How To Effectively Pack For A Weekend Away

Holiday Essentials Sunglasses

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.

Share toiletries

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.

Holiday Essentials Toiletries

 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.

Bullet Journal Packing

 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.

What are your packing tips?
July 15, 2017
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  • Reply Steph

    Great tios. I love the idea of the universal packing list. I’m off to Liverpool in a few weeks for 2 nights and know I will over pack. Going to work on a list this weekend x

    July 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Christina Bruner Polovich

    These are some good tips for packing for travel. My husband and I travel frequently so we’ve gotten much better at the packing routine overtime. You do mention some things that we haven’t tried before and I’ll try to incorporate those things into our new routine.

    July 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm
  • Reply Mummy Times Two

    This is so helpful thank you, we will be travelling in September and I will be referring to this post again.

    July 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Laura

    I love what you’ve done here- sharing toiletries is a great tip because especially if you’re traveling with a girl, they often have the same or similar things xxx

    July 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm
  • Reply Kaity Johnson

    Some really great travel tips here! Limiting shoes has been one that’s made a huge impact for us too—they take up SO much space!

    July 16, 2017 at 11:30 pm
  • Reply Pam

    Hahaha- one of my biggest mistakes (that I still make) is packing too many shoes and too many outfits. I always want to be ready for “whatever”, but a couple of outfits seems to work out just fine most of the time.

    July 17, 2017 at 12:36 am
  • Reply Victoria

    I agree with you… extra pairs of shoes can make you end up having to check a bag. No need for that when they cost so much nowadays.

    July 17, 2017 at 1:52 am
  • Reply SavvyMomNYC - Ker

    I always pack a magazine. When I go away, I feel like it is the only time that I can actually read it. Years ago, my mother had a list that she would always make copies of. She was way ahead of her times!

    July 17, 2017 at 2:21 am
  • Reply hzajac13

    I am an ultimate minimalist when it comes to packing. I wear a pair of shoes and I pack one. I do bring my own toiletries as I am very particular and don’t find the little shampoo bottles to be convenient.

    July 17, 2017 at 6:42 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    These are some great tips! I consider myself to be a bit of a packing pro, and rolling things up and putting things inside each other (e.g. socks inside shoes) is my ultimate tip! Stephanie xx

    July 17, 2017 at 8:03 am
  • Reply Kate Veggie Desserts

    So many great tips here! Having a master packing list is a great idea to save any last minute packing panic.

    July 17, 2017 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Kara

    I am the master of packing light, although I did pack the wrong shoes this weekend and ended up with blisters

    July 17, 2017 at 10:35 am
  • Reply Carla

    I try not to pack more than two pairs of shoes too as they often weigh so much. I always put toiletries at the top of my bags too so they are always to hand.

    July 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm
  • Reply Beautyqueenuk

    I am terrible for packing my hairdryer, even when I go visit my parents I take one… and my Mum has a GHD dryer x

    July 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply *Beth Twinderelmo*

    Oh I wish I could pack minimalistic but I get severe FOMO. I do the hairdryer check but still have to take my ghds. I can’t travel light. I’m a nightmare

    July 17, 2017 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Healthy & Psyched

    Oh my gosh! You’re so organised!! I really overpacked for my last trip because I hadn’t taken enough things the previous time. Hopefully I will get it right next time haha.

    July 17, 2017 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Krystal

    I never leave without an external charge but that multi USB is pretty sweet! I need to remember to pack my straightener!

    July 17, 2017 at 8:04 pm
  • Reply Nayantara Hegde-Karkhanis

    I’m terrible at packing. I either under pack and end up buying something locally or over pack and bring back unused clothes and accessories. A planner would be a great way to pack for trips.

    July 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm
  • Reply Amber Nelson

    I am not a fan of packing, to be honest. As easy as it can be, I’m all for it. Great tips!

    July 17, 2017 at 11:24 pm
  • Reply Maria - Tough Cookie Mommy

    These are some great tips and couldn’t have come at a better time. I always pack way too much when we go away and never know how to prioritize my outfits and shoes.

    July 18, 2017 at 2:45 am
  • Reply Fashion Phases

    I’m going away this weekend. These are some great ideas for a weekend getaway! BTW, I really like your sandals and hair dryer.

    July 18, 2017 at 7:13 am
  • Reply Kitty Morris

    great tips! I’m absolutely terrible for over packing and really need to get better at it

    July 18, 2017 at 7:24 pm
  • Reply Tamsin - Eco Fluffy Mama

    I never thought about a multi usb plug. Great suggestion!

    July 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  • Reply MissPond

    I’ve been caught out with hair dryers before! Great tips about the shoes, I’ve been known to pack way too many!!

    July 19, 2017 at 6:53 am
  • Reply Helen Clark

    I can’t offer any tips as I’m terrible for over packing! I’m always adding extra bits for “just in case” that never make it out my suitcase. I’ll definitely try remember this next time I’m going away.

    July 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm
  • Reply kitty kaos

    I couldn’t agree more about 2 pairs of shoes I made the crazy mistake of only taking one pair of flip[ flops to Turkey once! x

    July 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Louise Smith

    I just got back from a week away in the UK, and I took 7 pairs of shoes (including the ones I wore on the way there), and I actually managed to wear 6 of them! I think if I was going on a plane journey I’d just choose my 2 fave pairs though, and wear boots for the journey so I had those incase it rained while I was away 🙂

    Louise x

    July 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm
  • Reply Lubka Henry

    Very useful tips. I’m yet to try and master the skill of rolling my clothes when packing.

    July 24, 2017 at 2:26 am
  • Reply Dani / floraldanielle

    This is a great list and I definitely need to start making myself a little packing list as every time I go away I learn something new that I either need, or don’t need to bring!
    Definitely agree with only two pairs of shoes and sharing toiletries 🙂

    Dani x

    July 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm
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