How to Pack for a Weekend Getaway

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I’m generally pretty terrible at packing for a trip.  I take way longer than necessary to get everything together. I over-pack.  And I end up bringing a bunch of mis-matched outfits that I never feel “cute” in. I’ve learned that not feeling cute can really put a damper on a getaway.  This last weekend our family had a really fun opportunity to stay at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village (more on that soon). I was determined to get the packing thing right this time.  I followed a few simple rules and quick tips to ensure I didn’t over pack and that what I did pack was functional for the activities we would be doing.  And since it actually worked, I thought I would share those tips with you. My tips are nothing monumental, simply a quick list of things that helped me:

what to pack for a weekend getaway

1. Pack by activity: Rather than throwing all my favorite pieces of clothing into a suitcase and hoping for the best, I decided to pack by outfit for each specific activity (i.e. family pool day, date night, spa day, gym/yoga, etc).  The same goes for the shoes and accessories.  I found that I’m way more likely to actually wear the accessories if I decide ahead of time which I’ll wear with each outfit–then I divide them into separate baggies and put them on top of their corresponding outfit.  When I put my clothes in the suitcase I don’t keep all my pants together and shirts together and dresses together.  Instead I place them in the bag by outfit–so it’s super easy when I’m unpacking at the hotel and stress free when I’m getting ready.

2. Pack in your undies: This is my favorite tip.  For me, it is so important that I try on the outfits before I pack them.  There’s nothing worse than pulling out a shirt and hating the way it fits when you’re already on your trip.  And if you’re anything like me, your clothes fit you differently from month to month.  So I pack in my undies–that way I can try on every outfit before I commit to it.

3. Call ahead: Packing toiletries is an absolute pain for me.  They always seem to leak and they take so much space. Especially shampoo and conditioner.  I know, I know–I need to go get travel sizes, but I never do.  Now I call the hotel ahead of time and ask them what brand they carry in the rooms.  My hair can be super sensitive to some shampoos, so when a hotel has good stuff I’m in luck.  The Four Seasons has L’occitane, which happens to be a favorite of mine-so I don’t even bother packing it (and then I ask for some extras to take home *wink*).  I often call ahead about a hair dryer too. I’ve learned that there are several things you can ask to be ready in your room when you arrive (i.e. crib with bedding, hi-chair, extra fridge, pull out bed, etc).  There’s no need to wait until your arrival to request these extras.

4. The bag: I pick one “family size” bag and one small purse to bring on my trips.  Both are neutral and will go with all the outfits I’ve packed.  This trip I brought my red Lily Jade bag and my smaller, black Better Life bag.  Both colors went with the clothes I packed.

5. Kid tips: I always bring extra pj’s for the kids in case there is an “accident” in the middle of the night. I also let the kids fill one small bin with their favorite toys so that they don’t get bored when we’re in the room.  When we go down to eat I let them pick one of the toys to bring with them as incentive to be on good behavior (it’s works about 20% of the time, lol).  If we’ll be swimming I bring my own arm floaties so I don’t pay an arm and a leg for them in the hotel gift shop. Also, be sure to ask the hotel if they offer any fun “surprises” for child guests.  Sometimes they’ll have a scavenger hunt, or welcome cookies, etc–many of which are complimentary.

vacation packing black and white

arrival outfitDay 1: Arrival Outfit
shoes: Target
hat: Urban Outfitters (similar)
bag: Lily Jade
dress: F21 (floral, baseball,
glasses: F21(similar)
watch: Fossil
lip: Sephora (cherry)
bracelets: Wrenn Jewelry
earrings: Lisa Leonard
date night outfit
Day 1: Date Night

dress: GAP (old)
jacket: Brandy Melville
necklace: J.Crew (similar)
earrings: Stella & Dot
shoes: super olddate night accessories
family pool dayDay 2: Family Pool Day
suit: Down East Basics (last year)
shoes: Tory Burch (similar)
shorts: Roxy
shirt: Aerie
hat: Antropologie (similar)
glasses: TOMS
sea salt spray: Aquage
book: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
pool day accessories
day wear dressDay 2: Family Dinner at Mercato Italiano
dress: F21
shoes: Aerosoles (old)
glasses, watch, bag: (see above)

pool day outfit
fs spa red bridge
Day 3: Spa and Pool Day/Girls Only
suit: Anthropologie (runs very small) currently on mega clearance
hat and glasses: see above
kimono: tjmaxx
black shoes: tjmaxx
leopard flats: see below

vacation packing
vacation packing black and white
favorite jewelry
necklace and cuff bracelet: SLDesigns
rings and bangles: Wrenn Jewelry
watch: Fossil

I also brought these Seychelles as rover shoes–the pair that are guaranteed comfortable and I know I can slip on with any outfit:
sofaraw9s1LEOHappy packing!

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  • Reply
    Amy @ So There by Amy
    August 28, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Great tips! Especially the call ahead options!!
    I do try everything on when I am packing, and pack by outfit/day. Definitely makes a big difference in the preparedness feelings level haha!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I love your fashion posts! Serious inspiration! I’m so knew deep in motherhood I go shopping and barely know what’s trendy! Haha.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I love all of your posts – I feel like I’ve known you my whole life!
    I never knew you could call ahead and request a high-chair or an extra fridge, you’re a genius!!

    I’m envious of the cute dresses you wear – I’m tall so if I tried one of them on – it’d likely look like it belonged to a 13 year old girl! But you pull ’em off with serious style!!

  • Reply
    May 15, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Don’t pack those shoes that look fantastic with one specific outfit, but don’t match anything else. If you can’t wear an item multiple ways, ask yourself whether you really need it. This is especially true for shoes, which take up a lot of room. If you’re trying to pack light, you’ll be a lot better off with one pair of shoes that match everything than a different pair for every outfit. The same goes for everything else in your suitcase, because the more versatile the pieces you pack, the less you’ll need.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2020 at 1:12 pm

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  • Reply
    Meilleure souris gamer razer
    April 8, 2020 at 9:43 pm

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