Goodbye, packing grief.
In 2014, former engineers and management consultants joined forces to solve a shared pain point — the stress of packing.
“[We] got frustrated with how long it took to pack the right thing every time [we] traveled,” co-founder Chubi Nwagbara told Travel + Leisure.
The result is TheVane — a free app and website that helps people determine precisely what they need for their next trip.
“TheVane was built to give both practical recommendations, as well as inspiration for trips, allowing travelers to shop any items they like or are missing.”
How it Works
For my recent trip to Jamaica, for example, TheVane took into account the specifics of my itinerary — my travel dates, plans to hike and to hang out at the beach — as well as my personal style preferences to create a complete packing list.
The recommendations were surprisingly thorough: not only was I reminded to bring a passport and sunscreen (in addition to breezy dresses and tank tops), but TheVane also knew hikers might want a first aid kit, non-cotton socks, a compass and — of course — trail mix.
Not everything on the list was necessary. For the kind of light day hikes I was planning, I had no need for the tent or sleeping bag. And Jamaica’s outlets are the same as U.S. outlets, making a plug converter and electrical adapter unnecessary.
You can adjust the suggested packing list until it’s perfect for your trip (I ditched the swim goggles and scaled up my dress count from 3 to 5), and then check off items as you pack.
If you realize you haven’t purchased a swimsuit in a few years — guilty — you can click straight through to see TheVane’s fashion recommendations. In this case, a selection of black-and-white, stylish one-pieces.
It’s not just packing suggestions that make TheVane something of a game-changer in a surprisingly untouched space.
The “secret sauce,” Nwagbara told T+L, is the software’s ability to consider “gender, age, weather, purpose of travel, dates of travel, and destinations — automatically curating the packing recommendations to each traveler,” rather than spitting out a generic list.
And the fully shoppable app lets you instantly purchase an item you’re missing for your next trip (like a great swimsuit). You can even have it delivered to your destination, thereby saving room in your suitcase for all your shopping abroad.