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D.C., Here's Your Ultimate Pre-Vacation Shopping Itinerary

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Vacationers and travelers often fall into two camps. There are the folks who love planning every single aspect of a trip out to the nth degree before they leave. They gather maps, assemble first aid kits and snack packs, and leave their suitcases by the door a week in advance. Then there are the people who realize at 11 p.m. the night before their plane leaves that they should probably start packing.

If you are in the first camp, you will love this map, featuring 14 stores in the Washington area to visit to help you get ready for any trip, from trips home for Thanksgiving or jaunts abroad. There are luggage stores, bookstores, hostess gift stores, and places to score toiletries and new headphones. And maybe the rest of us can learn a thing or two from your example. Keep reading for stores to hit pre-trip for your best — and most organized — vacation ever.


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1. Bluemercury

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7105 Bethesda Ln
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-0070
Visit Website
Pack light with travel-size goodies from brands like Fresh, Molton Brown, La Mer, and Trish McEvoy from beauty boutique Bluemercury, which has two locations in Bethesda, and additional stores in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Farragut North, Clarendon, Alexandria, and Fairfax. [Photo]

2. TW Luggage & Leather

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5300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 237-8949
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Since 1990, Washingtonians have visited local shop TW Luggage & Leather for carry-ons, briefcases, computer cases, and more. [Photo]

3. Politics & Prose Bookstore and Modern Times Coffeehouse

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5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-1919
Visit Website
For travel reading material, browse the staff picks section at Politics & Prose instead of settling for a bestseller at the airport book store. [Photo]

4. The Container Store

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4500 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 478-4000
Visit Website
Become the most organized traveler ever at The Container Store, which stocks spill-proof airplane shampoo bottles, jewelry organizers, digital luggage scales, and other things you never thought of but will clearly make your life better. Photo]

5. Deja Vu Audio

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1401 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 734-9391
Visit Website
Upgrade from Apple earbuds with Grado Prestige earphones, sold at McLean's Deja Vu Audio. Designed for studio musicians and true audiophiles, the base SR60i model retails for $80 at Deja Vu. [Photo]

6. Target

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3100 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 777-3773
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Going overseas? Target's travel section includes money belts and power adapters. [Photo]

7. Wise Owl Club

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2010 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 705-9425
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Fill a Dopp kit with manly/hipster-y apothecary items from local brand Mutiny DC at Wise Owl Club barber shop. [Photo]

8. Tabletop

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1608 20th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-7117
Visit Website
At Tabletop, handmade $16 Wolfum luggage tags will prevent any baggage carousel mixups. While you're here, this is the perfect place for a hostess gift or a fancy glass Classic Cap water bottle for your travels. [Photo: Adele Chapin]

9. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

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1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 387-1400
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The travel section at local favorite Kramerbooks is truly inspiring. [Photo]

10. Sterling & Burke Ltd

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2824 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 333-2266
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In need of luggage that will really impress, as in a $2,015 Globe-Trotter trunk-inspired aqua suitcase? Sterling & Burke carries very pricey, very prestigious British brands. [Photo]

11. The Tumi Store

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1246 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 298-6670
Visit Website
Tumi's been in the news as the first confirmed retailer at CityCenterDC. Until that shop opens, shop for high-end luggage at Tumi stores in Georgetown, Tysons Galleria, Montgomery Mall or the Fashion Centre At Pentagon City. [Photo: Adele Chapin]

12. CorePower Yoga

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1025 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-9642
Get cozy for a long trip with comfy loungewear from Alternative Apparel, available at Corepower Yoga's boutique in Georgetown. [Photo: Adele Chapin]

13. Steven Alan

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3319 Cadys Aly NW Ste A
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-0250
Visit Website
Really simple, really beautiful totes are in stock at Steven Alan in Georgetown, from Filson duffles for dudes and Baggu and Clare Vivier weekenders for ladies. [Photo: R. Lopez]

14. E-Z Travel Solutions at Union Station

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50 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 216-9177
Visit Website
At Union Station, grab luggage, neck pillows, electronics, and last-minute travel necessities before hopping on a train or bus. [Photo: Adele Chapin]

1. Bluemercury

7105 Bethesda Ln, Bethesda, MD 20814
Pack light with travel-size goodies from brands like Fresh, Molton Brown, La Mer, and Trish McEvoy from beauty boutique Bluemercury, which has two locations in Bethesda, and additional stores in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Farragut North, Clarendon, Alexandria, and Fairfax. [Photo]
7105 Bethesda Ln
Bethesda, MD 20814

2. TW Luggage & Leather

5300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015
Since 1990, Washingtonians have visited local shop TW Luggage & Leather for carry-ons, briefcases, computer cases, and more. [Photo]
5300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015

3. Politics & Prose Bookstore and Modern Times Coffeehouse

5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
For travel reading material, browse the staff picks section at Politics & Prose instead of settling for a bestseller at the airport book store. [Photo]
5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

4. The Container Store

4500 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Become the most organized traveler ever at The Container Store, which stocks spill-proof airplane shampoo bottles, jewelry organizers, digital luggage scales, and other things you never thought of but will clearly make your life better. Photo]
4500 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

5. Deja Vu Audio

1401 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22102
Upgrade from Apple earbuds with Grado Prestige earphones, sold at McLean's Deja Vu Audio. Designed for studio musicians and true audiophiles, the base SR60i model retails for $80 at Deja Vu. [Photo]
1401 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22102

6. Target

3100 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
Going overseas? Target's travel section includes money belts and power adapters. [Photo]
3100 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010

7. Wise Owl Club

2010 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Fill a Dopp kit with manly/hipster-y apothecary items from local brand Mutiny DC at Wise Owl Club barber shop. [Photo]
2010 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

8. Tabletop

1608 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
At Tabletop, handmade $16 Wolfum luggage tags will prevent any baggage carousel mixups. While you're here, this is the perfect place for a hostess gift or a fancy glass Classic Cap water bottle for your travels. [Photo: Adele Chapin]
1608 20th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

9. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

1517 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
The travel section at local favorite Kramerbooks is truly inspiring. [Photo]
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

10. Sterling & Burke Ltd

2824 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
In need of luggage that will really impress, as in a $2,015 Globe-Trotter trunk-inspired aqua suitcase? Sterling & Burke carries very pricey, very prestigious British brands. [Photo]
2824 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

11. The Tumi Store

1246 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20007
Tumi's been in the news as the first confirmed retailer at CityCenterDC. Until that shop opens, shop for high-end luggage at Tumi stores in Georgetown, Tysons Galleria, Montgomery Mall or the Fashion Centre At Pentagon City. [Photo: Adele Chapin]
1246 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007

12. CorePower Yoga

1025 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Get cozy for a long trip with comfy loungewear from Alternative Apparel, available at Corepower Yoga's boutique in Georgetown. [Photo: Adele Chapin]
1025 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007

13. Steven Alan

3319 Cadys Aly NW Ste A, Washington, DC 20007
Really simple, really beautiful totes are in stock at Steven Alan in Georgetown, from Filson duffles for dudes and Baggu and Clare Vivier weekenders for ladies. [Photo: R. Lopez]
3319 Cadys Aly NW Ste A
Washington, DC 20007

14. E-Z Travel Solutions at Union Station

50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
At Union Station, grab luggage, neck pillows, electronics, and last-minute travel necessities before hopping on a train or bus. [Photo: Adele Chapin]
50 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002