Staff Picks

What To Pack For A Weekend Away

The essentials the MR PORTER team can’t leave without this spring

As we step into spring proper, and the days get brighter and longer, it is inevitable that our thoughts turn to holidays. Is there any better time to escape for a long weekend than in early spring? Plus, psychological studies show that using your vacation allowance for frequent long weekends makes you happier than splurging it all on one long trip – so, what’s stopping you?

Knowing what to pack for a quick getaway can be difficult, but don’t worry, the travel aficionados at MR PORTER are on hand to help. So, wherever you are planning on visiting, we have all the short-haul essentials you’ll need.

If there is something worse than arriving in a new city and being confronted by a cobbled street, I’d like to hear about it. It renders that handy case on wheels as useless as a chocolate teapot, which is why I make sure I can fit everything into a backpack – this appliquéd camouflage-print twill number from Saint Laurent is easy on the eye and the perfect size for my restrained packing. To protect my eyes from the glare of the Parisian sun – fingers crossed, anyway – I will be investing in a pair of these round-frame acetate sunglasses from Gucci and to prevent unsightly perspiration as I go from restaurant to wine bar and back again, I intend to invest in this camp-collar floral-print voile shirt from Saint Laurent.

Whenever I have the chance, I escape London for a warmer city – this time, it’s Miami. This Dries Van Noten shirt is smart enough to wear out to dinner, but also causal enough to wear on the beach with swim shorts. Mulberry’s leather holdall is my durable, and sleek, choice for all weekend getaways. The padlock and key are a nice touch and ensure nobody runs off with your valuables. It’s easy to forget that you can still get burnt while exploring city streets, but this Hampton Sun sunscreen doubles as a moisturiser, so apply after washing your face and you’ll be good to go for the day.

Prada’s Safiano-leather-trimmed quilted backpack is lightweight and durable. It’s a carry-everything carry-on for long weekends away. A denim jacket, in my opinion, is the spring travel essential. This Rag & Bone selvedge denim jacket will not only keep me warm if the Barcelona sun fails, it also goes with almost anything, and is surprisingly hardy. I was blown away by the picture quality of this GoPro camera and it's remarkably easy to edit the photos and videos you make when travelling. I’m hooked.

This year, I’m going to spend the Easter weekend in Lisbon. I gather it’s a bit hilly. I don’t travel with a porter, despite working at MR PORTER, and so rather than drag my wheeled suitcase up a series of near-vertical cobblestone streets, I suppose I’m just going to have to pack light. This Maison Margiela holdall should be more than adequate for four days. As for what I’ll be putting in it, well, “not much” is the quick answer. But I’ll certainly find room for this camp-collar printed shirt from Prada, and this travel kit from Malin + Goetz. You never can trust hotel freebies.

Weekend travel requires sensible packing. You don’t want to waste precious hours at baggage reclaim. Nor do you want your assiduously filled carry-on wrenched from your grasp as you board the plane because there’s no more room in the overhead lockers. So, lesson one is use a backpack such as this Loewe one in leather. Lesson two is opt for dual-purpose items such as this blazer/cardie from Lanvin. The French brand has a knack for producing menswear that hits the sweet spot between smart and casual, so ideal for a weekend in Madrid or Milan, the cities I’m off to this spring, which are already warming up but remain cool in the evenings. Lesson three is don’t forget your sunnies (my new pair are these yellow ones from Cutler And Gross). Just because it’s raining in London or snowing in New York, doesn’t mean summer hasn’t started early elsewhere in the world.

On a weekend away, I’m very much about the “away” part – which is why I like this convertible bag from Master-Piece. Of course, once you’ve reached your destination (mine is Berlin), you can whack out some colours. How about this warm yellow dégradé shirt from Japanese brand Remi Relief. Is it or is it not a glass full of sunshine? Exactly. For the actual sunshine – wishful thinking at its finest here – I’ll be bringing along these shades from Barton Perreira, which I already own and love so much that I have actually managed not to lose them for… what must be… nine months now. A personal record.

My birthday is approaching and this year I am going to celebrate it in Reykjavik. I will be packing this Nemen hooded windbreaker into my faithful Globe-Trotter suitcase, because it is full of pockets to put my wallet, iPhone, map, keys and water in. I will be spending the big day at the Blue Lagoon, so a cool water-resistant watch is an absolute must. Detailed with Gucci’s signature tiger, this sporty Dive watch has a precise Swiss-made quartz movement housed in a stainless-steel case. So, it’s til hamingju með afmælið to me (that’s happy birthday in Icelandic, by the way).