Travel Essentials for a Weekend Away

 One of Caroline’s top tips: scarves are not only cute but VERY practical. Can’t imagine how? Read on!

One of Caroline’s top tips: scarves are not only cute but VERY practical. Can’t imagine how? Read on!

Up on the blog today we are welcoming a guest writer—Caroline ZuHone.
Caroline is one of the voices behind Sippin' Sangria, a website dedicated to travel, study abroad, and global experiences. We are honored to collaborate with the girls at Sippin' Sangria and to have the opportunity to pick Caroline's brain in terms of the essentials you simply must consider when planning a weekend trip.

Without further ado, we would like to present Caroline:

Packing for a weekend away can actually be more stressful than packing for a long trip because you’re working with significantly less space (unless you’re planning to lug a massive suitcase around for a few days). The nice thing is that if you learn how to pack right, you can travel on the cheap and with way less hassle. Here are a few of our best tips for packing travel essentials.

Top weekend-away packing tips

1. Let's be real...a good bag can make or break your backpacking trip. So how do you know which bag is right for you? Well, that depends on what kind of trip you're taking. Make it easy on yourself by choosing the right suitcase for your trip.

Use these tips to find your perfect bag:

Tip #1-While you want to get a bag that can fit a lot of stuff, you also want to make sure the bag itself is light weight because most airlines are going to weigh your bag.
Tip #2-When buying a bag, ask an employee to measure the bag or verify that it meets an airline's rules for a carry-on.
Tip #3-Find something that can expand quickly with lots of compartments.

 Choosing the right bag is essential!

Choosing the right bag is essential!

2. ALWAYS bring a scarf! I don’t care if it’s the middle of Summer or the dead of Winter pack that infinity scarf. I learned very quickly that a scarf can be incredibly multi-purposed. Airplanes are always cold, so a scarf can make a great blanket if you don’t want to take a jacket, or it can make a great pillow. The best part is that it doesn’t have to take up space in your suitcase. If it’s not cold, throw the scarf on top of your suitcase and just stick it under your seat in case you need it.

3. Be cognizant about the weather in your destination. When we made the trip to the U.K. and Ireland in September, we expected it to be fairly warm like it was everywhere else we’d been in Europe, but it ended up being pretty chilly. When we toured the Cliffs of Moher, we actually ended up buying gloves and hats, which we could have saved the money on if we had just planned ahead for chilly weather.

4. You can save a lot of space in your suitcase if you use small accessories to change the feel of an outfit. Instead of packing outfits for day and night, use a pair of shoes, accessories, or a jacket to turn your daytime outfit into an outfit ready to go out for dinner or drinks.

 Be sure not to over-pack and keep in mind what you’ll have available to you at your accommodations.

Be sure not to over-pack and keep in mind what you’ll have available to you at your accommodations.

5. Make sure to know what your Airbnb, hostel, or hotel provides to help you cut down on packing. Do they provide towels and washcloths or do you need to bring them? If possible, rent them for a couple dollars to save space and money in the long run. Do they provide you with soap, shampoo, etc? Some hotels and Airbnbs will, but most hostels will not. Don’t go through the hassle of packing all that liquid if you don’t have to.

Packing Essentials

Packing Cubes/Ziploc baggies- This is a great way to store some of your small things, save space, and keep organized. Roll those t-shirts and stick them all together in that packing cube, and you're set.

Laundry bag/plastic bag- Keep one of these tucked away in your bag, so when you build up that pile of dirty clothes, things don't get mixed up and make other clothes smell as you unpack and repack your bag constantly.

Every trip requires a different style of packing, but if you can cut down on some of the bulk, you can save yourself effort and money. Having a go-to system or quick packing checklist can make you a packing pro in no time! Take these tips and figure out what works for you, and most of all, enjoy that next weekend getaway!

-Caroline