how to be an efficient weekend traveler

Happiness is packing for an adventure somewhere far. 

If being in a long-distance relationship has taught me anything, it’s learning how to pack efficiently for those impromptu rendezvous’s. I usually find myself on a bus heading to Boston once every six weeks or so and carrying 16 bags for two days is a little excessive…

When you’ve been in a relationship for roughly two-and-a-half years, you learn a thing or two about overpacking! In this post, I’ll teach you how to make the most of your long trek and how to efficiently pack for a weekend getaway!

Step 1: Planning

This is the most important step that so often gets overlooked. Maybe it’s because I’m am incredibly Type-A person and I make several To-Do lists daily, but if I want to effectively pack a weekend bag that won’t weigh me down, I take the time to plan every detail.

Consider how long you’ll be gone and means of transportation. I like to jot down a loose itinerary, accounting for travel days, where I’ll be traveling to and the forecast for my destination. Luckily for the sake of this post, Massachusetts weather is very similar to New York weather, so seasonal clothing is consistent.

This is where the lists come into play: Instead of just throwing several pieces in a bag and hoping for the best, make a list of outfit ideas per day based on the activities you’ll be doing. If I know I have a busy itinerary doing various activities, I like to break down the days into two parts: morning and night, so this way, I’m not left looking too casual for more formal events and vice versa. I find this gives me peace of mind about my fear of not packing enough!

In order to avoid overpacking, highly consider packing pieces that can be worn more than once. It makes for laundry a lot easier and it takes up less space in your luggage.

For each day, jot down all the necessities: Bra, undies, socks, shoes… Then piece an outfit together. Finish it off with either a sweater, a jacket or any accessories that might complete the look. I always recommend bringing a second layer, whether it’s a jacket or sweater, because you never know if somewhere is going to be chilly! (Try to opt for something universal and goes with every outfit you consider!)

Writing down what you intend to bring will also make the packing portion that much easier since you can cross items off once they’re packed in the bag.

When it comes to packing my make-up and cosmetic things, this is where I struggle the most. No one ever wants to be caught ill-prepared, but don’t worry! The best tip I can suggest is ONLY bring what you know you’ll use! I know you’d love to test out that teal lippie for a night out, but be realistic with yourself.

My suggestion is sit down and get ready as you would on any given day. The products you grab are your go-to’s and must absolutely go in your travel bag. Bring any applicator/brushes you know you’ll need per product and set them aside with the products.

Opt for bringing one palette that can be used for multiple looks so you’re not taking up extra room in your bag and only bring lip colors you know you’ll wear. For me, I grab a nude lipstick and a fun color lippie to brighten any look.

Step 2: Packing

Since we’ve opted to make lists on clothing and cosmetics, this part should be relatively easy now.

Once again, ONLY PACK WHAT YOU KNOW YOU’LL USE. The day you leave for a trip, go about your usual morning routine and set aside the items you’ve used, like toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

When it comes to actually packing the bag, I like to pack the things I’ll use last at the bottom of my bag and the things I’ll need right at the top, like my toiletries and pajamas. This is where planning the outfits comes in hand, since you’ll have a rough idea what you’ll want to wear when and pack accordingly.

To keep the bag level in weight, pack shoes at the bottom, this way, it gives your bag more support along the bottom. Take an extra step to pack shoes in an old grocery bag. This will keep your clothes clean and can also opt for a laundry bag later in the trip!

Step 3: Entertainment

Depending on how you’re traveling, entertainment might be the most vital part! I normally opt to take a bus to Boston, since it’s cheaper and doesn’t put the miles on my car. It’s roughly a five-and-a-half hour journey, which is a long time to try and keep yourself busy!

I always bring two bags with me, though three if we’re being technical. Greyhound buses allow you to stow one bag in the under-carry and bring one carry-on bag onboard. I stuff my purse into my carry-on and stock it with the things I might need during a trip, like aspirin, gum, lip balm, etc.

Inside the tote, bring headphones, iPad or other tablet, snacks, a bottle of water and possibly a book. More often than not, I listen to music on my phone, but I like the option of other entertainment venues. Greyhound buses offer Wi-Fi and outlets to charge your devices, but sometimes they don’t work or you have an inconsiderate seat mate, so always charge up prior.

Bring a neck pillow onboard and a jacket, in case you want to catch a few zzz’s on a late-night bus.

What tips and tricks do you have for travel? Let me know in a comment!

About sarah

28. writer. obsessed with makeup, traveling, nyr and sparkle.
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