Knowing what to pack for a weekender can be a nightmare, especially if you are time poor. Even the most seasoned traveller has got it wrong when it comes to packing. So here are my top tips to get the most out of your  luggage. Two Weeks Before You Leave

Write A List Even though you're only allowed to carry 23kg of luggage and 7kg of carry-on across most airline carriers, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your packing. So remember, preparation is key. A couple of weeks before you leave, spend time writing down a list of items you want to take. This will allow you to see if you need to buy anything ahead of your trip. Then cut down what you need, as opposed to what you want, so at the end you have a tightly edited list.

Know Where You're Going Last year I went to Marrakech for a long weekender and before I left I did my research as to what women should wear. This turned out to be the best pre-holiday preparation I've ever done. I mostly wore long maxi skirts and cotton tee shirts to cover my legs and shoulders. However, it was clear other women visiting the vibrant city hadn't done their research and I overheard many of them asking each other why Moroccan men were leering at them in their denim cut off shorts and singlets.

One Week Before You Leave

Packing  Take out your suitcase and carry-on bag, and start putting your clothes aside a week before you leave. This will assist in avoiding any last minute dirty laundry panic attacks. My best advice is to plan your outfits by day/night and re-wear bags and accessories. The method for weekender packing is 'less is more'. If you are flying to Fiji for a beach getaway, only pack one bikini. If you are going to New York for a weekender in winter, only pack one coat. Once you have put aside what you plan on packing, lay everything out so you can visualise everything. Often or not, you'll end up pulling a few items which can afford to stay at home for the weekend. And remember to roll your clothes and tuck small items into larger ones, it'll save room in your carry-on.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes Shoes take up the most amount of space in your  luggage and surprisingly weigh a lot, so be ruthless with what you pack. Always take a pair of Converse for pounding the pavement, a pair of classic sandals if you are going to a warm climate and a pair of ankle boots to take you into the night. If you plan on going somewhere fancy and absolutely have to take a pair of high heels, invest in a pair of black stilettos as they go with everything.

Travel Essentials Even on weekenders, I never travel without ear plugs, an eye mask, my Canon SLR 650D, iPhone and headset, chargers, adaptors, sunglasses, a felt fedora hat, sunscreen and a good book (I'm reading On The Road at the moment). Bring only the identification cards, travel documents and money you need . You'll be amazed at how compact your wallet or purse will become if you take out loyalty program cards, receipts and unneeded gym cards before your weekender begins.

Two Days Before You Leave 

Check The Weather Always check the local weather at your destination at least two days ahead of your holiday; this will assist in making any final adjustments to your packing.

Keep Makeup Minimal Makeup is something you only need to pack a day or so before you leave. Keep it simple by only packing the essentials. You can't go past a good facial moisturiser with SPF, a light foundation, mascara and lip gloss. Throw in blush, a red or bright lipstick and some bronzer if you have the space.

Take Those Toiletries Toiletries often take the most amount of weight in your carry-on, so be careful what you pack. Most hotels have hair dryers, so check before you leave. If you absolutely need to take one, you can get travel sized hair dryers now. Remember to invest in travel size 60ml bottles to avoid packing bulky bottles of shampoo and conditioner, or getting your toiletries confiscated at international airport security. And obviously remember to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.

TipsJaharn GilesComment