6 steps to efficiently pack your weekender bag when you’re going away

You’re finally getting ready to leave for that long-awaited weekend away, either with friends or a partner. And suddenly, it seems like your brain has gone to mush because you can’t remember a single thing you need to pack.

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one who forgot how to pack for a trip after spending almost two years at home in lockdown. So we’ve put together a checklist for you to tick off as you pack your travel tote.

1. The right shoes for all your activities

Inside a weekend bag packed with clothes and shoes

If you’re lucky enough to have a large weekender bag with a shoe compartment, or at least sufficient space, bringing more than one pair of shoes is a must.

You’ll often choose to wear the most comfortable pair while you’re travelling, so you don’t have to think through where to fit those shoes. But most people will do more than just one activity when they’re away for a whole weekend. If this is you, make sure you have shoes that fit with any of these occasions:

  • Loafers or flats for walking short distances inside museums, stores or shorter street walks
  • Running shoes for walking long distances or training
  • Cute shoes like pumps for drinks, dinner or a show in the evening
  • Waterproof boots if you’re going hiking

2. The magically right amount of clothes

Picking outfits for a trip can be a nightmare, especially if you’re trying to fit everything into a classic women’s weekend bag in leather. So the trick is to pick a small capsule wardrobe so you can re-wear some of the pieces for different outfits.

These are some of the outfits you can consider bringing:

  • A pair of casual trousers for walking paired with a soft top and a warm sweater. If the sweater looks nice, you can also pair it with a skirt for the afternoon.
  • A classic skirt along with a pretty top that you can re-wear underneath your sweater again. Only bring a dress if you have the space for an entire outfit that can’t be mixed with anything else.
  • One pair of tights for training or hikes but with two tops, so you can change if you train several times. These tops could also be ones that you can wear underneath your sweater first.
  • A pretty scarf or necklace that you can use to dress your tops up or down.
  • If needed, an extra jacket that can be combined with the skirt and trousers.
  • Underwear, socks and something to sleep in.

3. Don’t forget essential toiletries and medications

While it is often possible to buy things like deodorants, toothbrushes or cotton pads if you forget them, medications are a must-have when you go away since prescriptions can’t easily be picked up outside of where you live.

Make sure you go through this list and bring everything you normally use from the following:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss or toothpicks
  • Medication and vitamins, including birth control (or condoms)
  • Makeup and a makeup remover
  • Moisturiser
  • Shampoo, soap and conditioner in travel sizes if the place you are going to won’t have them for you
  • Hairbrush, mini hairspray and hair ties (hopefully, you won’t need to bring your own hair dryer)
  • Razor if you need it (you can often use your moisturiser as a shaving cream, so you don’t have to bring it separately)
  • Glasses, sunglasses, mouthguard, contact lenses, and eye drops if you use them
  • Phone, wallet and passport
  • Chargers that are compatible with the country you’re going to

4. A weekend away isn’t necessarily all about play

Many of us like to keep updated at work while we’re away, and some of us like to spend a weekend working on personal projects. This means that we often wish to bring a laptop or a notepad to get things done.

If reading is on your to-do list for the weekend to relax, you can also bring your books or a kindle to save space.

5. Sports equipment you can’t borrow

walking with a suitcase and a weekender bag

If you’re going away for a sporting holiday, you’ll often have to bring much more than just a weekend bag for all your equipment. But in some cases, you can get away with only bringing small personal things and borrowing or renting everything else.

You might want to bring your own tennis racket or skis, but if you don’t care that much about having the perfect fit for you, those things can often be rented quite cheaply at resorts. That means you don’t have to bring more bulky items than you actually need. And you certainly don’t have to fill your bag with your own tennis balls (unless you’re a pro, and your sponsor will kill you if you play with the wrong brand).

6. Pack in the right bag or suitcase for you

Packing a long weekend bag can be difficult, and what you need to bring really depends on what type of holiday you’re going for. Sometimes, you need to bring a suitcase along with an overnight briefcase or weekender bag with trolley sleeves to put on top of the suitcase.

And other times, you can get away with a small travel bag or classic tote bag for your essentials. Figure out what type of women’s weekend bag is the best fit for you here.

The Doctor's Bag

If a handbag in a forest doesn't fit a laptop, does it make a sound?

Women Everywhere

For more advice on work fashion, efficiency and how to conquer life in your 30s

Follow @frostandforest on Instagram