By Britnee Tanner
You've been planning your upcoming weekend trip for months. Instead of thinking about your current workload at the office, you've probably found yourself daydreaming about the Airbnb you booked a month in advance along with the food and activities you'll soon be experiencing on your perfect weekend itinerary.
You've planned who you're going with, when you're leaving and what you'll do when you get there.
The part you may not have given equal thought to (because frankly it's not part of the relaxing weekend) is the packing. It's a necessary evil - the mandatory hustle-to-fit-in-what-you-can-the-night-before-you-leave struggle we've all come to know so well.
Sometimes it consists of you washing clothes that weren't clean while trying to predict the weather and what events you'll need to be wearing what for and this can be plain old exhausting.
Let's just get the stuff in and hope it all fits. Am I right?
Like so many others headed out to their next weekend destination you know what you need - sunglasses, sandals, a few accessories and your smartphone gear (drone, chargers, and a waterproof case). But what you quickly realize is getting all of that into one small "weekend getaway bag" is more like squeezing an air mattress back into the box it came in.
No. Small. Feat.
So read on fellow traveler because in this blog post I'll be sharing four tips to help you pack light for your next weekend trip.
- Don't bring an outfit option for every day that you're gone. If it's a three day trip, you hardly need anything. Yep, you heard right - you hardly need anything. Here's how you do it: Pack basic clothes you can wear multiple times without notice. Consider bringing a few clean shirts and plan to re-wear your shorts or pants. This works for summer or winter. You just sub the short-sleeves for long and add in an appropriate coat.
- Limit your shoes! If you absolutely have to, pack one pair in your bag but remember that you'll have something on your feet on your way to and from your destination. Consider bringing shoes that you can dress up or down.
- Roll your clothes. I've folded and rolled but time and time again, rolling proves to be one of the most efficient ways to pack a small suitcase like a boss. You'll be glad you did. So do it!
- Leave anything you're questioning at home. I learned this one from a dear friend who is the lightest packer I have ever met. She travels internationally with one small carry-on and a mini-purse. More often than not, our instinct says to pack as much as possible so that we are prepared but if you pack smarter (and consider bringing less) you'll be able to avoid extra weight and lack of storage. So leave the debatable pieces at home and instead focus on the necessities - underwear, clean tops and only the bottoms and toiletries you’re really going to use.
Here’s a sample packing list that includes the essential items for any weekend trip:
- Your favorite face and hair products in mini-sizes
- Shaving cream
- Bug spray (optional)
- 1 pair of shoes for your bag (I suggest wearing sneakers on your way and packing sandals)
- 1-2 pair of shorts/light pants
- 2 tops
- 1 light sweater
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 hat (optional)
- 1 phone charger
- Earbuds or headphones
- Phone/camera accessories (optional)
Like anything else in life, packing light takes a little practice. Give these suggestions a go and let us know how it works out for you. And if you're already a light packer, share your favorite tips with us in the comments!
Britnee’s minimalist journey started after her own experience living in some of the most expensive cities in the US and feeling early career burnout by her mid-twenties. She knew something had to change or she had to adapt. She channeled her learnings and thoughts into blog-form and now shares insights to help teach other millennials about the freeing nature of simple-living. You can read more tips at SoooSimple.com or say hi on Instagram.