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How To Pack for a Weekend Trip

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Packing for a trip that’s only Friday through Sunday is almost harder than packing for a month-long trip to Europe. You need to prioritize space and versatility, but you also have to consider other important things like style, weather, and other travel essentials.

Whether you have a trip coming up or you just like to plan ahead, this post is for you! Follow these simple tips and you’ll never stare directionless at your carry-on luggage ever again.

Cover the basics first

If you have a tendency to over-pack, you know what it’s like to force all of your items into one bag only to neglect about half of them while you’re on your vacation. But finding the balance between over preparedness and underpreparedness isn’t an easy thing to do.

Before you start slimming down your suitcase, you should think about your list of “must-haves” to help you pack more efficiently. Depending on your destination, your list might change but in general, your absolute essentials should mostly be the same for each trip you take.

For me, my travel backpack, 17-inch laptop, light bomber jacket, and portable charger are among my must-haves—no matter where I’m headed.

Do your research

Now, there are some things that you simply don’t need to take with you on your tropical vacation: your fleece sweater is one example. Before you start packing for any trip—no matter where—you should do your research ahead of time. This way, you can figure out what the weather’s like, what activities you might be doing, and what the culture is like so you don’t bring a ton of extra items that will just take up space in your suitcase.

Once you get a general idea of what you’ll need, start making a list of everything you need to pack (including your essential items).

Choose multipurpose items

Now that you have a list of everything you need, it’s time to start pulling items from your closet—but don’t just grab anything and everything. You should make the most of your minimal space by selecting items that can serve dual purposes. For example, a shirt that can be dressed up or down would be a better choice than a luxury shirt that you can’t wear outside of the 5 star restaurant.

Here are a few other items that can be multifunctional for your vacation:

  • Leggings or bike shorts
  • Casual tennis shoes or flats
  • Jeans
  • Apparel basics
  • Cross body bag
  • Mix and match bathing suits

Lay out your looks

So now you’ve gotten your key pieces together and you’re practically packed for the weekend trip of your dreams. But if you want to bring anything back from your vacation, you might want to create a little room in your bag by making sure that you really need each of these items.

The best way to do this is to lay out each of your outfits, day by day. Don’t worry, you can totally improvise once you get there, but it’s a good idea to at least see if your pieces can be mixed and matched to form an outfit. Otherwise, you might just end up with a ton of looks you’re not excited to wear by the time you get there. 

Take one thing out of the pile

After you’ve laid out all of the contents of your suitcase comes the hardest part for overpackers…take one thing out. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but this habit will save you more space than you think. Plus, doing this small thing will help you realize that you don’t really ever need as much stuff as you think you do. And remember, unless you’re going to some deserted island, you’ll most likely be able to purchase anything you need when you get there.

Key takeaways

Packing for a weekend trip always sounds far more complicated than it really is. To pack efficiently for your next trip, follow these 5 rules:

  • Cover the basics first
  • Do your research
  • Choose multipurpose items
  • Lay out your looks
  • Take one thing out of the pile

Have any weekend travel tips of your own? Be sure to share your top getaway destinations and packing strategies in the comment section below.

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