The Ultimate Packing Checklist for a Weekend Getaway

The Ultimate Packing Checklist for a Weekend Getaway



There are days when we just need to get away…

But more often than not, it seems impossible to get out of the rut and take a break. Either you don’t have the time or you just can’t afford to stop working, lest things pile up. These excuses are heard often enough, but the golden rule that I prefer to follow is ~ take a break to feel rejuvenated ~ as the gray cells sing when they are refreshed! With a weekend getaway, you don’t lose time and it’s affordable, and, more importantly, you free up your brain’s resources from the daily grind of survival and workplace challenges.

Once you’ve made the decision to enjoy a weekend getaway, packing for it can turn out to be quite challenging. You don’t want to lose out on the momentum by having to drag a heavy suitcase or burden yourself with a bulging backpack. With travel ramping up these last few years, I have to say, the one thing I’ve truly mastered is packing light.

Yes, strategic packing can address all your packing woes. To help you pack stress free, I will be showing you how to pack for a weekend getaway in style. Make this ultimate packing checklist for a weekend getaway your first stop when planning your next trip.




Research Well

The first step is to pack the right clothes appropriate for the weather you’re likely to encounter. If it’s likely to be a bit chilly, a good quality turtleneck, and a jacket should keep you warm enough for a full-day’s worth of wander. I also make sure to carry a beautiful & functional scarf ~ your short holiday can be a dampener if you don’t have the right accessories to keep you warm. If the climate promises warmth and sunshine, you may pack lighter. So first things first ~ check the weatherman’s forecast and make a list of what you need to carry.

Your Ultimate Checklist

This one may be a no-brainer but a lot of us are too lazy to make a list and often miss out on essentials. I would suggest that you start with the things you’d need in the morning ~ toiletries, makeup, clothing ~ and work down the day to money, electronic items and accessories, prescription medicines if any, and footwear that you are likely to need. If a beach is in the vicinity, you’re sure to want your swimwear and sunscreen lotion. That done, choosing your backpack or a small suitcase will help you restrict your packing to its confines. And remember to fold or roll clothing so that they fit better and make your luggage more compact.




Pack Lightweight Pieces

Your ultimate packing guide for a weekend getaway is multi-functional in the sense that you would be able to mix and match items of clothing enabling you to get more out of less. Traveling light and in style is easy ~ if you just know how. You don’t want to haul on stuff that you think you may need but remains untouched through the duration of your vacay.

Here a capsule wardrobe is an essential concept to understand in order to create a minimal yet highly functional {and fashionable} travel wardrobe. I value simplicity, clean styling, and a good tailored fit above anything else. A duster can be worn with just about anything and it can double up as a ‘warmer’ or chic outerwear when coupled with trousers or jeans. Similarly, stylish scarves don’t occupy much space and can be worn to achieve a ‘dressy look’ or simply as a part of your day outfit when you’re out hiking or walking. Sunglasses make you look chic and protect your eyes ~ I would recommend you don’t miss out on that either.


Choosing The Right Shoes For Travel

Be smart about your shoes: comfy sneakers are realistic and safe as they are light and can withstand the rigors of walking or trekking. Throw in a pair of flip-flops for good measure ~ depending on where you’re headed ~ they can come in handy. Steel yourself to limit footwear to just that and never yield to the temptation of lugging around dressy shoes ~ they don’t serve any purpose. After all, you’ll be gone for just a couple of days.

Please note: Ballet flats are a popular travel shoe option when you want a dressier look but they are not recommended for long hours on your feet sightseeing.




Minimal Beauty

For a short excursion, adopt a minimalist perspective. I would suggest paring down your toiletries to the absolute essentials. Pack in small tubes of toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, moisturizer, body wash and other skincare products that you use daily. A Ziploc bag is ideal for your toiletries ~ just ensure that you bring small quantities and minimum makeup {i.e. compact, bronzer and lip colour}. Throw in your daily medication, too, lest you forget them later.


Electronic Items

Yes, you can’t travel without your smartphone and charger but you can definitely leave behind your laptop for a couple of days. Your phone can double up as a camera and a guide if you store locations in it. And if you love reading, Kindle will allow you to take trips without lugging around books, leaving more space in your suitcase for essentials.

It’s always tempting to add items at the last minute ~ resist from doing so ~ you want to have a great weekend without having to feel ‘weighed down’!


What are some of your favourite short-term packing tips? Do share in the comments below!

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *


  • Great post on packing for a weekend trip, Tanya! When packing, I always take a picture of everything laid out with my cell phone. That way on the off chance that my luggage gets lost I will be able to recollect what was in there. xx

  • I agree that planning your visit ahead of time is an unquestionable requirement. I print out my own destination reports and highlight the must visit sights.

  • Such a splendid article ~ thank you so much for the tips. And Tanya, what an amazing life you lead, I envy you!

    • Aw Thank you! I like keeping it simple, and I don’t let packing take away from the trip itself. 🙂

  • I am a very frequent traveller, Tanya. Solid advice in the article, however I’d include that the more “squash-able” the luggage, the better it will fit in the overhead compartments.

    • Good point. Although, I end up choosing a hard case hoping it will prevent too much wear and tear and restrict me from over stuffing it! 🙂

  • These are great tips, Tanya. The golden rule I follow is to identify and embrace your absolute must-haves. So when I know I’ve packed a few of them, I feel at ease.

    • Having some of our favourite things along for the ride can make a trip that much more enjoyable. 🙂

  • I love your thought on adding items to your wardrobe on the places you visit. That is my favourite way to purchase souvenirs! Not only do you get the opportunity to add to your wardrobe, but you return home with something unique and likely not as ‘touristy’.

    • When it’s a short weekend trip, an edit of all the clothes you want to wear is the most practical thing to do.

  • Great write up! On a weekend trip, neutral colour palates — tans, blacks, whites, greys — can boost your choices while keeping your carry-on, well, carry-able; while great accessories can add a pop of colour to a simple ensemble.

    • Having the ability to mix and match pieces while travelling is crucial and by packing neutral pieces, you can basically wear any piece with any other. Thanks for sharing, Robin.

  • Quality luggage is one of the most essential investments a traveller can make. Weekender bags are my favourite because they’re sufficiently big to feel like a small suitcase, but can easily be slung over your shoulder.

    • I absolutely agree, Penny. The bag you’re taking along 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.

  • In case you’re flying and using a carry-on bag, I would recommend constraining liquids to containers of 3 oz. or less that fit in a small zipped clear plastic bag.

    • Of course. To save significantly more space in your bag, its best to invest in travel-size beauty products.

  • I keep my basics, like blouses and shorts, relatively simple and neutral. I then can add pops of colour with my dress, jacket, and accessories.

    • Choosing pieces that you’ll definitely wear and will function ~ and look fashionable at the same time in a variety of circumstances ~ is the most ideal approach.

  • All in all, I think non-negotiables are headphones, sunglasses, a water bottle, and lip balm… haha!!

  • Love your blog and love you!! Great tips. If I experience difficulty sleeping in unfamiliar places or on planes/buses/trains, a sleep mask helps me relax and unwind.

  • Incredible tips. I’d like to add that while a little backpack may be small, it acts like a bottomless pit! Additionally it will not feel too heavy since it will be evenly sitting on both shoulders and look super trendy at the same time!

  • Inspired by you, Tanya! In the end, how you spend your much-needed time away is entirely up to you.

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