When it comes to packing, the phrase ‘less is more’ is what seems to be uttered the most. Well as someone who has notoriously struggled with the idea of ‘packing light’ it pains me to say – it’s true. Less IS more. Along my travels I have picked up a number of helpful tips that have helped me pack more efficiently. I’ll share these tips with you together with my generic packing list for weekend getaways.
Weekend Trip Packing List: Practical Tips
First up is the most important – planning! I’m a sucker for lists and planning. Planning and writing a list helps organise your thoughts and reduce any stress of forgetting something important. It also works for the way home as a checklist to make sure you haven’t left anything behind in your hotel.
Next, roll instead of folding! You’ll be amazed how much space this saves. I used to be sceptical of this one, but you really have to try it yourself to see the difference it makes. And bonus – it saves your clothes from becoming too wrinkled. Some people swear by packing cubes. Admittedly this is something I haven’t tried myself. I struggle with the concept of how packing more items (i.e. the cubes themselves) allows you to fit more. However the people have spoken and it’s an overwhelmingly good response, so definitely worth a try.
When organising your suitcase, make sure you place your heaviest items at the base, where the wheels are. This will help with weight loading and prevent your bag from being top-heavy and tumbling over. Another great one to remember is whatever you will want to wear first, maybe pyjamas if you will arrive late, or a fresh outfit – make sure these are packed at the top. There’s nothing worse than having to pull everything out as soon as you land in your hotel to find that one thing that happens to be right at the bottom.
In terms of packing efficiently, you need to consider how each item of clothing can be created into outfits. Plural. With such precious limited space, you really want to make each piece count. Maybe it’s not the time to bring those statement patterned trousers. Think basics – items that will pair with more than one look. Don’t forget to apply this to shoes too. For a weekend away you really only want to be packing 1 – 2 pairs of shoes (3 max if you include flip flops). So keep this in mind when you’re planning outfits.
Check the weather. It’s all well and good to think ‘Spain = sun’ but just like most places, they have seasonal weather which might not be exactly what you were expecting or hoping for. Worth a check. Don’t go all bikinis and sunnies before checking your facts.
Okay, so onto the packing list. These are some of the essentials I tend to pack for any weekend away. Of course depending on the location and nature of your trip there may be some items to add or remove, but generally speaking, these will have your bases covered.
Breakdown of Weekend Trip Packing List
- Underwear – most people tend to pack more than the days of the trip. My advice regarding this is – you would surely rather have a pair or two more than you need than get caught short! Count how many days you’re going for, and add on a couple for good measure.
- Socks – a pair for each day.
- An all-round pair of jeans. This is a great base for an outfit, something that can be your blank canvas to dress up or dress down.
- 2 -3 tops/shirts. Something casual for the daytime, something smart or dressy for the evening, and an extra for good measure.
- A skirt or dress. It’s nice to have the option to wear something cute if the weather allows it.
- A cosy jumper.
- A coat or jacket (which you can wear for the journey to save packing space).
- Comfy shoes for walking. And maybe a pair of sandals, weather dependent.
- Flip flops – great for the beach, wearing around your hotel room, in hostel showers (trust me), or as something quick and easy to slip on when you need to pop downstairs.
Toiletries & Personal Items
- A microfibre towel. They pack super small, do a great job of drying you off and do an even better job of drying themselves after use, making it quick and easy to pack them away without the worry of damp clothes.
- A bag or tote for dirty laundry. It’s ideal to be able to separate your clean and dirty clothes whilst away. Dryer sheets are also great for masking odours, so consider chucking one of these in.
- Toiletries. This is a whole category of its own. Toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush/ comb, cosmetics, skin care, sun cream. Always bring sun cream!
- Adapters for the country you are visiting (be sure to check this before you go).
- A credit/debit card that can be used without international fees, and some cash for emergencies/vendors who don’t take card (such as local taxis).
- A book – I never go anywhere without a good book or my kindle. Great for keeping entertained while on a plane/train.
- A portable charger. You never know when you’re going to be caught short and it’s so handy to be able to charge on the move.
- A notepad and pen. Always handy, and I always have these in my bag.
I tend to do a quick sweep of my home, rummaging in cupboards and drawers to jog my memory of anything I have forgotten. This way I can head to my destination without that dreaded sinking feeling of ‘what have I forgotten this time?’ It helps to put my mind at ease and on more than one occasion it has saved me last minute! Try it next time you pack for your trip.
I hope these tips can offer you some help for your next trip. If you have any other tips to share, be sure to leave a comment below!