Updated on April 22, 2019 by Asher Fergusson
What to bring on an overnight trip:
Getting away for a weekend, or even just one night, is super exciting. It’s an opportunity for a change of pace, some new scenery, and a little bit of fresh air. You’ll need to pack just right for maximum fun, and make sure not to overpack!
I’ve put together this guide to what to wear on an overnight trip, what to pack, what NOT to bring, and other FAQs for these kinds of getaways.
9) Apps for finding places to stay – If you leave planning till the last minute, you may have to get creative with where you stay. Apps like homeaway, hipcamp, hostelworld, booking.com, and vrbo will solve the problem of finding housing during spontaneous overnight trips. Whip out your phone, fire up one of these apps, and easily book a hotel, b&b or campsite for the night.
11) An awesome driving or flying playlist – Nothing sets the mood for a fun weekend trip like a killer playlist, and Spotify has some great ones.
Other packing list items for overnight trips:
What to wear on an overnight trip:
When it comes to packing, less is more. Obviously it depends where you’re headed, so while you’re packing, make a list of the exact activities you’ll be doing, and what you’ll need to wear for them. Pre-planning will keep you from overpacking! For a car or plane trip, dress in comfortable clothes that you can re-wear throughout the weekend so that you can bring less. Another trick is to wear your heaviest items on the plane, so that your carry on is lighter! Also, remember to always check the weather.
What NOT to take on an overnight trip:
2) Bulky luggage – There’s no need to bring anything more than a backpack or small duffel bag if you’re only going to be gone one or two nights.
3) Too many clothes – Bring only what you think you’ll actually wear! In reality, this may only be the pajamas you show up in, plus an extra outfit to change into in the morning.
4) Snacks that need to be cut, cooked or prepared – If you want to bring snacks, bring simple, easy-to-eat items like popcorn or apple slices.
6) A checked bag – You really don’t need to bring too much on an overnight or weekend trip. Even if it’s a three-day weekend, you can probably pare down your luggage to just a carry-on and personal item.
7) Unnecessary electronics – Unless you’re traveling for business, it can be nice to unplug for a while.
8) Too many outfit/shoe options – Don’t overstuff your carry-on or opt for a checked bag if you’re only going for a weekend. Pick everything out in advance.
FAQs about overnight trips:
1) Do I need to bring toiletries if we’re staying in a hotel?
Usually, hotels will provide soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Beware that hotels typically just use the cheapest generic versions of these. If you’re picky about your toiletries, play it safe and bring your own.
2) What if I forget something?
Chances are, one of your travel buddies will have you covered, or you can buy what you need at the airport or final destination. Don’t stress – if you have your wallet, ID, and phone, you’re all good.
3) Should I drive or fly?
Research ahead of time to figure this one out. Look up the prices of flights for that weekend, and compare it to what you’ll spend on gas if you drove. Google maps will approximate the gas total from point A to point B. You should also factor in the importance of having a car at your destination, and check out rental car options if necessary, or try to estimate what you’d spend on Uber or cabs once you’re there.
4) What is the rule for carrying on liquids?
You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
5) How do I choose the right overnight bag?
Make a complete list of what you need to bring with you. If you’re taking your laptop with you, you’ll want a bag that can accommodate it. If you prefer to keep weight off of your shoulders, use a rolling bag. If you’re feeling super low-maintenance, just use your backpack!