Stag Dos: Guide to Travelling Light
As we get older each year, stag dos seem to become more and more prominent. We had a combined 13 here in the office this year, with two writers planning to throw their lives away in the next 18 months alone. As flights become less expensive and Britain becomes more so, a quick euro jaunt is a likely destination. Berlin, Budapest or perhaps Dublin to name just a few. This issue with such trips is what exactly should you pack? Leave it to us.
When it comes to travel – invariably smaller is better. Especially when you consider crazy charges airlines want to catch you with if you go over your hand baggage size. With that said there are plenty of things you can do to enable you to shop and pack optimally in order to make your life easier.
To start, you need a good bag. Most airlines limit hand luggage size to around 56cm long x 45cm high x 25cm wide so it would make sense to go with something this size or slightly smaller, but just because you’re travelling light doesn’t mean you have to compromise on looking good. We suggest something soft and not structured. Then if you are forced to cram it in those little frames, you give yourself the best chance.
The raffia weekend bag from Zara measuring 51 x 29 x 25cm should do the trick, and will give you enough space for your gear and keep you looking and feeling stylish whilst doing so.
Once you have obtained your bag of choice the first challenge is knowing how to pack it. Folding clothing individually into the generic rectangles and squares is probably the most inefficient way to pack bar throwing them in. Not only does it waste loads of space but it makes your clothes ever creasing. The best way to travel is to roll your items instead, either in one large roll (ideal if you have tailoring/formals) starting with the formalwear and trousers on the outside, working through shirts, tees and underwear and finishing with your socks on the inside of your clothing swiss roll. Alternatively you can roll all items individually, layering your footwear on the bottom of your bag, then trousers, then tees and causal shirts and ultimately finishing up with your toilet bag. This arrangement should allow you sufficient space to include enough clothing to allow you to travel pretty comfortably for up to a week away (the necessary supply of underwear dependent).
Given your toilet bag is going into your bag last, it would be advisable that it is not crammed full of unnecessary products which may or may not get used taking up precious space. Take essentials for personal hygiene, (shower gel, deodorant, toothpaste & mouthwash) something that enables you to smell great, (travel aftershave or eau de toilette), something for your hair (if you have any) and any miscellaneous things that you will need (like contact lense solution). Don’t waste precious space in your toiletries bag with full-size bottles, cans and tubes of various products. Most supermarkets and pharmacies will have a good selection of travel toiletries which will enable you to carry all of your necessary luxuries, and it is a good idea to utilise these to save room in your bag and meet airline guidelines.
Pop all this is a resealable freezer bag or alike and slide that into your toilet bag so if asked you can show the guard at airport security.
It’s worth planning ahead to see if you can get away with leaving your towel at home and instead using the ones at the hotel (which unless you are camping or staying in a hostel should be a possibility.) If it isn’t, you can always get a microfibre travel towel which rolls up thinly whilst not compromising on absorbency to make sure you are appropriately dried off after your shower.
Ok so you have your travel bag and toiletries sorted, so it’s time to start packing your clothes. For a 3 day trip the following checklist should provide you with sufficient combinations so that you won’t have to wear any core item of clothing (excluding your jacket and shoes) more than twice – which unless you are a walking sweat machine or are one of those people that you can’t take anywhere who manages to spills food down themselves all the time, should be pretty achievable. Also it’s worth bearing in mind that at any one time you will have one of your outfits on so you won’t need to get all of this in your bag at any one time.
2 x T-Shirts
2 x Smart Casual Shirts
1 x Chinos
1 x Jeans
1 x Blazer
1 x Plimsoles
1 x Shoes
1 x Watch
1 x Belt
1 x Toilet bag
In order for you to optimise on the outfit options, the clothing you pack needs to offer you a certain versatility and include an array of wardrobe staples which are interchangeable to allow you to create multiple looks. You can then liberally add your accessories of choice where you feel they would work best for you.
When it comes to planning your weeks outfits, it is sensible to bear your itinerary in mind. This will enable you to include the appropriate combinations for any days you need to be smarter, or can get away with being more casual.
Day 1. Night 1.
An effortless casual look comprised simply of the round-neck grey marl tee, the Levis 511 skinny jeans and plimsoles. Remember, you need to be comfortable as this will be your travel day. Should you have bigger legs you can easily swap the skinny’s out for a pair of slim fitting jeans, but as a rule select a denim not overly distressed as they will tend to dress up a little better and offer you the versatility which we are seeking within your travel bag. Set the whole thing off with the inclusion of a good accessory – in this instance a classic watch.
As this will also be your first night, chances are casual will be the way to go and find out the lie of the land.
Day 2. Night 2.
In stark contrast to the dress-down casual outfit on day 1, your day 2 outfit gives you a smart casual look fit for the day or evening with the inclusion of the blue wool blazer from Next, striped cotton tee, cotton trousers and of course the classic brogue. If conditions are nice during the daytime, or you get warm you have the option of removing the jacket, with the remaining pieces combining well for a grown up casual look.
Combining a shirt and jeans is a classic ensemble, and it is also one of the most universally useable outfits you will have at your disposal. Tucking the shirt in will give the look a smarter undertone, and as such it will work well during the evening time should you venture out to a bar on your trip, but equally works for a daytime meeting or lunch rendezvous. This outfit uses your jeans alongside a simple shirt, in this instance the Chambrey shirt from Gap, and the outfit is completed with the brown brogues. You can then accessorize with the Brixton Gain Fedora to finish the whole look off.
On night three we will just add a few key pieces to our day look to create our smartest outfit of the looks by piecing together the blazer, chambrey shirt, skinny jeans and brown brogues. This would be great for dinner, an evening party. Pop a pocket square in your bag if you want to add a little extra something to your outfit, or use the pocket lining in the next blazer which pulls out to help you add that je ne sais quoi.
On the final day its always worth being a little more comfortable. Achieve this by combining the striped cotton tee with the blue chinos, plimsoles and the fedora hat. Whilst remaining chilled the outfit has a hint of effortless cool, which would be set off when strutting through the airport on your way to fly home with your Zara raffia bag in tow.
So there is a guide to getting the most out of your holiday bag and for the Average Joe travelling light.
Ultimately, pack smart and travel light to save time, money and a really achey arm. For more tips on planning your ultimate Stag Do or Hen Weekend, head over to the Expedia Stag Den.