The Best Travel Essentials You Can Never Leave Home Without

Are you planning a short weekend trip but not sure what to take with you on the journey? Then you have come to the perfect place. As someone who has been traveling on weekends since I was 16, I have developed a list of essentials that every man should pack in his bag.

Man Brown Weekender Bag Filled with MacBook and iPhone

Traveling can be stressful, but having the right essentials can make all the difference. From stylish dress shirts to portable chargers, there are certain items that no traveler should be without. In this article, we’ll explore the best travel essentials to help make your next trip smooth and stress-free.

The right travel bag

First things first, you need to clarify what kind of bag you want to use for the weekend. A suitcase, a duffle bag, a weekender, or a backpack?

If you pack wisely, you can do the entire weekend with a backpack – but you need to pick the right sized one. It may be tight but doable, especially in summer. If you plan to travel by plane, make sure to check the bag sizes and prices for your travel.

The Best Travel Essentials: Brown Tan Leather Weekender Bag
Travel Essentials: The Weekender © Erol Ahmed

What type of bag is best for a weekend trip?

  • A backpack: Probably the most informal option, but the easiest to carry and the most likely you already own one.
  • A weekender bag: The weekender is a more professional and formal traveling bag that can be perfect for all scenarios. When picking a weekender, try to go for a subtle look, something lather, rather than a canvas sports bag. If you are in a hurry, you can use a sports bag, but I believe every man who regularly travels should invest in a high-quality leather bag.
  • Suitcase: When choosing your suitcase, it is worth knowing the size guides of your preferred airlines, pick a suitcase that fits most of the airlines, you probably won’t find one that fits all, but if it fits 2-3 airlines, you will be good for the journey.

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Two pairs of pants (1 jeans and 1 trousers)

You don’t necessarily have to pack two pairs of pants if you pick a versatile one for the trip. But let’s be real, having an extra pair of pants is always nice because who knows when you’ll spill some red wine on yourself during dinner? If you only pack one pair, you might regret it later.

The Best Travel Essentials: Levi's Jeans
Photo by Mnz on Unsplash

Underwear and socks

These two items are essentials no matter how long you travel. I advise you to put an extra pair in your bag – just in case, for example, you want to go training on that day. You need a clean pair of socks and underwear afterward.

Pro tip: if you pack shoes for your travel – make sure to stuff them with your underwear and socks to save space in your bag. This will also support the shape of your shoes. Just don’t forget to clean your shoes beforehand.

Dress shirt

dress shirt is never a bad idea, whether you are planning to make a deal with your potential client or have a romantic dinner with your partner. This cocktail look can pair with almost anything else on the list – jeans or trousers. Dress it up or dress it down according to your needs.

The Best Travel Essentials: Business Casual Shirts
Photo by Waldemar Brandt


Whether you visit your friends or family or go on a business trip, no one expects you to wear a suit while you stay inside or go for a walk in the morning. Pack your tracksuit, and feel comfortable on the weekend.

Often I only pack the pants to save time and space in my bag, and it is usually more than enough for me to feel comfortable – in the worst-case scenario, I can wear the sweatshirt I packed with the pants.

The Best Travel Essentials: Burgundy Tracksuit
Signature Tracksuit – © Forever Original


It’s a small accessory, but it can be rather handy, especially on those sunny summer days. I never leave my house for more than an hour without sunglasses. Especially when I’m traveling or driving. I believe it is essential for every man to keep their sunglasses in his travel bag.

The Best Travel Essentials: Sunglasses
Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel

If you are looking for a new pair of sunglasses, check out this deal on Amazon:

T-Shirts and polos

T-shirts and polo shirts are the other comfortable pieces that go perfectly with your tracksuit – or if you want to look professional but not in a suit or shirt, pair your polo with trousers, a pair of smart shoes, or a stylish belt, and you’re good to go.

The Best Travel Essentials: T-shirt

Dopp Kit

If you want to speed up packing, I highly recommend having a Dopp kit full of essentials. So all you have to do is throw it on top of your travel bag, and you can go on your trip. If you’re not sure what to include in your Dopp kit, I’ve got just the right post for you.

The Best Travel Essentials: Black Dopp Kit
Black Travel Essentials © Supply 

Pro-tip: I always carry my Dopp kit with me, whether I’m going to the gym or planning on not sleeping at home for some reason. Make sure you always have a stock of the essentials in your Dopp kit and you’re good to go. If you are interested in which Dopp kit I am currently using, it is a leather Dopp kit made by Vera Forma.

Book for travel

If you are traveling by train or plane, one of the best ways to make the journey seem shorter is to pack your favorite book. Trust me. I am a person who has traveled a lot since I was a teenager. Packing your favorite book doesn’t take up a lot of space in your backpack or weekender but will make your journey better and seem shorter.


Whether you plan to use your phone or other gadgets a lot or not, chargers are essential. So, don’t forget to toss them in your bag, or your weekend won’t be that happy without photos or GPS. I know you can buy new chargers at almost any store by now, but why waste your money on items you already own? Double-check before you leave the house, and do not forget your chargers.

The Best Travel Essentials: Chargers
Travel Essentials: Chargers © Rebecca Aldama


Whether it is noise-canceling headphones or regular earphones that were added to your phone, it is a must to pack earphones, especially like in the previous point, if you travel via some sort of public transport. Try to find a pair with great battery life or a wired one if you take a long plane flight.

Laptop or tablet

I am someone who likes to work while traveling, especially on trains. Phones are getting better every year, but a full-on laptop will always be better to get some work done. If you don’t like to work on the weekend, that’s fine, but having a laptop or tablet is great for many other things.

You can watch movies or TV shows, or if you take some pictures and want to check them out on a bigger screen, a tablet or laptop is perfect for that.

The Best Travel Essentials: Laptop or Tablet
Gentleman Travel Essentials © Oliur

Pack of tissues

It is a highly overlooked item, but you should always keep a pack of tissues in your bag. In my opinion, every man should have a pack in his bag. I couldn’t count how many times I was grateful for someone who passed me one or the number of thank yous from people I gave to.

Money, ID, Passport, Documents

Whether you travel inland or abroad, keeping some cash and your travel documents is a must for everyone. Make sure you have all the documents required for your travel way before your trip and check the validation, so you can renew them if necessary.

The Best Travel Essentials: Passport
Travel Essentials © ConvertKit

Optional items

Now that we finished the essentials, I list a few optional items that can be handy for your trip, depending on where you are going:


The first optional item is an umbrella. If you’re visiting London, for example, I recommend packing an umbrella. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or autumn. However, if you’re going to a sunny beach, you can leave the umbrella at home. If you can fit in your bag and know the weather might rain, pack an umbrella.

If you are looking for a new Umbrella, check out this deal on Amazon:


If you plan to go to the beach on a sunny day, toss a bottle of sunscreen into your bag. It will prevent your skin from sunburn.


Finally, the last item on the list is a camera. Although the camera in your phone is getting better each year, it will never be as good as the real deal. If you are a hobbyist or a professional and prefer to take pictures with your professional gear, take it with you.

The Best Travel Essentials: Camera
Photo by Marco Xu

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Keep on reading: 10 Best Tips What Gentlemen Should Wear in the Summer