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What to Pack for a Weekend Away Packing List

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Wondering what to pack for a weekend away? Babe, you are at the right spot. We are masters of weekend trips – from road trips, business travel, urban wanderings to nature parks. This weekend away packing list is all you need to stay stylish as well as have a blast on your trip.

We have also included essential items and some key tips that you must keep in mind, considering today’s ever-changing situation and our new normal!

After having traveled to over 25+ countries and multiple weekend trips in over 12+ years, we now have everything crafted to a T, and we are eager to share our secrets! 

But first off, let’s give you the ESSENTIAL trip packing list!

What to pack for a weekend away packing list

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Clothing

  • Weekender bag – Backpack or duffel bag – My favorite here
  • 1 Comfortable, wear all long long shoes (or boots during winter. Optional sandals/flip flops if heading to the beach)
  • 1 pair of comfortable pants/jeggings/shorts/leggings. My favorite leggings here from Lululemon
  • 2 – 3 t-shirts or tops (optional fancy top for Saturday night outs or fancy dinners)
  • 2 pairs of undergarments
  • 2 pairs of socks 
  • 1 Nightwear
  • 1 lightweight jacket, preferable waterproof
  • For Winter – Winter jacket or parka
  • For Winter – Thermal wear or long johns
  • For Winter – Scarf 
  • For Winter -Gloves
  • For Winter – Beanie or warm cap

Toiletry

  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • Perfume
  • Basic makeup items (I don’t leave the house without my eyeliner and foundation!)
  • Lipstick/lip balm
  • Medications/ contact lens solution

Electronics

  • Cell phone
  • Multi port charger
  • Camera (optional, we like to carry it all times)
  • Headphones (optional)
  • Kindle (optional)

Other Accessories/Essentials

  • Sunglass
  • Hat
  • Beach mat & towel (if heading to the beach)

Essential documents

  • Cash, credit cards and wallet
  • Park permits (if heading to state/provincial parks)
  • Hotels, tours or attractions booking

Essentials in today’s new normal

  • Face mask (if mandated or required in the state/province you live in)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissue
What to pack for a weekend away

Pro Packing Tips 1: It is super important to pack light, regardless of your trip duration (weekends or a month-long trip). I carefully decide my outfits ahead of travel depending on the city or parks I am visiting, and landmarks or attractions I am (or Salil) is photographing. 

It’s like this when wake up in the morning for work, and find that you have nothing to wear. I know I do, even though my closet is full of clothes.

Now, imagine if you were to pick your outfits over the weekend for the next work week, match the purse and accessories (like scarf or jewelry), you will be so relaxed and put together in the morning!

It is the same for weekend trips. If you plan the outfits ahead of time, all you have to do on the day is just enjoy!

Here are some detailed items for a vacation packing list, and styling options for dazzling your weekend!

Best Weekender Bags: Duffel Bag | Backpacks

My personal favorite piece of luggage for a weekend away is a duffel bag. I am in LOVE with the Peak Design Duffel bag, which has a waterproof bottom. This makes it convenient if the bag happens to sit on a wet surface. 

This duffel bag is super stylish, and it can be converted into a backpack with its removable padded top handles and padded shoulder strap. I enjoy carrying it as a duffel bag as it can sit inside the car or inside the aircraft as a carry-on. 

But it’s nice to know that it has the versatility to transform into a backpack. The backpack size is 35 litres, which is perfect for a weekend away. 

Peak Design bag is made up of recycled 600D nylon canvas shells, and they offer life-time warranty on all of its products.

Click this link to view Peak Design Travel Duffel bag

Salil loves to carry his backpack. And when we are traveling overseas (like Europe), we prefer an anti-theft backpack for ease of travel, and peace of mind, knowing that our belongings are safe inside.

For a quick weekend away pack your clothing and valuables inside a 25-35 litre backpack, which is perfect for a light 2 day trip.

Pacsafe 25L daypack is made up of anti-cut, slash proof backpack, and its size is generous to fit all of the weekend essentials. It is lightweight, so you can also carry it around all day long, while exploring and sightseeing. 

Daypack 25 L: Click to view Pacsafe Daypack

During our late-fall and winter weekend trips to Europe, we carry a slightly bigger backpack (same backpack we use for 2-week trips). The generous size is needed to carry woolens or scarfs, warm socks, etc. that take up a lot of room.

Our top pick is the Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L (REI)

This backpack size is still carry-on approved as a personal item and light to carry. It opens up like a suitcase so you can store clothing and cosmetics in neatly placed packing cubes and see where everything is. As always Pacsafe is made up of world-class anti-theft material – perfect for overnight train travels, in-flights, etc. 

Click to view prices from REI for Pacsafe Venturesafe (REI)

Travel Backpack 45 L: Click to view Pacsafe Venturesafe (Amazon)

Weekend Packing List

Now let’s start packing,

1 Comfortable, wear all day long shoes 

I carry one pair of comfortable walking shoes. They are useful in-flight, nature trails and parks, as well as road trips. My KEEN Explore shoes are waterproof, and were essentially made for hiking trails and are super durable and comfortable to wear. Click to view my favorite walking shoes from KEEN Footwear.

If you are heading to a fancy dinner, add a pretty ballerina or kitty heels.

Heading to the beach or traveling in the summer, pack a comfy sandal or flip flops. 

Winter months call for warmer boots. Carry one pair of warm boots to wear all weekend. Click to check out this mid-length boot for winter.

1 pair of comfortable pants/ jeggings/ shorts/ leggings

Wear a comfortable pair of pants – easy in and easy out. I prefer to carry my Lululemon leggings inflight or even on trails. I had also paired them with flowy tops when I was visiting Vancouver on a weekend.

Here are my favorite Lululemon pants

Wandering in downtown in 2 days in Vancouver itinerary

You might also like these warm tights/leggings available on REI

Comfortable jeans aka jeggings are my second favorite. They look like skinny jeans, but are stretchable and comfortable like leggings. I have been wearing American Eagle Jeggings for 8 years now. 

And I tried so many brands, and keep coming back to AE – they have jeggings in size SHORT, REGULAR and LONG. At 5.2 inches tall, and a petite frame, these jeggings are perfection! View the popular jeggings from AE here 

I like to change up bottoms, so I carry one of each. But you can also wear the same pants all weekend if you want. 

2 – 3 t-shirts or tops

If you are traveling for the long weekend (3 days) carry 3 tops or shirts. Carry a nicer top (or even outfit) for Saturday night out or fancy dinners.

Optional: Traveling for business or events

Carry your suit or fancy dress if you are heading for a work event or wedding over the weekend.

Don’t forget to match your accessories and purse. Only pack what you will be wearing, extra bags/purses, ties and accessories are no good for a quick trip. Pack light, leave out the guesswork and carry what you really want to wear!

2 pairs of socks

At a minimum carry 2 pairs of socks. If you are hiking over the weekend, opt for extra socks (add +1) and ensure they are moisture-wicking. Click to view these amazing socks available on REI

Fresh socks and feet will keep you happy all weekend long!

2 pairs of undergarments and 1 night wear

Pack your undergarments and one night wear. 

1 lightweight jacket, preferable waterproof

A lightweight jacket is a must for road trips or outdoor-sy weekends. Opt for something that is waterproof so that you wear if its rains.

Click to view my favorite rain jacket – lightweight and waterproof for all weekend trips

For Winter – Winter jacket or parka, thermal wear or long johns and scarf

My winter packing list might be a little extreme, but c’mon it makes it easy when I am all bundled up and I can run, dance, fall, and slide in the snow. First off, wear or carry a warm jacket.

Banff Winter Wonderland
Banff Winter Wonderland

Layering is essential. Carry thermal wear or long johns (1 or 2) and wear them before you venture out.

Winter accessories are essential to keep you warm and toasty. Grab a scarf, gloves, and a colorful beanie or warm cap, and you are all dolled up for the winter!

Check out Canada winter packing list

A luxury style option: Trendy belt or scarf

Pro Packing Tips 2: I like to alleviate my weekend outfits with a little pop of color or trendy accessories. Although these pieces are pricey and luxurious, there is no harm in owning 1-2 statement pieces that you can mix and match in multiple trips. This way the cost per wear comes down, plus you get to look like a million bucks – buy investing in a piece once.

My current faves: Gucci Belt, Burberry Scarf 

Largest city in Switzerland
Countryside Views in Zurich
An easy-to-follow one day in Split itinerary to make the most of time in the historic city. Explore the iconic landmarks, enjoy beach time & the promenade.
Exploring Split

(PS: My Gucci has traveled with me to Barcelona, Zurich, Split and counting!)

KEEN Explore Shoes Lake Bled
KEEN Explore Shoes + Trendy Scarf + Sunglasses + Red Beret in action

Electronics + Gear travel checklist

We never leave without our cell-phones. But don’t forget to pack the phone charger.

Nowadays cell phones can also capture great photos, but if you are like us and enjoy photography carry your lightweight mirrorless camera. Note: Don’t forget the charger.

Pro Packing Tips 3: Buy a multiport charger to charge all of your electronics. Carry one and done!

  • Camera: We are currently using our Sony a7iii on our weekend trips, and love it. There is a learning curve, but we are enjoying it so far. Click to view Sony a7iii
  • In the past, we enjoyed taking pictures from our lightweight and mirrorless Sony A6000 and our iPhones. Click to view prices for Sony A6000
  • Kindle: We own a Kindle and carry it sometimes when we head to the mountains in Banff or to enjoy a reading inflight. Grab your Kindle right here
  • Leave your work laptop! It’s time to rejuvenate 

Toiletry Kit

Whether I am flying or road tripping to the mountains, my toiletry kit, and makeup essentials are the same. I prefer carrying small size containers in a neatly packed cosmetic pouch. 

I like the Truffle case – easy to store and is transparent. I found a cheaper version on ETSY. Check it out here

Here is what I carry, and all of my cosmetics, creams, and lotions are bought from Sephora

Travel Makeup kit
Travel Makeup kit essentials
  • Moisturiser
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • Perfume
  • Basic makeup items (I don’t leave the house without my eyeliner and foundation!)
  • Lipstick/lip balm
  • Medications/ contact lens solution

Other Essentials: Most important is sunglasses!

Sunglasses are SUPER important. They make you look amazing, totally in vacation-mode and they also provide eye protection. A MUST HAVE in my travel purse.

Coba Ruins Mexico
Colorful Rayban Aviators
Rayban Erika

I love my RayBan Erika sunglasses. It is very rare that you will find me without one in my pictures. And the awesome thing is that, even if you are tired (and didn’t sleep well the night before), you will still look as dazzling and sparkling as ever!

Pro Packing Tips 4: Pick up a fancy pair of shades today!

Here are some optional items: 

  • Hat
  • Beach mat & towel (if heading to the beach)

Don’t forget the essential documents

  • Cash, credit cards and wallet
  • Park permits (if heading to state/provincial parks)
  • Hotels, tours or attractions booking documents/emails

Essentials in today’s new normal

As we are embarking on a new normal, here are some essential items that you must carry. 

  • Face mask (if mandated or required in the state/province you live in) – Check out ETSY for face masks
  • Carry hand sanitizer, and wash your hands often
  • Tissue – Use that to open or close doors, wipe surfaces before planning your sunglass, phone or camera down

Before you travel, always check the individual park/town or city to see if attractions and restaurants are open. Many state parks will have precautionary measures and guidelines for visitors to follow. Check out – Recreate Responsibly guidelines here 

Many attractions and landmarks are open with timed entry, whilst maintaining social distance and other precautionary measures. 

You know, I am a total urban girl, who takes public transportation to work in a downtown office, loves to shop and goes to the mall, nail salon and coffee shops often. And since mid-March 2020, I have been home. But it is not too bad, as I thought it would be. 

How to plan a weekend trip tosomeplacenew
What to pack for a weekend away

As things are opening up domestically all over the world, we are excited and nervous at the same time. And it is normal to feel what you are feeling:  you want to go out, but are worried about your safety, risking the health and wellbeing of your loved ones, and generally the whole uncertainty of how and where things will go from here. 

To ease the confusion and nervousness, all federal and provincial/state parks have rules or guidelines laid out. All we have to do is ensure we follow them for our safety and others. Most importantly stay home if you are feeling unwell, and practice social distancing!

We hope you found this post on packing for a weekend trip and related travel tips useful. If you need a planner and a packing checklist to create your weekend getaway, sign up below!

Read other travel packing lists and travel gear guides

  • Mexico Packing List here
  • Cuba Packing List here
  • Morocco Packing List here
  • Long Haul Flight Essentials here
  • Travel Essentials for women here
  • Travel Jackets for women here
  • Guide to anti-theft backpacks here
  • Shoes for Europe travel here

Pin: Ultimate Packing List for the weekend checklist for a weekend getaway

Wondering what to pack for a weekend away? We have a detailed weekend away packing list for you from outfits, cosmetics, electronics & new-normal essentials
What to pack for a weekend away

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