By Mickey Hightower
Labor Day weekend is quickly approaching, signifying to many that one last weekend excursion is an absolute must before the grind of work and school begins in the fall. Regardless of the length of the trip or the destination, there are some universal travel essentials that should not be overlooked while packing. Whether you’re jetting off to Rome for a romantic weekend or on a road trip to Austin with friends, including these travel staples will guarantee a great trip.
There’s no trip without at least one piece of luggage, and weekend bags are the hottest trend in the travel necessities right now. Just large enough to hold everything you need, and small enough to avoid the temptation of packing too much, these tote bags typically contain a few smaller compartments for shoes, delicates, electronics, and beauty products. Most weekend bags are made from durable fabrics such as canvas, come with convenient shoulder and hand straps, and are available in prints and patterns from navy and white nautical stripes to pink and purple paisley. Some designers such as Kate Spade Saturday even offer a customizable weekend bag where shoppers can choose from a variety of colors and monogram their custom creations.
No-brainer basics like plain t-shirts, tanks, and classic blue jeans are obvious choices when packing, which makes accessories like scarves and hats a great way to enhance a look while serving a purpose. Airplanes are notoriously chilly and it’s hard to emerge from even a first class seat looking stylish and refreshed. A cotton bandana-print scarf or straw Panama hat from J. Crew can transform a travel experience from cold to cool and travel look from bedhead to drop dead chic.
The temptation to bring stylish heels and wedges may be high, but comfortable and durable flats will come in handy for walking tours and wandering museums, or just strolling along cobblestone streets in some of the world’s most famous cities. Cobblestone and heels do not mix, but you don’t have to sacrifice style for substance. TOMS offers notoriously comfortable slip-ons, sandals, and ballet flats in a range of adorable prints. Pair these sensible shoes with a crossbody handbag featuring inconspicuous pockets to keep your money and identification close, and with enough room to tote around any beauty essentials like sunscreen and lip balm.