Let’s be honest: Traveling is different every time you do it. Some trips require a passport and planning a detailed itinerary months in advance, while others are more spontaneous and can be done in few days. When you’re studying abroad, for example, you have to pack the largest suitcase you can find. When you’re taking a road trip through the East Coast in the middle of autumn, though, you don’t need anything bigger than a carry-on. If that’s your current situation, you may not know what to pack for a fall weekend getaway.
Don’t worry, because I have all the answers. But first, I want to talk about where you’re going, because that determines what your packing list is going to look like. For example, if you’re escaping into the mountains to see the leaves change and make s’mores near a campfire, then you’ll want to bring a lot of cozy items and outdoor essentials. You’ll want to have fuzzy socks, a backpack, and extra clothes. However, if you’re going to a major city to see the sights, you should prioritize a camera and an oversized hat.
Either way, you should do research on your destination and take into consideration the excursions you’re going on. These seven items will be must-haves in your bag no matter where you go so you have the time of your life.
1. A Pair Of Hiking Boots
First things first: If you’re going on a weekend getaway this fall, particularly to the mountains or a cozy destination on the East Coast, you’ll likely need a good pair of hiking boots or a comfortable pair of sneakers. Getting in touch with nature will be a part of your itinerary, after all.
You’ll wake up in the morning and spend your entire day on the trails, taking pictures with the leaves or finding an epic view. Having flimsy sandals on hand won’t be an option. Got it? Good.
2. A Knit Blanket And Travel-Sized Pillow
Fall is all about getting cozy, no matter where you are in the world. So when you’re traveling in the next few months, be sure to pack a travel-sized pillow and a knit blanket.
It’ll 100% guarantee you’re comfortable when you’re in the car on a road trip down the West Coast. Not to mention, it’ll allow you to take a nap when you’re feeling exhausted after a long day of adventuring.
3. A Couple Of Sweatshirts And Sweaters
Let’s be honest: Whether you want the summer weather to stick around or not, the temperatures drop when the leaves begin to change. The weather app on your phone may tell you there’s a high of 65 degrees for the days of your trip, and it’s #necessary to pack accordingly.
It’s essential to plan outfits that include neutral sweaters and sweatshirts, and even a couple of blanket scarves. That way, when you’re adventuring, you’re not worrying about it being cold outside and can focus on having fun.
4. A Journal
One of my favorite things to pack in my bag on every trip I go on is a journal. I love having a place to write down all my memories and thoughts, and the little things that inspired me that day.
I know it might sound cheesy, but you’ll always catch me on a plane, drawing pictures in the pages of the mountains I saw in the Pacific Northwest or the gelato I ate in Italy. Sometimes you’ll see me stick leaves, pressed flowers, or Polaroid frames in between the words. Try it out for yourself this fall, OK?
5. A Bathing Suit
It might come as a surprise to you, but I think you can, and should, pack a bathing suit for your fall weekender. You never know when you’re going to come across a warm waterfall and want to dip your toes in, or an infinity pool in the middle of the city.
In those moments, you don’t want to miss out on checking an item off your bucket list or having a one-of-a-kind experience. So tuck your favorite one-piece into a side pocket of your bag, and then you’ll basically be good to go.
6. A Reusable Bag
Over the years and years I’ve been traveling (Sorry, weird brag.), I’ve learned a lot of hacks when it comes to packing. I know not to bring the shoes that I never wear at home, and to put a pair of socks in my carry-on when I’m flying because my feet tend to get cold.
I’ve also learned that having a reusable tote bag is incredibly helpful, because it can be used for so many things. You can take it with you when you go shopping and check out the vintage clothing stores in the area or use it for laundry that inevitably accumulates over the weekend. It’s not a total requirement for having the time of your life, but I’d still highly recommend it.
7. A Jean Jacket
As far as I’m concerned, you should always try to pack light if you’re going on a weekend getaway. It’s only a few days, which means you don’t need every single outfit in your closet or product in your bathroom.
In the fall you can achieve this by packing a tried and true denim jacket. Take it from me: It’s the ultimate layering piece and will always look good in Instagram pictures. It’ll make you look a little outdoorsy while also showing your followers you’re fashionable and having the time of your life.
Just do yourself a favor and don’t roll it in your bag with your other clothes. Wear it on the plane or in the car, and save that much-needed space in your suitcase.
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