Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away: Menswear Summer 2018

A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away: Menswear Summer 2018

If you are anything like me you want your packing done as quickly as possible and with the least amount of effort. The temptation to just grab whatever you have clean and think ‘that will do’ is very real. But with a bit of planning, we can get away with the minimum of kit whilst keeping our style ‘on point’ while we are away, a few items which can work in a few different settings is essential and help’s keep that bag wight down.

Below is our blaggers guide to packing for a weekend away, but before we start we’d like to add one caveat. These recommendations don’t include provision for taking sports kit, but let’s face it, if you are away for a ‘sports’ holiday I’m sure your kit will be your top priority anyway and will completely change your packing strategy.

To make it simple we’ve split it in to two sections, packing your wash bag, and packing your weekend bag. We’ve done this as a well packed washbag makes any trip easy and once it’s packed you can keep it packed (mostly) for every trip you go on.

Packing a Washbag

This is just an opinion, a right one, but an opinion none the less. Every man worth his salt should travel with a wash bag! They are the most practical, sensible addition to any luggage. A good wash bag keeps everything in one place, ensures that your essential grooming kit is safe and means you won’t be dealing with random toothpaste marks on your brand new dress shirt. A win, win all around.

So, what should we take? Well, it’s nice and simple and can be broken down into two basic sections. Grooming essentials and nice to have/ extras.

A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away


  • Toothbrush – While you may have an electric toothbrush, why have the trouble of lugging around the weight and dealing with taking batteries on a flight? A good quality manual toothbrush will do you for the length of your trip, be a more practical and reliable solution than an electrical model.
  • Toothpaste – Obvs!
  • Hair Product – If you can grab a smaller version of your usual hair product, you don’t want to be trying new things when you are already away and can’t easily get a replacement.
  • Deodorant/ Aftershave – Again, play it safe. If you are only away for a few days use your deodorant as your daytime scent and your favourite aftershave for the evenings. If you are away a little longer you may want to take a daytime and nighttime scent away with you and use a none scented deodorant.
  • Shaving – If you are only away for a few days then it might be nice to ditch the razor and go feral for a few days. However, if you are away for a little longer make sure you take a brand new blade and some cream. The reason for a brand new blade? If you get a nick, you don’t want to be dealing with potential infections, especially in tropical climates. Don’t take the risk.
  • Moisturiser – If you are in and out of the sea all day or out in intense sunshine it can take a real toll on your skin. So rather than making yourself look like an old saddle bag a good full body moisturiser is a great idea.
  • Sun Cream – It doesn’t matter where you are going, well, maybe with the exception of a wet easter in Hull, but some sun cream is a definite essential. No one want’s to do the ‘lobster’ impression and sunburn can really ruin any trip. Pick a cream which suits your skin tone and apply it regularly.
  • Shower Gel, Shampoo & Conditioner – If it’s a hot day or you are in and out of the water all day, and even if you have just been walking around seeing the sights, a good shower or bath at the end of the day is a beautiful thing. Remember, the sun or the elements will strip away a lot of your body’s essential oils and leave you feeling dirty and grubby. Therefore a good shower gel at least or with the addition of shampoo and conditioner is essential to freshen you up ready for your evenings’ entertainment.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

Nice to have / Extras

  • Soap & A Flannel – If space is tight or you aren’t sure you will have access to a proper bathroom at any point while you are away then soap and a flannel can be a lifesaver, equally as capable of getting you clean in your hotel or helping you freshen up in whatever bathroom you may pass, soap and a flannel mean you can keep fresh and ready for whatever the world has to throw at you. Remember, if you are in a tropical climate keeping clean is a medical issue not just a hygiene one!
  • Mint’s or Gum – When travelling it’s always wise to prepare for situations where your access to good facilities is limited at best. Therefore, a packet of mints or gum can be a godsend if you haven’t had a chance to look after yourself as well as you normally would. Also, a sugar-free gum will have a cleaning effect on your teeth.
  • Paracetamol, Antacids & an Antiseptic Cream – While you don’t want to be rattling around with a full pharmacy in your bag a few choice pieces can be a real advantage, especially if you are travelling in places with limited access to medicines or if you are likely to struggle to understand the writing system used in the country you are visiting.
NB: Remember, if you are packing in a cabin bag you cant take on board liquids in over 100ml containers, however, you can buy travel specific versions of pretty much everything nowadays, ensuring you will have no problems.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

Packing for a long weekend

So, you would think taking a smaller bag away for a few days travel would be easy right? Well in a situation where your space is limited, especially in an era of baggage fees, you need to make sure that every piece you take away is wearable in a number of different situations.


The last thing you need when packing a small weekend bag is to fill it up with lots of bulky shoes. Remember, you will be wearing something to travel so you can take more than you think without taking up space.

  • Evening shoes/ Trainers – Your selection will essentially depend on a few simple factors. They are: What’s your style? What will you be doing while away? Do you need to dress for the evening? If you don’t have to dress particularly formally on an evening then a good pair of lightweight trainers can be used for both your daytime look and your evening look. These can be worn as you travel, saving room and weight in your bag. If you need to look more formal on an evening then a pair of lightweight shoes can be worn to travel in and you can pack your trainers for the daytime. Remember, even though you might love big skate shoes, a lighter pair will be much easier to pack. If you can’t forgo your big padded high tops then remember to fill them with underwear to get some of that space back.
  • Flip-Flops – An absolute travel essential, it doesn’t matter where you are going or how long you are staying a comfortable pair of flip-flops are the most versatile set of shoes you can take away. If you pack a pair then you have two options, if you go for a ‘daytime’ style then you have a shoe you can wear every day (Unless you are trekking or walking long long distances) and keep your formal shoes for the evening. However, if you go for a pair of leather sandals or a more ‘formal’ pair they can often form part of a very stylish evening outfit, leaving you with a trainer or shoe option for active daytimes.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

Trousers & Shorts

As with everything, your choices depend on your style and what activities/ environment you plan on holidaying in. However, with the need to be careful what you take in a weekend bag then careful selection of one of your potentially bulkiest items is essential.

  • Trousers – When it comes to packing a pair of trousers (An essential item regardless of your trip) versatility is key. Your trousers need to be as wearable on an evening as they are during the day. With that in mind, there is only one real choice. A pair of lightweight, light coloured jeans gives you a million options in one piece. If you go for a lighter weight jean then you can minimise any un-comfort caused by heat and by taking a light shade of jean you can ensure they will give you that relaxed summer evening wear look if you need to be a little more formal.
  • Shorts – The shorts you wear again, depending on the type of holiday you are taking but one essential you can’t do without is a pair of swim shorts. These versatile shorts will give you something you can laze around a pool in but if you go for a little longer set they can also be great for wearing during the day whilst out and about. As you are only packing a weekend bag we would recommend that you don’t worry about any ‘dress shorts’ and use your jeans for those situations.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

T-Shirts & Shirts

T-Shirts and shirts are the easiest way to add a bit of individualism, colour and style into your weekend bag and also represent an opportunity to take a little variety away with you without over packing your bag.

  • T-Shirts – One of the most utilitarian yet individual pieces of clothing you can own. They can be worn as both summer evening wear and for the day. An easy rule of thumb for selecting T-Shirts is this: If your shorts or trousers are plain, then go for it with your Tee, big floral patterns are in as are big branded tee’s with lots of colour so don’t be shy! One slight caveat to that is, however, if you are a bigger bloke (Like me) big patterns can make you look a bit clownish, therefore, you may be wiser to go for a more plain t-shirt and get colour or texture from wearing a pocketed shirt or one with shorter sleeves to show off your arms. The plain block colour will always give you a better shape and a more stylish look.
  • Shirts – Shirts, especially short-sleeved shirts, work very much in the same way as t-shirts, it’s simply a choice bourne of personal preference. In a style sense, the advice above works just as well for shirts so it’s a no-brainer.
NB: 3 items should be enough to tide you over for a weekend without making you look scruffy or out of place. Remember, if you travel in the same outfit you don’t really need an extra for that.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

Jumpers and Jackets

We don’t go on holiday to wear a jumper or a jacket but let’s face it, sometimes it’s wise to take something ‘just in case’.

  • Jumpers – Possibly the best ‘just in case’ item to take. A lightweight jumper, either round neck, v neck or hoodie depending on your style can be either worn during travel or packed away. However, remember, this item will probably form part of your ‘eveningwear look’ so something with a formal style is probably the best. Unless you are like me and spend your time in surf or snow bars in which case a big comfy hoodie is standard uniform!
  • Jackets – If possible, avoid taking a jacket, especially if you can pretty much guarantee a 25°C plus climate. If not then don’t pack anything just wear a jacket while travelling so you have it if you need it.


A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away


This is an easy one and applies to every holiday. Avoid wearing any, where possible. Make sure they are clean, bright and fun if you do!

  • Underpants – If you have your swim shorts on then avoid them like the plague. Most swim shorts have a liner in any way and let’s face it, it’s nice to let yourself fly free for a change! If you do need to wear pants, maybe in the evening, for example, they are likely to be seen more than normal due to the fact you will be wearing lighter weight, lighter coloured and less clothing. So don’t be shy, go loud, go patterned, go wild! You won’t regret it.
  • Socks – These are the same as underpants in many ways if you have sorts and flip-flops on for the vast majority of the time you are away then they aren’t needed. If you are wearing trainers, either during the day or on an evening you can get away with wearing nothing but, to be honest, for both comfort and smell it’s preferable to wear something, that’s where ‘low socks’ or ‘trainer socks’ come in. Giving you all the advantages of wearing a sock while not committing the cardinal summer sin of looking like you have socks on! Unfortunately, if you have chosen boots for the evening then a proper pair of socks is what you need.
NB: It’s always better to have too many than too few when it comes to underwear so even if you don’t plan on wearing them take a pair of socks and a pair of undies for each day. Better safe than sorry!
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away


Now for the fun bit! Accessories are a great, lightweight, low volume way to complete your style by adding colour, texture and fun to any outfit. There are as many different options as there are people to place them on so in this section we will try to limit it to some of the main accessories which are likely to make it into your weekend bag.

  • Sunglasses – One of the best ways to express yourself and just an inherently stylish way to accessorise. When choosing sunglasses it’s all about what works for you. Think of it as 2 steps. 1. Pick a style which suits your face (Check out our guide to selecting sunnies HERE). 2. Pick something which will work for the outfits you are taking with you.
  • Hat’s – If you are going ‘a little bit thin’ then a hat is a godsend on sunny days. If not then they are still a great way of keeping the sun off your face and adding to your style. When packing for a weekend you can’t take a huge variety away with you so pick something which will work in a number of situations. A baseball cap is a staple for anyone and can work with almost any outfit, even smart casual eveningwear although it wouldn’t be my recommendation! However, if you are away on a city break or spending a lot of time in the water it can be a great choice to look good and protect your face.


  • Watches – This really does depend on what you are planning to do while you are away. If it’s a weekend mini-break to Milan then break out that high fashion expensive watch. If you are planning on spending your time away surfing, skating or doing watersports then a sports specific watch or at least watch strap (And something you don’t mind getting scratched etc) is a much wiser decision. As it’s a short trip then pick a watch which suits your daytime activities and just work with what you have on an evening.
  • Wallets – This is a very similar decision to watches, if you are going to be wandering around museums and coffee shops all day and out for dinner on an evening then a good quality leather wallet is essential for any man. However, if you are going to be out and about doing active sports or hitting the beach then a hard wearing (Potentially velcro) active style wallet is what you need to go for.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away


Your selection of luggage will again be mostly dependent on what your trip consists of. Below I have given the three main options and why you would want to go for each style.

  • Backpack – The most utilitarian option. If you are travelling about or are likely to have to carry your bag around a lot then nothing beats the comfort and usability of a backpack. However, if you do go down this route you are compromising on keeping your clothes neat and tidy as it doesn’t matter how carefully you pack things get squashed and creased in a backpack. A 30L backpack would be easily big enough to pack for a weekend.
  • Luggage Bag – A smaller size wheeled and handled luggage bag is a great option if you want to pack carefully and have everything fresh and wearable out of the case. Although they aren’t the greatest if you have to carry them. If you are somewhere where you can use the wheels they are easy to ‘carry’.


  • Duffel Bag – This is a great compromise between the other two options stated above. A duffel won’t be as comfortable to carry as a backpack but will keep your clothes in better order. It is, however, generally lighter and easier to carry around than a wheeled luggage bag and will almost keep your clothes in as ‘wearable’ an order, just not quite.
A Blaggers Guide to packing for A weekend Away

So there we are, nothing groundbreaking I know, but hopefully a sensible guide which will help you pack everything you need with the minimum of fuss and effort. Travelling is all about relaxing so if this guide can take a little stress out of your preperation then I think we have done a good job. Enjoy your trip and let us know how it went in the comments below.



Ian Hughes

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