What to Pack for a Weekend Trip?

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What to Pack for a Weekend Trip?

Excited about heading away for a weekend break? Short breaks can be a great way to reset and relax without taking any vacation days. However, wheth

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Excited about heading away for a weekend break? Short breaks can be a great way to reset and relax without taking any vacation days. However, whether you’re flying, driving, staying in a hotel, or camping, you’re probably going to need to pack light.

Making sure you’ve packed everything you need without packing too much can be a challenge. Especially when flying, you’ll probably have a baggage limit, or if you’re carrying a backpack, the weight could be an issue.

Here’s our ultimate guide to packing for a weekend away.

The basics

No matter what your plans are, here’s what you are certainly going to need for a weekend away. Some essential items are an absolute must in all weathers and for every weekend getaway. Run through this ultimate checklist of the basics before getting more specific.

  • 3 sets of underwear (Don’t forget socks!)
  • 3 Tops (two casual, one smart)
  • Jumper/cardigan
  • 2 pairs of trousers (one smart, one casual)
  • Pijamas
  • 1 smart dress/shirt
  • 1 pair of smart shoes
  • 1 pair of casual shoes
  • Waterproof
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, face wash, moisturiser, medications…)
  • Phone charger
  • Wallet/purse
  • Travel adapter
  • Headphones
  • Day Bag
  • Travel reservations/documents

If you really don’t know where to start, this list is definitely a good place to begin. You can, of course, shake it up a bit, depending on your plans. If you’re going somewhere very hot, sunscreen and sunglasses will definitely be on your list. If it’s a cold winter break, you’ll need more layers. If you know it’s going to be a very fancy weekend, you’ll need more than one jumper.

Weekend in the city

When you’re travelling to a city, the good news is that if you forget something important, you can probably buy it wherever you are going. If you’re planning on having a stylish city break, here are some additional things to consider putting in your weekend bag.

  • City guide
  • Umbrella
  • Tickets for events/attractions
  • Book/kindle
  • Dirty laundry bag
  • Face mask/ hand sanitiser
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Grooming tools (beard trimmer/hair straightener)
  • Additional electronics
  • Evening bag

If you’re driving and staying in a hotel, you might be able to take a few bags and pack more. The luxury of staying in a hotel or with might also mean things like toiletries are complimentary, and you can always borrow an umbrella if you need one. But, if you’ve got the space, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Weekend in the wild

If your next getaway involves camping and getting back into nature, you might need to pack a few additional things that you wouldn’t need on a city break. When camping and trekking, ensuring all items are lightweight, functional and compact is crucial, especially if you’re going to be carrying your camping bag long distances.  

  • Tent
  • Extra layers for sleeping
  • Sleeping bag/bedding
  • Flip flops
  • Microfibre towel
  • Portable dual-fuel generator
  • Bear spray
  • Small knife/tools
  • Water bottle and filter
  • Cooking utensils
  • Bug spray
  • Head torch
  • Food and snacks
  • Smaller day rucksack

When packing for a weekend in nature, how you pack is almost as important as what you pack. If you are carrying your bag for a long time, make sure you pack heavy things at the bottom, closer to your back. This will help distribute the weight and save your back a lot of pain later.

You will also need to pack in a way that makes sense for your plans. If you plan on hiking and will need snacks and water, don’t pack your pyjamas on the top. Think about what you need to access quickly and what things you’ll only need at night.

Additional things to consider

As well as packing, you need to think about unpacking. No doubt your weekend will be busy, so you don’t want to spend time hunting through your bag, looking for things you’ve lost. Packing cubes can be really helpful to make sure everything is nicely sectioned off, easy to access and keeps everything tidy.

If you’re someone who always overpacks and need to cut down on space, make sure you’re making the most of your packing. Items that contain space, such as shoes or hats, can be filled before being packed. Put socks in your shoes and fill any hats with rolled-up clothes.

If you’ve still got too much, compression cubes for soft items such as clothes can maximise space. Removing air can help shrink objects down so you can fit more into your bag. Remember that this won’t change the weight, though, so you’ll need to be careful if you’re flying.

Speaking of flying, remember to pack travel-size toiletries if you’ve only got hand luggage. You may not be able to pack full-size products, so either transfer a small amount to another container or opt for small sizes.

You should also consider other non-essential items that might be appropriate for your weekend. You may need swimwear and beach attire or ski clothes. If you know you’re doing an activity that might get you dirty, an extra change of clothes could be a good idea. You might want to pack some self-care essentials for a relaxing evening or some travel games to play with kids.

Final thoughts

Whatever you plan on doing and wherever you are going, packing for a weekend away presents unique challenges. Often, you are limited on space, meaning you have to make decisions about what you want to take and what you need to take. Using the list above, you can make sure you thoroughly enjoy your weekend with everything you actually need. If there is some space left, you can always add more or enjoy traveling light.

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