If you’re planning your next weekend getaway, you already know how stressful it is remembering to bring all the important things.
From your phone charger to your rain jacket to insect repellent, it can be a little daunting.
If you’re only going away for a couple of days, this post will help you pack light and will deter you from bringing those dreaded extra items that never get used anyway.
I have come a LONG WAY from being a chronic over packer, so if I can do it, you can too!
These are my best tips that I’m certain will make your next trip a breeze.
Scroll to the bottom to see my Weekend Packing Guide video!
***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the product or service, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. Click here to learn more.
Step 1: Determine your destination
Before you pack, the very first thing you want to do is determine where it is you’re going.
- Maybe you’re going on a mini road trip for the weekend
- Perhaps you’re attending a wedding in another state
- Do you and your best friend have a beach trip planned?
Once your destination is determined, you’ve actually done a lot of the up-front work that comes with packing.
You can now decide what clothes and accessories you’ll need to bring based on your destination’s weather forecast and the event or festivities you’ll be partaking in.
Packing the appropriate clothes will save a lot of room in your suitcase that you can use for other things, like souvenirs!
Step 2: Make a list of things to pack
Next, you’ll want to make a list of all the things you’ll need to bring on your short trip.
I’ve made this super easy for you by making a packing checklist you can download and use!
My Packing Guide Checklist will save you a tremendous headache because you’ll only be packing the things you actually need to bring with you, rather than things you think you’ll need.
Once you’ve downloaded this ultimate packing list and noted what you’re bringing on your weekend trip, you’re almost ready to begin packing!
Step 3: Determine your luggage
Before you get to packing, you’ll want to determine what luggage you will use on your weekend trip. You have a lot of options available, such as a weekend tote, a carry-on bag or suitcase, a duffel bag, etc.
For this type of trip, I’d recommend using a carry-on suitcase for your travel essentials for the following reasons:
- It’s compact and doesn’t take up much space
- It rolls, which makes for easy transport in and out of airports and your hotel room
- It’s smaller than a standard suitcase, which will force you to downsize and not over pack
My absolute favorite carryon is this one by July. This is hands-down the most durable carry-on suitcase I’ve ever purchased.
And did I mention it’s a beautiful piece of luggage (because who doesn’t love aesthetically pleasing luggage)!?
I’ll link my July Carry-on Trunk review video below because I need you to witness this amazingness. I can’t recommend this brand enough!
I’ll also drop the link below if you want to get this trunk too!
Step 4: Use a system to pack your bag
Now, let’s get down to the fun part – packing! I know what you’re thinking — since when has packing EVER been fun!?
When you know exactly what you’re packing and how you plan on packing, there is no stress involved!
There are two systems that I use when packing — the rolling method and the folding method.
For thin garments, like underwear, blouses, or dresses, I typically roll them to save space in my carry-on suitcase.
For example, if I have a blouse that needs to be rolled, I’ll do the following:
- Shake out the blouse so there are no wrinkles
- Fold it in half (long ways)
- Starting at the bottom, tightly roll the blouse upwards
Once it’s rolled, it will easily fit into any small space, saving lots of room for your other clothes.
It’s a good idea to fold your thicker clothes, like a pair of jeans or a sweater, that can’t easily roll.
What you’ll want to do is:
- Shake out your garment to get rid of wrinkles
- Fold it long ways
- Starting at the bottom, tightly fold up until you reach the top
**I usually fold my thick garments in thirds.
Packing Cubes (optional)
I’ve used packing cubes in the past, but found them to be more bulky than helpful.
However, I know they work for some people and can come in handy if you wish to use one as a toiletry bag or to separate your personal items.
After you pack your clothes, move onto the other things from your weekend packing list, like accessories, toiletries, electronics, etc.
Also, feel free to play some music while you pack and make it a mini version of self-care!
Step 5: Do these things before leaving out
Now that you’re all packed and ready to go for your mini vacay, you can kick your feet up and relax until it’s time to head out, right?
Well, not quite!
There are a few things that you want to make sure you do before leaving out, so you aren’t doing them at the last minute and stressing yourself out.
Inform your bank & credit card companies of your travels
Nothing is worse than going on a trip and your debit or credit cards decline because your bank thinks it’s a fraud attempt.
Let them know a few days before you head out that you’ll be traveling, so they don’t think someone stole your card.
Clean out your fridge
If you have perishable items in your refrigerator, you’ll definitely want to get rid of them before you leave.
Also, remember to check the expiration dates on your beverages and items like yogurt and eggs so you don’t come back to any smelly surprises.
Turn off your air conditioner and electronics
I would recommend turning off your AC for the few days you’ll be gone to save money.
Also, unplugging any unused electronics will save you a few bucks too.
Tidy up your place
There’s nothing better than coming back to a clean space after a vacation. And let’s be real, after all your packing and sorting through clothes and such, it’s probably a little messy.
Washing your sheets, putting things back in their spot, and doing a quick vacuum can do a world of good!
Forward your mail & packages
If you have any mail or packages being delivered, arrange to have them be held at your local shipping facility so you can pick them up once you return.
Alternatively, if you a have a friendly neighbor that you trust, ask if they would collect your mail for you until you get back.
**Watch my video below to learn more travel tips you can incorporate before leaving for a trip.
Pro Tips for Travel
I highly recommend you use my Travel Itinerary while on your trip.
It will help you stay on track of your daily budget and all the activities you have planned. Click here to get it sent to your email!
Buy a luggage scale
Nothing is worse than thinking you’ve packed lightly for your trip and your carry on now needs to be checked because it’s too heavy.
Investing a few dollars into a luggage scale will save you a lot of time and an additional cost. Get yours here!
Pick the right travel outfit
Ditch your heels and opt for a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Also, I’d recommend wearing a flowy, breathable outfit that makes you feel and look good.
This travel tip will maximize your comfort on your travel day.
Put plastic wrap over cosmetics and liquids
It’s no secret that the airport luggage attendants will almost always manhandle your belongings.
Do yourself a favor and place a bit of plastic wrap over the openings of your cosmetics and liquids before screwing the tops back on.
This trick usually prevents your cosmetics from spilling inside your suitcase and getting everywhere.
Add scent packets to your luggage
Adding little scent packets in your luggage is a pleasant touch. Your clothes will smell even better, and it just adds a little extra something!
I hope this ultimate packing guide helped you out for your next trip.
You won’t have unnecessary items bogging down your suitcase, which will save you space for those essential items.
Have a great time and take lots of pictures! And be sure to check out my weekend packing guide video below, and click here to learn how you can save money for travel!
Peace, love, and good vibrations.