Did you know that in the U.S. alone, 62% of people overpack? That’s a trend that actually happens all over the world. It’s normal to want to overpack for a trip, even a short one. Unfortunately, that can cause you to be charged more for extra bags, and you’ll have the extra stress of carrying around heavy luggage. 

One of the reasons people tend to overpack is because they’re worried about forgetting something important. But, on a short trip, you simply don’t need to take anything beyond the bare essentials

If you’re still not sure what you should pack, let’s look at a few of those essentials to make sure you have them in your carry-on bag. By packing light and starting to get organized three or four days before your trip, you can reduce your stress and make sure you have everything you need. 

5 Things You Should Pack for a Short Trip

1. Your In-Flight Essentials

Bringing a small purse/tote/carry-on bag with you can be a lifesaver when you’re traveling on a plane. Some of the things you should always make sure to keep within close reach include: 

  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Passport
  • Snacks
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask

It can also be worth it to invest in a separate pair of glasses or sunglasses for your trip. You can use them as a “spare pair,” so you can leave the ones you typically use at home. It’s easy to order online if you’re looking for frames that fit your sense of style. 

2. Electronics

Going on a short trip doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected from the world! Whether you’re traveling somewhere for work, you want to stay in touch with loved ones, or you want to make sure you can take plenty of pictures, always make sure you have your electronics packed somewhere that is easily accessible. 

Don’t forget about charging cables! And, if you’re making a short journey to a different country, make sure you’ve invested in outlet plugs that adapt to whatever charging ports they might have.

3. The Right Things to Wear

The clothes and accessories you pack will obviously change depending on where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and the climate you’ll be stepping into. But, a good rule of thumb for a short trip is to pack the following: 

  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 dress or suit
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 other pairs of pants/slacks
  • 2 tops
  • 1 light jacket
  • Accessories

This type of packing list will leave your suitcase feeling light but it will help to ensure that you have enough to wear throughout your trip. You can reuse different outfits by accessorizing them in different ways, so don’t be afraid to bring extra accent pieces along that will change up your look!

4. Toiletries

If you’re staying in a hotel, there will undoubtedly be some toiletries available to you. But, what’s better than actually using your own products that you trust? Plus, you never know what will be offered and what won’t. By bringing some of your own toiletries, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and you won’t have to stray from your daily routine. Some important toiletries to bring along include: 

  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant

It’s also a good idea to bring a small first aid kid and backup makeup if you think it will be necessary. No one expects the ‘worst’ when going on a trip. But, things can happen, and it’s easier to lose items than most people realize. 

5. Extras

One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for any trip is to pay attention to where you’re going and look into what the forecast will be while you’re there. A few days before you’re scheduled to leave, look at the weather report for that location. 

That will help you to pack accordingly, including any extras you might need to bring, like a hat or umbrella. One of the worst things that can happen on a trip is feeling unprepared, or regretting not packing something. 

As you can see, you don’t have to pack heavy or overstuff your suitcase in order to have all of the essentials for a short trip. Instead of focusing on packing more, focus on packing smarter. Consider the things you really need and how you will be able to use and reuse them on your short stay. Doing so will save you time, money, and a lot of unnecessary stress. Keep these methods in mind on any short trip you’re taking, and you just might find yourself traveling more often!