Any traveler knows that when it comes to preparing for your next adventure, the biggest headache is not only choosing things to pack, but learning to pack light. Weather plays a huge factor in how and what needs to be packed in our bag(s), so if you’re traveling to a destination with a temperate climate, it’s essential that you have all the necessary layers to accommodate sudden temperature swings. I, like many fellow travelers, am guilty of overpacking. In part, I blame my film and photo gear, but mostly because I just can’t ever seem to make up my mind on what I will want to wear… However, the reality is that I end up wearing less than a third of what I actually stuff into my checked baggage. So I came up with my first weekender packing guide solution.
Lo and Sons sent me their Catalina Deluxe Weekender bag (the smallest of their three weekenders at 13 x 18 inches), which I’m currently obsessing over. I decided that my trip to Madeira, a place where the weather is mild but cools as you ascend in elevation, would be the perfect time to challenge myself to packing for a week in a weekender bag. This was my first time ever not checking a giant bag.
3 lightweight dresses (including one that doubles as a coverup)
2 longsleeve lightweight shirts for chilly nights (one dark fitted and one light bohemian style button down)
One piece swimsuit
1 pair of breathable leggings
1 warm/breathable long sleeve top for hiking
2 bras (one sport)
7 pair of underwear
1 pair of dark denim
2 pairs of shorts (one white + one dark denim)
1 pair of sandals
Keen hiking boots
3 pairs of socks (one pair for hiking and two for everyday)
Patagonia rain jacket
KPS Travel Size Face Essentials
Travel Size Sunscreen
Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens
DJI Osmo Handheld 4K Camera
Apple 13 inch MacBook Pro
WD 1TB External Hard Drive
Melatonin spray (helps me sleep in-flight)
Wallet with a passport holder
This method always comes in handy when I pack my shoes and pants. Hiking up to see some of the most stunning views of Madeira was a given, so not packing my hiking boots was out of the question. For those moments in and around town, I packed one pair of sandals. One of the best features about the Catalina is that, when packing, I can keep the sandals in a separate pouch at the bottom of the bag along with my hiking boots so that my worn shoes don’t shed dirt on my clean clothes. All I have to do is unzip the secret pouch and keep my shoes separate from everything else.
Everyday Boots – I always try to wear a slip on/off shoe and one that includes socks for when it’s necessary to remove them while going through airport security. My feet also get cold on the plane.
Black Hat – A hat hides bad hair after a long flight and blocks the air that blows down drying out your eyes.
Casual (Warm) Jacket: And one I can turn into a makeshift personal pillow (Patagonia or Cotopaxi are my favorite).
White Denim: No matter the season, I love traveling in white denim. It matches everything and add’s another option to your in-destination looks.
The combination of the dehydrating air-plane cabin, new climates, and days full of adventure can really take a toll on the skin. Self care, SPF and makeup are essential when traveling.
KPS Essentials is a line I’m currently in love with. Their products are gluten and soy-free, and use food-grade oils, herbs and natural supplements (thank goodness for safe face products). KPS Essentials founder Natalie Bauss created this safe-skincare line after an earthquake hit her workplace and during cleanup, she noticed that one of the cosmetic products she sold to customers ate through the carpet. To stay away from those harsh products, I brought the Aromatherapy Cleansing Oil, Probiotic Toner, the Antioxidant Eye Repair Serum, and Renu C+ and Serum. Despite all the traveling, my face hasn’t felt so hydrated in years.
As far as makeup goes, I tend to give my face a breather and only pack Coola BB Cream, that has a built-in SPF providing light coverage without all the mess and inconvenience of a full make-up routine. I also always carry a travel size mineral sunscreen for hiking.
For trips that last longer than a week and require rolling luggage (I love smart luggage by Raden), use the Catalina Weekender pass-through sleeve to slip the bag right over your suitcase handle as well as a sleeve on the opposite side for your wallet, passport, and phone allowing for easy access and maneuverability as you make your way from curb to check-in. And if you leave just a little room at the top, it even fits underneath your seat.
What are your own weeklong essentials when you can carry on only? How do you pack it all in? Let us know below!