a good call. But if you’re travelling, it becomes an essential. Going to a different time zone can be disorienting, so a watch with multiple time zones can help you keep track of time where you’re vacationing and at home. The Timex Intelligent Quartz World Time Watch can display the time at up to 24 major cities, which is enough for even the frequent traveler.