As the temperatures cool off and the holidays approach, there’s no better time to catch a flight. Whether you’re headed to a tropical getaway destination or into the mountains for some snow and skiing, it’s about that time to retrieve your weekender bag and fill it to the brim with all of your travel essentials. But before you can set off, you need to first plan out how to pack your bag and determine what items you’ll absolutely need, no matter where you’re headed or what you plan on doing. 

Rather than waiting until the last minute to get your bag in working order, get a head start with this step-by-step guide.

Step 1: The clothes

Maybe you’re a self-proclaimed fashion killer, or maybe you’re a simple minimalist who just throws an outfit together. Wherever you lie on the spectrum, there’s no denying the importance of an appropriate outfit for wherever you’re headed. 

Before packing up your favorite tees and jeans, be sure to ask yourself the following:

  • What’s the weather like where you’re headed?
  • How many days will you need to pack for?
  • What’s the climate like?
  • What activities are lined up for your getaway agenda?

With these questions at the forefront of your mind, you’ll be able to craft smart outfits that lend themselves to the weather and activities ahead. We recommend packing these clothing essentials for a 3-day weekend:

  • Four casual shirts
  • Three pairs of bottoms
  • 5 pairs of underwear and socks
  • Swimwear (if necessary)
  • One sweater (weather permitting)

Step 2: The shoes

Shoes are the ultimate finishing touch to any ensemble, so it’s easy to fall into the temptation of packing more than two pairs. Unfortunately, the more shoes you hoard, the heavier your bag. For a quick trip, it works in your favor to try to keep your shoe count as low as possible. Versatility reigns supreme when it comes to footwear, so a pair of breathable shoes is always a smart decision.

Consider the following shoe types for supreme versatility:

Step 3: The toiletries

Keeping up with your regular personal hygiene routine means packing it up and making it travel size. In order to get by airport security, you’ll have to make sure everything you’re packing in your carry-on is an appropriate and passable size. Your weekender bag should contain the following essentials to keep you feeling fresh all weekend long:

  • Toothpaste
  • Body wash or soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Face cleanser

Step 4: The technology

All of your favorite devices keep you connected to your network of friends and family, so it’s only fair to make sure you’ve got all of your tech essentials packed away. Even if you’re leaving your laptop at home to escape the grind of your 9-5, you’ll likely bring your smartphone or tablet along to keep you connected to your social circles and entertained on the flight. Don’t forget these must-haves as you finalize your bag:

Step 5: The accessories

Accessories may not seem like travel essentials when you’re simply looking to pack away the bare necessities, but they’re small and easy ways to spice up an otherwise boring or tired ensemble. And depending on where you’re headed for your weekend getaway, a hat or pair of sunglasses may be crucial to your comfort levels!

Bring the following to accessories for fashion and function:

  • A hat
  • A watch
  • A wallet
  • A satchel or handbag
  • A pair of sunglasses

Step 6: Making it all fit

Finally, the last packing challenge: the art of cramming it all in. Our first and only rule to making it all fit is that you must roll your clothes. Though it may not immediately seem like rolling rather than folding can make such a significant difference, rolling your clothing saves valuable space. We recommend putting bulkier items like jeans, jackets, and towels at the bottom of your bag and smaller, light items like tees, toiletries, and accessories toward the top.

With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be heading into your weekend getaway without breaking a sweat or your luggage!