The Weekender

More often than not, my trips are only one to two nights.  I’m sure the same is true for most of my readers, being that only a certain amount of vacation time is alotted to each employee.  One of the toughest problems I used to encounter as a frequent traveler was what to pack in my weekender bag.  But a few months ago, I found one that was the perfect size and, from that point on, I got it down to a science.

A what?
First of all, a weekender is not the size of a regular large duffle bag.  It’s a bag that is easy to fit in the passenger seat of your car or the overhead storage of a plane/train.  You can find them costing anywhere from $500+ (my dream weekender was around that price and is a leather work of art made my Ralph Lauren) or you can do what I did and rummage through thrift stores until you find a stylish one for $3.99.  And, luckily, mine was still in its packaging and in mint condition.  I guess someone just didn’t want it but, you know what they say: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Below, you’ll find a few weekender bags just so you can get the idea of what they look like.

OK, I’ve got one… What now?
So, now they question is “What do you put into your weekender?”  Well, after a bit of trial and error, it’s become pretty simple.  I’ll start broad and then get more specific as far as my 2 days, 1 night trip for this weekend goes.

2 Shirts
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of pants
2 Tee shirts
3 pair of boxers
1 sweater (in cold weather)
1 tie
1 watch
1 pair of shoes
1 pair of sneakers
2 pair of socks (rolled up and placed in the shoes)
1 sweatsuit

1 Hat (I would carry this so it doesn’t get misshaped but if its a tobogan or something, go ahead and toss it in)
Phone charger
A lint roller/brush
A towel & wash cloth
An ink pen

Dopp Kit (a toiletry bag)

1 toothbrush
1 travel sized tube of toothpaste
1 roll of floss
A hair brush and/or comb
Wet Wipes
2 Q-tips
Hand lotion
Hair cream
Razor to shave
Shaving cream
Body wash and/or bar of soap
Nail clippers

A book
A travel sized umbrella
A shoe horn
A $20 bill
Gym clothes 

Business or pleasure?
In my opinion, a weekender isn’t ideal for business trips unless you’re planning on traveling in a suit.  I say that because I am not a fan of folding suits in the fashion that they would need to be folded in order to fit in this small of a bag with all the other items I’ve mentioned.  But if you do want to travel with one and still carry a managable bag, just hop in the car/on the plane/train with it and, before you know it, you’ll have reached your destination.  I honestly prefer my medium-sized roll-on for business trips because it gives me more room to plan for daytime meetings and nighttime adventures in whatever city I’m in and most airlines still allow it a bag of that size on to the plane.

Speaking of what to travel in, try to travel in an outfit that will allow you to step into whatever setting you will be in once you  reach your destination.  That way, you can possibly have a backup outfit in the bag.

Safe travels
Well, gents, there you have it.  You’re ready for your next weekend/overnight trip.  Oh yeah, so of course this isn’t the “always works” list.  Check the weather.  If you’re going to the beach, modify it a bit (Tank tops and shorts instead of shirts and sweaters).  But if we’re talking about a quick trip home to see mom and some friends from high school, this should fit the bill.  Below, you’ll see the contents of my weekender as I am packing (FOLDING IS KEY) and the final product.  Everything fits in my bag except my sneakers and that’s just because, instead of a traditional pair of converses, I wanted to be prepared for this weekend’s possible improptu basketball game which could happen at any time with fraternity brothers like mine.   But anyway, happy traveling.

My weekender, filled with everything I need for a comfortable 2 full days out of town
My weekender, filled with everything I need for a comfortable 2 full days out of town

Sources: The Art of Manliness, Cool Material, and About.


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