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Planning day trips and other short getaways is a great way to feel optimistic and generally psyched about the immediate future. No matter the season, the weekend excursion is the new norm, whether your destination is a luxe vacation rental, a rustic cabin in the woods or any place that provides a much-needed change of scenery. I like to think of these trips as anything or anywhere that is different from the world I inhabit during the week. While most people know what to pack for a jaunt like this, the challenge is what to pack it in.

Enter the classic weekender. This bag carries a huge responsibility. It needs to be large enough to fit a few days’ worth of necessities, flexible enough for the car trunk or overhead compartment, and stylish enough to throw over the shoulder. Practical, versatile and dapper, weekenders come in all manner of styles, colors and materials to suit everyone’s needs.

Photography by Victoria Campbell

So what should you look for in a weekender? You want something roomy yet not cumbersome. Although it’s hard to beat a beloved timeworn duffel, newer models offer handy features like lined shoe compartments, multiple thoughtfully designed zippered pockets, and a variety of straps, from shoulder to crossbody. Interior organizers help conquer clutter. My favorite solution is the multi-functional packing cube storage system from Paravel. Add a monogram, and your organization suddenly feels utterly elegant.

Carrying a weekender signals a casual class and gives you a timeless look. Globetrotters have been toting the same soft-sided luggage since the days of cross-continental rail travel. With its combination of style and functionality, the weekender may just become your ultimate travel companion. 

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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