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11 controversial tips to pack light for a weekend trip

11 controversial tips to pack light for a weekend trip

I’m guessing you’ve landed on this page because you’re booked a flight with just the ‘free’ underseat carry-on luggage and now you’re wondering how you’re going to pack light for a weekend trip.

How are you going to fit everything in this tiny bag!?

Packing light for a weekend trip is my bag (pun absolutely intended there, sorry). I take around 25 weekend trips each year and here’s how I pack light for a weekend away…

1. Don’t use a wash bag

Women's wash bag

I know, this is really controversial and the thought of not using a wash bag while packing your bag is probably making you feel uncomfortable. Right?

You’ll save a lot of space in your luggage by not taking a wash bag or makeup bag. Just slip your toiletries into the little nooks and crannies in between your clothes.

Travel Hack Tip: If you’re worried about spills and leaks then wrap your products in clingfilm. 

Travel Hack Tip 2: If you’re going through airport security then I’d recommend keeping your liquids in a plastic bag until you’ve passed through security, otherwise you’ll have to go rummaging through your clothes searching for your liquids to put them on the security belt.

No products found.

2. Choose the right bag

The Travel Hack Backpack

If you’ve got a big bag, you’re going to fill it. Fact.

I use The Travel Hack Backpack for Ryanair flights. The Travel Hack Hybrid for easyJet flights and The Travel Hack Cabin Case for when I’ve paid for overhead luggage.

You can’t pack light for a weekend trip if your bag is too big so choose your bag wisely!

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3. Don’t change your trousers/jeans/shorts

Oooo another one that gives you the ick. 

But there’s really no need to change your trousers for a short break and this will save so much space in your luggage.

I made this video about creating so many outfits while wearing just one pair of black trousers.

The trousers are the Acai Thermal Skinny Outdoor Trousers. They’re fleece lined and water resistant so they’re brilliant for cold or wet destinations!

4. Take thongs/skimpy underwear 

Leave your big knickers at home and wear your skimpy thongs!

5. DON’T use packing cubes

10kg luggage example

Packing cubes are great for organisations but did you know they don’t actually save any space. I made this video to prove my point…

If you’re only going away for 2-3 days then you probably don’t need the organisation of packing cubes so give them a miss to pack light for your weekend trip.

Read more: Are packing cubes worth it and do they actually save space?

6. Rolling your clothes doesn’t save space

Rolling your clothes minimises creases but it doesn’t save any space. You save space by squishing the air from clothes. Pack your clothes however you like.

Everything I read about packing light mentions rolling your clothes but, honestly, it doesn’t save space.

7. Only take one pair of shoes

Small bag for a plane

To really pack light for a weekend trip you can’t put any shoes in your bag!

Choose wisely!

This is more difficult if you’ll be going out for fancy meals and might want a pair of heels or a more formal shoe, but generally I can get away with not packing any additional shoes.

I tend to pack Birkenstocks for summer trips, New Balance 327s for the spring or autumn and Dr Martens for the winter (I like the Dr Martens Chelsea Boot with fur inside).

8. Don’t change your bra

Unless you’re going somewhere really hot, it’s unlikely your bra is going to get dirty or smelly, right? Please tell me I’m not the only one who will wear the same bra for 2-3 days!?

I know you may need to pack another depending on your outfits but if I can avoid packing a bra I always will!

9. You can wear all your bulky items on the plane

Don’t worry about looking like an idiot on the plane, everyone does it!

If you’re worried about being too hot then keep all your bulky items in a packable tote bag, then put them on just before you board the plane and pop the tote in your pocket. As soon as you’re on the plane you can take them back off and put them in the tote.

Don’t worry about the air stewards, they’re too busy getting everyone on the plane to notice.

10. Don’t wash your hair

My favourite budget summer beauty buys

If I’m going away for just 2-3 nights I won’t wash my hair. I’ll take a small can of dry shampoo and a mini brush and this saves me packing:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Heat protector spray
  • Dyson Airwrap
  • Hairstraighteners
  • Big hairbrush
  • Hair spray

OK, my hair might be looking a bit lank on the way home but it’s worth it to avoid packing all these items!

11. Use the hotel toiletries

Nothing bad will happen if you use hotel soap and shampoo!

And guess what, you can normally ask at hotel receptions for a toothbrush and toothpaste in case you ‘forget’ your own.

12. You don’t need 100ml liquids

I know TSA give us a 100ml limit on our liquids bottles but you probably don’t need that much. 

Most of us automatically fill our mini travel bottles to the top or buy those pre-packaged miniatures that are 100ml, but you don’t need all of it. Just because TSA give us that much, it doesn’t mean you need to use it!

I prefer to use 10ml pots for my skincare products as I only use a tiny amount of cleanser and moisturiser. If I do need to take shampoo and conditioner then I’ll use these pouches rather than bottles so I can just take enough for one wash and squeeze the air from the pouch to save space.

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