Life Hacks  

How to Pack For A Long Weekend

Spring is the best time to travel. Plane tickets are typically less (kids are still in school and families aren't planning major vacations), the weather is starting to turn, and if you're anything like me, you're starting to feel cooped up from being inside all winter.
If you're planning a quick jaunt, there's absolutely no need to overpack. Most airlines charge to check luggage (typically a minimum of $25 per bag, not to mention the extra fees associated with bags deemed "too heavy"), so use luggage you can stow in the overhead bin. If you pack properly, you'll fit everything you need into your carry-on. What you can't fit can go into your personal item (for me, this is usually a backpack or oversized purse), which gets stuffed under the seat in front of you. You might be concerned about the overhead space on your flight, but you don't have to be. Airlines always ask for volunteers to check their luggage at the desk before boarding the plane to conserve on overhead space. If you feel so inclined, it's free, so you're still saving that $25. The only thing is that you then have to wait for your luggage at baggage claim when you land. As long as you're ready to board when your zone is called, I can pretty much ensure you there's going to be room for your stuff.

These must-have carry-on accessories will make packing simple and get you to your mini-vacation destination quickly and easily:

  • Reuseable toiletry bottles. These things areĀ the best. Instead of packing bulky shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, etc., fill these travel bottles with your products. They'll hold enough product to get you through an extended weekend without adding any extra weight to your carry-on.
  • Plastic baggies. There's nothing worse than arriving at your home/hotel/Air BnB to find your shampoo/body wash/sunscreen has exploded all over your clothing. Stop this mishap from happening by packing everything that could possibly ruin an outfit into plastic Ziplock bags. 1-2 gallon size bags should fit all of your TSA-sized bottles. Stuff those babies into the top zipper compartment of your carry-on and you're all set!
  • Neutral clothing. When you pack clothing in a neutral color palette, it makes mixing and matching easier. Ultimately, mixing and matching means that you have to pack less. 1-2 bottoms can be combined with a variety of t-shirts, button downs, jackets, or sweaters. Focus your energy on the accessories you'll pack to differentiate your looks. Accessories like jewelry, hats, and scarves take up less space and are way easier to tote around the airport than bulky, heavy clothing.
  • A plan. Whether you're visiting a college friend in their hometown or an old family vacation spot, a long weekend means you're strapped for time. If you've been to the place you're traveling before, try to hit some local hotspots you haven't seen before. If you're new to the turf, talk to people who have been there before and do some Google-soul-searching before you go. Arriving in town without a plan means you're going to be wasting precious time figuring your life out when you could be enjoying an adventure.
Plan your long-weekend getaway now! Use this guideline to pack everything you need into a carry-on bag. You'll save on the outrageous costs of checking a bag and get in and out of the airport before you can say "mini-vacay." If you know of any helpful tips, add them to the comment section below!