Simple packing for a weekend getaway

Packing copy

Packing for a weekend trip is no easy endeavor. If you’re like me and want to look your best on a three-day getaway, packing is often a challenge.

I remember one time in college when my mom and I took a trip to the Big Easy. I had one big bag for my clothes and shoes and another medium duffel for my toiletries. It was obnoxious. Once we reached our hotel room and decided to change for dinner, I couldn’t figure out what to wear and clothes were scattered all over the perfectly-made bed. It was a fashion tragedy and totally unnecessary. 

You may have a similar fashion “crisis.”

Well, there is a way around over-packing for a small trip. And your getaway is more about the experience and the people you are traveling with, correct? Then this should be easy!

Not so fast. Our fashion-forward minds beg to differ. But we must learn how to be minimal in our duffels and excessive in our experiences! Am I right or am I right?

Here are some tried-and-true tips I follow for packing when I head somewhere for the weekend.


Time allotted: 30 minutes – 1 hour (A glass of wine helps)

Start with a small bag. 

Bring a small duffel and make that your guide. A smaller bag really keeps you in check holds you accountable when you pack five shirtdresses for no reason. Also, remember how much space you will need for shoes. The blue duffel above is the one I use for every weekend trip.

Make this the golden rule, if all of it doesn’t fit in the duffel, remove something. It’s that simple. Or layer up on the way there! 😉

Think about it: What can you live without for two or three days? A lot of things.

Check the weather in the city you’re traveling to.

This is a click away on our smartphones, but many of us forget to check whether it will be raining, sunny or snowing! Some places it rarely snows (we know that down South), so it makes dressing easy. But the temperature is still important and will let you know if you need to bring that heavier jacket.

Rely on your staple pieces.

It’s perfectly fine if you want to wear a one-of-a-kind maxi dress to a special dinner, go for it! But for shopping and eating brunch, depend on your skinny jeans, cardigans, oversized tees, printed scarves and flat booties. You can make everyday essentials stand out with fun accessories.

In the fall, it’s important to remind yourself to layer up! And the great concept about layering is you can mix and match to create different looks. Remember a big comfy sweater equals less space in your bag. So choose wisely!

Staples I rely on during the fall/winter are cardigans, colored jeans, flat booties, comfy tees and scarves. |

Popular winter staples

  • Black, white or beige tees (for layering and sleep shirts)
  • Blue, black or colored jeans (have 2 or 3-pair jean limit) You could also substitute these with black or colored leggings.
  • A neutral cardigan to throw over a blouse or dress (navy, black, beige, white, mauve)
  • A neutral or print blouse you can wear with more than one outfit (Ex: Wear with jeans one day, tuck into a skirt the next)
  • A leather Moto jacket or trench for outerwear
  • A white, black or beige scarf


Create a color palette for the weekend.

What colors are you most drawn to each season and which ones make up the majority of your wardrobe? I’m a fan of brown, taupe and olive or navy, black and white. I’ll create a three-color palette and make that my base for creating looks and then see how I can mix and match with the same colors.

Plan your outfit, down to the necklace, earrings and shoes.

Once you figure out what staples/color palette you’re bringing, lay out your outfits down to the accessories and shoes. Then if you’re not sure how certain pieces will look together, try them on! When I do this, I envision where I’ll go in this outfit and what will happen. It gets me excited for the weekend ahead.

It also helps you tremendously when you get back from shopping or sightseeing all day and you know exactly what you’re going to slip on. Talk about hassle free!



Have a three-shoe limit.

I know this is a tough commitment, especially if you have five outfits. But let’s face it, you do not need two pairs of heels, two pairs of flats and three pairs of boots. To fit those shoes inside your small duffel, wear one on the day there and the other two will fit snugly inside your bag.

To give you an idea, here’s what I usually pack for a weekend home in the fall/winter:

  • 1 pair flat booties
  • 1 pair heel booties or pumps
  • 1 pair flats





Keep your toiletries minimal.

Now sometimes I find this harder to pack than clothes! I love all my makeup and skin care products, but most are bulky and not travel-friendly. So think to yourself: what will you actually use? Bring your everyday essential items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, hairbrush, hairspray, de-frizz spray, moisturizer & makeup essentials, wand or straightener, etc. And even better? Buy all this in travel size. 

A tip for skipping out on shampoo: Wash your hair the night before you leave for a trip. Unless you are sitting out in the sun all day or planning to vigorously exercise, your hair will still look good with a few spritzes of dry shampoo instead. And it will take up half the space.

NOTE: I put my toiletries in an extra bag. The duffel is just for your clothes! Now only having one bag would be the ultimate challenge…one I don’t plan to take. Life is too short.




I hope these tips were helpful when you pack for your next three-day getaway! What are some ways you pack for a mini-trip?






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