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The Ultimate Long Weekend Packing List

Long weekend trips seem like they should be the easiest to pack for. With just three days to plan for, you might think you can leave it to the last minute and just throw a few things in a bag… which is how you end up forgetting something essential, like your cell phone charger or your ID. It can also lead to the temptation to overpack and bring ten outfits for three days, forcing you to haul around a heavier-than-needed bag. 

The key to succeeding at packing for a long weekend is keeping it minimal while still being prepared for every eventuality. Three-day weekends tend to fall during shoulder season (like Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day weekend) when the weather can change drastically over a day or two, so check the forecast when packing and bring lots of layers if needed.

Fortunately, our long weekend packing list covers all the bases, whether you’re headed to the beach or the mountains. Cross-reference our checklist as you pack, and you’ll be prepared for anything.

Woman packing suitcase
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The Ultimate Long Weekend Packing Checklist

To simplify things, we’ve made the long weekend packing checklist into an editable PDF you can download or print. It’s editable so that you can customize it to your personal needs and specific vacation destination. You can also download the editable, mobile-friendly checklist here. 

Clothes to Pack

Toiletries to Pack

Miscellaneous Items

Road Trip Essentials

Long Weekend Packing Tips

Close up of person writing a packing checklist
Pixel-Shot | Adobe Stock

When packing for a long weekend trip, you’ll want to start by checking the weather forecast at your destination. Don’t forget to check the hourly temperature throughout the day to see if you need to bring a jacket for cooler evenings, for example. 

I find it helpful to plot out my packing by writing down my daily activities, the forecast, and the outfit I plan to wear. Here’s a sample long weekend packing list that I’ve used in the past:


Afternoon: Drive to destination. (65 degrees and sunny.) Comfortable outfit for road trip. My go-to travel day outfit is Mott & Bow’s stretchy jeans, Smartwool’s Edgewood Boyfriend Crew Sweater, and Rothy’s The Braid Driver Shoes

Evening: Casual dinner. (55 degrees.) I would wear the same outfit as above but add a jacket as the temperature will be cooler.

Night: Pajamas.


Morning: Hike. (70 degrees at base, 60 degrees and windy at summit.) For hiking, I always pack the same outfit: Merrell Antora 3 Mid Waterproof Boots, Smartwool Hike Crew Socks, REI Co-op’s Swiftland Grid Running Tank Top, Patagonia Maipo Shorts, REI Co-op Merino Half-Zip Base Layer Top, and Patagonia Houdini Jacket. I’d also note here any accessories I need to bring, such as a backpack, hiking poles, water bottle, snacks, etc.

Afternoon: Beach and swimming. (75 degrees and sunny.) I’d pack a swimsuit, cover-up, towel, and sandals for this part of the day. 

Evening: Casual dinner. (55 degrees.) I would note in the packing list that I plan to re-wear the same jeans and shoes that I wore for the drive to my destination and that I’d also need to pack a casual sweater like this one from Smartwool for a fresh top.


Morning: Casual brunch. (65 degrees and rainy.) I would note here that I plan to wear the same outfit for the morning and afternoon, which would include comfortable waterproof boots like Nisolo’s Dari Commuter Boot, Mott & Bow’s Fitted V-Neck Marcy Tee, the same jeans I wore earlier in the trip, and the same rain jacket I packed for hiking. I’d also add here that I want to bring a purse for the day, the Cleo Convertible Crossbody, and an umbrella due to the rainy forecast.

Afternoon: Walking around the city. (75 degrees and rainy.)

Evening: Dinner at an upscale restaurant. (65 degrees.) I’d plan to change for dinner, so I’d rewear the Nisolo Dari Commuter Boots with a long-sleeved dress and tights


Drive home. (75 degrees and sunny.) For the drive home, I’d pack a lightweight dress that I could pair with the Rothy’s Driver slip-ons I wore on the way up.

Like this strategy? Download our handy Long Weekend Packing Planner to lay out exactly what outfits you’ll need for every day of your trip.

The Best Bag for a Long Weekend Trip

ROAM Continental Backpack in tan

When you have the space available, it’s tempting to keep adding “what if” items like an extra pair of shoes or that shirt you never wear at home. Before you know it, you’re weighed down with more luggage than you’ll realistically need.

I recommend choosing a small bag for a long weekend trip so that you can travel lightly. Although I like a rolling suitcase on longer trips, I prefer to use a backpack for three-day weekends as I don’t need to bring as much stuff and can be more nimble. The Continental Backpack from Roam fits just enough for a long weekend (even if I’m doing a variety of activities like in the sample itinerary outlined above). 

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