Asian man on bed with passport and luggage

Men like to pack light. You typically toss in your usual toiletries, double-check if you have your charger, and prepare just enough clothes to wear for each day of your trip – maybe fewer. But just because you have a small travel bag does not mean you should neglect your essentials.

Here are some tips to maximize your travel bag without forgetting any important stuff.

Have a Checklist

Unless you’re one of those totally chill, spontaneous people, you must have an itinerary. Are you surfing? Swimming? Sightseeing? Is the weather freezing or warm? Have a checklist of what you need against what you plan on doing. Seeing everything written down leaves you little room to forget travel essentials and can help you narrow things down if you have excess baggage. Like, do you really need that extra jacket?

Research the Location

What kind of place did you book? Most hotels offer complimentary towel use and basic toiletries. However, not all Airbnbs carry that same level of luxury. Some resorts even give away free flip-flops. Must you or can you rent in the area?

Knowing what amenities are already available can help you streamline what to put in your travel bag.

Use Portables

Unless you’re going on a long-term trip – in which you shouldn’t really pack light – use portables, convertibles, and collapsible items. These save a lot of luggage room. Think inflatable neck pillows, collapsible tumblers, travel-sized shampoos, and multipurpose chargers. Compact and lightweight are terms that you must stamp in your mind. From foldable kettles to mini humidifiers, it’s amazing what objects have been scaled down for commuting these days.

Fix Your Packing Technique

Do you just throw everything in your pack? Your travel bag isn’t the same as your closet, so you shouldn’t attempt that fold-and-stack trick. If you have different kinds of stuff, pack them in squares. Use packing cubes to organize and separate your things. If you use a duffel bag, fold then roll your clothes. This method saves space and prevents wrinkling.

For suits or more delicate clothing, bring a proper garment bag. You’re not an animal.

Follow the 1-2-3-4-5-6 Rule

That’s one hat, two pairs of shoes, three bottoms, four shirts, and six pairs of underwear. Make the most of these items by choosing quick-drying fabrics, multipurpose garments (like swim shorts that you can wear to a hike, too), and neutral colors (in case you’re worried about being an outfit repeater on the ‘gram).

If you’re more concerned about packing light than anything else, you can also do your laundry during vacation.

Have Non-Negotiables

Sometimes, you just got to have standards. Not everyone can sleep in hotel sheets or use generic toothpaste. Pack a bottle of LIFEBUOY Antibacterial Bodywash Total 10 everywhere you go. It has Activ Silver, a germ-fighting ingredient that can clean and protect you no matter what  you find yourself in.

Also, don’t forget POND'S Men Facial Wash Acne Solution. After all, very rarely do hotels offer a separate type of  – and at this point, you know that the skin on your body isn’t quite the same as the one on your face.

Packing light is a skill. You have to be able to strip down to the bare essentials and choose which shirts you just can’t leave without. When it comes to picking what goes into your travel bag, remember to pack smart.