How to pack for a weekend trip

Sometimes, packing for a weekend getaway is harder than packing for a long trip. In most cases, you might end up under-packing therefore, leaving behind essential items. For a weekend getaway, you want to pack enough clothes without carrying an entire wardrobe. This can be difficult to decide. However, the trick is to pack smart, not light. For instance, pack sandals that can double up as slippers. Here are some essentials for a weekend getaway.

  1. Perfume/cologne

Just because you’re leaving for a few days doesn’t mean you should forgo your signature scent. If you have a bulky perfume, buy the travel size and keep it in your toiletry bag. Additionally, if you’re travelling by air, here’s how to carry your perfume.

  1. A Jacket

One jacket is enough for those late nights by the balcony or at an outdoor event. Even if you’re going to a hot area, the weather gets cold during the night and you’ll need a jacket. Depending on where you are you could wear a light jacket or something heavy like a leather jacket. How to pack for a weekend triphttp://www.shirokane-chintai.com/be-edgy-lina-leather-jacket-black-women-leather-jacketsedgy-denim-jacketslow-price-guarantee-p-180.html

  1. White T-shirt/Shirt

Whether you prefer a button down or a plain white t-shirt, this is a weekend getaway essential. It’s a versatile piece of clothing and looks good with anything you wear. You can wear it as a formal or casual look. Here are 10 Ways To Style Your Plain White T-ShirtHow to pack for a weekend tripwoman wearing a cropped white t-shirt and pants image from http://www.instylebeads.com/how-to-wear-oversized-tshirts/

  1. Sundress

Come rain or shine, a sundress is a flirty must-have outfit for a weekend getaway. You can lounge in the hotel or go out for a nice lunch with it. It’s also comfortable and gives you a break from your office clothes. How to pack for a weekend tripPacked suitcase image from https://deborahadeojo.com/2016/08/17/lighten-your-luggage/

  1. Swimsuit

Chances are, there will be a pool wherever you decide to take your weekend getaway. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit even if you don’t plan on taking a swim. You can lounge by the poolside and get a quick tan.

  1. Sunglasses

This is another staple for any trip, including a weekend getaway. It’s important to protect your eyes when you’re going outdoors. Sunglasses also add some style to a simple outfit and are, generally, a great accessory. Check out 7 sunglasses Styles To Try For That Hot Look

How to pack for a weekend trippink tinted design image from https://www.shopatoneprice.com/product/womens-extreme-cat-eye-tinted-sunglasses/

  1. Lounge Clothes

A weekend getaway is essentially meant for lounging and unwinding. Therefore, the top of your packing list should be lounge clothes. You can pack some leggings, a baggy t-shirt, sweatpants. Make sure they are something you won’t regret being seen in.

  1. Sneakers/Sandals

For shoes, you need something comfortable that you can walk around in. If you prefer sneakers, here are 3 Sneakers You Need In Your Collection. if you’re a sandals kind of person, make sure they’re durable and stylish. You can also pack a pair of elegant shoes for the evening. How to pack for a weekend triphttp://www.scorpionshoes.co.uk

9. Jeans

You can pack a pair or two for your weekend getaway depending on your preference. Jeans hardly get dirty in the first wear so you can wear it twice. However, if you don’t have any other change of clothes, you can carry a second pair. How to pack for a weekend tripman in blue jeans and a white shirt image from https://fashionhance.com/trendy-ways-to-wear-denim

  1. A Book or movies

A weekend getaway might seem short but the day can drag itself if you don’t have anything to do. Bring a book that you’ve been meaning to read. Or download some movies on your tablet to watch later. Here are 14 Shows That Are Perfect For Binge Watching On Showmax

Pro-tip: Always have a toiletry bag readily packed to avoid forgetting any essentials. It should have a toothbrush, underwear, shower cap and travel size lotion.

Packing for a weekend away isn’t an exact science, but here are some tips to help pack for success.

Packing for a weekend away isn’t an exact science. I’m not going to tell you “bring two dresses and a pair of jeans.” So much depends on where you’re going, the weather, and your personal style. But I do have some tips I can offer to help you pack for success.

If I’m traveling, I’m usually working, so I have to bring my laptop. Once you know what you’ll actually need, you can start thinking about things you want to bring. Bottom line: Pack what makes you feel your best and what won’t hold you back from adventure.

Here are seven things to think about while you’re packing for your next weekend trip:

1. Keep calm and carry-on. If you remember your passport, credit cards, and medications you might need when you’re running around before a flight, you’re halfway to golden. Most everything else can be purchased later if left behind. But don’t you dare check a bag on a weekend getaway! Even if you’re not flying, you don’t want to be weighed down. That said, quality luggage is one of the most important investments a traveler can make. Luxury hotel inspector Tiffany Dowd and Erik Wilkinson, a director of sales for Eton of Sweden, both swear by Tumi. The Quintessential Tote is Dowd’s favorite because it’s “stylish and durable,” while Wilkinson prefers the International Carry-On, a bag he reports holds a surprisingly large amount of clothes. Dowd’s also a fan of the brand’s luggage recovery program which identifies your bag with a unique registration number.

2. Don’t underestimate the power of a plastic bag. I put everything from chargers to jewelry in plastic baggies. I also always keep a plastic bag filled with essential toiletries — like contact solution, lotion, and toothpaste — at the ready en route. Bigger plastic bags double as laundry hampers on short trips, but for those of you who want to class it up a bit, Wilkinson recommends trying Flight 001 Spacepaks. “You fold everything in on one side of the bag on your outbound journey and then your dirty clothes go on the other side on your return,” he said.

3. Accessories are your best friend. On a weekend trip, neutral color palates — tans, blacks, whites, grays — can maximize your options while keeping your carry-on, well, carry-able. Then, all you need is a fabulous selection of accessories to brighten and vary your look. “Great accessories are my secret,” Dowd said. “You can add a pop of color to a simple black dress with some vibrant Prada pumps, then change up your look by adding a long Chanel necklace and some high-heeled boots the next night.” I also love adding to my collection when I’m away: Picking up a scarf from a London shop or a bracelet from a market in Dubai remind me of my travels long after I’ve returned home.

4. Wear the same outfit on both flights. Picking out your “plane uniform” is important business, and can help you conserve valuable carry-on space. For instance, always wear your heaviest items, like winter coats and big boots, on the plane. Travelers often end up in quite a different clime when they disembark at their destination, and planes themselves can be chilly, so layering your clothing is always a good way to go.

5. To thine own self be true. Identify and embrace your must-haves. Confession: I own way too many black dresses — but they’re just so easy when traveling, and I don’t care how often someone sees me in one. So when I know I’ve packed a few of them, I feel at ease. And, since I have yet to come to terms with my Medusa-esque head of curls, I always bring a flat iron along with me. Wilkinson, on the other hand, subscribes to something he calls “the blazer effect.” “If there’s a better table to be had at the restaurant, I get it wearing the blazer,” he said. Same with hotel upgrades. “My wife and I laugh about it now because it happens so often.”

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When it comes to packing for a weekend trip, the contents of your suitcase (or backpack/duffel, if you’re flying Spirit) will depend on what you’re doing. But whether it’s a ski trip, a wedding, a thrilling outdoor adventure, or a beach getaway that dictates you pack mostly bathing suits, you’ll want to consult a list of all the items you could possibly want in your arsenal, and narrow it down accordingly.

Some things you can leave off your weekend packing list, however. This includes any toiletries you could go a couple of days without, especially in lieu of whatever the hotel has: shower toiletries and hair-styling tools included. Can you use the hotel blow dryer instead of your own? Probably. Can you go even further by forgoing shaving supplies for a couple of days? Not a bad idea—but it’s ultimately up to you, and what you will need once you’re in the destination.

Related:

Here’s what to think about bringing for your weekend getaway, and what to leave in order not to overpack, from toiletries to gadgets and beach necessities.

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip

Think about what you’re going to actually be doing and plan outfits for each day to narrow down your clothing needs. You can do the same with toiletries, electronics, and essentials: What will your few days away actually demand? Only bring those things.

Toiletries

Items that you might usually bring but can forget about for a few days include a first-aid kit, shaving supplies, your full-size makeup bag (maybe just put the essentials into a smaller sleeve) or bulky shaving kit, and the unnecessary bathroom items that you can get for free at the hotel, like moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, and a comb.

Aftersun/aloe and bug spray might also not be necessary—or could be available on-site wherever you’re staying. Because most weekend trips aren’t international, we’ve left off most medications and similar over-the-counter items you can easily buy if you end up needing them.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hair-styling products
  • Glasses and/or contact lenses/solution
  • Makeup/makeup remover/any other face necessities
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Medicines/birth control/vitamins you need daily
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen/lip balm with SPF
  • Disposable wipes

Shop Our Toiletries Packing List

Beach Gear

If you’re taking a beach trip, the packing gods rejoice: Most necessities are small and worth throwing in your bag. Just forget the bulky items like a beach umbrella, beach chairs, snorkel gear, and floatation devices (what hotel doesn’t have these nowadays?). Don’t bother with coolers or beach safes unless you’re driving, and towels can also probably be found at the resort. The only few things left to consider are:

  • Waterproof phone case
  • Portable speaker
  • Bathing suits
  • Cover-up
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Collapsible beach bag

Shop Our Beach Packing List on Amazon

Clothes/Accessories

If you’re not planning on heading to the gym, forget the athletic shoes and workout gear and walk everywhere instead. In fact, try to narrow your shoes down to one pair that you can wear the whole time. Leave behind pricey jewelry you might lose and won’t need for a few days. But don’t skimp on clothes, and ones you love to wear—you’ll want to be comfortable so you can focus on the destination. It’s unlikely you need all of the following, but here’s what to consider:

  • One pair of versatile, casual shoes
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Undershirts/bras
  • Sleepwear
  • Shirts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Shorts
  • Dresses/skirts
  • Light jacket/sweater
  • Belt
  • Small purse/clutch
  • Athletic shoes
  • Workout gear

Shop Our Clothing Essentials Packing List

Travel Essentials

Every trip demands a reusable water bottle and some snacks for the road, but you can probably leave behind longer-trip necessities like a laptop, emergency contacts, and an itinerary (or just keep the latter info in your phone).

  • Water bottle
  • Passport/ID
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Snacks

Shop Our Carry-On Essentials List

Electronics

Aside from the usual phone, chargers, and maybe a small tablet for reading, go light on the electronics for a few days—you don’t have too much time to explore, after all. But if you’re flying with strict weight limits, as most weekend-getaway flights are basic-economy, you might also want to stash a portable luggage scale in your bag.

  • Cell phone
  • Kindle/tablet
  • Electronic chargers
  • Adapter
  • Headphones or earbuds
  • Portable luggage scale

Shop Our Packable Travel Gadgets List

Other Weekend Getaway Packing Tips

What’s Essential: If you only leave the house with a tote bag’s worth of things, they should be your wallet (ID, cards, maybe some cash), whatever toiletries you require (medications, toothbrush/toothpaste, and makeup and/or face and hair creams you need daily), and a handful of versatile clothing items you love to wear. All of those things can fit into a pretty small amount of space, basic-economy restrictions be damned.

Secret Weapon: Packing cubes that are on the smaller side can help compress everything you need and organize it by type. Also, consider that you’re probably allowed both a carry-on bag and a personal item—which makes a roomy personal item bag a great hack for getting more onto the plane.

Leave at Home: When it comes to a three- to four-day weekend, no one needs half the stuff they pack into their suitcase for a usual longer trip. Step away from the large electronics, any unnecessary creams or gels (the hotel or rental’s will probably suffice for the few days), outfits you’ve never worn before, and pairs of shoes that are questionable when it comes to comfort.

More from SmarterTravel:

  • Packing for Europe: 8 Items You Should Leave at Home
  • The Ultimate Packing List
  • The Essential International Packing List

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Getting away and planning an escape is a magical feeling — even if only for a weekend.

But it’s easy to get carried away while packing for such a short trip. With day and nighttime activities, exploring, dining, and lounging, the amount of outfits to plan could be endless. But with our cardinal rule of packing, you will find prepping your next vacation wardrobe a whole lot easier.

All you have to do is pack a few key transitional pieces that can seamlessly take you from day-to-night can be integrated into a variety of situations. If you aren’t typically a person who dresses in neutrals, throw in pops of color by including colorful accessories, or pretty hues that can go with any color in your suitcase (like blue, red, and green).

First things first, you are going to want an ultra comfy pair of travel pants. These cashmere joggers by White + Warren are not only comfortable and stylish while in transit, but they can also double as your lounge pants or even pajamas.

Bring along classic bottoms that can be worn with sneakers and a T-shirt during the day, or with a nice top and heels for a more polished affair. These Brock jeans and khaki culottes by Sea are perfect for a weekend away. But if you want to include a skirt in your wardrobe, this style from Khaite hits all the right notes.

There is something truly magnificent about a perfect T-shirt. ATM has the best styles and this classic cut can be worn on its own, or layered to create the perfect look. For a bit more coverage or a chillier day, 6397 makes a great 3/4 length sleeve sweater that both soft and lightweight.

We always make sure to pack a camisole on every trip. Pair this Dion Lee cami with jeans and a casual jacket for the day, or throw on some jewelry and heels to take it to an evening look.

One of the sneakiest double-duty items is a one-piece bathing suit like this one from Solid + Striped. The obvious way to wear one is pool- or beach-side, but when worn as a sleek bodysuit under a skirt or jeans, the outfit is instantly elevated.

Sling a leather jacket from The Arrivals over your shoulders during the day, or throw it on over an evening look to give your travel looks some edgy versatility. You can wear this on the plane instead of stowing it, to save room in your suitcase.

In terms of shoes, all you need is a casual sneaker that is comfy enough to walk around in all day, and a sensible evening shoe. Try these Common Projects sneakers for a dose of cool, plus we are obsessed with these slides from “it” brand, Mansur Gavriel.

Accessories are where you can get more playful since they are smaller and easier to pack. We are lusting after this Shinola crossbody bag that is the ideal size to hold all of your most important items and documents. Sunglasses are an absolute must and we love this bold style from Dion Lee.

Our last accessory recommendation is this amazing pair of earrings from Vita Fede. They come with multiple-sized, mixed-medal hoops that you add or subtract to your liking, depending on the mood or occasion. Wear them as simple studs during the day and add a big hoop (or three) for a dramatic update to your evening ensemble.

Of course, you are going to need a great piece of luggage to put everything in. This Tumi carry-on is not only sleek and sophisticated, but it is also has a well-designed interior with lots of pockets for storage and organization.

Once you have your looks and luggage ready to go, you can start to physically pack your baggage. Start by grouping similar items based on the items size and weight. Place shoes at the bottom of your luggage, near the wheels, and place your stacks of clothes on top — that way your most precious items won’t be crushed when the bag is upright and being maneuvered.

The best way to keep accessories, toiletries, and other small items safe and organized is by placing them inside smaller pouches or cases. We have found the most genius cosmetics case from Anya Hindmarch — it’s clear so you can quickly get your liquid toiletries through security without the fuss of a zip-lock bag. Now that’s traveling smart!

How to pack for a weekend trip

Table of Contents

With a few swaps and drops from your weekend trip packing list, you can get it all into a well-packed personal item. This shift will save you money on low-cost airlines and bring you happiness when you aren’t toting large amounts of luggage with you as you travel.

In May, I spent ten days in Germany and Iceland experiencing everything from sunny summer in the English Gardens to a thirty-degree wind chill on the Golden Circle. Packing to cover every eventuality with only what could fit in my personal-item-sized bag was hard work. Granted, my bag ran exactly the standards of the personal item on the flights I took: 18 in x 14 in x 8 in (46 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm). The rules for personal items are vague and often not enforced.

The general is being that a personal item should be able to be tucked under the seat in front of you, or you should be able to carry it in your lap. Personally, I prefer a backpack, but the same rules apply to a briefcase or a versatile purse.

Ten days packed just in a personal item is pretty extreme. Having so little luggage meant I wasn’t as prepared for every scenario as I could have been. However, if you’re only taking a weekend trip with a personal item you’ll avoid most of those while enjoying the benefits of traveling lighter.

Personally, I hate putting things into overhead bins, and my heart sings when I get to skip a long baggage check line and head straight for security with my small bag. If you don’t check a bag, the airline can’t lose it, can they?

On low-cost airlines, the fees for taking a checked bag are as high as $60 USD per flight. Carry on bags often require a fee as well. Even on a more traditional airline, limited carry on luggage space may mean that a carry on backpack will have to be checked, taking time out of your travel and sightseeing to wait at the baggage claim.

The biggest benefit of carrying only a personal item is freedom. I had a long layover in Chicago. Instead of needing a room to keep my stuff, my slim pack rode with me as I toured museums, walked along the waterfront, and dug into ooey-gooey deep dish pizza. My bag was with me if I needed any of my stuff. But, because I packed so light, I wasn’t uncomfortable even after a long day with miles of walking.

Personal item travel may not be for everyone, but if you can follow this weekend trip packing list, you are on track for success.

How to pack for a weekend trip

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Just in time for holiday travel, I’m showing you how to pack your carry-on weekender bag for a short 3-5 day trip using TFG’s minimalist Thanksgiving Packing List and the OG Bag by Lo & Sons. Don’t waste money on baggage fees and learn the art of one bag travel!

How to pack for a weekend trip

As you can see from the above details, I split the contents of the Thanksgiving Packing List into two sections: what you wear On the Plane and What you Pack in your Bag. Below you will see the modified version of the Thanksgiving Packing List to reflect this packing strategy:

How to pack for a weekend trip

Please visit the Thanksgiving Packing List for product details.

To show you that you can travel light using a capsule wardrobe even with winter clothing, I have chosen to use a small carry-on size bag using standard ziploc bags to show you how to pack for a weekend trip.

The general idea is that you wear your two outerwear pieces such as coat and sweater on the plane for warmth and space savings. Also, in this example, I would wear the jeans and the red top as my flight outfit. Finish the look with the largest pair of shoes, in this case, boots and pack your second set of shoes.

How to pack for a weekend trip

To maximize space inside your weekend bag, use a packing cube or use a gallon size Ziploc bag to hold the rest of your clothing. In this example, the clothing left after you’ve chosen your flight outfit are four tops and one bottom which fit perfectly into the Ziploc bag.

In addition, pack 5 underwear and 1 bra into a sandwich size Ziploc bag or your luggage organizer of choice and stick to a TSA approved toiletry kit such as this one to avoid any issues with oversized liquids when you go through security.

Please refer to this Airport Survival Guide for more tips on breezing through security.

While it may not seem like it from the images, after filling the bag with all the listed items it still had plenty of room that you can use to fit an extra pair of shoes, sweater, and jeans. Not too bad for one bag travel!

For more details on the ultra chic and functional travel bag featured in this post, check out Lo & Sons. They sent me their trademark bag ‘The OG” which is small enough to fit under the seat on a flight yet provides enough room for a cold weather capsule wardrobe such as the one shown in this post.

To learn more about creating a capsule travel wardrobe, please check out TFG’s eBook “Pack Light Stylishly”!

What are your one bag travel tips?

For more tips on how to pack light, please read the following:

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How to pack for a weekend trip

Hope you’ve found this post on how to pack for a weekend trip helpful. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

The purple bag – Where can one find the purple bag. I posted the pic on my FB page and people went nuts about the bag.

Hi Deidra, it’s the OG by Lo & Sons http://www.loandsons.com/ Gorgeous.

What about socks?

Ooops! I forgot to include socks 🙂 2 merino wool

I’m so happy to see a one bag, under the seat packing post.

So I’m going to challenge you.
Three weeks, cold weather, one *underseat* bag, plus handbag. Nothing goes up in the overhead bins. Pockets a plus.

I do it every year in a RedOxx extra small (tip: it and my cross body bag will fit under the seat) duffle; or a Kelty osprey backpack that also fits under the seat.

That’s awesome Robyn! Would you want to share your tips on TFG?

Sure. Contact me.
Do you see the emails we put in the form?

Absolutely 🙂 I’ll get in touch!

Thank you for all the tips! I am in love with your green coat! Can you please share where you purchased it from?

I don’t own this exact jacket I just got it online to create the collage. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I found it. Possibly Modcloth or SheInside? Sorry 🙁

Thank you! I’m going to NYC for a long weekend and this is a perfect guide for what to bring.

Great! Glad to help 🙂

Thank you so much for this post! I used it as a guide for my family of 4 (Dad, Mom, 11yr old, 2 yr old). We did 6 days in Boston for New Years and took 2 carryons and 3 backpacks. We followed your guide to a T, but added extra base layers and snow pants for everyone (came in handy for sledding after the blizzard in subzero temps). I packed a little bit extra for our toddler, and had no trouble with having enough to wear. I did use travel space bags, which left enough space for kiddie gear and electronics.

That’s great to hear Holly – I’m glad you were able to use the packing list as a guideline and adapt it to your trip and make it your own – perfect! Thank you for reading 🙂

What brand are those black flats you took with you?

Packing for a weekend away isn’t an exact science, but here are some tips to help pack for success.

Packing for a weekend away isn’t an exact science. I’m not going to tell you “bring two dresses and a pair of jeans.” So much depends on where you’re going, the weather, and your personal style. But I do have some tips I can offer to help you pack for success.

If I’m traveling, I’m usually working, so I have to bring my laptop. Once you know what you’ll actually need, you can start thinking about things you want to bring. Bottom line: Pack what makes you feel your best and what won’t hold you back from adventure.

Here are seven things to think about while you’re packing for your next weekend trip:

1. Keep calm and carry-on. If you remember your passport, credit cards, and medications you might need when you’re running around before a flight, you’re halfway to golden. Most everything else can be purchased later if left behind. But don’t you dare check a bag on a weekend getaway! Even if you’re not flying, you don’t want to be weighed down. That said, quality luggage is one of the most important investments a traveler can make. Luxury hotel inspector Tiffany Dowd and Erik Wilkinson, a director of sales for Eton of Sweden, both swear by Tumi. The Quintessential Tote is Dowd’s favorite because it’s “stylish and durable,” while Wilkinson prefers the International Carry-On, a bag he reports holds a surprisingly large amount of clothes. Dowd’s also a fan of the brand’s luggage recovery program which identifies your bag with a unique registration number.

2. Don’t underestimate the power of a plastic bag. I put everything from chargers to jewelry in plastic baggies. I also always keep a plastic bag filled with essential toiletries — like contact solution, lotion, and toothpaste — at the ready en route. Bigger plastic bags double as laundry hampers on short trips, but for those of you who want to class it up a bit, Wilkinson recommends trying Flight 001 Spacepaks. “You fold everything in on one side of the bag on your outbound journey and then your dirty clothes go on the other side on your return,” he said.

3. Accessories are your best friend. On a weekend trip, neutral color palates — tans, blacks, whites, grays — can maximize your options while keeping your carry-on, well, carry-able. Then, all you need is a fabulous selection of accessories to brighten and vary your look. “Great accessories are my secret,” Dowd said. “You can add a pop of color to a simple black dress with some vibrant Prada pumps, then change up your look by adding a long Chanel necklace and some high-heeled boots the next night.” I also love adding to my collection when I’m away: Picking up a scarf from a London shop or a bracelet from a market in Dubai remind me of my travels long after I’ve returned home.

4. Wear the same outfit on both flights. Picking out your “plane uniform” is important business, and can help you conserve valuable carry-on space. For instance, always wear your heaviest items, like winter coats and big boots, on the plane. Travelers often end up in quite a different clime when they disembark at their destination, and planes themselves can be chilly, so layering your clothing is always a good way to go.

5. To thine own self be true. Identify and embrace your must-haves. Confession: I own way too many black dresses — but they’re just so easy when traveling, and I don’t care how often someone sees me in one. So when I know I’ve packed a few of them, I feel at ease. And, since I have yet to come to terms with my Medusa-esque head of curls, I always bring a flat iron along with me. Wilkinson, on the other hand, subscribes to something he calls “the blazer effect.” “If there’s a better table to be had at the restaurant, I get it wearing the blazer,” he said. Same with hotel upgrades. “My wife and I laugh about it now because it happens so often.”

How to pack for a weekend trip

Packing is never the fun part of travel. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. The key is to remember the essentials. Read on for a list of the 10 must-pack items that will get a mom through just about any weekend trip. (Undergarments? Check.) It works even if you don’t have a closet full of destination-ready clothing or a lot of time to go shopping before you pack for a weekend trip.

Packing for a Weekend Trip

What’s the first thing you do when you start to prepare for a weekend trip? As a mother, I make sure my kids have everything they need first. I make them try on their clothes to see what still fits, do all the laundry, get all of their bags packed, and make sure all the bags are placed near the door. After I’ve completed that task, along with cleaning up the house to make sure it looks fresh when we arrive back home, I start to pack my own bags. This usually happens around midnight the night before we leave.

What’s wrong with packing last minute? Nothing, if you’re good at it. However, for those of us who give up caring whether our clothes match and just start shoving piles of clothing (typically whatever is clean and folded) into a bag just to get it done, it’s good to have a plan in place before you start. Because this scenario is typical for my household and I usually end up carelessly overpacking and then regretting my choices once we arrive at our destination, I now know the secret to packing for a weekend trip.

How to pack for a weekend trip

Photo by Mary Moore

Packing List: Weekend Travel Essentials

There are so many things that need to be packed for a family weekend away. But I’m not going to go through that entire list. No, this list is especially for you mom! Let’s get this done so we can go to bed!

1. Clothes for each day of the trip

I typically like to keep my choices simple, but with a retro flare. For instance, a jean button-up skirt with an orange crochet top made it to the top of my list for my last excursion to Florida. I chose this outfit because it didn’t wrinkle easily during travel and was comfortable enough to wear wherever our journey took us – whether the Brevard Zoo or to explore Disney Springs.

How to pack for a weekend tripRetro Travel Outfit: Jean Skirt, Orange Crochet Top, Small Travel Purse. Photo by Mary Moore

2. Pajamas

Depending on how long you will be gone, one or two pairs of pajamas is all I take. They can easily be worn more than once.

3. Undergarments

Trust me, these CAN be forgotten and it isn’t fun.

4. At least one dress

Depending on what I plan to do during my trip, I always like to pack at least one dress. Unexpected things always seem to come up and it’s nice to have something on hand that’s a little dressier. My go-to dress is a light-weight, dark blue sundress with beautiful patterns up the front. It’s made with a wrinkled fabric, so it’s great to simply pull out of my suitcase and go. Plus, with the longer length, it is appropriate for either an evening or daytime engagement.

How to pack for a weekend tripDay/Evening Dress. Photo by Mary Moore

5. A jacket or sweater

If I can get away with it, I choose to wear long pants and a sweater on the day I travel. That way I have them should I need them during my trip, but they don’t take up a lot of space in my carry-on. If this isn’t possible, I always make sure to pack at least one sweater. Even when traveling to Florida, the nights can get chilly.

Read Our 6 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Commit to a Carry-On.

6. Swimsuit and cover up

If we are going somewhere warm or some place with a pool, I always make sure to pack my swimsuit and cover-up – even if I tell myself that I probably won’t use it. Chances are, especially with young kids, pool time is going to happen. My favorite bathing suit is black with ruching around the waist. I like to pair it with a black polka-dot cover up.

How to pack for a weekend tripMy favorite swimsuit and cover-up. Photo by Mary Moore

7. Both a large purse and a smaller one

I always pack two purses. The larger purse I use during travel, especially when we fly. The extra room allows me to bring my camera, book, laptop and other travel essentials on the plane with me, along with my carry-on bag. I also sometimes use this purse when we take trips to the beach. The smaller purse I pack empty in my suitcase. I like to have it on hand for when I just need a place to store my license and money and keep it with me.

8. Toiletries

It’s a great idea to always keep travel toiletries pre-packed in a TSA approved bag so they are easy to grab and go. My toiletries bag always stays packed in my suitcase. That way, I don’t need to look for it. Other things that I always keep packed: bandages, bobby pins, hair ties, and a few simple pieces of jewelry.

9. Shoes

Similar to my clothes, I like to keep my shoe styles simple. One pair of sandals and a pair of flats is what I typically go with. I also find it easiest to pack my shoes inside a plastic zip-closed bag beneath my packed clothing.

10. Medications

Since we travel quite often, I always keep all of my medications in a plastic bag with my name on it. This way I can simply grab the bag and know I have everything I need – even if I am starving for sleep at the time.

11. Any miscellaneous stuff

Finally, before closing up my bag, I toss in any other items I might need for my trip. This includes items such as my camera, the book I’m currently trying to find time to read, and, finally, my make-up.

Having a good idea of what I will mostly likely need for a weekend trip and what I won’t need makes last minute packing a breeze. I also like to keep these ideas in mind when I do have a chance to go shopping. Always remember that basic colors are easiest to mix and match, making packing outfits easier – but be sure to keep your own style in the mix!