Susan Michelle's Compass
The Modern Weekender's Packing List
By Susan Michelle
Sep 18, 2009 - 7:06:18 PM

LOS ANGELES—When it comes to the weekend jaunt, most folks would probably say that packing for it should be easy. It’s just a couple of days, so you don’t need much, right?   Wrong!  I find a two-day trip even harder to pack for than a longer trip: I spend twice as much time selectively editing my packables just so I can avoid my traveling companion’s stare when I show up with anything more than a purse.  I run through all potential weekend activities in my mind beforehand, packing items for every conceivable situation, even though, chances are, I’ll be lucky to fit in even 30 percent of those ideas (whereas in a week’s vacation, I’m pretty sure I’d fit in most).

Say I’m packing for a beach weekend: swimsuit, suntan lotion and sandals. Then I’m good to go right?  Well, no. I also need 30+ SPF sunblock, lower-SPF suntan lotion, SPF-protected lipstick, after-sun aloe, sunglasses, back-up sunglasses, hat and a beach cover-up. 

What if I want to work out?  I need trainers and workout gear. Nice dinner out?  Add a dress and heels plus matching jewelry and sweater. I also want a comfortable travel outfit. Maybe include a belt, socks and a jacket. 

Oh, and I need my camera and camera charger.  And cell phone charger.  Without question, the laptop’s getting packed in its own bag with yet another charger tucked inside.  Might as well also throw that “to do” folder of paperwork in there too, in case I have some down time, as well some catch-up reading material for the beach. An iPod to listen to tunes whilst doing any of that.  iPod charger.  Earbuds.  Speakers for playing the iPod in the room.  Need a purse for going out at night, and a larger purse that serves as a beach/day bag (in addition to the laptop, toiletry, jewelry and clothing bags).  Plus, I need make-up, hair and skin products.  Nail polish for touch-ups. Polish remover for screw-ups.  Make-up remover.  Saline solution.  Contacts’ case.  Glasses for when my contacts aren’t in.

All my usual purse contents: Kleenex, mints, wallet, phone.  The rest of my normal toiletries: toothbrush, deodorant, etc.  Sleeping attire.  And that “wild card” of a thing that everyone travels with that’s unique to them. For me, it’s flavored green tea and sweeteners.  For others, it might be their own pillow, teddy bear, puffy coat, alarm clock, personal valet or their very own private jet.

Fifty years ago, gals could get away with two outfits, one pair of shoes, lipstick and a purse for a weekend.  But, in today’s fashion-forward, plugged-in society, that concept no longer works.  Most people I know want to look as fresh, attractive and stylish—and be as connected to home and work—when they travel, as when they’re home.  And that takes accessories.  Lots of accessories.  

So, please: next time someone you know shows up for a weekend away with more than one bag.  Don’t scoff.  These days, traveling “heavy” is the only chic way to go away on weekends.


About the Author: A former Hollywood producer and now second-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand. For more articles, tips and hot spots from Susan write her directly at

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