I love a weekend getaway even more than a long trip away (you can cram so much in… plus, I like being home and don’t love leaving Tyrion for long stretches) but they can be tricky to pack for! For a shorter trip like a long weekend, I always try to pack as light as possible. Minimalist packing is not something that comes easy to me but I also hate carrying a lot of stuff with me. And if I’m flying somewhere, I refuse to check a bag and pay baggage fees – I need a small sized bag that will fit in the overhead bins. So my small luggage forces me… I have to pack light. (Seriously though: short trips never really require that much stuff, and you save money by not checking your bag, too!) I’m also terrified of airlines losing my luggage. It happened once before… never again! Plus I love my carry on bag... she’s so pretty!
Today I’ve rounded up the best tips on how to pack light for a shorter weekend or week trip – these hacks will have you traveling light without feeling like you made any sacrifices.
How to Pack Light for a Weekend Away
tip no. 1: Packing light means packing strategically.
Make a packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Lay everything you want to bring out first before you pack. Place the bulkiest items (sneakers, pairs of pants, jeans, etc) at the bottom of the suitcase (toward the wheels) and save the smaller, lightest items like socks, underwear, and bras to fit into random spots (I always stuff small items into my shoes, for example). If you’re bringing a hat, stuff the crown with small soft items and place it flat on the base of the suitcase. Then pack everything else around it! I’ve packed like this fore the past couple years and it makes a big difference – you’d be shocked how much space it frees up!
tip no. 2: Pack separates that can easily be mixed and matched!
I am such a dresses girl so this is hard, but I really find that packing pieces (tops + skirts and/or pants) that can mix and match a) takes up less space in my suitcase and b) is so much more versatile! You’ll save space AND have more potential outfits.
tip no. 3: Prevent Wrinkles!
You know those plastic garment bags from the dry cleaners? They are actually a godsend for preventing wrinkles when you pack. I always save my plastic bags to reuse when packing. Pack your delicate items inside a plastic garment bag and gently fold as you usually would to prevent wrinkles!
tip no. 4: keep a pre-packed toiletry kit on hand.
Fill it with all the products you need (don’t forget a razor + tweezers) so that you don’t have to worry about doing it (or lugging your full size products). If you have full size products you can’t bare to leave behind, buy a set of travel bottles like this one and decant your full size products into smaller bottles. Again though, do this ahead of time! I keep mine up to date – when I get home from my adventure I refill my kit with anything I used up so that it’s always ready to go and I don’t have to think about it when I pack for my next trip.
Make this step extra fun/an excuse to try new things by signing up for a service like Birchbox. Those samples are perfectly travel sized! For a longer trip (a week or more) when I have a checked bag I will bring full size toiletries but it just doesn’t make sense for weekend trips or when I’m trying to travel light. This is my go-to toiletries bag – I keep it pre-packed with everything I need so that I can just throw it in my luggage and GO!
tip no. 5: Invest in an outlet extender!
This is one of the best tips I’ve gotten. An outlet extender (I have that exact one) will turn an outlet into a multi-USB hub; eliminating the need for multiple plugs.
tip no. 6: Pack from the “bigger” section of your wardrobe.
This tip comes from my good friend Hitha (who wrote a whole book about packing!) She says, “Pack from your “bigger” section of your wardrobe – flights will make you bloat, and I know I love to indulge in the local food when I travel. Your stretchiest jeans and most flattering tops will serve you well as your travel wardrobe (as does a good mumu dress – throw on a denim jacket and ankle boots to transition it to fall!)”
tip no. 7: Bundle your clothes instead of rolling them!
And instead of packing cubes, try using space saving compression cubes to fit more clothing in a smaller amount of space. You will save space and be more organized… it will be much easier to find your packed items when they are bundled together.
tip no. 8: Keep your jewelry organized and protected
I have two really great tips to share here. First, if you’re packing delicate necklaces, thread the chain through a paper straw to keep it from getting tangled. Second, use Glad Press N Seal to keep everything organized and in one place! (Lay things flat on one layer and then cover, press, and seal!) Then you can layer the jewelry between soft items – no need to bring a travel jewelry case.
tip no. 9: Limit your shoes
Shoes take up too much space… and they’re heavy! When packing for a weekend, I always limit myself to two pairs of shoes. Usually my gold birks (summer) or a cute pair of sneakers that can be dressed up (like my beloved Vince Warrens), + boots or a heel depending on the trip. I wear whichever pair of shoes takes up more space.
What are your favorite ways to travel light!? Tell me in the comments section!
Photography by Allie Provost.
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