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Here’s Your Perfect Packing Guide for a Quick Weekend Getaway

Whether you are going on a city break, a hiking adventure, a trip with the girls or a romantic escapade, we've got you covered with these "must-pack" travel superstars.

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Preparation and packing

A great mini break starts before you even leave home because the anticipation of a great vacation can be almost as exciting as the actual trip! By selecting some hard-working luggage, tech solutions, and travel clothes you can make sure the relaxation starts right at the airport gate.

I love the G-RO carry-on for long weekends away or for mini breaks of up to a week, it has a great big wheel which can easily maneuver up and down curbs and even has two USB ports so that it acts as a charging station and your cell phone will never run out of juice!

When you are packing try the Stow-N-Go portable luggage system: You can literally pull the shelves straight out of your closet and put them straight in your case. Once you get to your destination you take it out and hang it up in the closet, making unpacking a breeze! They will even fit inside a durable weekend bag like the Duluth Women’s Canvas Weekender Travel Tote or the Oil Cloth Weekender Travel Bag. I also use Miss A’s AOA canvas pouches which have cute designs and slogans and keep all my small essentials neat and organized.

Elizabeth Newcamp is a travel blogger who writes at Dutch Dutch Goose about her travels around the world, she recommends the Standard Luggage Co carry-on backpack which functions as a small suitcase but can be worn on your back like a backpack.

For those adventure travelers that like to get all their kit organized and on their back, the Orvis Topo travel bag is a perfect choice, it has space for your laptop, and features stow-able padded shoulder straps for ultimate comfort.

I always take my Duluth lifetime leather travel bag along on my travels to keep my passport and valuables safe. It has space for all your electronic devices and cables and because it’s leather it just looks more beautiful with age.

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What to wear in the air

Gisel Luna a blogger at Mint and Thrift has the following travel wear advice:

“To pack light and easy, I absolutely love one-pieces. Breezy dresses, easy jumpsuits, and one-piece swimwear make creating outfits and packing your bag a breeze. Dresses and jumpsuits can easily go from day to night just by switching up the accessories.”

For comfortable travel wear, I also love to slip on a travel dress like the Duluth Noga Active Dress or the Yala Hadley Dress these super comfy stretch fabric garments hold their shape and leave you feeling cool when you arrive at a warmer destination. They look great with sneaker style travel shoes like Rockport truFLEX Tie sneakers but when you get to your hotel you can throw a pair of heels on and go straight to dinner. Did you know that airlines actually DO have a dresscode?

I always remember to bring my SCOTTeVest Chloe glow jacket, it has so many pockets to carry everything from your cell phone to your headphones and everything in between. It even has a little pocket the perfect size to fit the cutest little gold comb from Go Comb that acts as a mirror as well as keeping your hair neat.

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Stay entertained

You won’t miss a minute of the inflight entertainment with the AKG headphones , the sound quality is amazing with Lufthansa Airlines even adopting them as their official headphone for their business class cabins. The noise canceling technology balances out lower-frequency ambient noise such as the plane humming to offer quiet to travelers.

If you prefer in-ear headphones, check out the Decibullz’s Bluetooth wireless earphones which are custom fitted to your ear. You put the earplugs into hot water for five minutes, take them out, and then they form to the exact shape of your ear.

If you are traveling with children you should grab them a pair of CozyPhones. These headphones have ultra-thin speakers inside a comfortable headband, for both children and adults. They lay flat against their little ears disguised in cute animal designs like Unicorns and foxes.

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Beauty and health

Looking good on vacation is important for your mental well-being, not to mention looking great in all those vacation selfies. But nobody wants to lug their entire makeup collection halfway around the country. (You’ll also want to avoid these nine travel mistakes so you have the best vacation ever.) That’s why I always make sure I pick small travel size versions of all my favorite products. For skincare, I pack Lancer Glow The Method Travel Collection for Face.

For the man in your life make sure you pack a BirchboxMan Limited Edition Out-of-Office travel kit for all their grooming needs. It contains everything he needs to stay handsome in travel-friendly sizes.

Catching a cold or feeling run down can ruin your weekend plans; stay well by packing Instavit’s Travel Kit of vitamins and supplements.

Before you leave home run down to your neighborhood CVS and pick up some beauty and health essentials such as:

On-The-Go Teeth Whitening Pen, Blister Cushions waterproof blister cushions that stay on for days at a time (especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of shoes). CVS Health Oil Absorbing Sheets for blotting away any shine and keeping your makeup intact, and CVS Medicated Lip Care Stick SPF 30 a medicated lip balm with SPF.

Then organize all your supplements and medications in this super cute Style Rx Designer Pill Box from “Inspired by Dawn.”

I hate hotel towels, they’re rough and scratchy and always seem to irritate my skin, so I stick with my favorite Tesalate sand free towels from Australia. The beautiful colors and designs always receive compliments and their unique design ensures the sand stays at the beach and doesn’t get dragged back home in my bag.

I also always bring my own hair towel, my Hair Remedie Frizz Eliminating towel, because it not only folds up small, but prevents frizz and helps my hair to dry quicker.

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Walk about

When you’re out exploring nature you need to be comfortable and well hydrated so that you can concentrate on climbing higher and exploring the wilderness.

Orvis creates hard working clothes perfect for a day of physical escapades. Like the Cortina Travel Ankle Pants which feature an SPF of 50+ and the OutSmart Insect Shield Long-Sleeved Tee which is made with bug-resistant materials. Make sure your partner is also protected and comfortable in the bush by grabbing him the All Transit Pant which are light weight, moisture wicking, and quick drying. Consider a t-shirt by Pistol Lake produced in small batches from a material made from with eucalyptus pulp and recycled bottles; these shirts are soft, light and moisture wicking.

If it’s warm, slip on a pair of Chaco sandals, which were originally designed for river rafting. They’re durable and strong and they look great. Don’t forget to slather on Raw Elements all natural sunscreen.

Stay hydrated by packing your hiking Filson Fieldpack with Hydro Flask water bottles, plus their new range of wine bottles and tumblers—perfect for a little al fresco celebrating!

If the weather is cooler or you are going off the trail make sure you have a pair of serious hiking boots like Le Chameau’s range of innovative light-weight styles.

Strap on an adventure watch, like Armitron’s Digital Day and Date Watch or the Solar Powered Analog Watch to make sure you are aware of exactly how long you have been exploring.

If you decide to take a dip in a waterfall or lake, you’ll need somewhere to put your wet clothes. Miss Filatelista has been traveling full time for two years and has visited 50 countries. She recommends Wander Wet Bags to make sure everything else in your bag stays dry.

If you decide to eat in the great outdoors, try the innovative Wonderbag that allows you to pack up a stew or slow cooked recipe and let it continue cooking while you explore.

Once dinner time rolls around you can set up the Neso Grande tent on the beach in no time at all and stay protected underneath its UPF 50+ design.

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Seeing the sights

Whether you are checking out the history of a city or visiting museums, you’ll want to be comfortable and have a great pair of shoes like Olukai Hawaiian inspired footwear so that you can pound the pavement in comfort.

My favorite bag for exploring new downtowns is the Love Weekender bag by Peace Love World. It’s big enough to fit your camera, wallet and all your essentials and can even squeeze in a change of clothes. I always make sure I throw in my November Rain Poncho which folds up super small but provides total waterproof coverage thanks to its heat sealed seams. Not only will you look good but you’ll feel good too as 10 percent of all sales go to water projects in developing nations.

Make clothing choices easy for your main squeeze by ordering a Create-a-Drawer from Basic Outfitters. It contains underwear, socks, T-shirts, and a pair of pants, an absolutely fool proof weekend wardrobe.

I like layering on my Skinny Shirt for busy city days, it stays cool and flat underneath sweaters and cardigans and is chic enough to take you from day to evening.

If you think you may need your hands-free to take photographs, stash everything inside a Grace pack from STM Goods with shock isolated suspension technology you can also throw in your laptop and not worry about it at all.

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Working out

Just because you are away there is no reason to skip your exercise routine (but here are some valid reasons for skipping your workout). I throw in my kit from Graced By Grit; they make tough, sweat resistant workout clothes that all have a spot for your phone as a way to empower women to feel safe and protected, which is why each purchase also comes with a detachable safety whistle.

I pair them with my Vivo barefoot sneakers, which are light and take up no room in my case—they even fold!

To get extra comfy, stock up on White Rabbit NY underwear, made with ultra soft bamboo fabric they are soft to the touch and feel like you’re barely wearing a thing.

After a sweaty workout, you can get cool off quickly. I throw on my US made American Giant hoody, and settle in for a slouchy night of watching TV and playing games—after all we’re on vacation!

Columbia’s range of diamond mesh briefs and T’s keep my man cozy so he can relax too and we can snuggle up and watch our Nvidia Shield TV, the most advanced streaming device on the market, with 4K HDR quality and included apps for Amazon Video, YouTube and more, games, TV, and movies couldn’t look better!

Once it’s time for bed I slip into my breathable, super soft pajamas from Raven and Crow, and my Grace Eleyae satin cap ensures my hair stays hydrated and frizz-free during the night and catch some beauty sleep.

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Date night

Sometime during your vacation, you’ll want to dress up and hit the town for a night of fun. Nisolo has you covered with a wide range of beautiful handmade, ethically produced leather bags and footwear including boots, shoes, and pumps to make sure you both look your best.

Janice Holly Booth is a National Geographic author and solo adventurer who knows how to choose clothing that makes an impact without taking up a lot of space. She loves Art of Where and their range of wearable artwork, especially their draped kimono’s which can even dress up a simple pair of jeans. I have the Lotus Pond design by artist Lala, and find it instantly adds glamor.

The finishing touch before I run out of the door is a beautiful purse, I am just in love with my vibrant suede bucket bag from Uno Allo Volta , featuring tassels and braided leather handles, it is a thing of beauty.

Weekends away are a great opportunity for couples to reconnect and focus on romance.

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Shopping day

I throw a few Flip and Tumble drawstring bags into my case. They fold small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet open out into shopping totes or even backpacks in beautiful bright colors and hues. I don’t have to worry about wasting plastic bags, and I can shop to my heart’s content.

Eddie Bauer Travex line is my go to for stylish, comfortable, and high-quality clothing that still looks great after a whole day of exploring a new locale.

Lawren Bagley, a fashion and lifestyle blogger with over 70,000 Instagram followers (@lawrenbagley), travels often and has some great tips for looking good on the go (these 13 outfit tricks will make you look instantly younger).

“Bring a bold lip color and a statement necklace. Both are compact and can add a pop to any outfit. I also never leave home without my foldable flats called Tieks. No one wants to be in uncomfortable shoes all day, and fold-able flats are perfect for throwing in your purse so you can quickly put your feet at ease after a meeting or event. All three are my must haves when traveling and I wouldn’t go anywhere without them,” she says.

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Home again, home again

As your mini vacation draws to a close and you are faced with more traveling, you likely just want to be comfortable. Cabeau has a range of luxury travel blankets, pillows, and eye masks are everything you need to rest and return home rejuvenated. The memory foam is so comfortable and is everything your traditional blow-up neck pillow isn’t.

Airport bathrooms can be a bit dirty—I’m always uncomfortable placing my bags on the floor. Clipa, the instant handbag hanger has me covered with their bag clip that can hold up to 33 pounds.

To make sure you have all your essential travel items at hand, including room for a full 1.5-liter bottle of water, grab a GoCaddy which packs flat in your case when you’re not using it.

Travelwise packing Cube System makes it so easy to pack up after a weekend of fun, you can sort items into clean and dirty piles zip them up in the cubes and separate and pack them with ease.

I am a luggage collector and although I have a few favorites I always find new cases and bags that catch my eye, like the Briggs & Riley Transcend VX medium expandable spinner, it features an option to add up to 2.5 inches of extra space so if you bought one too many souvenirs they will still all make it back home with you.

Try to remember the feeling of relaxation and discovery that you had during your vacation and bring a little of it back into your everyday life.

Fiona Tapp
Fiona Tapp, is a Freelance Writer, Pro Blogger, and Educator. Her work has appeared on The Washington Post, New York Post, Brides, HuffPost, The Week, SheKnows, and many others. Her portfolio can be viewed at After a 13 year career as a teacher and school administrator, where she earned a Master's degree in Education, Fiona is well placed to offer expert advice on parenting, education, childcare and pregnancy. She has also travelled to over 20 countries and regularly writes on world travel and personal finance. When she's not writing she can be found reading to her toddler, and doing all the best voices!

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