If you hadn’t guessed already I love travelling and nothing fills me with more joy and excitement than getting off the plane or train in a new location ready to explore. Packing though isn’t one of my favourite parts of the process, but over the year’s I’ve managed to get to a point where I don’t overpack for the smallest journeys. For anything weekends/ long weekends away I would never take more than hand luggage because you really don’t need to. You don’t want to be paying more to check in a bag, wasting time waiting to pick it up at the airport and trying to lug more than you need to on public transport as you go from the airport to your accommodation.
A lot of people tend to pack way too much when it comes to small 2-4 day trips when it’s really not needed so here’s some tips on how to pack effectively for a weekend away.
Never take more than 2 pairs of shoes
If you’re away for up to 4 days you really don’t need more than 2 pairs of shoes. Wear your everyday walking shoes/ boots on your feet during the travels and then take one additional pair with you, either some nice evening shoes if you’re planning on going out or some sandals/ flip flops if it’s a sunshine holiday. Shoes not only weigh you down but they take up more space than they need to.
Get a multi USB plug
Whenever I go away I take one adaptor plug and one multi USB plug which I can then plug everything into together like my phone, my iPod, my Ipad, my Fitbit, everything. You don’t need twenty million separate plugs as almost all things will be able to charge/ work through a USB port. When you have all your tech and cables together put them in a separate bag within your suitcase so they don’t get all tangled up.
Check if your accommodation has a hairdryer
Most of us will need hair styling products but so many times I’ve seen someone take a hairdryer only to find their hotel has one there. Most of the time hotels have hairdryers in the rooms, but even if there isn’t you may be able to borrow one from reception. It’s worth looking online/ calling in advance to find out as it’s pointless taking one if it’s not needed.
Roll up items along the sides
Smaller items like underwear and small tops can be rolled up and layered down the sides to save room, keep the main space for larger items like dresses and jeans. Don’t worry about creasing items as you’ll find so many hotels will have irons in the room/ available to borrow. Packing clothing will inevitably crease them so you might as well tightly pack.
Remember that almost all hotels will have shower gel provided in the bathroom so save yourself some space by not packing any, and if you’re going with a friend split out things like shampoo, toothpaste and body spray to save on room. Remember if you’re flying you can only have one small bag of liquids and if you’re anything like me you’ll want most of that for makeup.
Pack versatile clothing
If you’re heading on a city break chances are the weather could be unpredictable so make sure you have clothing which can be used in all weather. Layering is much easier to do so rather than taking one large thick jumper, opt for a few smaller layers. Take one jacket/ coat which you can wear during the journey which is warm enough for day wear but nice enough for evening wear. The same goes for tops, try to go for something which can be doubled up for the evening without the need for another outfit change.
Fewer outfits, more accessories
If you’re planning on going out at night choose an outfit you can wear all day and change it’s look for the evening with a belt or a necklace. Accessories take up less space than clothing and can fit inside things like your shoes or toiletry bags.
Make a universal list and stick to it
I find almost all weekends away will have the same universal packing lists, obviously there are some items which can be crossed off such as sun-tan cream if I’m going away in Winter, or a plug adaptor if I’m going to Ireland, but it’s so useful to have a universal list so you don’t have to keep writing lists for every trip. I have one within my Bullet journal with lines to tick off for each trip which has saved me forgetting things on so many occasions.
Check the size of your cabin baggage
Most airlines have fairly similar cabin bag restrictions but always check the sizes before you travel as the last thing you want is to have to pay to check it in if it’s a little too big. Most of the time you’ll get away with it but certain airlines can be picky so ensure beforehand that you have the right size.