The Ultimate Weekend Travel Packing List
Other than your inter-semester break (if you’re abroad for a year) or the occasional week-long vacation, most of your trips while abroad will be for 5 days or less. The common method is to leave Thursday night, skip class on Friday, travel for the long weekend, and then head back to your university on Sunday night. While I’ve written a number of posts in the past about prep and packing for studying abroad, I’ve yet to cover what you should bring on these long-weekend adventures. So, inspired by both the success of 2 Suitcases + 1 Year = Study Abroad Packing List, as well as my recent trip to Southern China, I decided to create The Ultimate Weekend Travel Packing List.
- 2 pairs of socks
- 3 pairs of underwear/boxers
- 3 undershirts (my personal habit)
- 2 or 3 t-shirts
- 1 pair of shorts in addition to the pair you’re wearing
- 1 button-down “dress shirt”*
- 1 pair of khakis or dark jeans
- gym shorts/sleep wear
- sweatshirt or rain jacket
- sandals or boat shoes
- good walking sneakers
- Toiletry Kit*
- Soap & Shampoo/Conditioner (Some hotels may provide these, hostels usually don’t)
- Feminine Products
- Brush or Comb
- Razors and other shaving supplies (optional since you’ll only be gone for a few days)
- Contact lenses and solution
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Tissues and/or toilet paper*
- Purse or wallet
- Important documents (passport, visa, itinerary, plane tickets, etc.)
- Sunglasses/extra eye glasses/contacts
- Cell phone (and if you have an iPhone) Travel Apps
- Outlet adapter
- Camera w/cords, charger, and case
- Bath towel*
- Enough prescription drugs for the length of your stay*
- MP3 Player/iPod (for long plane/train rides)
- Sleep sack/sleeping bag (most hostels have sheets, however, some will charge you for them, and for those people that don’t like sleeping in unfamiliar sheets, I recommend a Cocoon Travel Sheet.)
- Plastic bottles for toiletries (the maximum is usually 100ml)
- Water bottle/Nalgene bottle
1. Clothing – Clothing will be dependent on location, so adjust what I’ve written above for colder climates with things like pants and long-sleeve shirts, and don’t forget to pack things like a hat, gloves, and heavy socks.
2. Button-down “dress shirt” and khakis or dark jeans – You don’t need to pack a shirt and tie, but a button down and dark jeans can pass for appropriate clothing if you’re having dinner at a more formal restaurant.
3. Toiletry kit – I know it looks like I included a lot of items in the toiletries section, but if you keep everything organized in a toiletry kit or at least in some Ziploc bags, they actually take up very little space.
4. Tissues and/or toilet paper – Always keep pocket packs of tissues with you, especially in Asian companies where toilet paper isn’t usually provided.
5. Bath towel – There’s definitely no need to pack a towel as they’re provided at hotels and you can usually rent one at a hostel for a few pounds or euro, but if you have room in your bag and want to bring your own, check out the Sea to Summit DryLite Towel that I’ve linked to above.
6. Enough prescription drugs for the length of your stay – you should also make sure you’re allowed to bring them into the country you’re traveling in and that you have documentation, either the prescription or a doctor’s note.
One final note – don’t forget to write down the directions to your hotel or hostel (preferably in the language of the country that you’re visiting) and bring them with you so you’re not stuck at the airport or doing circles in a cab!
And don’t forget to check out these other posts for more packing and traveling information:
- 10 Tips For Planning Your Weekend Travels
- The Top 10 Things to Look For in a Hostel
- 2 Suitcases + 1 Year = Study Abroad Packing List
- How To Fit Your Life Into Two Suitcases
- A Lesson On Flying Europe’s Low-Cost Carriers
If you can think of anything that I forgot or have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!