Packing it all in

Few families in golf put on more miles than the Ginellas. They share some of their favorite tips and items to bring along.
Combining golf and family travel adds up the luggage.

Coming off 14 straight weeks on the road, which included trips to Ireland, Canada (twice), Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Kohler, Sandestin, Sea Island, Central Oregon, Turning Stone, Forest Dunes, Bandon Dunes and the Bahamas, my wife and I decided to pen some packing tips for the avid traveler or traveling family. Baby Bandon, 2, has already been on over 180 flights to 31 states and four countries.

My wife, Katie, has been on all of those trips and then some. And so, here are some tips from our journeys:

HE SAID

The first thing I do, in order to be efficient with space, is script color-themed outfits around one pair of pants or shorts. In this case, there’s one pair of blue pants that can go with five different golf shirts.

Versatile pants that fit a variety of colored tops are essential for space-saving.

SHE SAID

This is one pair of jeans that can go with three different tops and one pair of shoes. I plan out each outfit to ensure I don’t overpack. These days Bandon and I share a suitcase, so inefficiency isn’t an option.

A versatile and comfortable pair of jeans can help save space in the suitcase.

HE SAID

I have a few absolutes for any trip, and it always starts with a hoodie and headphones. I don’t leave without either one. They both go in the backpack and are critical components to any flight, which can be both cold and loud.

Airplane essentials: Headphones for noise and a hoodie for comfort and warmth.

SHE SAID

In case I get a chance to play a quick nine with Matt or need a golf-specific outfit, I always pack something that works for both warm and cool climates. This is a Foray Golf outfit which serves the purpose of both stylish and functional while not feeling like I’m in a costume.

Grey mark core bomber, white pique polo and new floral winter skirt from Foray.

HE SAID

Another must is club protection. In this case, a BagBoy Backbone, which collapses and extends to be a little longer than your longest club in the bag. Club Glove makes a Stiff Arm. Some people just cut a broom stick. Regardless, they’re critical to the lifespan of your sticks.

The Bag Boy Backbone helps keeps clubs safe when traveling.

SHE SAID

One of the MVPs of any trip we take with the baby is a lightweight foldable and reclining stroller. I highly recommend “GB Pockit” and “YoYo” (pictured). Both collapse to the size of a carry-on and fit in overhead compartments.

The YoYo stroller collapses to the size of a carry-on for the plane.

HE SAID

I’m a shoe freak. I hate not having the right pair of shoes for any specific situation. TrueLinks True Knits are ideal for almost anything on and off the course. They’re especially comfortable and easy for travel. They’re like socks with soft spikes. I almost always bring them in white, black and blue. (They’re not great in the rain.) If the trip is going to require something more dressy or durable, I’ve recently discovered Royal Albatross, which I also like a lot. Again, they can be used on and off the course, with jeans and a jacket.

SHE SAID

When Baby B is with us, and if we can’t bring a pack-n-play, I call ahead to the hotel to make sure there’s one available. A mini refrigerator is also important, especially when he was little. I needed it for bottles of milk, water, juice and fruit. That being said, and if you’re in a pinch, we’ve utilized our biggest OGIO travel bag as a makeshift crib. Note the three “lovies” in this pic. NEVER get caught on the road with a lost lovie. Always bring a backup. Or two.

HE SAID

There’s nothing better or more important than a trusty sweater that can be used both on the course for early mornings, and off the course for late nights.

Sweaters are essential for cool nights or possibly golf, too.

SHE SAID

When Matt is working or playing golf, my priority is something fun and stimulating for the baby. I seek out playgrounds, aquariums, zoos and children’s museums. A few of my favorites: Monterey Bay Aquarium (get there right when it opens), the Dublin Zoo (pictured), the Children’s Museum in Houston is amazing, and there’s not much that can compete with Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield, Mo.

The Dublin Zoo isn't far from Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Intelligently and elegantly designed golf apparel for women. Water resistant. Highest quality. Shop styles now.


HE SAID

As for hats, I always bring at least three. And like shoes, I bring a blue, black and in this case, a gray.

Bringing hats of varying colors and styles will help prevent clashing headwear with clothing.

SHE SAID

Sometimes we’re on the road for more than a week, and considering we’re always trying to pack efficiently, sometimes I need laundry service as backup. Hotel laundry services are so expensive, very rarely have a quick turnaround and most of the time it comes back a size smaller. I Google a local laundry service, which has ratings and reviews.

HE SAID

For whatever reason, I’ve had at least three rangefinders go missing recently. As you know by now, airlines go through every one of your golf travel bags. One thing that’s easy to steal is a rangefinder. I strongly encourage you to take those out of your golf bag and pack them in your regular luggage or even your carry on. (Not pictured because they’ve all been stolen.)

SHE SAID

Ladies, if you’re looking for a good gift to contribute to your husband’s annual buddies trip, call Akbar at Seamus Golf. He always hooks me up with something special and unique that he personalizes with the logo Matt uses for his Uncle Tony Invitational. In this case, a dopp kit that was a big hit.

Customized Dopp Kitt from Seamus Golf.

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Matt Ginella is Golf Advisor's Editor-at-Large and host of Golf Advisor Round Trip travel series on Golf Channel. Matt serves as resident buddy trip expert and captains a collection of VIP trips called Golf Advisor Getaways.
Follow Katie on Instagram@Katie.Ginella
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Impressive and helpful packing tips . I now personally invite Matt and Katie to come to Kenya and enjoy Golf , Beach and Safari.

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Packing it all in