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26 Travel Must-Haves for Any Length of Trip

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

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There’s something about booking a trip that is equal parts excitement and anxiety, especially when you bust out your suitcase and prepare to pack. Depending on the length of your vacation, what you bring along can vary enormously. As someone who has traveled and moved a good amount, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for packing well, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve spent lots of time creating a wish list of all the things I should get for trips (I’m talking about investing in an Away suitcase, thank you very much). Regardless of whether it’s a weekend escapade or a whole month abroad, here are 26 things worth taking along, listed according to the length of time you’ll be away from your humble abode.

For Overnight Trips

More than just a tote, this bag from Lo & Sons is lightweight but structured for the ultimate packing companion for overnighters (or even as a personal item on a flight). There’s a separate bottom compartment that can easily fit shoes or dirty clothes, multiple interior pockets and zippers, and the option to carry it as a cross-body.

This three-pack of pouches might be one of my favorite purchases. Perfect for everyday use, you can use the pouches to house all kinds of things: makeup, dirty clothes, miscellaneous chapsticks, receipts — really, anything. I always have one in my bag, no matter if I’m gone for a night, an hour, or a whole week.

The Nap dress is comfortable enough for any road trip or train ride or even to sleep in. You really can’t go wrong — it’s the next best thing to wearing your pajamas around on vacation.

When you’re packing for only one night, wrinkles are bound to happen. Not a problem with this spray, especially if you’re too lazy to steam clothes on a trip (like me!).

One of the best tinted moisturizers out there, this option from Saie offers hydration and some SPF and will give you light coverage with a lots of dewy glow. When packing light, this is a great product to use in the a.m. for it’s many-in-one features and to get the affects of a multistep routine without all the hassle.

Weekend Trips and Excursions

There are so many options out there for weekender bags, but this water-repellent tote from Béis ticks all our boxes and is less than $100.

Normally, travel containers are not the most stylish or multifunctional. But these cadence capsules are both of those things and more. Unlike traditional travel containers, these can be used for anything from storing pills and hair gel to necklaces or hand cream. Plus you can design your own set to include different labels and colors.

Store all your chargers in one place for easy access and to keep them untangled, which is very hard to do.

The Tower28 spray is my skin-care savior, and if you’re looking to pack minimally for weekend trips, this is a must-have. Perfect for sensitive skin, it’s multifunctional, and a spritz delivers a refreshing dose of hydration and soothes stressed-out skin.

Photo: 19-05-20 Accessories AM1 B1 jent

Forgetting a pair of sunglasses on vacation is a rookie mistake, which is why these pair from La Specs are almost perfect to just keep in your weekend bag and reserve for that time away. They’re stylish, sturdy, and under $80, in case you end up losing them. When on vacay, right?

You can never go wrong with a button-up, which is why it’s a must-have for any trip, especially a weekend one when space is limited. Wear it on its own, with a dress or pants, or as a cover-up for the perfect versatile piece.

Weekend trips often mean a jam-packed itinerary, so when you want to sleep, you want to sleep well. Enter Loop, a reusable silicone earplug that allows you to get the ultimate fit (it comes in four sizes) for your best rest yet.

Anywhere From 5 Days to a Week and a Half

From $295

Frequent fliers have spoken, and this carry-on is it, ladies and gentlemen. When fully packed, it can exceed what fits in airline overhead bins, but it allows travelers to have enough room to store all their belongings on longer trips and remains light, sturdy, and sleek. Plus it comes in six attractive colors and has a USB external battery for those extra-long travel days.

Sometimes those in-between trips are the hardest to pack for, especially if you’re trying to fit everything in a carry-on suitcase. These packing cubes from Calpak are cute and will help keep you organized.

Whether you’re a sunglass fanatic or need glasses when you’re walking around, this case from Dagne Dover allows you to bring three pairs in a very compact and convenient case with a spot for a cloth to wipe off all the smudges you’ll acquire.

Why not indulge a little while you’re away from home? This kit includes a 70-milliliter shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion and a 100-gram bath salt for the ultimate on-the-go spa experience to relax no matter where you are.

This cashmere cardigan is amazing on its own or as a layering piece when you get chilly. Plus, when you’re packing in a carry-on, the more pieces of clothing you can wear in a million different ways, the better.

Senior writer Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz swears by this foldable sun hat no matter the amount of time you plan to spend in the sun. If anything, it’s cute for a photo opp or two.

A two-in-one product is a godsend on the road, and this merit cheek and lip balm is highly rated and clean.

Two Weeks or Longer

The pinnacle of traveling well comes down to one word: Rimowa. Its cases are classic, luxurious, and durable, though definitely an investment. If you’re traveling for long stretches of time, they’re so worth it in the end.

If you’re checking a bag, a luggage tag is a must, and this way you can personalize it.

Travel with ease knowing that your necklaces won’t get tangled one bit and all your earrings are safe and sound in one place.

Ever since I started wearing trousers on planes, I’ve not only saved room in my suitcases (unless you also have a matching sweatsuit to wear) but also felt more put together on the go. These comfy but cute pants from Uniqlo can be worn almost every day, making them the perfect pair to travel with for long periods.

This half-moon bag is perfect for spring, winter, or any season in between. Hand-made in Spain, the leather bag features a timeless shape and comes with two straps to wear in a multitude of ways (shoulder, cross-body, or even under the nook of the arm). Take it on day excursions or change it into an evening bag, but no matter what, this is the bag you want to have with you.

Fashion Writer Danya Issawi swears by a Fenty “groutfit” for travel days, underwear included. She describes these ribbed cotton briefs as “comfy enough to sit in for hours on end.” On a long travel day, what more could you want? And on a long trip, reliable underwear is a must.

You won’t have to worry about sleep with this aromatherapy set.

26 Travel Must-Haves for Any Length of Trip