Let's get two things brought up to begin. Are my items laid out squre enough, and yes, this is another one of the infinite how to pack for a trip posts that exist on the internet. Alright, now that that has been addressed, let's begin.
More times than one, I have had my flights delayed or canceled, my baggage gate checked and lost, or had all my stuff laid out on a table by the TSA. Now the obvious single solution to all of these problems is obviously one of the airport bars, but I'm here to offer one additional solution. I mean the terminal bars are still a necessity, but maybe these tips can allow you to have one less hangup on your next adventure. The real solution is in what and how you pack for your next weekender.
The first thing to consider is your travel clothes. You have a great opportunity here to ensure you are comfortable for the flight, efficient in traveling through security, and space saving in your travel bag. Flights, as many know, tend to be cold. Having a second layer can be the make or break factor to a good flight. Is that guy sitting next to you blowing the air conditioning? A second layer can provide that just extra level of insulation to keep you warm and comfortable. Now, I'm sure someone reading this is saying, "But, Aidan how can you be efficient traveling through security if you need to struggle taking that layer off while going through security!" Well, my dear reader you are beyond correct, but I wouldn't dream of suggesting a jacket. Oh No, this is where the advent of a button up shirt or quarter zip sweater come. A lightweight denim button up or quarter zip sweater will provide you will all the warmth you desire without the added annoyance of inefficiency going through the security line. Beyond this, a good pair of jeans, comfy - easy to tie - shoes, V neck T shirt, and synthetic or merino wool socks and underwear will serve you very well for both international long haul or short domestic flights.
So many times, I have seen other travelers make the mistake of brining a roller bag for a short weekender. In fact, even I use to make this mistake, but I can say for certain that once you go backpack, you don't go back. No terrible pun intended there. Too many times, I have been on a flight where the overhead storage gets full or the plane is so small that the overhead bins won't accommodate the modern large bags. When this happens, you have to gate check your back, go through it to ensure all the materials in the bag are safe for below, and pull out any materials that you will need during the flight. This is a hassle, and it is obnoxious. The backpack solution is really the perfect solution. My 18 Liter REI Flash backpack is incredibly lightweight, and fits anywhere. It is the single reason I have been able to not gate check my bag since leaving the roller bag behind. It has allowed me to not worry about making connecting flights while waiting for my gate checked back to emerge. Besides the use of a backpack, the items to bring inside said backpack are quite easy. Pajamas, two extra pairs of socks and underwear, a water bottle, sunglasses, and wireless headphones will all serve you well for all parts of a weekender.
Have you ever hear the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy advice to always bring a towel? Well, let me tell you, it is one of the single most important pieces of advice you will ever have when traveling. I can't speak to the number of times that I have flew out for a weekender, and been at a friends place, wet from a shower, without a towel. Save yourself the trouble of putting on clothes while wet, or calling out to your sleeping friend. Bring a pack towel. These are synthetic towels that fold up perfectly, and dry very quickly.
Now for the rest of your bathroom needs dear reader, I cannot speak. Each person has a slightly different set of items they need for making themselves presentable. The only other things I can say are best shown in a list.
- Dr. Bronner's soap is a lifesaver and the only soap you need, put it in a Nalgene dropper.
- As much as I hate the idea of a disposable razor, they are the only razors allowed by the TSA, so bring one with you to shave if you so choose.
- Glove body scrubbers are amazing. They fold up to such a small size and work perfectly with the above Dr. Bronner's soap.
Did I miss anything? Let me know how you travel in the comments! Thanks for reading!