We’re quickly approaching the season of long weekends and summer Fridays, and I cannot wait. Spring kicks off a season of travels for me, but I do most of my traveling in the summer. Whether it’s spending Labor Day weekend on the lake in South Carolina or heading to Indiana for Father’s Day weekend, I love the feeling of packing a bag and hitting the road.
In the past, I’ve been an overpacker to the point that it was embarrassing. I traveled with a Vera duffel, a reversible tote filled with makeup and skin care products, my work bag, and a handbag… for a two night work conference. Each trip after that, I’ve worked to pack a little less every single time. Everyone is different, but here are some tips that really work for me.
1. Start with the right bag. Then pack multiple smaller bags into this bag.
I carry this bag from Carolina Dandy. It’s a little more sophisticated than the large duffel that I used to carry around, and much easier to maneuver. It’s also roomier than it looks, so you should be able to fit everything you need for a long weekend trip in there! This bag was perfect for my four day trip to Folly Beach and Charleston, and I can’t wait for the adventures it’s going to accompany me on this year.
My trick to packing everything in one bag is to use a few smaller bags. I pack a toiletry bag, my makeup bag, an accessories bag, a shoe bag, and an empty bag for dirty clothes. It may sound excessive, but when I get home late on a Monday night after a fun weekend, and I’m trying to prepare for a long week ahead, I appreciate knowing exactly where to find my moisturizer and the stud earrings I want to wear to work the next day and being able to dump the dirty laundry bag right into the hamper.
2. Ask yourself “Do I really need this?!”
If you’re going on a weekend getaway, are you truly going to apply every serum that you typically apply? If you’re going to spend a weekend at your best friend’s place, can you get away with using her shampoo? Every item that you put into your suitcase not only takes up space and adds weight, but it’s one more item that you have to unpack.
3. Pack pieces that are versatile.
I really like to have options, especially when I’m on a trip where I don’t have my evenings planned. I love pieces that can be dressed up or down – like fun blouses, chambray button downs, and destroyed denim – because I feel like I have options.
4. Roll your clothing to take up less space.
When I pack a bag, I like to roll my clothing, and stack it along one side of the bag. When I’m trying to find something, it’s easier for me to sort through the little rolls of fabric. If I forgot a dirty laundry bag and there’s not something I can repurpose as one, I will roll and stack my dirty clothes on the opposite side of the bag. If I’m traveling with pieces that can’t be rolled (like a blazer), I pack them last and lay them folded in half on top of everything.
I want to hear from you – What are your best tips for packing for a long weekend?