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How To Pack For A Quick Weekend Trip


Originally posted July 5, 2016

Whether you prefer Tofino, Salt Spring Island or Seattle, there’s nothing better than a quick weekend getaway for some R&R to recharge your batteries. Now that I’m based on the East Coast– New York, Chicago, Muskoka and Quebec City are among the myriad of accessible places just a stones throw away from Toronto. Paid vacation is hard to come by so I’ve really been trying to maximize the long weekends by getting out of the city. This means plenty of practice packing, re-packing, and curating the essentials for short-haul trips.

The Clothes

For a 2-3 day trip I usually pack two outfits per day – one for daytime and one for nighttime as well as one comfy outfit for travel. I find that packing separates is the most effective way to maximize space and to account for different types of weather. Be mindful of delicate items of clothing that wrinkle easily as they don’t travel well, and pack pieces that can be layered if the temperature dips.

Here’s a sample list of pieces to pack:

  • 3 tops
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 special occasion piece – dress or jumpsuit
  • 1-2 pair shorts
  • 1-2 pair jeans
  • 1 pair leggings or relaxed fit pants
  • 1 (light) jacket
  • 1 hat
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Scarf
  • Optional: bathing suit

The Shoes

Depending on where you head to on your getaway, I recommend packing one pair of shoes per function. There’s nothing worse than carrying a heavy bag full of shoes that you don’t end up wearing all weekend. I usually put my shoes in plastic bags to avoid getting my clean clothes dirty. There are also plenty of portable travel shoe bags that you can find on


Nylon Travel Shoes Bag s Set of 3, $4.60 CAD,

Here’s a sample list of shoes to bring:

  • 1 pair of walking shoes
  • 1 pair of flats
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of heels

The Essentials

For toiletries there’s no sense in packing full bottles that take up space. I usually bring samples that I’ve collected over the months, or space saving travel-size containers. For great reusable containers try Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, local dollar shops or For other essentials, I pack a large carryall bag or Ziploc bag with feminine hygiene products, painkillers, allergy pills, Band-Aids, and anything else I might need for the weekend. Throw your makeup into a makeup bag and you’re all set.

Samsonite 6-Piece Travel Bottle Set, $14.97 CAD, Shoppers Drug Mart

Extra Packing Tips

  • Roll everything instead of folding them to save space and avoid wrinkling your clothes
  • Stuff your rolled-up socks into your shoes
  • Pack an extra pair of socks and underwear, just in case they get wet from rain
  • Bring extra bags for dirty socks and shoes

The more space you have left over, the more space you have.  Have a great trip!

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