Packing for a weekend trip might not be as easy as you thought it would be. You might have experienced this yourself when realising you forgot to pack your toothbrush or pyjama!
Although some items you might forget are easy to buy quickly on a vacation, some items aren’t and forgetting them is a true pain in the ass!
I experienced that over and over again, yes, I already managed to forget to pack both my underwear and socks. This was a pretty painful lesson thus I decided to make a comprehensive packing list to make sure I’ll never be able to forget anything in the future!
Below you can find my list of what to pack for a weekend trip. But I would advise you to personalize this list and to add or remove any items depending on your needs. Then make sure to keep this packing list on your phone or print it out.
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Weekend trip packing list
Don’t be like me and forget your essentials! Here’s a list of which essentials you absolutely can’t forget on your weekend trip! Make sure to take one extra pair of underwear & socks with you for emergency situations.
- 2 trousers/pants
- 1 sweater
- 2 shirts
- 2 pairs of shoes (casual/sporty & elegant)
- Elegant clothes for the evening
- A jacket (might need to be waterproof)
If you decide to take your shampoo or body wash with you, you might want to consider using travel-sized packaging so that you can pack lighter!
- Tooth brush
- Dental flosh
- Make up
- Hair brush
- Tooth paste
- Body wash
- Hygiene products
- Skin care products
Besides clothes, you should also take some important documents with you. You can keep tickets on your phone but be aware that if your battery dies, you still need to be able to show these documents!
- Identity card and/or passport
- Hotel confirmation
- Flight/train/… tickets
- Emergency phone numbers – preferably offline in your wallet
- Paperwork necessary to enter another country
This is a small list of some additional items you might need. Depending on the purpose of your trip you might want to add or remove some items.
- Ear plugs
- Water bottle
- Quick snack
- Book, music, movie… something to keep you busy
- Universal travel adapter
- Credit card (Visa or Mastercard)
- Eye mask
- Face mask
- Hand sanitizer
- Vaccine certificates
- Any medication you might need – I always take some paracetamol with me for emergencies
For warm weather
- Sun hat
- Bathing suit or bikini
- Bug spray
- Open shoes
- Extra beach towel
For cold weather
- Warm jacket
- Extra warm sweater
- Base layers
- Extra warm socks (preferably wool)
- Boots that can handle rain or snow
Related: skiing essentials for beginners
Tips for packing light
Packing your bag is more than just putting together all the items you need. Some people will naturally try to pack much more than they actually need (I’m one of them). You know, what if you’d actually need those extra items on your trip?
That’s why I’m going to give you some additional tips to pack as light and efficient as possible. As a first tip, I would like to encourage you to pack at least 1 day beforehand. In the hours before you leave you might come up with additional items that you would have forgotten if you had packed 1 hour before you left.
Scan your body
When I pack my bag I always use the trick of scanning my body. I start at my feet, what do you need on your feet? Then I go up and scan all my different body parts to see whether I have forgotten to add anything to my bag.
Going over all your body parts will make sure that you won’t forget any essential clothing like socks.
Vacuum bags & packing cubes
What helps me save space in a weekend bag are for sure vacuum bags. These are bags where you put in your clothes and then remove all the air so that your clothes get compressed and you have more space in your suitcase.
This is of course not ideal for your more elegant clothes and definitely watch out for the weight of your bag when flying!
Another trick that helps organize your bag (but not compressing) are packing cubes. These cubes make sure that everything stays at the right place during your trip.
Check for hotel supplies
To make sure that you don’t double pack, you want to check your hotel supplies. If your accommodation provides body wash and shampoo you don’t necessarily need to take that with you, which lowers the volume and weight of your bag.
On Airbnb, for example, it’s very easy to check whether your room or apartment has soap and towels available for you.
Check the weather
Essential to make sure that you packed the right clothes is looking at the weather. At certain destinations the weather can be quite unpredictable, you don’t want to arrive at a rainy destination without a raincoat, right?
Plan your activities
Knowing what to pack for a weekend trip is much easier when you have planned out your activities beforehand. If you plan to go hiking, make sure to take your hiking boots with you. Forgetting these might rule out the possibility of hiking in the first place.
The same goes for other activities, if you roughly know what to do you can pack accordingly and make sure you have all the necessary equipment with you!
Weekend bag suggestion
Probably the most important item on your weekend away checklist might just be your weekend bag itself! Without a bag, there’s no packing right? 😉
You can either opt for a soft bag that you can easily carry with you, or a hard bag on wheels to carry behind you. I mostly opt for the latter but I do believe that the choice depends on the destination you’re visiting. (I simply don’t like to carry things.)
The bag that I use is from the brand Eastpak and is called the Eastpak Tranverz. Its size small is super handy as a carry on bag. I’ve been using my Eastpak Tranverz for years now without any signs of wear and tear.
If you’d like to know if this bag is something for you, I recommend reading my personal review about the Eastpak Tranverz. If you prefer it more backpack-like, then I would recommend the Eastpak Travelpack, a purchase that you’ll be able to use for the coming 10 years at least!
By now, I hope that I showed you how to pack for a weekend trip so that you’ll never forget anything. If you think I forgot something in this guide don’t hesitate to put a comment below so that I can add it here!