How to Pack Light for a Girls Weekend

Advice on cutting down your baggage from a chronic over-packer.

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Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash

It really isn’t my fault that I’m a chronic over-packer.

I mean, c’mon! You never know what you could need or what outfit you will want to wear depending on your mood and besides, you always need an extra of everything just in case … right?

Wrong. Whether it’s a weekend in the city or a week at the beach, you just need to admit to yourself (or, erm, myself) that you’re not an influencer hustling to get 30 different outfits photographed so you don’t need 30 different looks!

(Feel free to disregard this advice if you are, in fact, an influencer. And good for you!)

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Trust me, I get it: It’s hard to cut things out of you bag that you think you might need, and it is always good to have something extra for just-in-case situations. (Hail to all the mom friends out there toting around mini sewing kits, bandaids, and advil!!!) But there are serious drawbacks to overpacking — you know it and I know it.

So from one chronic over-packer to another, let me help!

Read on for this chronic over-packer’s girls weekend checklist for packing ‘just right’:

{RELATED POST: Why You Should Plan a Girls Weekend Right Now}

Step One: Start with the Bag

It might sound strange but a packer is only as good as the tools she has to pack with! Pick a bag that is lightweight, comfy to carry, and big enough to carry it all.

Look for something that might expand if necessary, or has different pockets for storing different things.

My go-to travel bag is always my expandable weekender Longchamp! Yes, it is priced to be an investment pice, but it’s worth it. It will last forever and is a true lifesaver when it comes to staying organized and not over packing.

Step Two: Pack Your Shoes First

Shoes are tricky because you not only need them to complete an outfit but to keep you comfy as well. So how to choose the shoes for a weekend trip?

First, think of where you are going and what you will be doing.

Next, think of your most versatile pairs. Making one pair work with multiple outfits is key!

Example: let’s say you’re visiting a friend in the city. You will need a shoe for Friday travel, Saturday day and night, Sunday day, and travel once again.

My picks: a sneaker for travel, a black bootie for nightlife, and a comfy mule for daytime. You can also feel free to cut this down — maybe your mules are comfy enough to travel in so you don’t need the sneakers, or maybe you love wearing sneakers with your daytime outfits, so you don’t need the mules.

Step Three: Pack the Pieces That Will Allow You to Make the Largest Number of Outfits

Packing light for a girls weekend
Outfit via Free People

Outfits are hard because they require knowing what you’re going to be doing and what you will want to be wearing. But packing by outfits is the BEST way to pack light.

To create your outfits, the rule of thumb is to think about the cutest, most versatile items in your closet and go from there. They will help you make a million outfits on your trip.

After packing my undies and pj’s (and choosing an outfit for travel) here are the pieces I always know I can combine into outfits:

  • Pants: a good jean that could be worn for day or night, a comfy pant like leggings or knit flowy pants, a nicer pant that can again be doubled for day or night (my pick would be my flare pants that are a cross between legging and pant material)
  • Tops: a top strictly for nightlife like a crop top, bodysuit, or something see-through and fun, a plain white tee, and an oversized sweater
  • Extras: because sometimes, you just need them! A plain tank top, a cardigan, another sweater

Especially when packing clothes it’s important to also keep in mind what’s lightest that will also fold the easiest! You definitely don’t have to pack as many items as I’ve listed above, those are just some of the basics I go to when thinking up outfits for the weekend.

Step Four: You’d Despair without Makeup and Hair

While you may hold yourself back in other categories of packing, this is one place where you need. it. all. (This is unless, of course, you are going somewhere where hot tools are provided which is a total bonus!)

It’s a girls weekend and you want to feel confident, don’t skimp on the products that make you feel your best, just opt for the smaller versions of each!

Step Five: The Extras!

Do you need a towel? Do you need a blanket? Do you need a coat? Do you need something else in particular? Most importantly, can it be purchased or borrowed once you get to your destination?

Ask these questions then pack the lightest option of each!

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When you’re finished, make sure it all fits and, when in doubt, take one item out … or don’t! I’m still a bit of an over-packer, but I’m getting better with every trip.

I want to hear from you in the comments below!

Are you an over-packer? How do you get all of your stuff to fit in your travel bag? What do you pack for a girls weekend?

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