This morning found me frantically booking a last minute weekend away.

I’ve known for ages that this weekend is free. What’s more it is the only weekend in July and August we don’t have commitments. But do I get anything organized?

But rather than beat myself up (seriously what is the point?) why not celebrate? I did succeed in booking a weekend away despite the tall order.   A nice hotel near the Norfolk coast for 2 adults and 2 dogs in August with three days’ notice!

I’m sure that part of my supine approach is that I’m now distinctly chilled when I travel. It used to take weeks of planning and panic about what to pack, but now it’s just a walk in the park.

Talking to friends recently they were telling me about their recent trip to Paris. Their weekend away was great but they were blaming Eurostar for their generous baggage allowance. It had meant that they had ended up lugging around large suitcases of ‘just in case’ shoes and unworn dresses!

weekend away city break

Their experience and mine led me to write this post and give you my top tips for packing for a weekend away.

Naturally what you take will depend on what you are doing, where you are going and the weather. So I’ve split my tips into the three most popular types of weekend based on three days and two nights.


Weekend Away In The Country UK

The bad news is that you need to prepare yourself for all weathers.   The good news is that you are likely to be driving. This means you have space in the car.

weekend away in country

It’s not cheating to say let’s put the all weather gear directly in the car!

First you need to consider any activities and the type of accommodation you will be staying in, but the principles are the same:

Colour – base your outfits on colours that work together. This maximizes the number of outfits you can make from the minimum number of items. This should include all items.

Keep it casual – unless you’re attending a specific event or occasion. Otherwise pack

  1. One-two pairs of jeans
  2. Two camisoles or T shirts
  3. One smart top
  4. One jumper or additional layer
  5. Two-Three scarves + jewellery
  6. One pair of flats
  7. One pair of heels
  8. One dress for evening

Use your jewellery and scarves to create additional outfits.  Take photos if that helps to remind you of the combinations.

For evenings wear smart top, jeans and heels one night, dress and heels the second night. Wear smart top with jeans and flats for one day.

If you are staying in a hotel with a spa, don’t forget your swimming costume!

Weekend Away Fly and Flop

A short break to a sunny destination with a beach and or a pool is the easiest break to pack for.   This is a fabulous chance to unwind and recharge your batteries.

weekend away beach

The most stressful part for me is deciding what book to take. I panic at the thought of running out of reading material. The good news is that with this capsule wardrobe you’ll have room to add a second book.

For a fly and flop weekend away all you will need is:

  1. Two bikinis (they don’t take up room!)
  2. One beach cover up (Kaftan, Sundress or Sarong)
  3. One pair of shorts
  4. Two T shirts – to wear to breakfast with your shorts and travel home
  5. Two Dresses – can be worn for evenings or exploring
  6. One pair of flats
  7. One pair of heels
  8. One shrug or large scarf
  9. Two Scarves and Jewellery
  10. Beach bag – unless you’re simply flopping beside the hotel pool.

Once again it is key that you either chose one colour or a minimal colour palette.   This is the biggest tip I’ll be able to give you.

If you do sneak an extra top or pair of shorts into your luggage, as you don’t believe you will have enough clothes, then at least ensure these are in the same pallet.


Weekend Away European City Break

The key to this being a successful weekend away is comfort.

A city break implies you will be on the move.

It’s an opportunity to explore all that your destination has to offer. Feet will get tired through lots of pavement pounding and deserve to be treated with respect!

If your return trip means a late flight or train journey, check what arrangements your hotel has for luggage. Most hotels are accommodating, but what bigger incentive to travel light if you do have to take your luggage with you on your last day!

Check the weather forecast for your destination before you go. This should help to finally determine what you pack.

  1. One pair of jeans or shorts
  2. Two camisoles or T-shirts
  3. Two dresses for evenings
  4. One jumper or additional layer
  5. Two-Three scarves + jewellery
  6. One pair of heels
  7. One pair of flats – fun flats you can wear in the evening if your feet are two tired for heels

Wear ‘I can walk all day in these shoes’ for travel. Make sure the jacket you wear to travel is versatile and you’ll be happy to wear for day/evening wear during your trip.

weekend away munich

Space Saver Tips For Packing

My number one tip for packing, to use the minimum space and keep clothes looking good, is to roll not fold.

This is a lifesaver for clothes that may crease such as T-shirts. It is also good for clothes such as knitwear, which can be bulky.

However I always lay jeans and shorts flat, as I find they take up less room this way.

Use ziplock bags for jewellery to avoid catching jewellery on clothing and other items.

weekend away space saver tip

Still Not Sure What To Take?

Start with your favourite item such as a dress. Take my suggestions and see if you can then build your full list of items around your favourite item.

If this doesn’t work then start to lay out possible options and combinations on your bed. But remember sneaking extra items in will mean you’ll be taking more than you need, so edit it back down to the basic list!

Do you have any packing tips for a weekend away that you can share with us?  Please leave comments below.

If you are looking for tips on how to avoid taking a bigger suitcase on a longer holiday, see my blog covering Holiday Essentials