Weekend getaway packing list: Get these essentials before you go

Travel Essentials

Don’t stress too much about packing. If you forget something important, the likelihood is you can buy a replacement wherever you’re going.

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What essentials do you need for a weekend getaway? 

Packing for a weekend trip can be fraught — you don’t want to pack too much for just a couple of days, but you also want to avoid leaving behind anything important. The key to weekend getaway packing is to pare your luggage down to the bare essentials. 

The trouble is deciding what to bring and what to leave at home, but this needn’t be difficult. With a weekend getaway packing list, you can easily see what you need to bring and this makes it easier to buy any essentials you don’t have before you go. 

Weekend getaway packing tips

  • Don’t overpack. When you’re going away for a weekend or long weekend, aim to pack all your belongings in a weekend bag or carry-on luggage. It’s tempting to bring extra clothes or other items “just in case,” but try to reign yourself in. If you’re not sure you’re going to need it or you’re just trying to give yourself options, leave it at home. 
  • Consider the season. What you need to bring depends on the season and where you’re headed. Your packing list for a fall weekend in Vermont will be quite different from a weekend in Miami in June. 
  • Pack multipurpose clothing. It’s likely that you’ll be trying to pack in as much activity as possible in your short time away, so it might be tricky to think of outfits that work for all occasions. However, you’ll save space if you can bring clothes that work just as well for an afternoon walk in the park as a nice dinner out. You might find you can dress up outfits with an extra layer or carefully chosen accessories. 

Remember the basics

Wherever you’re headed, you’ll need to bring the basics.

  • You’ll need to bring at least one change of clothes for a single-night trip and two changes of clothes for a two-night trip, in addition to the clothes you’re wearing when you leave. Don’t forget socks, underwear and pajamas or other nightwear. 
  • You may also want to pack a smarter evening outfit if you’ll be going out for a fancy dinner, to the theater or similar, but don’t overdo it. 
  • Pack a coat or jacket, depending on the season, and potentially an extra pair of shoes if you need something smarter or more suited to outdoor activities than the ones you wear when you leave. 
  • You’ll also need toiletries, though most hotels provide basic toiletries, such as shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
  • Finally, don’t forget your phone charger and chargers for any other important electronics. 

What to get for a weekend trip

Herschel Novel Duffel Bag

Herschel Novel Duffel Bag

This is the perfect size for a weekend bag and is easy to carry with either the handles or a shoulder trap. It’s a versatile bag that will suit most individuals and comes in a range of colors. It has an easy-access pocket for storing travel documents or anything else you might need to grab quickly. 

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Fruit of the Loom Men’s Yarn-Dye Woven Flannel Pajama Pant

Fruit of the Loom Men’s Yarn-Dye Woven Flannel Pajama Pant

Not only are these pajama pants perfect for sleeping in, they make great loungewear if you’re planning a relaxed weekend away where you don’t do much more than lay around your accommodation, reading books and ordering in food. They’re available in a range of prints and sizes up to 5X. 

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Gildan Reusable 2-Layer Cotton Face Masks

Gildan Reusable 2-Layer Cotton Face Masks

Don’t let yourself get caught out in areas or establishments where mask-wearing is mandatory or encouraged. What’s more, when you’re visiting different countries or areas, it’s just good manners to try to avoid bringing infections from where you live. These masks are available in plain black or camo and come in packs of 12 or 24. 

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Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Spray

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Spray

These 2-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer spray are perfect for travel use. The compact size makes them easy to slip in a pocket while out and about. They’re available in lavender and basil fragrances and contain aloe extract to help keep your hands from drying out. 

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Thule Crossover 2 Travel Kit

Thule Crossover 2 Travel Kit

A compact travel kit bag, this is the perfect option for weekends away. It’s large enough to store essentials like your toothbrush, toothpaste, small toiletries and so on, but it isn’t so big that it will take up half your weekend bag. It has a simple design and looks smart. 

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Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

Sleeping away from home can be difficult, especially if you’re subjected to noisy neighbors or excessive street noise. These earplugs reduce noise levels and make it easier to sleep at night, plus they’re comfortable to wear. They’re also great for catching some Zs on the way to your destination if you aren’t driving. 

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Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

If you love to read, a Kindle is an ideal gadget to bring on a weekend away. Not only is it more compact than a single book, you won’t have to decide between multiple books to avoid overpacking — you can fit as many as you like on this one device. 

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S'well Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

S’well Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

It’s important to stay hydrated while traveling and while exploring your destination, and it makes sense to bring a water bottle so you don’t have to buy bottled water. This water bottle has a 17-ounce capacity so it’s more compact than many and therefore great for traveling. It’s also insulated so that it doesn’t sweat, keeping your luggage dry when stored in your bag. 

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Kate Spade New York Canvas Tote Bag

Kate Spade New York Canvas Tote Bag

A small tote bag won’t take up much room in your weekend bag but will give you something to carry around with you while you’re away. This quality canvas tote bag is durable, roomy enough for day use and comes in a range of designs. 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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