This weekend, like many other weekends, I will spend at someone’s else’s apartment. Overnight stays or weekend trips are the ways I maintain relationships with those who live a few hours away. And, as someone who has to keep up with friends who move around, I frequently feel like I live out of a suitcase. Through my short-trip excursions, I have picked up a few tricks to keep my overnight tote light, packed only with the essentials. The first thing to remember, is that it’s OK to forget.
It’s OK if you forget:
Toothpaste: Don’t fret about forgetting toothpaste, it’s not a huge deal and I’m sure, for the weekend, whoever you are staying with will let you borrow some. If you want to make sure you always have this on you, leave a travel-size tube in your bag.
Shampoo, soap or conditioner: Packing shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles take up a ton of space in your bag — plus, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that one will bust or leak all over your favorite outfit. If you don’t want to use your friend’s products, you can always pick up a small bottle of a shampoo/body wash combo that does it all for cheap — Ulta has a 3-in-1 Beauty Smoothie for $4.
The extra pair of jeans: If you get panicky without options, take them, but otherwise, just pick the pair your butt looks the best in and move on. If you wear the same pair of jeans two days in a row, no one is going to care and/or notice. Plus, jeans will weigh down your bag and take up a lot of space.
Contact solution and/or glasses: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten my contact solution, only to realize the fact at midnight. There isn’t much you can substitute for your solution — FYI, water is not a good option, you’ll regret that when your contact suctions to your sleepy eyeball in the morning. Definitely don’t forget your solution or at least keep a pair of eye glasses with you. Even though I realize how important having my solution with me is, I still try and get around packing the giant bottle of Renu. My tip: if you are only staying one night, fill your contact lens case with solution, seal it and forget the bottle. You’ll have just what you need for one night.
Athletic clothes and shoes: You never know when the group you are with decides that a spontaneous outdoor activity or game at the gym is a great idea. And, after a little convincing, you will think it’s a great idea, too — except when you realize you forgot your tennis shoes (these aren’t an item you can just go pick up at Target for $10). Something I try to do is keep a pair of tennis shoes in my car in case of these emergencies. Also, a pair of spandex shorts and a tank top take up a small space in your bag, so it’s worth tossing them in, too.
Dry shampoo: Because your weekend away might not move at your pace, you might want to have a quick hair fix — just in case you don’t have time to jump in the shower before going out to brunch (when your friend decides that socializing with everyone at 11 a.m. on Saturday is a great idea). My must-have weekend packing item is dry shampoo, because it gives your hair the boost it needs and makes you look fresh in less than five minutes. Right now, I’m using Bumble and Bumble’s white hair powder, which comes in a travel size.
Other links to look at:
Real Simple presents a step-by-step guide to pack for the weekend, from how many pairs of underwear to bring to tossing in a few accessories.
Maire Claire reminds you to remember your itinerary when packing for the weekend.
USA Today says roll your clothes to save space.