Tips to pack light for a weekend getaway

It doesn't take much to have a tremendous time

At last! Your long-awaited weekend getaway is right around the corner. Remember this is a weekend trip so there's no need to pack as though you're going to be stranded on Gilligan's Island for who knows how long.

Packing light will not only save you time and room, but will free you of bringing along unneeded items that will slow you down when you've only got a limited time for fun and relaxation. If you're the over-packer type, whittling down your take-alongs to a minimum can be daunting, but once you see how convenient packing light can be, you'll be a convert for life – even on trips that last longer than a weekend's time.

Stick to a checklist

Before you open your closet and start tossing every one of your favorite items of clothing into your bag and bringing along enough pairs of shoes to change them four times a day, make (and follow) a planned-out checklist to determine what you really need and want to bring.

As per Huffington Post, "Making a packing list forces you to differentiate between what's necessary and what's not. Write down exactly how many shirts, pants and shoes you will need, taking into account the climate of your destination. Cross off each item as you lay it next to your bag, and ignore the urge to add any extra articles of clothing at the last minute."

Do the same for your kids if they are coming along and help out your packing-challenged partner or spouse if they need some assistance too. Keep this checklist handy for future trips and add and/or delete based on how things turned out once you get back from your getaway.

Roll your clothes (and other space-saving techniques)

In order to tote along the smallest bag possible, yet have the ability to make the most of it, packing properly is in order. Pack tightly and with minimal wrinkling to your clothing with savvy strategies.

For instance, How Stuff Worksnotes, "Rolling, or better yet, bundle-wrapping your clothes, in which you wrap garments tightly around a central core object, will do the trick." Try rolling and then placing a rubber band around the items to keep them really tight.

Momondo has another technique, "Put the rolled items in zip lock bags, and seal them just tight enough to compress the air, effectively vacuum packing your clothes." Additionally, "The order in which you pack can also help. Use flat and rectangular items to fill the awkward ridges on the bottom of your suitcase, and place heavier items, like shoes on the bottom and outer parts."

Forgo the toiletries

Of course, you'll need your own toothbrush and any medicines you take, but when it comes to the rest of the usual toiletries, most places will have what you need.

As an example,Conde Nast Traveler, "If you are going to a hotel that carries nice shampoo, conditioner, and soaps, then do not bring those at all, because they take up so much room. Also, most hotels have hair dryers, so never pack one of those." Same goes for toothpaste, razors, and feminine products if you "conveniently" forget to bring your own along.

If you are going to bring your own stuff, Huffington Post adds, "Opt for a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner or a shampoo bar that can double as soap." You don't need to bring every hairstyling or makeup item you own either. This is a weekend trip, remember. How much primping will you really be doing?

Packing light will allow you to get to and fro without burden. You'll realize it doesn't take much to have a wonderful mini-vacation!


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