by Maria Luci, editor at Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen and Rodale’s
So you’re headed off on a summer weekend getaway! But first, the dreaded (yet necessary) packing adventure begins…
This time, instead of making a last-minute attempt to stuff your entire closet into the largest suitcase you own, take a few minutes to read through this 5-step packing guide. Our philosophy is to bring what (and only what) is necessary so that bags (and minds) feel lighter.
We promise, with fewer items along for the ride—ones that you really love and want to wear—you’ll be feeling and looking great as soon as you arrive.
Step 1: Choose an easy-to-maneuver bag. This is just a weekend, not a monthlong passage on the Queen Mary. Grab the smallest bag that will fit all of your necessities yet allows you easy mobility. If you can get away with just a tote and a backpack, that will leave more mental space for you to focus on fun and sun.
Step 2: Stick to a color and fabric theme. Linen is one of our favorite summer getaway fabrics. Sure, it can get wrinkly, but it’s supposed to! And it’s summertime—can we all agree to relax about wrinkles a bit? Linen keeps us cool and can be found in a number of classic clothing styles and silhouettes. (Read more about the naturally good truth about linen here.) Make traveling easier on yourself by sticking to a mini capsule wardrobe that will let you mix and match. This will leave more room in your bag for souvenirs and gifts. Here are our picks for the earth-friendly building blocks of a weekend-getaway wardrobe:
- Jeans. A good pair is a weekend wardrobe must! We recommend a comfortable boyfriend jean like these from Eileen Fisher—they’re slim with just the right amount of slouch. The casual cuffed hem and cropped length make them ideal denim for everyday wear.
- Essential leggings. Perfect for the going and coming.
- Linen shorts. Linen shorts are prefect for travel. Their breezy, lightweight fabric will keep you feeling cool and comfortable without sacrificing style.
- Classic white linen tunic. Great over leggings or denim, this feminine top can also be worn as a cover-up by the pool or on the beach.
- Versatile linen dress. Pack a dress that works from day to night, one you can dress up or down.
- Comfortable sleep tank. Complete your weekend wardrobe with a soft tank. Add a pair of sleep shorts, if you’d like, or you can save space and just pair it with your leggings or undies.
- Intimates/Swimsuit/Accessories. Finish off your packing checklist with a comfortable bra or two, a swimsuit, accessories like sunglasses and jewelry, socks, shoes, and underwear. (We recommend packing extra undies, just in case!) Jewelry can be especially useful for updating/changing up an outfit or shirt you’ve already worn.
Step 3: Pick a single outfit to wear on all travel days. This will save space, time, and energy—which to us is a win, win, win.
Step 4: Pare it down. Take only the essentials, and in travel sizes. Grab a toothbrush along with a mini tube of toothpaste, a small container of multipurpose moisturizer, dry shampoo, and a sunscreen stick, and prepare to pack…
Step 5: Pack efficiently. First, decide on everything you’re going to bring. Lay it all out on your bed, floor, or table. Then roll—don’t fold!—garments tightly. This cuts back on wrinkles and makes it easy to see what you have in your bag. Put shoes and rolled pants in the bottom of your suitcase, weekender, backpack or tote. Place rolled dresses, shirts, and shorts on top. Layer in rolled tanks and underwear. Cover everything with a garment bag. Finish off with accessories and a clear, resealable bag filled with toiletries. And don’t forget the phone charger!
Happy well-packed travels!
Maria Luci is the manager and editor at Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen and content creator and editor at Rodale’s. She grew up in Virginia, but now lives just outside Philadelphia with her husband, a black cat, and several Aloe plants. When not writing and editing, she’s usually cooking up organic recipes or running—or eating when she should be running.