Packing for a weekend trip

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Row of suitcases with a teddy and cowboy hat
A few simple tips and you can be on your way to a fun weekend away
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Packing for a weekend trip can be tricky. Unsure of how much stuff we actually need, many of us either end up packing more than is necessary for a two-day getaway or coming up short. Here are some handy tips to follow to ensure you aren't encumbered with too heavy bags or having to make emergency supply trips to the local Wal-Mart.

Go with mix and match

When it comes to clothing, interchangeable outfits are the key words for packing for a weekend trip. Picking neutral colors, paired with a brighter hue here and there, will ensure that your ensembles work together. For instance, packing a cream-colored shirt to be worn with either black dress pants or jeans, or a colored tee that can be worn alone with shorts in the daytime or under a jacket in the evening are great ways to ensure that you have clothing for every occasion. Making sure that your outfits can be worn several ways will cut down on the amount of clothing that you need to pack.

Be ready for any occasion

Make sure to pack a casual version of each outfit as well as a dressy look for the evening. One pair of casual pants such as jeans or chinos and one pair of dressy slacks will do as will one casual long sleeved shirt and one blouse or button up. One pair of shorts will probably be enough as this piece of clothing is usually only worn in casual settings. A tee or two for daytime will be needed as will one dress, in a neutral color such as black that can be dressed up with heels or worn casually with sandals or sneakers. One pair of casual, comfortable shoes for excursions and one pair of dressy heels or loafers for dinner or dancing should be enough footwear, unless your weekend trip includes a specific activity such as hiking in which case a pair of hiking boots will be needed. Don't forget to bring a belt that matches. Pack a swimsuit even if you aren't traveling in the warm weather; most hotels and resorts will have a pool. Don't forget staples such as underwear and socks. Any accessories such as watches, necklaces or bracelets should be chosen beforehand so you do not bring too many valuables with you. Pack them in a small case that zippers or snaps shut and keep it in a safe place.

Toiletries and personal care items

Toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap can be packed in a large, plastic food storage bag to guard against leakage and placed in your suitcase or travel bag. Don't forget make up and any hair accessories such as curling irons, elastics and barrettes. Chances are that if you are staying in a hotel they will provide a hair dryer but these are usually small and low on blowing power so it may be prudent to pack your own.

Just for fun

Packing recreational items will depend on where you're going. If required, make sure to pack any items necessary for the trip such as skis for a weekend ski trip or camping equipment for a trip to the forest. If you are planning to shop until you drop, packing for a weekend trip includes bringing an empty bag to fill up for the trip home.

Books and music

Remember to take items such as books or magazines for downtime during your trip or if you like listening to music; pack your iPod or MP3 player. Make sure to bring a camera to record your adventure in photographs.

Things you never want to forget

Necessities such as your wallet, money, traveler's checks, and identification are important. Keep these items close to you for safety or if you are staying in a hotel, put them in a safe for extra precaution.

Even last minute packing for a weekend trip need not be intimidating. Following the these few simple tips will ensure that you are prepared for every occasion.

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