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How to Pack for a Week-Long Trip

Everyone loves to get away on a week-long vacation, but packing is a different story, raising questions like, Should you go carry-on only or check a bag? How will you be able to pack all of your toiletries and still leave space for multiple shoe options? 

Fortunately, we’ve put together an expert guide to packing for a seven-day trip, featuring tips for everything from which suitcase to use to clothing advice.

Which Suitcase Should You Use for a Week-Long Trip?

The Hanke front-opening spinner suitcase, Nordace siena smart backpack, and Bobby balos tote lined up side-by-side
Amazon & Nordstrom

The key to packing success starts with using the right gear, including the perfect suitcase and personal item. 

No matter if you want to go carry-on only or check a bag, the Hanke Front-Opening Spinner Suitcase is a good choice. Available in three sizes, this uniquely designed hard-shell case is a useful option for those who prefer to not have to wrestle with two heavy halves of the standard suitcase. It’s well-equipped with spinner wheels, an ergonomic retracting trolley handle, and a TSA-approved lock for your peace of mind. The case also features a reinforced frame and durable polycarbonate shell, so it’s ready for even the most rugged journey.

For a personal item, the Nordace Siena Smart Backpack is the perfect size. The Siena Smart backpack easily fits under your seat and is packed full of innovative features such as a hidden anti-theft pocket, a USB port for keeping your electronics charged on the go, a trolley sleeve for easy carrying on a suitcase, and a lined pocket for keeping your sunglasses scratch-free.

Tend to overpack? Bring an extra bag (without sacrificing space) with the Bybba Balos Tote. This bag is an excellent balance of sustainability, style, and space-saving usefulness. The tote folds away into its own little pocket and includes a carabiner so that you can sling it from a backpack or water bottle strap. Unfolded, the Balos is a good-looking bag with room enough for a full-on farmer’s market haul and a handy drawstring to keep your treasures safely stored away on the trip home. On top of this veritable mountain of great features, it’s a sustainability win, being made of a proprietary material derived from ocean waste.

What Electronics Should You Bring on a Seven Day Trip?

We all bring too many chargers and cables with us on trips, and nothing keeps the electronic detritus better corralled than the beautifully constructed Peak Design Origami Tech Pouch. The clever origami-style design provides plenty of individual space for tech bits and bobs, yet still allows the case to close neatly and fully. A weatherproof shell keeps all your goods safe and dry, and a pass-through slot for cables from the main body to an external pocket allows you to charge small electronics on the go.

Keep your flight peaceful with the JBL’s Noise Cancelling Headphones. They boast between 40 and 50 hours of listening life, comfortable ear cushions, and handy Bluetooth capabilities, so you can stay entertained for even the longest journey.

All electronics need charging eventually, and you may not be near a wall outlet when you need one. The Anker 10000mAh Portable Charger is a high-performing on-the-go battery option that can fully power up your devices. 

Keep track of all your stuff by packing a luggage tracker in your bag. The Apple AirTag is a hugely popular option, but if you don’t have an iPhone, Tile Pro Tracker works with any smartphone.

How to Pack Toiletries for a Seven Day Trip

Close up of woman packing toiletry in a small bag for a week long trip
auremar | Adobe Stock

The Beis Travel Cosmetic Case is a great toiletry kit for both men and women, featuring a unisex design, deep-pocketed body, accessory loops, and a handle that stores away flat when not being held. 

To fill it, ditch the old jars and bottles in favor of Kitsch Refillable Toiletry Squeeze Pouches. Not only are they cute and TSA-compliant, but by virtue of their squeezability, you can fit more of them into your toiletry bag, and that means you can bring more of your favorite cosmetics and hygiene products along—always a good thing.

Don’t forget to pack the essential toiletries to keep you clean and safe. Sunscreen should never be left behind, and the Beauty of Joseon Matte Sun Stick is a non-liquid option that’s SPF 50 to keep your skin safe. For cleanliness on the go, Purell 2 Oz. Hand Sanitizer With Aloe is a must as you pass through crowds of your fellow travelers, touch airport railings, and encounter woefully soap-less public restrooms. 

For your clothes, packing cubes are great for helping you keep organized, and they’re on another level when you add compression features. Baggalini Compression Cubes are sturdy and space saving, plus they offer a mesh top to let you see what’s in each cube without having to open it up and rummage through your belongings. Then, store your shoes in BeeGreen’s Travel Shoe Bags. These liquid-resistant nylon shoe bags come in a pack of six with a variety of pattern options available, and their price can’t be beat.

Must-Pack Accessories for a Week-Long Trip

If you love hydration and caffeine but don’t want to lug around separate travel mugs and water bottles, the Simple Modern Classic Insulated Tumbler is the receptacle for you. Not only does it come in multiple sizes and colors, each tumbler comes with two lids: a flip lid for coffee and tea, and a straw lid for cold drinks. The tumbler’s double-walled insulation keeps your drinks hot or cold for hours, and both lids are highly leak-resistant.

It may not actually look very pillowy, but the Trtl Neck Support Travel Pillow is possibly the best neck support option on the market today for travelers. The inner brace keeps your neck well supported no matter how you wear it during your trip, leaving you able to sleep in transit and arrive refreshed, with no neck pain. 

To get long locks out of the way without messing up your look, grab a Claw Clip or two. These clips are difficult to break and have passed vigorous head-shake tests, making them ideal for travelers. They’ll keep your updo comfortably in place and gorgeous for hours.

The Best Clothing to Pack for a Week-Long Trip

Close up of person packing a small suitcase on top of bed
New Africa | Adobe Stock

Wherever you’re traveling, the main key to a good seven-day travel wardrobe is packing neutral layers. (A close second would be anti-wrinkle items that still look good after being folded into a suitcase.) 

For travelers that prefer simple dresses, the Toad & Co Piru Henley Midi Tank Dress makes for a stylish, comfortable option. Pair one with a cardigan with hidden pockets in case it gets chilly (plus, extra storage!)

The world of casual separates has never been broader thanks to Universal Standard. Their Light As Air V Rex tee and the Double V Tank are great basic tops that work well with either the Iris Linen Easy Pull-On Pants or the Katie Highrise Crossover Denim Shorts. All items come in a good variety of colors, and the t-shirt even offers two different neckline options. 

Should any of your evening plans include a nice dinner out, Nordstrom’s Sleeveless Cotton Blend Dress is a timeless, simple option that can be dressed up or down.

For colder destinations, a good pair of tights or leggings can winterize your dress options. 

For the traveling man, Bluffworks’ Envoy Travel Pants are a superb choice that work for long flights or busy days on the road. Tailored to be slim but not tight, these wrinkle-resistant pants look pulled together, and can be dressed up or down. 

Pack a few Uniqlo Dry Crew Neck T-Shirts in different colors for a simple and easy wardrobe staple—it can be layered under the Uniqlo Waffle Knit Long-Sleeved T-Shirt if you want options depending on the weather.

Another great basic is the Everlane Organic Oxford Shirt, which can be layered open over your t-shirts for a bit of an elevated casual look or worn alone and buttoned up if your occasion is a little dressier.

The Best Jackets and Baselayers for a Week-Long Trip

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, as the saying goes. If the forecast is looking cold or rainy, a good jacket can save your trip.

When you’re looking for base layers to keep you warm without adding bulk, SmartWool offers options for all genders and age ranges. They’re also a fantastic source for comfortable cushioned socks that make long walking days a breeze—the Light Cushion Ankle Socks, Light Cushion Crew Socks, and Full Cushion Crew Socks are just a few of your many options.

A good packable jacket is also a must for cold-weather journeys, and Amazon Essentials has a fantastic lightweight puffer jacket that can be useful in different kinds of weather. Offered in a women’s cut as well as men’s, it comes in a wide range of colors and packs neatly away into its own included drawstring bag.

Forecast calls for wet and rainy? No fear, Patagonia’s Torrentshell Rain Jacket (available in women’s and men’s cuts) keeps you dry and can be packed into almost nothing via its own handwarmer pocket. And don’t forget to include a Totes Micro-Mini Umbrella for heavy showers.

Don’t leave behind your sun protection either! The Columbia Trek Bucket Hat offers a good-looking, eminently packable hat option for bright days.

The Best Shoes to Pack for a Week-Long Trip

Aerial view of woman decided what pair of shoes to pack in her suitcase on the floor next to her
Alliance | Adobe Stock

For a seven-day trip, you don’t want to fill up half of your bag with nothing but shoes. Think in terms of versatility and comfort and try to limit yourself to just two pairs—one casual, and one that can maybe do a little more heavy lifting in the style department for evening occasions.

Starting with sneakers, look no further than the HOKA Clifton 9 (click here for the men’s style). Lightweight yet cushioned and comfortable, this is a great everyday sneaker—your feet will thank you after a day spent walking through airports or destinations in them! With a sturdy rubber rocker sole, cushioning inside, and a knit upper, you’ll find your feet are clean, dry and pain-free after long walks.

Women who need a dressier option can start with the Alegria Vanya slide, available in several colors. Alegria’s signature rocker sole and memory foam insole allow for hours of walking ease, while the criss-cross strap and large decorative buckle make for a sleek, classy look. But if you prefer a stylish flat, Pippa by Josef Seibel is your best choice. Lightweight and easy to pack, the Pippa has a non-slip rubber sole and cushioned lining for comfortable evening strolls, yet still completes your outfit with its elegant appearance.

Men who want an evening shoe option that can still look good with casual daytime outfits should check out the Clarks Morris Peak ankle boot for the versatile shoe of your dreams. They’re waterproof, moisture-wicking, and feature an anti-slip sole, but they also just look great. They’ll be ideal for light packers.

The Best Snacks to Pack for a Week-Long Trip

Who hasn’t been stranded at an airport or arrived at their destination long after everything has closed? Or maybe you’ve got special dietary needs and need something for the times you can’t be accommodated. It’s never a bad idea to keep a few snacks on hand.

Beef jerky is always a popular trip snack, and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Bars are a super convenient option. Vegans don’t have to be left out, either—Louisville Vegan Jerky has a delicious variety pack of flavor options. 

For the traveler with a sweet tooth, KIND’s Healthy Grains Bars are a great choice, and an extra hit of protein doesn’t get more yummy than Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter, available in handy individual squeeze packs.

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