The Ultimate Weekend Getaway Packing List

The Ultimate Weekend Getaway Packing List

Packing for a weekend getaway can be challenging because you typically don’t want to be weighed down by oversized luggage.

As flight attendants we master the art of packing for trips that last between 2 and 4 days, and we manage to fit it all into a carry-on suitcase!

Here I will share my packing tips and tricks for our weekend warriors to benefit from.

Weekend Getaway Packing List

Not sure where to start? Here is a recommended packing list for a 2–4-day weekend getaway. Ultimately you may need to tweak this list if you have any specific activities planned, but we’ll get to that later.

Here is a basic packing list in the meantime.

1) Clothing

When packing clothing, less is more.

The best way to reduce the number of items you need to pack, is to be strategic about the outfits you will wear on your trip.

Don’t forget the clothing you wear the day you leave on your trip, are also “packed” so try to pick bottoms you will re-wear.

Here is what I pack for a 4-day weekend trip:

  • 3 shirts (one for each day, not counting the one you will wear when you leave for your trip).
  • 1 bottom (plus whatever bottoms you will wear when you leave).
  • Underwear for each day + 2 extras
  • 1 neutral colored bra you can re-wear (if you don’t need a bra, you can skip this one 😉).
  • Socks for each day + 2 extra pairs
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 warmer layer (sweater, sweatshirt, etc.)
  • 1 waterproof outerwear jacket
  • Bathing suit
  • 1 extra pair of shoes

Flight attendant pro tip: Always bring a bathing suit. They take up virtually no space in your bag and you just never know when you might need one.

2) Toiletries and Personal Care

When packing your toiletries and personal care items, be realistic about what you are actually going to use. If you don’t use it daily, don’t bring it.

In general here is what you need:

  • Shampoo & conditioner (you can skip this if your hotel will provide it).
  • Soap or body wash (I prefer to travel with soap because it’s one less liquid for TSA to worry about).
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Brush or comb
  • Hair products (only take what you absolutely need and leave hair masks and oils at home).
  • Makeup
  • Face Wash
  • Moisturizers
  • Body lotion

If you can go a few days without certain personal care items, leave them at home. For example, I tend to put rosemary oil in my hair overnight, but when I travel, I leave that out of my nightly beauty routine.

3) Accessories

Keep accessories to a minimum. Think utilitarian. Your accessories should serve a purpose.

Pro tip: It helps to wear simple jewelry and wear it when you leave so you already have it on you and don’t need to pack it.

Here’s a basic list of accessories you will be glad to have:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hair styling tools (a few hair ties, scrunchies, and a single claw clip should be more than enough).
  • Season appropriate hat
  • Purse or day bag

Of course if you will be attending a dressier event you may need to pack a few more accessories, but otherwise, just go for what you need to look put together and be comfortable.

4) Electronics and Entertainment

In keeping with the theme, take only the electronics you know you will use.

  • Cell phone & it’s charger
  • Camera
  • Headphones
  • Tablet OR laptop (I only travel with my iPad on short trips unless it’s a work trip).
  • Power bank

5) Other Essentials

There are a few other essentials for your weekend trip, including:

  • Any travel documents you may need, tickets, reservations, confirmation numbers.
  • A pen
  • Mini pharmacy (This organizer is great for filling with small quantities of pain killers, etc.).
  • Wallet, money, IDs, credit cards
  • Travel stain remover
  • Umbrella

6) Optional Items

These are items you can take with you if you have room. Personally I always am glad I have packed these.

What to Pack for an International Weekend Getaway

If you are traveling internationally for your weekend getaway there are a few more things, you will need to pack in addition to what I listed above.

What to Pack for a Warm Weather Weekend Trip

If you are taking a trip to the beach, or lake, there are a few other things you may want to remember to pack for your weekend getaway.

  • Beach towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • An additional bathing suit (because no one likes putting an already wet bathing suit back on).
  • A silk fan (I’ve never regretted bringing one of these to a warm destination).

What to Pack for a Cold Weather Weekend Trip

If you are heading somewhere cold for a cozy weekend, you may want to remember to bring the following things on your trip.

  • A warm coat (These packable puffer coats are perfect because you can also layer them).
  • Gloves
  • Thermal base layers
  • Scarf
  • Warm hat, headband, or earmuffs
  • Boots

What to Pack for an Adventure-Packed Weekend Trip

If you are going on a trip to take part in a specific type of adventure, you may need to also pack some specific gear. Unless, of course, you plan on renting your gear at your destination.

1) Ski Trip

If you are going skiing, you may want to pack the following things:

  • A ski suit (or ski pants and a sporty winter coat).
  • Goggles
  • Skis or snowboard (unless you plan on renting them)
  • Sunscreen (snow sun burns are brutal!)
  • Don’t leave out the bathing suit! (Most ski resorts have spas to relax and soak in).

2) Alpine Hiking

If you are planning on a mini hiking trip in the Alps, or any other mountain range, you will probably need to make sure you pack these things:

  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking poles
  • A backpack for your gear
  • Tent (if you will camp)
  • Sleeping bag (some of the alpine huts still require you to bring your own).
  • Travel pillow

3) Ecological Tourism

It is becoming more and more popular to travel to unique nature areas around the world. Ecuador is particularly popular, but this could also mean going on a safari in Africa. If you are taking this type of trip you will be glad you brought these items:

  • Bug spray (the heavy-duty stuff)
  • Binoculars
  • Clothing made out of mosquito-proof fabrics (denim, wool, polyester).

No matter what type of adventure you are going on be sure to pack a first aid kit!

What to Pack for a Business Weekend Trip or a City Getaway

If you are unlucky to have to travel for work on a weekend, you might want to remember to pack these things:

  • A blazer
  • Your laptop
  • Dress shoes
  • Any materials you need for your job

Tips for Packing Efficiently

Packing efficiently is helpful when you are going on a weekend getaway. You will most likely want to fit everything into one suitcase, and a backpack or tote.

Flight attendants are masters of this skill, so here are a few tips to help you do the same thing.

✅ Leave no space unfilled

The space inside your hiking boots is space that can be filled, with socks for example!

If you are packing a rolling suitcase, make sure to fill in those grooves at the bottom of your suitcase that are created by the handle. I always put my soap container, deodorant, chargers, and other small items in this area to create a flat surface and then add my larger items, like packing cubes.

✅ Use packing cubes

Speaking of packing cubes, compressible packing cubes help to flatten out your clothing and create more space. If you are in a pinch, you can also use large plastic zip-lock bags do squeeze the air out of your clothing.

✅ Try rolling your clothing

Though I’m not personally a fan of this method, my brother was taught to do this in the military and swears by it.

This YouTube tutorial should help you learn how to roll your clothing for efficiency.

✅ Wear what you can

Especially if you are flying it’s a good idea to wear any jackets and outerwear onto the plane, so you don’t have to pack them.

If you are going to pack jeans, consider wearing them on the day you travel, and just freshen them up with some perfume.


➡️ How do I pack for a weekend getaway without overpacking?

Make a list of everything you really need for your trip and follow it. Lay everything out that you want to pack and make sure you are really going to want/need it while you’re away. If you are about to pack something you normally wouldn’t use at home, don’t.

➡️ What type of luggage should I use for a weekend getaway

The best types of luggage are carry-on-sized rolling suitcases, a “weekender,” or a backpack. I personally love to travel with the backpack I’ve linked here. It has tons of handy compartments, fits perfectly into the overhead bin and is great for city travel or camping, I can pack for a whole week too!

➡️ How many outfits should you pack for a weekend trip?

No more than 4! Pack one for each day you will be on the trip. Only exceeded this if you have a special event to attend that requires you to wear something special. For example, you may need to pack a nice dress if you are planning on attending a ballet or opera on your trip.

➡️ What are some common mistakes to avoid when packing for a weekend getaway?

Packing too many outfits or pairs of shoes and not enough of the other things that will make your life easier. Leave behind the second jumper and take your umbrella instead. I also tend to believe packing your laptop is a mistake, if you have a tablet, that is all you really need.


Packing for a weekend getaway is about being strategic, packing only the things know you will wear, and making sure you remember the little things that will make your travel experience more enjoyable.

If you have any tips that weren’t mentioned, I would love to hear them in the comments!

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