Thankfully, in spring and summer the packing list for a weekend trip is much simpler and lighter than it is through colder
But it still pays to pack smart so nothing is missing and you have everything you need to make the most of precious time away with friends or family.
No matter how you plan to spend your time away, whether you’ll be fine dining or relaxing on the beach, or a bit of both, wardrobe essentials, the foundations of a capsule wardrobe, are the place to start.
And there’s a basic technique I use for simplifying the process of deciding what to pack for a weekend trip, which I share further down.
So keep scrolling to find the essentials for any packing list for a weekend trip, plus some fun extras to add something more to your holiday wardrobe.
One of the key tips when you're thinking about what to pack for a weekend trip is to choose pieces that are versatile and will have you
covered for many occasions.
Pieces that can be dressed up or down, can take you from the beach to a cafe, that work with each other, and that you can add a layer to if the day gets cooler.
And this is where a capsule wardrobe is so helpful.
In a capsule wardrobe everything works together and fulfils multiple tasks.
It’s surprising how many outfits you can put together with a limited number of pieces. Plus the occasions you can dress for, from a day on the beach and lunch at the cafe, to drinks at the bar and a restaurant for dinner.
In fact, the minimalist in many of us loves the challenge of seeing how many outfits you can create with the lightest possible suitcase!
But it can be difficult to hold a clear picture of the wardrobe essentials you’ll need for your plans while your away. And trying to organise this is extra hard when you’re doing it all in your mind!
So, below I’ve shared the travel packing list I use when I’m planning a trip which makes this so much easier.
You can see your ‘diary’ for your time away, what it is you’re planning for and what you’ll need to include in your bag to cater for these plans.
You can record your basic agenda for each day and evening, for example, beach and lunch at a cafe during the day and then dinner at casual restaurant in the evening.
And then you can decide what you’ll need from your wardrobe to wear on these occasions.
It’s also a good idea to include a couple of simple extras in case of situations like a spillage down your front!
Plus, add a couple of pieces to cope with a change in weather so you don’t suddenly find yourself cold with nothing to wear. But make sure these warmer clothes will also work with what you’ve already packed.
Versatile pieces like a trench, cardigan or knit, or a long sleeve shirt that you can wear over a dress or with pants or a skirt are helpful options.
Then, of course, there are your accessories. Another way to add to your holiday wardrobe that will take up much less room in your suitcase.
Jewellery is the best option for this. It can add such variation to a look with so little effort.
But a hat is another idea. You'll see what I mean further down.
And it’s not hard to adapt an outfit so it can take you from a cafe to an expensive restaurant. For instance, with a slip dress all you’d need to do is change your shoes and handbag and you’re done.
Below you’ll find the 13 best wardrobe essentials to include in your packing list for a weekend trip, ideas for how to style them and get the most from what you choose, plus the travel packing list I mentioned earlier.
The most reliable staple whether you're at home or away, jeans can take you from a casual cafe to a dressy dinner with minimal
They also make adapting for cooler weather very simple.
Along with jeans, a light pant or a midi or maxi slip skirt are very versatile.
You might wear them to the beach along with your swimmers and then they can take you straight to a cafe for lunch or a shopping trip along the esplanade.
And again, they both only require small change if the weather cools.
A slip dress is another key piece for any capsule wardrobe, and therefore fabulous to have on your packing list for a weekend
trip, as they can be dressup or down.
And once more, if the temperature drops it's easy to add a shirt, knit or trench for a little warmth.
Or perhaps you'd prefer a more relaxed dress, which can also serve several purposes, taking you from the beach, to a cafe, to dinner.
This is one of the pieces to include for cooler weather as you can pop it over a dress, or wear with your linen pant or skirt.
You could also dress it up with jeans and some heels to take you out in the evening.
Choose a good top that will pair with the jeans, pant or skirt you've chosen so you can again make the most of it.
Of course, you might choose to not include this one and simply go with a slip dress which will provide what you need for a dressier occasion.
These are the tops that will take you from morning to afternoon or even on to dinner.
They pair with your jeans, pant or skirt and at least one should be able to be worn with the long sleeve shirt you've chosen. They also work with flats or heels for extra styling options.
The one piece swimsuit has been back on the scene for many years and it's just as gorgeous as ever.
And it's also a little more versatile than a bikini as it can double as a top. So coming straight from the beach to lunch out is easy.
These sandals will go with everything you've chosen so far. You can wear them to the beach and then on to a meal out or the shops.
This is another piece that you might not feel you need if the casual sandals you've chosen are perfectly capable of catering to all
your plans while away.
But if you do like the idea of having them with you, then a simple pair is the best option. One that will work with most of what you've already packed.
This is a bag you can take anywhere and everywhere. It should also pair with everything else in your suitcase. And this style, the raffia tote, is particularly versatile. There are few outfits and outings it won't work for.
This is again an item you might decide you don't need if the casual bag you've chosen has all your bases covered.
But if you do take one, then something small that will work with most of the wardrobe you've packed is the best idea.
If you're spending time out in the sun then of course you'll need a hat to help you avoid sunburn.
But one that also works with your holiday wardrobe as an accessory is a great idea. This can simply be another way to make small changes to an outfit and make things more fun.
Considering how little space jewellery takes up in your suitcase it's a fabulous addition in regards to adding versatility to the
wardrobe you've chosen. And it always adds fun to an outfit!
Here's some inspiration for how to style the pieces you choose to include in your packing list. Plus, hopefully this gives you an idea as to how much you can do with only a limited number of wardrobe items.
This is your key tool for making it easier to organise your packing list for a weekend trip. You can record how you intend to
spend your time away and therefore what you might need to pack. It makes it much easier than trying to do all the organising in your head!
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