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How to Pack for a Weekend Trip: Tips + Free Packing List!

Posted by Bea Manzano on
Packing for a weekend trip using Starter Set

Packing for a weekend trip isn’t exactly rocket science but it could still get messy if you don’t plan it right. There are many things you’ll need to consider to make sure your trip is as stress-free as possible.

You don’t want to end up forgetting your toothbrush, or not packing enough undies, or misplacing your socks and important documents. That sounds like a nightmare... So, even if it’s just a three-day getaway, it’s best to be sure and ready than to be ill-prepared.

How to Pack for a Short Weekend Getaway

Great things start from small beginnings. In the same way, mastering the art of packing for a three-day trip can be your stepping stone to getting ready for longer travels.

1. Choose right, pack light.

There are tons of great travel bags out there today. It’s ultimately just a matter of preference and the brand’s longevity and compatibility that makes them stand out among the rest. Make sure you pick one that suits what you’re packing for a weekend away. Here’s a list of some of our recommended bags perfect for a short weekend trip:

Packing a duffel bag for weekend travel

 Duffel bags offer a simple and light way of traveling. You just pick it up, sling it over your shoulder and go; easy as 1-2-3!

 We recommend this Adidas Santiago Duffel Bag that’s definitely great for an overnight or a weekend getaway. It has a large main compartment and two zippered end cap pockets for all your essentials. It’s stylish and ergonomic at the same time!

Packing a backpack for weekend trip

 Backpacks are our go-to for traveling and one of the most popular bags for travelers. Well, they should be. They keep your hands free, enabling you to move around conveniently and you don’t have to worry about checking a bag for a flight!

✓ Take a look at this TSA Checkpoint friendly Samsonite Classic Backpack. It has a large main opening with big enough storage space for what you will need on a three-day trip; perfect for packing less and light!

Packing a carry-on with Starter Set

 Carry-ons are the great savers of traveling - both time and money. They save you from the agony of waiting at baggage claim, from the pain of airlines losing your bag, from spending too much on check-in fees, just to mention a few.

✓ We absolutely love how you can wear this Carry-on Backpack by Standard Luggage Co. in three ways: like a suitcase, shoulder bag, or backpack. It has a full-perimeter zipper that makes packing and staying organized (using the Starter Set) super easy!

2. Create a mini capsule wardrobe

The idea behind having a mini capsule wardrobe is to narrow down your full closet into outfits that you definitely love wearing. Besides, let’s be honest, out of your packed dresser, how many clothes do you actually use? So, for this weekend trip, pack only the outfits that you would definitely wear. Steer clear of those “just in case…” thoughts. Don’t forget to pack according to the weather and plan your outfits around it.  

Here’s what we recommend:

For Women

• Choose 4 outfits appropriate for the trip + 1 sleep outfit 

✓ The first outfit is what you’re going to wear to the airport. The other three you pack away in your bag.

✓ Pack one pair of pajamas for the entire trip. Make sure they’re made of light and thin material so you can wash them easily.

✓ Important: Choose clothing that you can pair with other clothes (mix 'n match).

✓ Make sure to pack darker pants. You can easily pair them with any tops. Also, wear a sweater / cardigan / jean jacket to the airport if you get cold easily.

• 3 Pairs of Shoes

✓ Nude heels or wedges make a great pair with any outfit. Sandals you can use for casual walking. Walking shoes for a more comfortable stroll.

✓ The first pair is what you’ll wear to the airport (choose comfy). Pack the other pairs in a shoe bag.

• Undies

✓ Make sure to pack enough underwear to last for the entire trip. If you haven’t packed enough, you can always wash your used ones, hang them dry, and use them again the next day.

• Denim Jacket

✓ You can wear this to the airport or during the trip. Also perfect for when you’re going out at night.

Using small turquoise packing cube for a weekend trip

For Men

• Choose 3-4 shirts for the trip

✓ Button down shirt, polo, and t-shirts (1 you wear to the airport and the rest are packed)

• 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of shorts

✓ Bring dark pants and denim pants to be dressed down or up on any occasion (1 you wear to the airport and the rest are packed)

✓ Don’t forget your belt!

• 3 pairs of shoes

Sandals, dress shoes, sneakers (1 pair you wear to the airport and the rest packed in a shoe bag)

• Undies and socks

✓ Put them in one small clear packing cube to avoid the grueling case of single missing socks and cluttered undies.

Packing men’s clothes in packing cubes for weekend trip
**Thanks to Kevin and Dea for this photo!

3. Have a good ol’ packing list.

Even though you’re only going away for a few days, it’s still crucial to have a list of the things you need on your trip so you don’t forget anything. If you don’t know what to pack for a weekend trip, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. 

We’ve included a basic checklist which covers everything you’ll need for a 2 to 3 day trip. You can download the packing list at the end of this post.

4. Lay out everything before packing

Clear off your bed and lay down everything you want to bring with you on the trip: fave shirt, most comfortable pants, lucky shoes - whatever it is - so you can clearly see what needs to be packed and what needs to be left behind. With your list on hand, check to see if you’ve got everything ready. That way, you’ll be sure you left nothing behind. You don’t want to have that Home Alone moment when Kate McCalister realized she left Kevin at home, do you?

Packing folded and laid out clothes for a three-day trip

5. Roll it like you mean it

Folding is the traditional way of packing, but there’s a better way of doing it. If there’s nothing wrong with folding, no other way of packing would have been thought of. Folding increases the chance of your items getting creased, and to be honest, bringing an iron with you is definitely a no-no. Rolling, on the other hand, allows you to pack quickly and efficiently while saving space for extras.

6. Essentials, meet Packing Cubes

You can keep your necessities organized using the only hack that you’ll ever need for your entire traveling life - packing cubes. But do you know what’s even better? Clear ones.

Packing women’s essentials in a small packing cube for weekend trip

💡TIP: Don’t just use any packing cubes, use clear packing cubes. Store your essentials where you can see them. Sure, there are lots of other packing cubes out there, but chances are, you have to open them all before you can find what you need.

Scenario: “I know I put my favorite top in a packing cube. I’m just not sure which one.”

With clear packing cubes, you don’t have to search far and wide for whatever it is you need. You can see the contents of the packing cube with its clear design and you can easily find and grab what you need.

Here’s what we recommend for your personal items:

Clear Makeup Bag 

• For your makeup essentials, bring the ones that you have in your purse every day. Don’t pack everything you own; it’s only a casual three-day trip. This clear makeup bag will help you organize your cosmetics better.

Weekend trip essentials on a clear makeup bag

Jewelry Roll

• Put all your accessories (no expensive jewelry) like clips, hairpins, fashion necklaces, bracelets, and earrings in one organized pouch. Don’t you think this Jewelry Roll is such a perfect fit?

Travel Jewelry Roll for a weekend trip

7. Make use of shoe bags

Pack your shoes in a separate travel shoe bag to keep your other belongings clean and dirt-free. Yes, your shoes are that special because they need their own bag. This travel shoe bag can fit 1 large pair of men’s shoes or 2 medium pairs of women’s shoes without any hassle.

8. Pack travel size bottles for your toiletries

Invest in travel size containers where you can transfer your liquids (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, perfume, etc) for easier and lighter storage. You’ll never go wrong with this TSA Approved Toiletry Bag that will fit right in your travel backpack like a puzzle piece.

Shop Now TSA approved clear packing cube

9. Secure important travel documents

IDs? Check. Passport? Check. Boarding pass? Check. Storage for these important documents? Better check it! Make sure they are in a secure compartment and never leave your bag unattended.

10. Have a Hygiene Kit at your disposal

In line of recent events (aka COVID-19), you can never be too careful when traveling. Always bring with you wet wipes, alcohol, hand sanitizer, tissues, and a face mask that you can grab right away. Remember to wipe handles and seats thoroughly before touching and sitting on them.


Weekend Trip Packing List

Here’s the free checklist we promised! Download this list (link at the end of this post) and start checking those boxes.

✔️ Clothing Packing List

For Women

• 4 day outfits

• 1 night outfit 

• 3 pairs of shoes

• Undies

• Denim Jacket

For Men

• 4 tops

• 2 pairs of pants

• 1 pair of shorts

• 2-3 pairs of shoes 

• Undies and socks

• Sports Jacket

✔️ Toiletry Packing List

For Women

• Small Packing Cube to organize your toiletries

• Travel bottles for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial wash

• Moisturizer and other hand/face cream

• Deodorant

• Razor, tweezers, nail clippers

• Extra contact lenses

• Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss

• Sunscreen

For Men

• Small Packing Cube to organize your toiletries

• Travel bottle for shampoo, body wash

• Deodorant

• Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss

• Shaving needs: razor, brush, cream

• Extra pair of contact lenses

• Sunscreen

• Nail clippers

✔️ Travel Medicine Kit List

For Men and Women

• Bandages

• Tylenol/paracetamol

• Ibuprofen

• Anti-diarrhea tablets

• Alcohol wipes

• Antibacterial ointment

• Antihistamine tablets

• Motion sickness pills

• And other personal medicine / birth control 

✔️ Essentials List

For Men and Women

• Electronics (phone, earphones, power bank, chargers, etc)

• Book/s / Ipad / Nook

• Sunglasses

• Wallet, credit card holder, passport

• Gum, or some snacks you can munch on

• Lip balm

• Hand sanitizer

• Wet wipes

• Mini Mirror 

• Hair comb

• Small notebook and pen

• Makeup pouch

• Keys

Starter Set discount

If you’ve made it to this part of the blog, congrats! You now know how to pack for a weekend trip. Next time you do it, it’ll be easy peasy lemon squeezy. If you're a newbie in packing, we've got the perfect guide on How to Pack a Suitcase just for you. What are you waiting for? Start packing! Your trip awaits.

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