Over the years, I’ve found myself continuously overpacking for small weekend trips. Whether it be a quick visit back home in Toronto during the school year, my sororities initiation weekend or even here during my exchange, when I travel to other parts of Colombia for a couple days. So I’ve decided to share a few tricks of mine that have helped me A) Pack Lighter and B) Pack Faster, specifically while travelling when you are limited to a carry on.
Forget The Party Outfit
As a girl, when it comes to packing for a weekend getaway, you need two types of outfits: the day outfit and night outfit. Your day outfit is for all your Instagram pics in the forest, wandering city streets, drinking something, whatever. Your night outfit though, it’s a little bit more scandalous. Something typically tight, mostly black, maybe lacy and probably uncomfortable. This outfit is for those hot solo body pics featuring a savage caption about being a queen slash man eater. I know this, because I do this. #sorrynotsorry
But guess what! When you’re travelling, experiencing the Gringo Trail, the party outfit doesn’t matter. Your main focus is simply to be comfy and well, clean (sometimes…I’ve gone a weekend without a shower…oops?). You will spend your entire day wandering anywhere and everywhere and trust me, the last thing you want to do when you get back to your hostel is squeeze into some spandex bodysuit on your most likely sun burnt skin. So save yourself some stress, have a beer and leave the night outfit at home.
Makeup Is A No, Except Lip Balm
Back home when I do my makeup, I like to use foundation, bronzer, eyebrow liner, eyeshadow (sparkly ones of course), eyeliner, mascara, lipstick. But with that, comes the makeup remover, the face wash, the face moisturizer. That’s a lot of space in my carry on.
When you’re travelling however, you have no time for that. What happens when you finish a hike in the sun through some crazy jungle and your eyeliner smudges from your sweat? You look like a raccoon. That’s what happens. All you absolutely need in your makeup bag is lip balm to protect your lips from the elements.
Besides, you have a sparkle in your eyes, your smile can light up the room and will have a natural glow to you from the excitement of experiencing a new country.
Sports Bra Are LIT (yes, LIT!)
If you’ve ever worn a sports bra, you know how wonderfully comfortable they are. Keeping your bits in place for all those sport things you get into. But have you ever thought about its multi-purpose use?
I typically pack 2 sports bras when I go away for a weekend. I use one for the obvious reason, sports and whatnot. But I also use it as a bathing suit top, especially for extreme water sports like Torrentismo and White Water Rafting. I then use the other one as a sleep top. I find that, especially in warmer regions, it can get really hot in hostels, especially in the dorm rooms that sleep anywhere from 8-20 people. Unless you’ve got a strong ‘whatever’ attitude, you’re not going to sleep naked in a hostel. So I’ve found that sleeping in a sports bra is so much better than a tee shirt or a tank. It keeps everything in place no matter how much you roll over in bed and it’s less embarrassing that walking throughout your hostel in a bra.
Fresh Undies For Each Day
While some guys make enjoy the whole ‘turn it inside out’ philosophy regarding their briefs, I can assure you that I will never do that. Like ever. So I insist that you count the days of your trips and that will be how many pairs of undies you bring. I typically bring a extra pair on top of that just in case, you know, you pee yourself or something? Casual right? Maybe you just got really excited… Plus undies are small and don’t take up much space in your carry on.
The Cozy Travel Outfit
While I mentioned previously that girls typically only pack two types of outfits, that still remains true because technically you’ll be wearing your cozy travel outfit enroute 😉 I find that in South America, buses and airplanes are extremely cold. I assume it’s to help keep the driver awake, especially on overnight trips and passengers so they don’t miss their stop. But regardless, you want a cozy travel outfit. Think leggings/sweatpants, your favourite tee, and a hoodie. What you wear on your feet is up to you but trust me when I say this, socks and sandels are sexy. Especially as a backpacker in the airport.
I hope you enjoy my tips and they help you with your next weekend getaway on the gringo trail or anywhere else in the world for that matter.