How to Pack For Short Trips Tips:
Packing for weekend or other short trips?? It seems like it wasn’t so long ago that we all used to drag suitcases with us no matter where we traveled to. I know l was definitely an over packer. Those days are long gone as airlines have become even more stingy, not just with the luggage allowance, but with their seat space as well. I know it is becoming the norm in America. Now that we live in Europe, we fly a lot on the low cost airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air. You are only allowed carry on luggage for free. For the most part, you are limited to 10kg (about 22 lbs), with ridiculous size requirements. Anything over that, you have to fork over 35€ (~$42) or more, which is insane.You are also required to print out your own boarding pass, which must be on size A4 paper, otherwise it’s a €15-25 surcharge. I have learned to cut down on what l carry and now, I’m good to go whenever. These easy packing tips and checklist will help you too.
How to pack for an overnight, weekend or short trip:
Passport/ID check the night before:
1) Leave your passport and boarding passes in your luggage or hand bag the night before! There is nothing worse than getting to the airport and discovering this. Tears will be shed!!! Fees will be paid. Money will be lost! You can never check too many times. I always do one last check as we leave and lock the doors. As long as you have these, you can still fly and shop for whatever is left behind once you get to your destination.
Duplicate toiletries in your weekend bag luggage:
2) Vacation checklist tip that saves time in the future. Leave a spare set of toiletries in the luggage. These include a spare toothbrush, deodorant and toothpaste. Don’t forget the maximum size is 100gm. A good idea is to reuse sample size containers of moisturizers, eye shadow etc. You can also get an 8 dram container from your friendly local pharmacist. It’s perfect for potions. I also save sampler perfumes. I once had to leave a very full bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier “Classique” to a bathroom attendant rather than leave it to those X-ray people, but l was sad about it, but l hope she enjoyed wearing it.
Pack light for short trips:
3) Pack light. I try to choose clothes that work together. I usually wear a pair of jeans, and pack another one to alternate with. I pack more tops, casual for day and sweaters or shirts for dinner. Wear layers if it’s going to be cold. Bring a neutral or black sweater that will match everything. Your packing items for travel should be versatile.
Pack your lighter shoes:
4) Wear your heavier shoes and pack a pair of light sneakers or footwear. I know some people can get away with just one pair of shoes, but my feet hurt after walking all day, so l like to wear a different pair the next. If you have flat feet like l do, it is essential that you wear the proper shoes for flat feet. Roll your socks and put them inside your packed shoes.
Using your handbag as ladies weekend bags (overnight weekend luggage)
5) Bring a big enough handbag to fit a DSLR camera and lens if you travel with them. This leaves you more space in the hand luggage. I love this bag because l can use the short handle to hold it close under my arms in shady areas or as a cross body bag. It has a zipper along the top as well as a side pocket on the outside for easy access to the passports. I always notice that women who get pick-pocketed tend to be carrying handbags that have just a little closure in the middle. That is just making it super easy for a thief to reach in and grab your wallet. Don’t forget that men can have a second little bag too, so you can pack electronics (ipad etc) in your second luggage piece.. a man purse maybe? I consider my leather weekend handbag a must for travel. It looks deceptively dainty, but is in fact very sturdy and deep. I’ve actually used it as a large weekend bag in the summer (minus the camera of course) when light weekend packing meant undies, toothbrush, makeup, one change of clothing and few other essentials like wallet and passport. You might want to consider your bigger handbag as an alternative overnight travel bag or weekend luggage :-).
My Coach bag also makes the best weekender bag. It is deep and already has the usual slots for cellphones etc. The depth allows you to carry clothing, camera, makeup and even a par of shoes. You’ll notice the sides have openings where you can put even more weekend travel items such as suntan lotion and wipes. Tip for packing right: Roll up your clothes and put them in a Ziploc bag before putting them in your handbag weekend bag. This not only takes up minimal space, but it allows you to be able to identify things quickly. I guess you could use packing cubes, but l find that the clear plastic bags do the same for less. Womens large weekend bag on the go! :-) You can only imagine the freedom of walking through the airport without lugging luggage. Nothing beats that feeling. Once you are at your destination, just unpack quickly, and you have a stylish bag that’s ready to go. A bag like this doubles as a regular handbag and as a stylish ladies weekend travel bag.
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Bring your own snacks and food:
6) Bring sandwiches in your bag, and buy drinks at the airport to save money. It sucks to be hungry when you’re waiting at the airport, not to mention the price gouging. €10 for a ham and cheese sandwich? I don’t think so. It still sucks to pay €3 for a small bottle of water, but better get it at the airport and not on the plane! Nuts are good snacks to bring with you. Filling, and they help lower cholesterol! :-)
*** Bonus Tip*** – Make sure to pack any prescription medication you have into your hand luggage or purse. Do not leave them in your checked luggage. Lord forbid the airlines lose or misplace your bags. You don’t want to ruin your holiday by running around looking for a doctor. Most countries will require you to see a doctor in that particular country. I always carry a copy of my prescription in my wallet just in case. It would make it easier for the prescribing doctor to find the equivalent foreign name. So make sure in your list of things to pack, you include your prescription copies.
Since we had our epic travel fail, we have taken to carrying insurance. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind since things can, and do go wrong on your vacation. Travel insurance saves you money in the long run.
It has been a big adjustment for me learning how to pack for short trips, but l must say it’s been freeing too. It’s nice to get off the plane and head out of the airport straight away instead of waiting at Baggage Claim. It also makes it easy to move around, especially when you are in unfamiliar surroundings. A lot of times, you realize just how nice it is if you arrive too early to check into your hotel for instance. Better to zip around with a small piece than a bulky suitcase.
What to pack for a short trip checklist: (Travel essentials checklist)
This is a good base list of what to bring when traveling, whether it’s for a short weekend trip or a longer international trip
- Passport or government ID
- Extra underwear in your hand luggage or handbag
- Make sure any liquid containers are less than 100ml size
- Put all liquids in a Ziploc bag. This makes it easy to pull out at security. No waiting.
- Download maps that you can use offline to save on data charges. Maps.Me or Triposo are good
- A scarf is good for covering up on the plane/train/bus instead of airline blankets that are rarely washed and it dresses up an outfit.
- Headphones or any other travel comforts that you like, such as neck pillow.
- Phone bank charger for when your phone runs out of juice.
What about you? How do you travel? Do you have any tips to help with packing for short trips or any holiday packing list items to share?