Weekend Packing List | What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway

Ocean City Maryland Family Vacation

It’s summer: the season of the weekend getaway. I love to plan at least one big trip for the summertime, but I also love squeezing in as many smaller weekend trips as I can. There’s something magical about escaping routine for just a few days to see something new or just relax. The key to the perfect quick trip? The perfect weekend packing list – and today, I’m going to share mine with you.

Crafting the perfect weekend trip packing list is definitely an art. You want to pack everything that you could need without accidentally overpacking and having to haul your entire life around with you all weekend. Striking the right balance can be tricky, but as someone who’s been traveling as much as possible for years, I think that I finally have the best weekend packing list down pat. Keep reading to steal it for your own travels!

St Pete Beach Attractions


We’ve all been there – you’re heading out of town for two or three days and can’t figure out how to possibly pack correctly. You don’t want to bring too much, but you also don’t want to forget something that you might need. Whether you’re headed to the beach, planning to explore a new city, or are just visiting friends for a few days, packing for a two or three day trip doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to plan out the essential items and you’ll be set!

Once I established this packing list, it totally changed the game for me. It can easily be tweaked for different types of trips or destinations, and can also be expanded for a longer trip if need be. I love the versatility of it – it’s saved my life when throwing things together for a last minute trip (or just on days when I’m feeling extra worn out!) more than once.

You really don’t need to bring your entire life with you for a weekend trip. I have definitely been known to overpack in the past, but this list has changed my life in the best way. Think about it: if you are only planning to be gone for a short trip, like a three day weekend, you won’t need very many outfits. Toss essentials like toiletries and chargers into your luggage, and you’re set!

Ready to make your life ten times easier? Keep reading for all of my best packing tips.


Packing for a weekend trip means going back to basics. What do you really need? No, you don’t need eight pairs of shoes – it’s time to actually think things through. What can’t you live without?

In reality, you’ll need clothes, shoes, toiletries, electronics, snacks, and maybe a few personal items. Nothing crazy or excessive – just the everyday basic items.

Keep reading for everything you’ll need on your weekend packing list, and to download my full packing list for your own personal use!


  • 2 casual tops
  • 1 nice top
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1-2 secondary pairs of bottoms (skirt, shorts, pants, leggings)
  • 1 dress
  • 1 jacket or sweater (bring a light option as well as a heavy option if you’re in a transition season and unsure of temperatures)
  • 1 casual and comfortable pair of shoes that you can walk in
  • 1 nice (but hopefully still comfortable!) pair of shoes
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 3 sets of underwear/bras
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (if applicable for the season)
  • Workout clothing (if you plan to exercise while away)
  • Jewelry (1-2 pairs of earrings and 1-2 necklaces will suffice, but cater to the nature of your trip)
  • Accessories as needed – baseball cap, beanie, belt, scarf, etc.
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain jacket







MY FREE PRINTABLE Weekend Packing List

Having a go-to packing list makes life so much easier. Now, whenever I’m heading out for a weekend away, I just grab my packing list and save so much time and stress.

I’ve created a PDF printable packing list for you to download and use for your own upcoming weekend trips. Snag it below!


My basic packing checklist is great, but it does sometimes need to be adjusted seasonally or for different kinds of trips. Keep reading to see how to customize my weekend packing list for any trip on your agenda. Whether you’re traveling in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, or are headed to the beach, mountains, city, or country, you can easily adjust the packing list to have everything you could need on your travels.


As a transitional season, it can be tricky to know what to pack for a weekend trip in the spring. You never really know what the weather will be like – it could be unseasonably warm or unseasonably cold – and it can be wetter than usual, too. As such, I like to give myself a little grace to bring extra options for spring trips without overpacking.

Lightweight layers are a must for your spring packing list – pieces that look good together and can be easily layered for hot or cold weather. It might not hurt to bring more than one pair of shoes, and having a collapsible umbrella in your bag in addition to your rain jacket is smart if you can spare the space. If seasonal allergies tend to get you down, don’t forget to bring your allergy medicine so that you feel your best while you’re on the go. And even though summer may not be here yet, don’t forget the sunscreen – you can get a sunburn year round, but especially in the spring when you might be tempted to shed a few layers without thinking about lathering on the sunblock.


It’s time for some fun in the sun! Summer is arguably the easiest time of year to create packing lists for, because most of the items you need to bring are small and lightweight. In the summertime, you can easily get away with just using a backpack or small carry on bag – this is the season to grab it and go!

It’s easy to overheat in summer, so pack with safety and comfort in mind – light, thin, breathable pieces of clothing. After all, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where your health is at risk due to heat-related illness. Pack lots of sunscreen, don’t forget your sunglasses, and if you plan to spend much time outdoors, bug spray is your best friend.


Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year, so it’s ideal for a weekend getaway. Like spring, the temperatures during the fall season can wildly vary, so you’ll want to be sure to bring layers. The evenings and mornings may be especially cool, so having versatile pieces thrown in like long sleeve shirts, jeans, and a light jacket is key.

Oftentimes fall adventures call for lots of exploring, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes with you on your trip. Another one of my favorite travel tips? If you’re stressed about space, utilize packing cubes. Not only will packing cubes help you to fit more into your bags, but they help keep you organized, so you can put lighter pieces of clothing in one cube and heavier pieces in another. It makes traveling a breeze!


Of all of the seasons, most people find themselves the most daunted by trying to pack for a weekend winter getaway. After all, the clothing that you need to bring is often thicker and heavier, making it more of a challenge to pack light. However, a girl’s gotta stay warm, so don’t be afraid to pack things like sweaters, jackets, thick socks, thermals, and gloves. Once again, using packing cubes is crucial for optimizing your space as best as you possibly can.

If you’re traveling somewhere with lots of snow, you’ll need to pack equipment if you own it and are unable to rent. Renting snow equipment can get expensive, but it’s also bulky, so it’s all about which end of the tradeoff you’re most comfortable with.

I also like to bring lots of cozy things with me for a winter weekend away. You never know if the weather will be too gross and gloomy to get out, but a winter weekend away can easily be enjoyed from your accommodations. I like to bring a cozy blanket, a good book that I’ve been looking forward to diving into, a pack of playing cards, and a journal and pen. It’s also fun to bring along some packets of instant hot cocoa – you can almost always get your hands on a cup of hot water while traveling, and cocoa is the perfect pick-me-up on a dreary winter day.


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Having a go-to bag for weekend trips is essential. While you probably already have a large suitcase for long term trips, having a smaller bag that you can use for shorter trips lasting only a few days will be a lifesaver as you plan your packing lists for your upcoming weekend trip. Here are a few of my favorite options!


Weekender Bag

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of weekender bags. I love how spacious they are – they easily hold everything that you need for a weekend away, and can be carried comfortably on road trips and flights alike.

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For more suggestions on my favorite weekender bags, check out my full post wrap-up of my favorites here.

Travelers Club

Richmond Spinner Luggage

If you’re a fan of rolling suitcases, it doesn’t get cuter or more functional than this carry-on suitcase from Travelers Club. I love how easy it is to use and carry with you for a few days away!

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