The Importance Of A Weekend Go-Bag and What to Put in It


I’m famous for declining invites due to a lack of prep time. “Please notify me further in advance,” is often the last thing I say to people before they cut me out of their life completely. One might put the validity of this excuse to the test by imploring me to keep a bag or backpack loosely packed in my closet at all times. A “go-bag” of sorts.

I almost wouldn’t have believed this was a Thing (capital T) if it wasn’t unanimously corroborated by the jet-setting (train-setting?), beach-going, weekend-loving women on Man Repeller’s editorial team. They teach me a lot about how to be a person who has fun on the east coast. Here is what I understand about a weekend go-bag:

-It’s for last-minute summer invites for a day, weekend or road trip away.

-It sits in your closet, packed, like a first aid kit, awaiting its moment to save you.

-In that sense it’s loyal. Like a lap dog.

-I wish it was an actual lap dog.

-It’s the forgiving and free-wheeling real-life response to the question: “What would you bring on a desert island?”

-But there are no rules!

-And of course: I should have one. You know, for when the invites start pouring in.

To the latter point, I asked Leandra, Amelia, and our editor-at-large Verena to give me a peek into the contents of their go-bags so I can build my own. It was enlightening and a little bit of a mental vacation. Here is what they said:

Leandra Medine

“My go-bag is for weekend trips to my parents’ place out east or Abie’s parents’ place on the Jersey shore. I often anticipate needing to wear nothing but a bathing suit and my bare toes at either and get really pissed off when I need to use the sweater. Also, I wear a dress on my way and throw everything else into my beach bag.”

+Red, black and gold sarong that never fails me
+One-piece bathing suit that I often wear with said sarong, but that also matches everything else
+Makeup bag with: toothbrush, tinted moisturizer with SPF, chapstick and facewash
+Baseball cap
+Pair of slides
+Sweatshirt/lightweight knit

Verena von Pfetten

“My go-bag is purely a beach go-bag, not a weekend go-bag. I love the beach go-bag because if someone texts me at, like, 10 a.m. and says, ‘Want to catch the 10:15 ferry?’ I don’t have to scramble or say, ‘Ughhhh I’ll never make it!’ Because I am READY. All of this lives in a vintage Boy Scout backpack from the ’50s that is sized for a 7-year-old boy and therefore too small for everyday use but perfect for the beach. Also, it leaves my hands free for buying beers and food on the boardwalk.”

+Turkish towel that folds up so tiny it takes up almost no room
+Big bottle of body SPF, little bottle of face SPF (I use two different kinds)
+Red lipstick (I have 928374928732 so i basically have one in every bag / pocket / storing facility)
+Light chambray button down that at this point smells so permanently like sunscreen I can’t wear it anywhere but the beach
+Bandana/light scarf so my hair looks *chic*
+However many half-read and half-crossword-ed New Yorkers, NY mags and NYT Magazines are still in there from my last excursion to the beach.

Amelia Diamond

“My go-bag is for weekends away. And I have it so that I only have to pack, like, one new outfit and then LEAVE the house because I’m always always always late to catch trains and never give myself time to pack. I also factor in that what I’m wearing when I’m leaving will play a role in my outfits that weekend.”

+Tooth brush
+Mini dry shampoo (by Klorane)
+Mini hair brush, hair ties
+Contact solution, contact case for contacts
+Contact case: left side = foundation, right side = highlighter
+A sheer lipstick that acts as lipstick and blush
+I always replenish the underwear
+Last year’s swimsuit (this is just security in case I forget to pack a new one)
+Just-in-case tan underwear and just-in-case strapless bra
+Jean shorts
+American Apparel skin tight tank dress (have them in every color)
+This pair of wedges that are only beach town appropriate and could never see the light of night in Manhattan but they are comfy and can endure bar juice without me ever having to care

Okay, now tell me: what’s slithering into your go-bag, real or hypothetical?


Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; creative direction by Emily Zirimis.


Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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