How to Pack for a Weekend in a City

Packing-Tips City-vacation

If a long weekend in the big city sounds more your speed than hiking up mountains-you’re in the right place. For anyone choosing to stay in a major metropolis, being comfortable without looking like a tourist is key.

Light packing is essential. The last thing you want is to do on your weekend is wrestle a monster suitcase onto a bus or through a subway turnstile. As much as you want to show off your entire closet in one weekend, you really only need a few key pieces to help transition from museum hopping all day to a night out on the town. Sticking to lightweight fabrics, like cotton, will help keep you moving without weighing you down.

What to pack for Friday:


Day: Pack chic. Pack simple. The best thing you can do for your weekend is pick items that can pull double duty, like black cotton leggings. Pair with a tissue tee, hoodie and your favorite kicks and take in the sights. Sun shining down on the concrete jungle? Working up a sweat from all that walking? Tie your hoodie around your waist and stay cool in the fashion and literal sense.

Night: Ditch the tee, sweatshirt and sneakers and opt for a dressier blouse with heels. For the major cities that are located along the water (we’re looking at you, San Francisco…), that cool breeze will be in full effect so don’t forget to bring the ever-versatile jean jacket.


Day: Finding the perfect carry on is basically half the battle of packing for a weekend. Stay lightweight with a cotton canvas bag. As far as what to wear your first day, keep it simple with khaki shorts and a solid t-shirt. Pair with flip flops for a casual look.

Night: You won’t regret packing a pair of dark wash jeans. Pair them with any button down for a great evening look. Worried about the night chill, try a lightweight cotton v-neck sweater.

Packing-for-city-trips how-to-travel-with-a-carry-on blog-post

What to pack for Saturday:


Day: Stick to a great cotton maxi that can take you straight through the night without needing to change. The cotton absorbs body moisture and helps to keep you dry (by drawing it away from the skin where it evaporates in the air around you) meaning more time to take selfies with landmarks and less time drying your shirt under a bathroom hand dryer.

Night: Weather can fluctuate day to day, even from street to street. The shade under a skyscraper can be tens of degrees cooler than the center of a park. This is especially true at night. Reminder: that light jean jacket can be your go-to when the temperature drops.


Day: In cities like Brooklyn, Austin and Portland where irony is king, don’t be afraid to embrace cliche tourist faux paus like tying your jacket around your waist or wearing socks that go up your calf. If anything, those kinds of things are basically the dress code. So grab your fanny pack to go around your khaki shorts and a tucked in polo for a day out.

Night: After you’re done in your ironic day wear, change into your jeans for a great dinner on the town. Pair it with a white button up for an effortlessly polished nighttime outfit. If you’re wearing a nice jacket at night, make sure you’re smart when you pack it. Doing it the right way will save you time hunting down an ironing board in the hotel or apartment you’re staying in. Learn how to do it correctly here.

What to pack for Sunday:


Day: End the weekend with a great pair of relaxed fitting Girlfriend jeans (not to be confused with Boyfriend jeans, which have a much looser feel) and a sleeveless button down. Have your jacket in tow for when the transportation back gets too cold. (Don’t worry about denim on denim - it’s a thing and it’s A-okay as long as they’re different washes.)


Day: Make your last day count with a repeat of your dark wash denim jeans and a fresh t-shirt. If you find your shirt is wrinkled that morning, hop in the shower, hang up your shirt in the bathroom and let the steam help to smooth out the wrinkles.

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