Do you tend to overpack? Does your week-long trip luggage look pretty similar to your weekend getaway luggage? When you are going away for just a night, it can be embarrassing to feel like you’re packing so much stuff especially if you’re going with people or something you don’t know that well. This overnight packing list is going to narrow down the packing essentials for an overnight trip.

Overnight Packing List

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How to Pack for an Overnight Trip: Picking the Right Bag

If you take a loose, bulky bag then it will seem like you’ve packed a lot even if that bag isn’t that full. If you take a small backpack but things don’t fit so you add in a tote bag, but also have a purse, it will look like you are bringing a ton of stuff.

Usually, for an overnight trip, you still have toiletries, maybe a laptop, shoes, clothes, and enough that a leather tote bag or backpack that you would use as a personal item on a plane isn’t going to cut it – YES, even though it’s just one night! That is the first mistake people make.

Instead, take a bag like Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Weekender. You want a bag that doesn’t look too big but is deceptively large.

This bag has the top zipper area like a normal tote bag but has a shoe compartment on the bottom that can fit EASILY three pairs of shoes: tennies, cute shoes, and a pair of sandals:

Your goal is to fit everything but your small everyday purse into this bag. Keeping it snug and tight in one bag is key! And you can easily do it with this – plus this bag will be useful for weekend trips and as your personal item for flights later on. It has a slot on the side that you can slide this over the handle of your carry-on luggage when you wheel it around the airport. The Rose and Natural are beautiful, and I have both!

Overnight Packing List: What to Take and Leave Behind

Pick Out Your Outfits

This is not the time to take the sweater you *might* wear or the face mask you’ve been wanting to try. You need to take the necessities and pick your outfit out to the T. Only take what you need. No “maybes” allowed. It helps to look up the weather before and if you’re headed to a restaurant or bar you haven’t been to, look at their Instagram page to get the vibe of what outfit would fit in there.

Remember — Dresses are a complete outfit on their own

I can’t go into too much detail because I don’t know where your overnight trip is to. But dresses in general take up the least space so that is always a good option. You’re already going to be wearing an outfit. Try to wear your REAL outfit on the way as it saves taking a “travel outfit” then changing once you arrive. A maxi dress is comfortable for a short trip in the car as well as maybe cute cropped pants and a tee shirt. You’ll need to then just pack your PJ’s, an outfit for the day the next day, and possibly a going out outfit. Keep it to exactly what you need. Roll your items and use the KonMari method for packing. Don’t forget your undies and bra!


For toiletries, you will want to have travel sizes of all your favorites. Full-size bottles will take up half the bag! If you don’t have travel sizes, then buy the [easyazon_link identifier=”B002WUVOBA” locale=”US” tag=”Hipinhee-20″]Go Toob bottles from Amazon[/easyazon_link]. They are amazing! Take your bare minimum of makeup that you use on the daily – no need for 3 eyeliners and your whole make up bag. Just take out what you actually use each day.


Rather than a laptop, try to take your [easyazon_link identifier=”B07CZMMQPM” locale=”US” tag=”Hipinhee-20″]iPad[/easyazon_link] and instead of a bulky book and magazine, take your [easyazon_link identifier=”B07CXG6C9W” locale=”US” tag=”Hipinhee-20″]kindle[/easyazon_link].

Your purse can be exactly how it already is – no need to pack up a new purse. You’re only going away for a day after all! I love the Madewell mini-tote. So cute and practical. You likely have sunglasses, chapstick, lipstick, your wallet, and other basics already in there.


As for jewelry, don’t pack any. Wear your favorite simple earrings, rings, a bracelet, and everyday necklace and leave it at that.


As for shoes, wear the bulkiest pair (likely tennis shoes if you are taking them) and pack the light ones.

Travel Things You DON’T Need

I get that you might be excited and feel “travely” so want to take packing cubes, a special toiletry bag, your big Bose headphones, a special hand cream, jet lag face mask, a travel pillow, or eye mask you’ve been saving for a trip – but an overnight trip just isn’t the time to take these things. Save them for a big trip! They just take up space and you won’t have time to use them or take advantage of their uses. You don’t need a medical kit. Leave the Bandaids and Neosporin at home!

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