Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
4 minute read
22 Sep 2021
1:03 pm

What to pack for your trip this long weekend

Kaunda Selisho

Packing for a trip can be quite a mammoth task. Check out The Citizen’s ultimate packing guide to make preparing for your trips easier. 

An aerial shot of someone packing suitcase for travel vacation. Picture: iStock

As the days get warmer, more and more people are looking to getaway, however, most of those people aren’t looking forward to the daunting task of packing.

Whether you’re travelling solo, with a partner, friends or family, packing can be quite a mammoth task. Especially if you are the kind of packer who feels the need to pack everything just in case you might need it at some point. Here are a few tips as part of The Citizen’s ultimate packing guide to make preparing for your trips a little easier. 

Firstly, it helps to compartmentalise your needs and pack in sections as a way to stay on top of everything and try pack what you need. Categories include clothing, underwear and socks, toiletries and miscellaneous things that would most likely end up in your carry on. 

Clothing needs vary depending on the weather at your intended destination. However, it is advisable to pack for unexpected weather conditions if your stay may be lengthy. 

Sites like Smarter Travel feature comprehensive checklists that you can even download and edit in order to customise the list according to your needs. 

ALSO READ: 7 long-weekend accommodation ideas that won’t break the bank


Under the clothing section, the site lists essentials such as: underwear, socks, bras, sleepwear, t-shirts, dress shirts, casual shirts, jeans, pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, suits, swimsuits, cover-ups, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, leisure shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, snow boots, dress shoes, sandals, belts, ties, jewellery, purses, collapsible tote, laundry kit, umbrella.


Depending on what your needs are, you may want to consider packing the following toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hair brush, styling tools, facial cleanser, face lotion, sunscreen, moisturiser, contact lenses, contact solution, shaving supplies, makeup, makeup remover, period products, birth control/medication, nail file, nail clippers, tweezers, hand sanitiser, bandages, first-aid ointment, insect repellent, pain relievers and vitamins. 


Don’t forget to include things like: your cellphone, laptop and/or tablet, electronic chargers, a plug adapter, film and/or memory card for a camera, a list of any medications you might be on, banking contacts/information, emergency contacts and a copy of your passport. 

Bits and bobs

Additional things to consider that may be nice to have are: books or e-books, headphones, travel blanket, travel pillow, eye mask, earplugs, tissues, lip balm, disinfecting wipes, change of clothes, snacks, empty water bottle, in-flight medications, valuables, camera, passport/visa/ID, hand sanitiser, gum, cash, credit/atm cards, insurance cards, itinerary, maps/directions, glasses, sunglasses, house keys, face masks and a travel first-aid kit.

Smarter Travel advises keeping the length of your trip, the weather at your destination and any non-standard clothing or gear you might need in mind.

“Your first step when packing is to decide if you’ll be checking a bag or only taking a carry-on and then curate the amount of clothing you’ll need based on that decision.” 

The site advises avoiding checking a bag in situations where you have a layover since this increases the likelihood of your bag going missing.

“You might also want to avoid checking a bag if you absolutely need items in your bag on arrival – for example, if you’re going on a cruise.”

If you’re an avid traveller, it might be best to invest in items like multi-use wraps, crushable hats, self-cooling and heating fabrics like merino wool layers, bug-repellent clothing, wrinkle-resistant shirts, quick-drying activewear and undergarments, casual sneakers, UPF-proof clothing and compressible jackets.

Packing cubes and/or compression sacks are an additional way you can keep everything organised and compartmentalised to not only save on space but to help save time when trying to get to certain things. 

Covid-19 safety and travel

It is still mandatory to always have a face mask on you no matter how you may feel about them and flights and establishments reserve their right to not serve you should you not comply. 

Sanitising wipes and hand sanitiser have also become must-haves. 

“Wipe down frequently touched surfaces by your plane seat or in your hotel room for peace of mind, just make sure whatever liquid sanitising products you bring on board meet the airport security requirements.”

While here is currently no consensus on vaccination requirements and vaccine passports, it is advisable to keep your vaccination card with you. 

Negative Covid-19 test results are currently required by a number of destinations and airlines and should be carried in easily accessible, carry-on luggage.