A copy of your passport, an old ID card or a deck of cards. Do you have everything you need for a weekend trip?
Weekend trips are the best to get away from your daily job and spend some nice time with your partner, friends or by yourself.
From getaways around Europe with budget airlines or discount tickets to short trips around South East Asia or South America during your semester abroad, weekend trips let us see more in the middle of a busy daily life. Now, the final question is: What should you pack for that weekend getaway?
Packing is not rocket science and it doesn´t need to be, but it is good to know what you need to take with you and what can stay at home. Because let’s face it; no one wants to take things on a holiday that in the end he won´t even touch.
Let´s start with the basics!
Papers and documents
Definitely the most important thing if you don´t want your trip to end before it starts.
If you are leaving the country, don´t forget that you need a passport and some kind of ID for your daily trips. But your passport is not everything, you also need credit cards, insurance cards and, for some countries, even your vaccination certificate (in South East Asian countries). For a weekend trip I take the following documents with me:
- Passport + a copy of it
- Old (not necessarily expired) ID card with photo and birth date: Extremely useful if you want to go out without the risk of loosing important documents.
- 1 credit card for daily expenses + a second credit card for emergencies (you never know when your card gets blocked)
- 100 USD/EUR in cash: Euros and Dollars are universal currency so take some with you.
- Insurance card
- Small notebook with hotel addresses and simple travel indications (train connections/ time tables/ mobile phone numbers)
Keep an online backup of all documents in a cloud you can access anytime.
- Always leave your passport and emergency credit cards at your hostel’s safety deposit box and take a copy of your passport and/or an old ID with you.
Bags and backpacks
You are going away for 3 days, not 3 weeks, so you won´t need that 55l backpack or the big suitcase your mom gave you when moving out. It´s also important to take into consideration that most of us probably fly budget airlines, so we don´t even want to take any check-in baggage, as it might cost even more than the flight ticket.
You will not only need a bag for your clothes, but also a bag for your daily tours, dirty clothes and toiletries.
For a weekend trip I take the following bags and backpacks:
- 35l backpack: A normal school bag. Perfect to pack enough clothes for a weekend and a laptop, plus it’s comfortable enough to be carried as a daily bag.
- Camera bag: I might not have a big camera, but I have lots of gear I like to take with me. My camera bag is perfect for this! With enough space for both of my cameras, gear, sunglasses and maybe one or another extra element, this bag is perfect for a weekend trip. And the best of all is that most airlines allow it as a second bag in cabin.
- Pouch: great for short walks and to carry documents. However, the main purpose of this bag is for you to pack the dirty clothes for the return flight.
- Toiletries bag: Small, practical and simple. A small bag for you to put your toothbrush, dental cream, shampoo and any other things you might need.
Electronics are not only important gear for travel bloggers, but also for any other traveler in modern days. Cameras keep special moments as memories and mobile phones keep you up to date with home. For a weekend travel I like to take the following gear:
And remember! You are not less a traveler if you travel with electronic gear, you are simply traveling smarter.
It´s a long weekend traveling, not a conference. You don´t need to take more than you need, but you need to be prepared for any situation. A t-shirt per day, one shirt and one pair of pants will definitely be enough for your weekend. However, an extra pair of shoes won´t take too much space in your bag and can be a nice alternative if you want to try a fancy restaurant or hit the clubs on the weekend.
Also it is important to take a fleece jacket for cold nights, an old shirt and shorts as a pyjama and enough socks and underwear for your trip.
NOTE: Depending on the season, you can always consider taking swimming shorts, a winter jacket or a rain coat.
Accessories are very useful for a weekend trip. From a deck of cards if you want to kill some time at the airport to the right headphones for a more entertaining flight. Accessories shouldn´t take too much space in your bag and still make a difference if you want to travel in a more comfortable way.
I like to divide the accessories I take on a weekend trip into three categories:
- Fashion accesories: Belt, scarf, hat or a watch. These accessories are not necessary unless a specific situation needs it. In this case I need to point out, that although I might not need a watch, I like to take one of my wood watches on my travels, as they don´t occupy any space at all.
- Electronic accessories: headphones, mini speakers, power bank or even a selfie stick. These accessories make your travel more comfortable. But first think about it: are you really going to do night photography or is the tripod going to be on tour for nothing?
- Other accessories: Card decks, travel magazines or books. These accessories have the purpose of entertaining us. While I almost always take a deck of cards with me, I´m personally not a big fan of taking travel magazines or books with me, as I know they’ll spend more time in than outside my backpack.
Insider Tip: 90% of the hostels have towels included or for an extra price. Towels not only take a lot of space in your bag, but they can also be quite uncomfortable on the way back, as they might still be wet. In other words: Don´t take a towel with you!
Also, don’t forget to bring a lock, just in case!
Shampoo, liquid for contact lenses, toothpaste and soap. These elements are very important on our travels but they shouldn´t take half of the space in our luggage. Many supermarkets offer all these products in small 50ml packages. Get them in advance and don´t waste space.
Here is a list of the toiletries I take for a weekend trip
As you can see, there is no magic in a packing list for a weekend trip, but choosing the right things can make the difference between being prepared for any situation or simply taking stuff you won´t need.