You just hung up the phone with a friend and bolt up the stairs, furiously tearing through drawers, tearing apart closets, and basically running around, as they say, “like a chicken with the head cut off”. Your movements are probably pretty similar to said chicken during this time as well. There’s also a good possibility of aggravated sighs, groans, and generally disgruntled noises of indistinguishable dialect. In zero time flat, your bedroom has gone from tres chic to an episode of “Hoarders” and you’re not sure exactly how it happened.
So what’s all the hubbub about? Oh yes, that’s right; the weekend “getaway” you neglected to pack for until quite literally, the last minute. The same minute right before you start hearing the angry honking of your friends in the driveway, impatient to get on the road. With such limited time (and mental prowess), it’s important to get all your essentials packed and ready to roll- quickly. In times of such intense stress, I like to play it cool and follow a few, simple guidelines-
Let’s start with clothes.
For any sort of weekend ‘getaway’, whether that be camping at the dunes, sitting beach side for a week, or just hanging out in a hotel room, it’s important to grab the basics. That probably includes a few casual-but-cute V-neck t-shirts, that one amazing pair of jean shorts, and a swim suit or two, if the water is where you’re headed (don’t forget a floppy sun hat and shades!). Next on the list? One pair of long pants (the ones that fit well and can go with anything), a warmer, perhaps long-sleeve shirt, and any socially acceptable pajamas. Finally, one or two nice tops and all the necessary undergarments (duh) can go into your bag. (*Be sure you bring the appropriate undergarments for each specific outfit: i.e- strapless bra vs. racer-back, etc.)
Speaking of bags-
Try and make sure the bag you’re using has several compartments. From my personal experience, I believe that those inside, zippered pockets of purses and suitcases are absolute lifesavers. You can pop your chap-stick, gum, credit cards, and other, ehem, “feminine” things in these pockets without running the risk that a spill, or even full on wipe-out will send your personal things flying everywhere for the world to see. In addition, I’m also a big fan of wrapping anything liquid (makeup-remover, shampoos, etc) in a plastic or zip-lock bag before putting it in with the rest of my things. It only takes once for you to see every. single. shirt. you packed forever stained by your ‘color depositing’ hair products that you had to bring, to make you think twice about your packing procedures. Trust me.
Now for the bling-
Also good to be kept separate from the rest of the group? Accessories. Though I feel like this no matter what the occasion, I believe accessories can make or break an outfit, and the more you have, the better. A bold necklace or pair of eye-catching earrings can transform an outfit from day to night, casual to dressy- in seconds. And this is the main reason taking them on a getaway is a great way to maximize your looks, without maximizing luggage. The trick is to pack smartly. There’s few things more disappointing than getting ready for dinner on your first night away and discovering that your prized coral chandeliers didn’t survive the trip. Unfortunately, the same tragic end can come to any accessory.
Necklaces especially, as they like to get irreversibly tangled and interwoven with each other with the slightest movement. So unless you would like to wear all 8 of your outfit specific necklaces at once, I would consider packing them individually. One good trick is putting each item in tissue paper before putting it in a bag or compartment. This allows you to pack several items close together, without getting them tangled. For earrings, (my personal obsession), I like to carry them in small tackle boxes, believe it or not. The sturdy boxes come in a variety of sizes, prevent damage, and typically come with moveable dividers so you can keep your giant glitter hoops in a separate compartment than your demure “diamond” studs. And hey, if a fishing trip is what you’re planning, they can double as bait holders! You resourceful fisher-woman, you.
Speaking of water-
How about a shower? Do you really want to be the smelly girl on the trip? No? Great. To prevent that, let’s add a few shower essentials to the mix. Hopefully you have some travel sized containers, either of your favorite shampoo and conditioner, or empty ones so you can fill them with said hair products. If not, it looks like you’ll have to clear out some more room in the suitcase for the full sized bottles. In either event, it’s important to remember to only bring the basics. The deep conditioner, detangler, de-frizzing serum, anti-humidity spray, shine spray, and finishing spray can probably stay at home. The one exception I would still recommend bringing is a small can of dry shampoo. For those days that you just need a touch up, it’s a perfect pick-me-up (for your hair, of course), and containers are only about a third the size of a standard hair spray bottle. Other things you can pack with shower things? Razors (careful!), basic makeup, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, a comb/brush, and any travel size perfume (a lot come in travel size roll-ons). Because instead of wasting time on your hair, you’d much rather spend that time on the beach (or campsite, or cabin…)
But what about shoes?
Location dependent, shoes should, as you might have guessed, be kept to the bare minimum. I have gone on what seems like 1000 trips and packed more shoes than we had days of vacation, and I always regret it. Be honest with yourself- are you really going to put on those strappy stillettos to go out to dinner after a long day? Or those fancy zip up boots to explore the town? There’s a good chance that they will sit, untouched, for the entire trip, taking up precious suitcase real estate. You’ll probably be covered for most situations if you have one dressy pair of shoes, one more casual, and most of all, something comfortable and functional.
By sticking to the basics and smartly packing, your bag should have room to spare- and be able to close without sitting on it.
Now get to the car- your friends have been waiting 🙂