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How to pack for your weekend away

Make packing a breeze by following our simple guide

A woman having difficulty closing a suitcase full of clothing (© Getty Images)

A weekend away should be all about fun and excitement, but there's one unavoidable chore that's bound to add a bit of stress to your holiday - packing. Packing may seem like a pain, but it doesn't have to be - follow our simple five-point guide for making packing a breeze, and you'll never have a night-before breakdown again!

Make a list

Don't even think about attempting to pack without one. With all the excitement of an impending weekend away, writing a list might sound like the last thing you want to do, but we promise it will save you time and stress in the long run.

1. Start with the basics
Think about the things you need everyday - underwear, toothbrush, phone charger. If you need them every day at home, chances are you'll need them while you're away too.

2. Weekend specifics
Once you have your basics down, you can start to think about the more specific things you'll need for your trip, such as a swimsuit, passport or camera.

3. One day at a time
Next you should go through your trip one day at a time. Think about what you'll be doing and where you'll be going - will you need a smart outfit for a romantic dinner, or comfortable shoes for sightseeing?

A neat suitcase containing a small number of items (© Getty Images)

Pack light!

Packing light is a packing nirvana most of us can only dream of. But it doesn't have to be a distant dream - try these five simple steps.

1. Plan
Plan outfits in advance. It may sound boring, but it's the best way to ensure you don't arrive at your destination with a case full of mismatched separates.

2. Be trip-specific
Each trip is different. If you're staying in a remote cottage, you probably won't be need a cocktail dress and killer heels.

3. Play it safe
Your romantic weekend away is not the time to try out a new Lady Gaga-esque look. Stick to clothes you know you will feel happy, relaxed and confident in.

4. Be realistic
You simply won't need five pairs of shoes for a weekend away. When packing, think specifically about where and when you'll wear each item. If you're not sure when you'll wear it, don't take it.

5. Flexible friends
Obviously there are certain items you wouldn't want to wear more than once, but where possible, try to pack flexible pieces that can be dressed up or down and worn with more than one other item in your case.

Bottles of beauty product (© Getty Images)

Small is beautiful

At least when it comes to beauty products. There's simply no point in taking a month's worth of product away for two nights. Lots of brands now make mini travel versions of their most popular products, and you can also buy empty mini-bottles and decant your beauty favourites yourself.

Research your destination

It's always worth doing a little research to check out what your destination provides in advance. Most hotels will provide you with at least basic bathroom products, such as soap and shower gel. If you're staying in a self-catering apartment, find out exactly what kitchen equipment is available, and if there are hangers in the wardrobe. The more you know before you go, the more relaxed you'll be when you get there.

No neat folding!

This probably goes against everything you were taught by your parents, but neatly folding each item individually is the quickest way to get a suitcase full of creased clothes. Try one of the following methods instead:

1. Rolling
This is the preferred methods of backpackers the world over. Lay your clothes out flat, folding in any sleeves. Then start to roll from the bottom up.

2. Group folding
Instead of folding items individually, folding them in pairs (or more) adds some cushioning, making them less likely to crease. Simply lay one item half on top of another, and then fold them in over each other.

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