So many outfits, so little luggage space.“So many outfits, so little luggage space.Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Think a quick getaway means just tossing a couple of items in a bag and jumping on a plane? Think again. Packing for a short trip just might be more difficult than packing for a longer one because you need to be prepared to have clothing and shoes for both day and night. Trying to fit everything you need into a small suitcase can be quite a challenge — unless you know what to pack.

When you’re packing for a short trip, it’s best to come up with a strategy before you start tossing clothes into your overnight bag. Have a good idea of what you’ll be planning on doing throughout the weekend so that you know the appropriate clothing to bring. If you’re spending a weekend in the country, you probably won’t need a fancy dress and dancing shoes. Likewise, if you’re going to spend the bulk of your time at the beach or lounging poolside, you probably won’t need to bring long pants.

One key idea to remember in packing for a short trip is to try to take clothes that can do double duty, especially shoes. Shoes can be heavy and bulky, so it’s good to take as few pairs as possible. Take one pair that can go from day to night and a second pair that you can use as slippers, like flip flops. Because they’re flat, they’ll pack nicely, and you’ll still look stylish any time of the day.

The name of the game for clothing is versatility. Look for clothes in your wardrobe that can do double duty by pairing in different ways. It also helps to have clothes that can be dressed up or down. A pair of basic black pants or jeans can be the base for many kinds of tops, for example. You can also change your look just by changing your jewelry. Packing a few select pieces of jewelry can help change your look, which can be important if you’re wearing the same outfit twice.

Learn to pare down the amount of items you need for your daily beauty regimen to just the essentials you’ll need over the span of two nights. Leave the hair dryer at home. It takes up too much room in your suitcase, and where you’re staying might already provide one. Also be sure to pack mini-bottles of your beauty products. They’ll not only fit better into a small bag, but they’ll get through security at the airport.

Even though you’re not packing much for your getaway weekend, with versatile options you can still pack in a lot of style to a traveling wardrobe.

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