8 Smart Packing Tips For Your Next Weekend Getaway

By Diana Clarke··  6 min read
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8 Smart Packing Tips For Your Next Weekend Getaway

Do you find packing stressful? It doesn’t have to be.

Packing for a weekend getaway can be tricky. You don’t want to overpack, but you also don’t want to show up unprepared. You would hate to show up without something you need or be dressed inappropriately for an event. I used to get overwhelmed packing for a weekend, but I’ve learned some tricks for a better packing process. Here are some ways to pack for a weekend getaway that’ll allow you to make the most of your time away from home. 

1. Make a List of the Essentials

The last thing you want when packing for a trip is to forget something you need. The solution? Make a list of items you can’t go without. This might include toiletries, medication, or socks and underwear. Write it down and keep it so you can reference it for future trips. 

Think about your destination. You might not want to forget your favorite perfume or party dress if you’re going to a friend's house. But you definitely don’t want to forget a toothbrush if you’re going camping. Your wallet, ID, and passport are a few other items you might not want to forget. 

If you frequently spend weekends away, you should have some essential items that never leave your suitcase.

If you frequently spend weekends away, you should have some essential items that never leave your suitcase. Keeping items in your suitcase and making a list of essentials guarantee you will never forget something you need. 

2. Understand Your Destination

You need to consider where you’re going before packing your suitcase. There’s nothing worse than feeling underdressed for an event. And yes, there is such a thing as being overdressed. You wouldn’t want to pack sneakers for the beach or your Sunday best for a backyard barbeque. Understand your destination and come prepared. When in doubt, pack a formal outfit and a more casual outfit, just in case. 

Being prepared for the weather is just as important, so don’t forget to check the weather forecast for where you’ll be visiting. If you know you’ll be spending time outdoors, rain or shine, then bring a rain jacket to stay dry and a hat to protect your skin from the sun. If you think you might get chilly at night, pack an extra sweater or a blanket scarf. Knowing where you’re going and what you’ll be doing will help your packing process.

3. Plan Your Outfits in Advance

Planning is the common theme here. There’s nothing that makes packing easier than planning your outfits in advance. Not only does this help you get ready quickly to get the most out of your vacation, but it will keep you from packing clothing that you don’t need. 

Since you’ve already considered your destination, it shouldn’t be difficult to plan your outfits accordingly. If there’s a chance you’ll be going to a fancy restaurant for dinner, plan a formal outfit. Going to a more casual getaway? Plan a sporty outfit. Then, choose your accessories accordingly. Bring a couple of standard pieces of jewelry and pack a neutral purse that can go with anything. 

Bonus Tip: Pack one-pieces like dresses, rompers, or jumpsuits. That way, it's one less thing to pack and you never have to worry about matching your top to your bottom.

4. Bring Something Comfy

It’s a good idea to wear something comfortable, whether it’s for a long car ride or a Sunday morning spent lounging. But being comfortable doesn’t mean you have to wear pajamas to the airport. 

There are lots of cute pieces that allow you to be comfortable without looking frumpy. Joggers are a great option for looking cute and classy while staying comfy. Pair these with a basic tee, sneakers, and some accessories to complete the look.

5. Use Travel-Sized Items

Keeping an inventory of travel-sized items can make your packing experience that much smoother. Next time you get an order from Sephora with a plethora of sample-sized products – save them! They’re perfect for travel. Or you can purchase travel-sized toiletries to lighten up your suitcase. There’s no reason to bring your entire bottle of face wash when you’re only going away for a weekend. 

Keep an inventory of travel-sized toiletries to lighten up your suitcase.

Can’t go a day without a certain product? Buy travel-sized bottles that you can fill up with your favorite volumizing shampoo or hydrating conditioner. This trick helps you pack smaller and lighter. 

6. Come Prepared

Nothing causes more stress than being unprepared. There will always be a couple of things that will never cross your mind while packing that you’ll kick yourself for forgetting. Going somewhere warm but spending time outdoors? Bring a cardigan or a light jacket for chilly evenings.

If you’re spending the weekend as a guest in someone’s home, don’t show up empty handed. It’s as easy as bringing a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or better yet, something homemade. It doesn’t have to be much, but bringing a little something is a great way to thank your host. 

There’s a fine line between being prepared and overpacking. It’s ridiculous to bring double the amount of outfits, but it’s not a bad idea to bring an extra shirt just in case there’s a mishap. 

7. Don’t Overpack

There’s nothing classy about struggling to carry all of your items, or looking like you packed for three months when you’re only going away for three days. People backpack Europe with a small bag and the shirt on their back. There’s no need to overpack when you’re only gone for a weekend. Maybe your drawers are overflowing with makeup, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pack it all. Add the most important items to your list of essentials and pack for a simple look that can fit in a small bag. I know you can go one weekend without contour or falsies. 

Make sure you can fit everything you need in one suitcase.

When you’re packing, ask yourself, Do I really need this item? It’s not a bad idea to have an outfit Plan B, but a Plan C or D is a bit excessive. 

8. Choose the Right Bag

Choosing the right bag is essential. If your bag is too small or the zipper is on its last legs, you might run into trouble. Make sure you can fit everything you need in one suitcase. It’s better to have a larger suitcase with everything you need than multiple smaller bags that you can barely handle. Think about where you’re going. If you’re going to the airport, you might want a suitcase on wheels. If not, a backpack might do. A carry-on size suitcase and a crossbody are likely the best options for your weekend getaway. 

Closing Thoughts

Traveling should be fun and carefree, not difficult and anxiety-inducing. You’ll enjoy your weekend more if you have your packing down to a science. Worse comes to worst, you forget something. No biggie, you’re only gone for a weekend! 

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