How to Pack for a Last-Minute Weekend Getaway

travel bagWeekend trips seem like they should be the easiest ones to pack for, but they always are the hardest for me. For the past 29 years, my husband and I have traveled across the country, squeezing in weekend
trips during the school year and longer trips in the summer. Our trips always included our twin daughters, which required us (mostly me) to become expert packers.
Packing for a last-minute getaway doesn’t have to be stressful. Today I’ll share my go-to packing list, favorite travel accessories, and some tips for a go-with-the-flow attitude.

Have A Go-To Packing List

The travel arrangements are in order; the car’s been serviced and gassed up, and the last thing you need to do is pack.
When planning my packing list, I like to break things down chronologically. The first day usually consists of traveling and then grabbing dinner. The second day is open for exploring, shopping, eating, and maybe a nice dinner. The last day is breakfast or brunch, then traveling home. Taking a few minutes to think about your activities might save you the agony of realizing you missed the mark with your outfits.
 suitcase with purse
Another thing I always do is check the weather report for my destination. For example, if you’re headed to a rainy city and plan on spending most of your time exploring the outdoors, you should bring a raincoat and leave any leather boots at home.
So once you’ve considered those factors, here is what you’ll need:
  • Car outfit
  • Friday night dinner outfit
  • Saturday exploring or shopping outfit
  • Saturday evening outfit
  • Sunday brunch and drive-home outfit
When thinking about clothing and shoes to pack, I usually try to think of a color palate. For example, I might decide the whole weekend will be about creams and neutral colors. This limits the number of shoes, jackets, etc.; I’ll need to pack.

The Breakdown

This breaks down into the following:
  • one blouse & two t-shirts
  • one dress or jumper
  • a sweater or light jacket for layering
  • one pair of jeans
  • one pair of leggings
  • shoes: one dressy sandal or wedge & one pair of sneakers
  • depending on the weather or indoor pool options: swimsuit & cover-up
So that’s a wrap for the clothes but what about a bag for the car? I usually pack a tote bag for the car during a road trip. This bag would most likely have the following:
  • a book or kindle
  • some snacks
  • phone charger and earbuds
  • travel pillow and blanket
  • hand sanitizer and tissues
Optional add on’s
  • jacket
  • cold-weather accessories
  • eye mask and earplugs

Bonus Packing Tips

  • If you travel more than once a year, consider setting aside a ready-to-go toiletry bag forever stocked with travel-size minis of all your usual toiletries. Don’t touch this toiletry bag at home; you won’t have to remember what to pack each time you jet off because it’s already there!
  • Don’t pack items you can find at your destination. You don’t need to bring a hairdryer if the hotel has one.
  • Ask your salon for trial-sized samples of your must-have skincare products.
  • Leave your work computer at home!
  • Travel with a small fabric or mesh bag for your dirty clothes. This keeps the rest of your clothes from getting dirty and smelly.

Let Go and Enjoy

A weekend getaway is supposed to be something positive, fun, and exciting. Don’t let packing stress you out. Luckily, there’s no right or wrong way to pack; keep it simple and enjoy the trip!

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