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What to pack for a weekend trip in a carry-on
Carry-On Packing List for a weekend trip

Packing for a Weekend Trip in a Carry-On

Packing for a weekend trip in just a carry-on is easy and effective. Using just a carry-on for a flight is a good idea these days as many airlines charge extra fees for checked bags. In addition, it is far more difficult to deal with lost luggage than it is to carry-on a weekend worth of clothing.

The question then becomes, what is best to pack in a carry on for a weekend trip?

Carry-On Packing List


Well, first and foremost you will need clothing. Assuming you are leaving on Friday for a long weekend returning the following Monday, you will need to pack three outfits. For a weekend trip, it is not necessary to pack a capsule wardrobe as you would for a longer vacation. When packing for a weekend vacation you will usually have a good idea of what you will be doing each day and you will be able to pack accordingly. Generally you will need three tops, three bottoms (two pairs of pants and one skirt for women), socks (up to three pairs depending on your, and three pairs of underwear. Bring one jacket to wear on the plane.

Roll clothing when packing to use less room! #Traveltips


When packing for a weekend trip, you should try to keep toiletries minimal to avoid hassle. Traveling with just a carry-on requires that all of your shampoos, conditioners, and other liquids be contained in a quart sized bag and each container must be less than 3.4oz or 100ml. To err on the side of safety, I usually try to keep all carry-on liquids under 3oz because I would really hate to have one of my perfumes thrown away!

Be sure to pack: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, contact solution (if you wear contacts), medications, hairbrush, perfume, make-up, and lip balm


Wear your largest pair of shoes on the plane. If this is ridiculous or uncomfortable, re-evaluate why you are bringing large, uncomfortable shoes with you. Generally you will be able to limit yourself to two pairs for shoes for a weekend trip. The second pair works to increase outfit options, and as a back-up if the first pair were to break or become uncomfortable in any way. Your shoes will be dictated by your itinerary, so this is usually a fairly simple packing decision.


First Aid Kit- When traveling, you will often find that you need to cope with a headache, blister, or some other small injury. Pack a compact first aid kit to avoid this!

Sunglasses- Fantastic for sunny days, avoiding paparazzi and protecting your eyes.

Laptop- If you will need to do any work functions on your trip, you will need to bring a laptop or tablet. Otherwise, skip it! Checking email can be done on your phone. You don’t want to be dragging around expensive and heavy hardware if you do not have to!

Water Bottle- You should a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go! Not only do they reduce plastic waste, but you can get a filtered water bottle so that you never have to deal with bad tasting water ever again.

CHARGERS- Don’t forget to bring chargers for every device: laptops, tablets, cell phones.

Destination Specific

Beach- pack a swimsuit, sunscreen, a towel (unless you plan to buy or rent one at your destination), and a hat with a large brim.

Mountains- good walking shoes, clothing that can be layered, sunscreen, a hat, small backpack.


Ready to pack? Download and print our Weekend Trip Carry-On Packing List for FREE from our store!



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