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Realism: Packing Your Long Weekend Into A Backpack

Woman with sunglasses and backpack outdoors

I have read a number of blogs from people who have taken entire trips with nothing but their purse. I have also read stories from regular cruise patrons who pack nothing less than three suitcases, a train case, a carry-on bag, and an oversized purse. Surely realism is somewhere in between! I have two weekend trips coming up and I’m actually going to try packing in a normal-sized backpack to see if it can realistically be done.

Here are a few quick tips on how to reduce the physical bulk of your suitcase:

  • Packing cubes – I’ve owned my set of packing cubes for years. When I first bought them, I wanted them more for organization than compression but surprise! It’s amazing how much space is reduced by putting clothing into these cubes and zipping them up. For my weekend trip, I plan to use one half-size cube for my undergarments and one full-size cube for my clothing.
  • Re-wear clothing – It’s not really necessary to bring a completely different outfit for each day unless you have specific plans. I plan to re-wear my leggings (which fold up pretty small!) with different tops and scarves.
  • Downsize the toiletry bag – How much shampoo and facial moisturizer do you really need for a few days? I haven’t gone so far as to make my own toothpaste tabs, but for a four-day weekend, I will decant my tinted moisturizer and my nighttime moisturizer into a contacts case. How much space does that save?
  • Packing versus wearing – If you plan to need bulky jeans, wear them on the plane. Same with your black boots. By wearing your bulkiest items, you can reduce what you have in your bag. Leggings and flats take up way less space!

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