How To Pack for a Weekend Trip


Written by: Jodie Lindop

You’re headed out on a short holiday. That’s great! Now don’t mess up your mini adventure by packing your luggage for a weekend trip with scores of things you don’t need, dragging along overpacked bags, and leaving things behind you wish you’d included. The goal is to relax and enjoy yourself rather than feel frustrated. The key to packing wisely for a weekend escape is a wee bit of planning and organising—then you’re good to go. Read on for tips on how to pack and what to pack for your weekend trip.

Don’t fret – This is important and far easier said than done. Life is busy and doesn’t set to pause in the days leading up to your trip. Toss packing into the mix, and it can feel overwhelming. If you’re feeling stressed about your getaway, slow down and take a few deep breaths. Throw a sense of humour and flexibility onto your packing list. Travelling for any amount of time can be trying—your ability to laugh and go with the flow are perhaps the most important things to bring along.

Start early – Packing in a panic at the last minute is a sure way to undermine Step 1. You’ll also end up with a poorly packed carry-on and a bedroom with clothes tossed about that you’ll only need to tidy up when you get back. When you pack early, you can lay out everything and see what you’re missing, what you can leave behind, and what toiletries you need for your travel kit.

Consider how long you’re staying – Are you packing for an overnight? Or are you lucky enough to be enjoying an extended weekend? Of course, the answer will determine how much you bring along. You won’t need a separate outfit for morning and night. Packing a few lightweight, easily layered tops along with smart accessories will give you the variety you want.

Think about where you’re headed – Literally picture yourself there having fun. You’re out to dinner in Paris. You’re fly fishing in Aberdeenshire . You’re playing fetch with your dog along the beach in Brancaster Bay. What are you likely going to do on the evening you arrive? What about the next morning and that evening? Picture what you’d like to be wearing during your various excursions. It’s smart to make a list of what you’ll be wearing each day, so you know you’re covered.

Pack what you like – Your favourite tees. Your favourite jeans. Your favourite dress for dining out. As long as these items also tick the boxes for comfort and the appropriate season, they should go in your suitcase.

Now, down to brass tacks….

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip

Tops
❏ 1-2 light jumpers
❏ 1-2 long or short-sleeved tees
❏ 1 dressier top
❏ 1 versatile dress that works for day or evening

Bottoms
❏ 1 pair of trousers
❏ 1 pair of jeans
❏ 1 skirt/pair of shorts
❏ 3 pairs socks
❏ 3 pairs of underwear

Shoes (Comfort is paramount, but bonus points for cute and comfy.)
❏ 1 pair of comfortable, closed-toe shoes
❏ 1 pair of comfortable sandals

Accessories
❏ Scarf for layering
❏ Pieces of jewellery you love wearing
❏ Sunglasses

Toiletries
❏ Sunscreen
❏ Face wash
❏ Lotion
❏ Lip balm with SPF
❏ Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
❏ Body wash
❏ Shampoo and conditioner
❏ Brush/comb
❏ Band-aids
❏ Glasses/contact lenses
❏ Makeup
❏ Tissues
❏ Prescription and over-the-counter medicine/vitamins

Tech
❏ Mobile phone
❏ e-reader
❏ Chargers

Documents
❏ Driving license
❏ Passport and visas
❏ Plane/Train/Boat tickets or confirmation

Money
❏ Debit/credit card
❏ Cash

Packing checklists are great, but they’re not an exact science. Every trip is different and you are uniquely you. So the exact items in your carry-on will vary. Think of the above list as a guide so you don’t veer off course and pack two pairs of stilettos. Unless you’re headed to fashion week somewhere, you definitely don’t need those.

Finally, your mindset matters. If you view packing as a slog, it’ll feel that way. But if you spread it out over a few days and take breaks, it can be folded into one of the best parts of travelling: anticipating the adventure ahead.

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