Jul 21 2017

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip: Packing List Included

Vacation is important. It’s a chance to unwind and refresh the mind, a chance to let go of stress. So if you’re thinking of making an escape but don’t know what to pack for a weekend trip, I’ll tell everything you need to know.

First things first, let’s begin by discussing how packing for a weekend trip is different from packing for a regular trip.

On a regular week long trip, you’d typically bring a suitcase with you to hold everything you need. However, on a weekend trip will last around 3 days and 2 nights, so there’s really no need to pack so much.

In fact, when it comes to packing for a weekend trip, most people can get away with simply carrying a carry-on sized bag. How do people manage with just one bag? You are about find out.

Whether you’re traveling by plane or by car, these following packing tips and lists will help you pack just what you need for a weekend trip.

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip: The Essential Travel Gear You Need

On every trip you go, you need to have your go-to travel gear with you. These tops gear essentials make packing and travel so much easier, and they’re rather affordable too!

Travel Gear Essentials: Packing Cubes Are the Best for Saving Up Space

Packing cubes are awesome if you want to squeeze as much as possible into one backpack. They come in different sizes, so you can mix and match what you pack in them.

I use them predominantly to pack my clothes. It works best when you roll your shirts and pants tightly, and fit them in that way. Others lay their clothes flat on top of each other, but I wouldn’t recommend this, as you end up waisting space.

Travel Gear Essentials: Mesh Bags Keep The Small Stuff Together

I also make sure to use mesh bags to carry any small items that I’m not putting in my packing cubes or toiletries bag. Mesh bags are rather transperant, so I don’t have to go digging through to find what I need.

Things I like to pack in mesh bags:

  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Keys
  • ID
  • Deoderant
  • Hairbrush
  • Wipes

Travel Gear Essentials: A Rucksack Backpack Holds Everything You Need

If you want to travel effieciently and comfortably, I 100% recommend buying a rucksack backpack for weekend trip. Rucksack backpacks allo you to pack in so much, while keeping you from looking ridiculous. Compression straps are key because they allow you to downsize your backpack if you feel like there’s enough space for everything.

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip: The 5 Packing List Categories

Now that you have the gear you need for efficient packing, let’s get down to the list. Now, the best way to approach packing for a weekend trip is to have catergories that you have to pack. This way you don’t miss anything and you can esailiy move on to the next category when done.

Weekend Trip Packing List: Clothes

For three days and two nights, you really want to make sure you pack not too much and not too little. Here’s what you’ll typically need.

  • The appropriate amount of underwear and socks
  • One pair of jeans or leggings
  • One pair of shorts (if weather permits)
  • Up to three pairs of shirts (long sleeve and short sleeve)
  • One pair of shoes
  • One pajama set
  • One jacket that’s water resistent
  • One light sweater

The key to packing a light amount of clothes is to make sure that your items pair easily with other clothes. This allows you to mix and mactch items and create a bunch of outfits.


Weekend Trip Packing List: Toiletries – Quart sized bag for flights

If you’re traveling by car, then you’re able to bring whatever liquids you want. Hoever, if you’re flying, then you need to make sure that you follow that liquids rule for carry-on items. If you don’t, you’ll be forced to check your bag or throw your items away.

Toiletries Packing List:

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Any other liquids smaller than 3.4 oz (i.e. contact lense solution)
  • Makeup

Since it’s only a few days, you can get away with just buying smaller versions before you go.

Weekend Trip Packing List: Electronics

If you plan on bringing electronics, make sure you’re packing them properly. It’s really easy to damage your items if you just throw them into the bag. Use compartments in your backpack or make sure to purchase organizers for your things.

Electronics Packing List:

  • Laptop (if needed)
  • Phone
  • Chargers
  • Camera

Weekend Trip Packing List: Documents and Money

Your travel documents are important so make sure you keep them somewhere safe and always double check that you have them before leaving for your weekend trip.

Documents Packing List:

  • Money
  • ID
  • Credit Card
  • Maps
  • Itinerary
  • Keys

Weekend Trip Packing List: A Snack

It’s hard to predict what will happen during travel, so always make sure you havea  snack handy!

What to Pack for A Weekend Trip If You’re Staying In Cold Climate

When people go to cold weather destinations, they tend to overpack or pack too heavy. Here’s how to avoid packing too much, while still preparing for those chilly temperatures.

Wear Your Winter Jacket, Boots, and Heaviest Sweater

If you are traveling by plane and you’re worried about over exceding the carry-on capacity, this tip will work for you.

The best way to minimize your packing weight is to wear heavier layers while on the plane. One thing you might not know is that planes tend to get cold during winter months, so it works out well!

Packing the Right Layers for a Weekend Trip in Cold Weather is Key

The key to surviving winter weather is to layer your clothing appropriately. By picking the right articles of clothing, you can minimize your carrying weight.

Let’s start with the first layer that’s closest to your skin. You want to make sure that these articles are moisture wicking. Because you’ll be wearing thicker items on top, you’re bound to sweat, so it’s important that you have a garment to soak up sweat.

Base layer fabrics: silk, polyester, or merino wool.

Tip: Feel free to pack more of these items, as they don’t take up as much space.

The second layer of clothing will be a lightweight sweater. This will keep your body heat in the cold out. But be sure that you stick to lightweight materials for your sweater, as you will probably wear a jacket on top of this.

Lightweight sweater fabrics: cashmere, lightweight fleece, or thin wool.

Tip: Pack two, but no more than three lightweight sweaters.

The final layer to bring on a weekend trip is your main jacket. You want to make sure that this jacket is both warm and waresistanttent, just in case of snow. If your second layer is warm enough, you can probably get away with just a mid-sized jacket.

Reuse Your Clothes as Much as Possible–Because You Can

The great thing about packing for cold weather is that you can easily reuse your clothing much more often. This saves you from having to pack so much. Cold weather clothing tends to get heavy, so the less you pack the better it is for you.

What to Pack for a Weekend Trip If You’re Staying In Hot Climate

If you’re headed for a tropical getaway, you need to make sure you pack the right type of clothing.

Your clothing fabrics, in particular will determine how comfortable you’ll be in hot and humid weather.

Fabrics to Pack for a Weekend Trip in Warm Climate

Natural fibers are best to pack for hot climate because they allow more air to easily flow. Polyester and other man made fabrics will only trap your heat, causing you discomfort and perspiration.

The fabrics you want to stick with are:

  • Cotton – Loose shirts, blouses, and dresses
  • Linen – Loose shorts and pants
  • Silk – Tops and pajamas
  • Denim – Jeans and shorts

Not sure what fabric your clothes are made of? Just check the care instructions tag and find out. Some clothes are a blend of fabrics, like %60 cotton, %20 linen, and %20 viscose. So long as the dominating fabric is one of the above mentioned, you’re good!

Loose Fitting, Light Clothing is Key for Warm Weather Weekend Trips

Finally, when picking what clothes to pack for hot climates, it’s important that you pick things that are loose and light colored. As you may know, darker clothing tends to absorb sunlight, making it hotter on the wearer.

Instead, lean towards lighter shades and patterns. This will help keep you cool if your destination is particularly hot.

Along with lighter clothes, choose items that are looser and that offer more coverage on your skin. Some people think that showing more skin is the way to stay cool, but if the sun is beaming down, light-thin layers are key. Keep this is mind when shopping for warm temperature clothing.


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