Weekend Getaway Essentials

To celebrate our three-year anniversary, my boyfriend and I drove about one hour west this past weekend to explore Ann Arbor, Mich. (aka, we drank a ridiculous amount of craft beer, attended a semi-funny improv show, and ate a lot of really good food). The trip was a total success, and we’ll definitely be making our way back out there in the near future.

In what most definitely should not come as a surprise, I have an extremely hard time packing, and wanted this weekend getaway to be different. I tend to give either too much thought or not nearly enough when it comes to preparing for a trip. So, before we left for the weekend, I made a short list of items that must absolutely be packed and attempted to be extremely decisive when selecting my picks.

The end result was a more cohesive and concise weekender bag, which resulted in a getting ready process that was much easier and allowed for more time to do fun stuff, like taste-test cherry products at Cherry Republic and leading the way to destinations as my boyfriend attempted to catch an insane amount of Pokemon.

Anyway, you get the point. Peep a few of my essential picks below, and let me know what your weekend getaway-musts are in the comment section!

Weekend Getaway Essentials:

weekend getaway


 Casual Clothing

Your weekend getaway should be all about relaxation. Whether you’re in the car, killing time before an excursion, or roaming around town, comfy clothing is an absolute necessity. I like to pack a variation of basic tees and bottoms that I can mix and match to create at least a couple different outfits.

However, just to make sure you’re in the clear, attempt to actually pair together a few things before you pack your bag so you’re certain the pieces you’ve picked actually make sense together. Also, don’t forget to throw in a couple pairs of panties, the appropriate bra, socks, and any other small, yet necessary, clothing items.

weekend getaway

Bathing Suit & Sunglasses

I rarely, if ever, use a bathing suit when I’m at home. However, not once, not twice, but three times that I’ve been out of town, I’ve realized that I should have brought my bathing suit. I’ve even once bought a bargain bathing suit on a whim so I could make use of a hotel pool ( I don’t get the opportunity to swim a lot, sue me). So now, I just make sure to pack at least one bathing suit with me if the possibility of chilling in a hot tub or wading in the water is even slightly plausible.

When are sunglasses not necessary? This pair from Ray Ban (pictured above) are great for optimal shade when sitting passenger side on a long car ride, and they go with absolutely everything.

weekend getaway

Layering Pieces

If you think your weekend getaway is about to be nothing but sunshine and rainbows, it probably won’t be. Don’t ask me why; that’s just the way it is. Even if you’re expecting 80-degree weather during your mini vaca, still pack at least one light jacket and another light layer (like the flannel, pictured above). Once again, keep these items neutral or at least consistent with the other more casual pieces you pack so that you can layer them over your outfits when it gets chilly in an air conditioned car or restaurant, or a major temperature dip occurs late at night.

Dressy Dress

Okay, if you’re going camping then there’s probably no reason for this, but if a trip to a new city or a visit with an old friend is on your to do list then packing at least one nice dress, or something equally as dressy, is a good back up in case you decide to elevate the setting for your usual outing. While your casual clothing will most likely get significantly more wear, having a back up option is definitely a good idea (if you can fit it in your weekender bag). As far as first world problems go, it really sucks when you’re unprepared for a fun change of plans and have nothing to wear but ripped jeans and a muscle tank to a cocktail bar…

weekend getaway

Beauty Basics

Unless you’re skipping town for a certain event (i.e. a celebration, wedding, reunion, etc.), there’s really no need to go overboard on beauty products for a quick weekend getaway. I like to scale down my normal beauty routine and stick to the basics. I’ve found that a good tinted moisturizer, concealer, multi purpose palette, and brow gel can go a long way and tend to do the trick for most occasions.

If you’re going to make extra room for any sort of beauty products in your weekender bag, let it be your hair or skin go-to’s. Even one night in a dry hotel room/air bnb/friends basement/ whatever can drastically alter your skin and hair health, so being prepped with a good serum, solid shampoo, and cleanser are somewhat essential. Also, don’t forget a toothbrush and toothpaste — the one thing I failed to pack for this last trip.

A Good Book/Magazine

While smart phones can provide endless hours of enjoyment, (trust me, I know), nothing beats a good book or magazine on a short trip. Use whatever down time you’ll have on your weekend getaway to catch up the latest issues of one of your favorite magazine (September Vogue was my go-to), and give your eyes (and data plan) a change of pace from your usual Facebook stalking and Pinterest pining ways.

Walking Shoes

A great pair of walking shoes are important for any trip. There’s so many museums to see, shops to visit, trails to walk, you get the point, and the last thing you want is to accumulate blisters and a sour attitude. Take it from the girl who visited New York for the first time at 13 years old with nothing but a pair of flip flops (aka, me), comfortable shoes are reallllllly a necessity.

What items do you consider to be essential for a weekend getaway? Share your thoughts in the comment section! 

Emma Klug started The Style Note in the fall of 2012. Her writing has been featured in DBusiness Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Nothing Major, The Working Wardrobe, Chicago Talks, Inexpensive Chic, and The Wayne State University student paper: The South End. When she’s not writing you can find her eating pizza, binge-watching Netflix and working her day job as a magazine editor.


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