Live The Dream

The Best Packing Tips for Last-Minute Getaways

Summer is a great time for taking last-minute getaways. It could be a romantic weekend jaunt for two, or a mid-week hiking trip with the kids. Either way, spontaneity is a big part of the fun. But no one wants to be stressed out by packing. Don’t envision yourself with two suitcases, a carry-on and a large tote? Neither do your travel partners. Here are the best packing tips for last-minute trips where your focus will be on fun, not luggage.

Universal Packing Tips

  • Take 5 to Organize - No matter where you’re headed, the first thing to do is make a list of what you’ll need. If you have packing anxiety or tend to procrastinate, this step is even more important. Write down your travel itinerary, the predicted weather and a checklist of things to bring. You might make a phone call to your destination to find out what amenities they provide (or don’t).

  • Think Simple, Think Versatile - When it comes to clothing, keep it simple. Choose items that are comfortable and can be mixed and matched. If you find yourself adding more options for your dining out accouterment, pause. Lay your outfits out and check for practicality and versatility. This will ensure your last-minute getaways are relaxing, not about deciding what to wear.

  • Help is Available - If you’re prone to stress, check out an online travel checklist like this one. Remember to pare down your list as much as you can for a light and easy trip.

  • Travel Size Everything - Even if you’re traveling by car, that’s no reason to bring your 20 oz. bottle of salon shampoo. Invest in smaller versions of your favorite products, or grab some leak-proof travel bottles to fill.

Ideas for Last-Minute Getaways by Plane

  • Pack Smart - Not only is a quick trip good for practicing your simplicity in outfits, but try some tricks for saving space. Some people opt to roll their clothes instead of folding as a space-saving method. Others use compression bags and packing cubes. Tip: don’t pack too tightly or the TSA will have a hard time scanning your bag, ultimately causing delay. If you can, get a lightweight bag and only bring a carry-on. This often saves you money that can be better spent on an evening out.

  • Know the Limits - Check ahead of time with your airline’s baggage and weight limit. Nobody needs the stress of a last-minute change at the airport, especially if you were planning to not check bags. Make sure you comply with all TSA regulations for liquids to ensure a smooth trip.

  • Don’t Check Valuables - Whether it’s an expensive watch or your contact lenses, all your essential items need to stay with you. Of course it should go without saying this includes your wallet, passport and electronics. But if your checked bags should become lost or delayed, consider what you can’t live without for a couple days. If you are traveling with medications, check out these guidelines to ensure a stress-free journey.

Packing for Success

When it comes to last-minute getaways, the rule of thumb is simple. If you might not use it or are afraid of losing it, don’t bring it. Your focus should be on enjoying your trip and making memories. Don’t weigh yourself down with so much stuff it makes getting around difficult. Pack light, take photos and enjoy every moment.