Our travel tips and a packing list suggestions for your weekend bag to help you make sure nothing gets left behind on your next day trip or weekend getaway.
The long weekend is calling out, and it's only a matter of time before you answer by venturing out for some much-deserved R&R.
While we love a last-minute, spontaneous adventure, the bag you're taking with you should prepare you for the journey ahead, not serve as a reminder of what was left behind in your closet or weigh you down with a lack of decisive packing.
If you're looking to pack light and pack smart for the weekend's getaway, we recommend following some of our time-honored tips for packing with purpose. Plus, keep reading for a brief packing list for your weekend bag to help you make sure nothing gets left behind on your next trip.
Expertly Pack Your Weekend Toiletry Bag
While a weekend trip calls for careful packing, there's no need to sacrifice your grooming routine. It is absolutely possible to slim down to the travel essentials for a short trip, including toiletries like body wash, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair product, deodorant, moisturizer, a razor and shaving cream, toothpaste, and toothbrush. To save even more space in your travel bag, you might want to invest in travel-size grooming products —Truefitt & Hill offers a host of classic products in getaway-friendly sizing for just the occasion, including deodorant that's paraben and aluminum-free and customizable sample kits.
Pack for Your Destination
Try to be a realist about the weather that awaits you. While many of us are optimistic that the weather will cooperate for the couple of days we'll be in our destination, colder weather can often prevail, a particularly important detail when spending time in the great outdoors, especially in the spring. So as much as you dream of warm, relaxing days on your vacation, it is wise to check any available weather reports for the locale and pack a pair of pants if rain or chilly weather makes an appearance. Preparedness prevents a multitude of pitfalls—a lesson all gentlemen can benefit from.
Minimize Bulk, Maximize Space in Your Carry-On Bag
Packing effectively for a trip is an art as well as a convenience. While it's easy to overpack for a short trip, underpacking for minimalists is also a concern—you should be mindful of what makes it into your weekender. Here are some tried and true packing tips to live by.
Only pack clothes you will truly and honestly wear throughout your time away, not what you think you might need on the off chance you partake in an unlikely activity.
Keep your bag slim by choosing clothing with solid colors, preferably neutrals instead of prints or patterns, to maximize the ease with which you can craft outfits. Packing for warm-weather locales is a simpler practice—most items you'll need will be lighter and more easily packed, while colder-weather packing presents more of a challenge.
Thinner items pack more efficiently than bulky items, which we generally need less of, so we recommend packing from thinnest to thickest in descending order. Pack the largest number of undergarments, followed by a slightly smaller number of first layers such as t-shirts or oxfords, followed by an even smaller number of thick layers like sweaters or cardigans as well as pants or shorts, and finishing with a single outer layer, such as a coat. In most cases, you'll probably only need one coat or jacket for when the weather turns, so choose it wisely.
Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Your weekend should only call for one or two pairs of shoes that are practical, stylish, and neutral. Beyond seamlessly fitting into the outfits you've planned, you'll want to choose comfortable shoes that you can wear for extended periods and easily transition between different activities and outings. Your shoes could be anything from classic sneakers to casual loafers to lace-up leather boots for walking and lounging. If you're convinced you'll need two pairs of shoes on hand for a wide range of excursions (i.e., a day at the beach vs. a black tie evening), wear the heaviest or larger pair of shoes and pack the other pair in your bag. If you're headed somewhere with sandy beaches, choose a low-profile pair of sandals or flip-flops that can easily fit into your carry-on.
And remember to pack various casual and dressy pairs of socks to dress up or down the neutral shoes you've chosen for your trip.
Air Travel Tips for a Comfortable Weekend
Packing for a plane ride differs drastically from packing for a weekend road trip. Space is limited, toiletries are regulated, and it's important to pack smart to be sure you have everything you need for a comfortable plane ride.
What's in your carry-on?
To easily organize your carry-on luggage, consider packing cubes to keep the contents compact and easy to remove if you are so unlucky as to forget a water bottle and get pulled to the TSA counter for a search.
We also highly recommend forgoing the duffel bag and investing in an easy-to-maneuver rolling bag as your carry-on to make your airport experience more enjoyable and for their compatibility with the aforementioned packing cubes.
And if you're headed out for a bit of a long trip and plan to check a bag, be sure to move any important documents to your carry-on in case your checked bag is lost by the airline.
- If you choose to include your toiletry bag in your carry-on, make sure it is easily accessible and removable for security.
What should you pack in your personal bag?
Your carry-on is placed in overhead bins during the flight, so be sure that everything you need for the flight is removed and placed into your personal item. These trip essentials include a phone charger, laptop or Kindle, hand sanitizer, and your wallet with your credit cards for in-flight purchases.
With the right travel packing strategy, air travel can be a luxurious experience.
Weekend Trip Packing List
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Razor and Shaving Cream
- Hair product
- Neutral pants, such as a pair of jeans or slacks
- Neutral solids
- Outer Layer
- Socks and underwear
- Comfortable shoes
- Computer, tablet, kindle
- Travel itinerary
- Water bottle
- Small travel backpack for day trips in your destination
No matter the destination, keen attention to packing will ensure your adventure begins as it should, well prepared and carefully styled. How you spend your much-needed time away is entirely up to you.