If you have just 10 minutes to gather your bag for travel, chaos and pandemonium can set in, leaving you with a bag filled with unnecessary items and devoid of forgotten essentials. By having a go bag at the ready, you can truly be out of the door for unplanned travels in less than 60 seconds. Even if you aren’t Jason Bourne, a go bag is an essential piece in one’s closet — it’s a bag that’s ready to head right out of the door with you and everything you might need packed neatly inside. Whether you frequently travel for business or just want to be ready for spontaneous trips, here’s what you’ll need to prepare your go bag.

A Small, Lightweight Bag

If you want to have a go bag, the bag itself must be practical for spontaneous travel and emergencies. Now is not the time for heavy, bulky luggage. You’ll need something that is no larger than carry-on size and also small and lightweight. By definition, a go bag means you never know what you will be doing and where you will be going. You need to be as mobile as possible so a duffel or backpack is always one of the best choices.

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Image via Shutterstock

First Aid and Medical Kit

For unexpected travel, you don’t want to be caught without essential medications or a first aid kit. Every respectable go bag has any prescriptions that you might be taking or quick-fix bandages for any situation you might have on the road.

Need more tips on how to travel light? Check out our guide to packing your life in a carry-on!

 Assemble a mini medical kit filled with band-aids, neosporin, ibuprofin, and any other things you think you might need to take care of a minor injury. Just as you need to have the proper medicine with you when you travel, a go bag should be stocked with these items when you have to take off in a moment’s notice.

Three Days of Interchangeable, Layered Clothing

One of the hardest tasks for packing a go bag can come down to clothing. The key is to have three days of clothing packed and ready to go. These items should be neutral in color and interchangeable, meaning they can be worn different ways and in different combinations. In case your travels go beyond three days, 3 bottoms and 3 tops can yield 9 different outfits if everything goes together. Go bag clothing should also be comprised of fabrics that don’t wrinkle so that you can have them packed away, ready to go at any time.

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

A Cell Phone Charger

If you have acquired a few phones over the years, chances are you have a few extra cell phone chargers lying around. One of these should be in your go bag. When you are in a hurry, whether it’s for an emergency or that unplanned business trip, the first thing you often forget is your cell phone charger, which is cleverly hiding away in a corner outlet. Toss in an extra charger you have around the house to complete your go bag and keep you connected.

Travel-Sized Toiletries

Even if you don’t have a go bag assembled at all times, it’s always a good idea to have a toiletry bag at the ready. Sorting through toiletries for travel can take up a lot of time when you are packing. If you have an extra toiletry bag, fill it with travel-sized toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, shampoo and deodorant. Having these essential toiletries ready in your bag means you don’t have to take extra time to gather these products when you have to take off. Be sure that your liquid toiletries in your go bag don’t exceed 3 ounces, just in case you have to fly!

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

Granola/Protein Bars

You might be jetsetting off to somewhere glamorous where the last thing you think you’ll need is a protein bar, but a go bag should always be stocked with something to eat. From flight delays to actual natural disasters, you won’t want to be caught without something to snack on or get you through a difficult situation.

Do you have a go bag ready for travel? Share what’s in your go bag in the comments below!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.