How to Pack for a Weekend Trip

Whether this is your first trip or you’re a seasoned globetrotter, it’s always helpful to have a rundown of what items you may want to pack – you know, a comprehensive international travel checklist.

Bookmark this travel packing list because you’ll want to refer to it as your trip gets closer. It’ll serve as a tool to tell you what to pack, but also will help you make sure you’ve thought of everything else you might want to pack.

Step 1: Choose Your Main Luggage

Wherever you’re planning to go, pick luggage that is versatile, lightweight and big enough to hold all your essentials. The most important decision you’ll make is (as far as luggage is concerned) is buying a bag that has an awesome warranty. Traveling with a piece of luggage with broken wheel, handle or zipper is the absolute worst! Brands that back their gear with stand-up warranties build that promised durability into their gear. It’s also important to finding a travel bag that’s as versatile as you need it to be, while also fitting all your stuff and being easy to carry.

  • Rolling Luggage– Let’s face it. Wheels are nice. There’s no need to carry all your gear on your back or via a duffle bag if you know you’re going to be traveling in a city where there are paved roads and sidewalks.

  • 4-Wheels– As you fill up your wheeled luggage, weight can become a bit restrictive – especially if you have to walk long distances. Consider 4-wheels to keep the weight off your wrist and effortlessly roll your bag by your side.

  • Duffel Bag– These are simple, lightweight, and Eagle Creek’s duffel bags are crazy durable. Sling it over your shoulder, or put some wheels on it and get on your way.

  • Wheeled Backpack– If you’ll be going through different types of terrain, or switching from airports to cobblestones, having a bag with the option to roll it or carry it like a backpack or duffel is really handy.

  • Travel Backpack– If you know you don’t want the extra weight of wheels, traveling with a travel pack is going to mean hands-free mobility and ultimate versatility.

  • Carry-On– Whenever possible, travel with a carry on luggage. It’ll just mean you can save time at the airport, save on check-in fees, guarantee the airlines won’t lose your bag… the list goes on and on.

For more information about how to pick the right travel luggage, read Eagle Creek’s Buying Guide for luggage, travel packs, carry-ons and duffel bags.

Step 2: Organize Your Stuff 

If you have lots of different types of activities you plan to do, that means you have a fair amount of gear you need to pack into your suitcase. Keeping everything organized can be a challenge. One of the best things you can do when you’re packing for any trip, especially one that requires you to pack lots of layers, is to make sure you use packing organizers.

Keeping your suitcase organized with packing organizers means not only will you know exactly where everything is, but your clothing can be arranged and compressed so you can fit more in your bag. Why spend your time packing and unpacking when you can quickly unpack by sliding your organizers directly into hotel drawers, and pack up quick, getting seamlessly from one place to the next without having to rearrange your entire bag every time?

Keep your clothing organized in compartments based on outfit type or activity type by using packing cubes. These zippered organizers make it easy to keep your bag neat and provide quick access to all the different things you’ll need during your trip. You can use compression sacs or cubes to reduce the volume of your clothes by up to 80%. This is especially convenient for bulky items such as sweaters and jackets. And folders are great for keeping dress clothing nice, neat and folded.

Start with this clothing packing list:

The Basics 

  • Lightweight clothing that can be layered

  • Long-sleeved shirts

  • Sweaters or fleece jacket

  • T-shirts and tank tops (be respectful of the culture you are visiting)

  • Pants and/or shorts

  • Belt – Check out this onefor a ingenuitive money protection option

  • Socks – wool socks are best for hiking

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Rain jacket, windbreaker or umbrella

  • Pajamas/sleepwear

  • Underwear

  • Sunglasses and glasses case

  • Dresses and/or skirts

  • Jewelry – organize in a mini cubeor circlet

  • Hat or sun visor

  • Scarf or bandana

  • Swimsuit or swim trunks – consider a wet/dryorganizer

  • Cell phone and charger

  • Travel speakers

  • Travel pillow, eye mask and ear plugs

  • Electric converters and adapters

  • Travel apps that will help with language, directions, and money conversion

You’ll want to pack smart (not lots of) clothing options if your trip will take you to a variety of places, or transversely if you will be navigating off the beaten path. Having options doesn’t mean you’ll need to over-pack. (And in fact, you shouldn’t.) Just pack smart. Include clothing that can be worn on your daily adventures and then dressed up slightly with a different pair of shoes and a scarf. Maybe a dress that becomes a skirt or comfortable travel pants that can be dressed up for a day at the market. Also consider clothing with SPF or mosquito repellency if you’ll be in environments where that would be beneficial.

Step 3: Pack Your Toiletry Bag

If you’re carrying on, keep your toiletry bag light and TSA-compliant. The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule makes it easy to remember: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container and they must be in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. To make this as easy as possible for you, we have a set that includes four 3-ounce silicone bottles in a quart-sized clear pouch that’s wipeable and has a water resistant zipper. Click here for more info about TSA rules regarding what you can pack.

Don’t forget the following travel essentials for your toiletry case:

The Toiletry Bag Basics 

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash

  • Hair brush or comb, hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner – Dr. Bronners is a good option all-in-one option for hair care, face wash, laundry and more

  • Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF

  • Make up packed in a wipeable wristlet

  • Face wash and/or makeup remover wipes and q-tips

  • Night time Moisturizer/Lotion

  • Lip balm with SPF and lipstick or lip gloss

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Extra contacts, solution, and contact case

  • Glasses and prescription sunglasses

  • Prescription medication with the label/script so that you can refill if needed and not be questioned by TSA.

Toiletry Bag Extras

  • Cologne/perfume

  • Personal mini mirror

  • Hair products like hairspray, hair gel and beard oil

  • Clothesline and detergent

  • Shaving kit and extra razors

  • Sewing kit/clothing care kit, stain remover

  • Facial tissues and/or toilet paper

  • Travel Towel

  • Scissors, nail clippers, and tweezers (must be in checked luggage)


Step 4: Prepare Your Personal Item Carry-On Bag 

The next thing you’ll want to do is prepare your personal item carry-on bag with anything you’ll want with you on the flight. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have an outfit (or two) and a few essential toiletries in your personal item just in case your luggage is lost. If you’ll be traveling around to multiple destinations, make sure this bag has items to keep you cozy on any train, boat or bus rides. It’s always nice to have a bag that’s easy to access so you don’t have to get into your luggage each time you need your eye mask. But remember, you’ll be carrying all of this, so keep it light.

We recommend you consider using a small daypack or backpack as your personal carry-on item. Here are some good things to include in your carry-on bag packing list:


  • Mobile device and charger

  • Laptop, iPad, or E-reader and charger(s)

  • Headphones


This article was courtesy of Eagle Creek.

Disclaimer: Anything ordered through this company is not my responsibility.

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