How to pack for a long weekend

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to, Life 24 Comments

Are you heading away for the Easter long weekend?

Camping? Hitting the beach for the last blast of warm weather?

Because I’m nosey, I want to know what everyone is up to. And because I’m a reformed packer, I want to know what everyone is packing for their particular destination.

We’ve managed to carve out a mini escape back at Burleigh Heads, so I’ll be dusting off the beach gear and hoping for a few days of sun and surf.

Whatever your destination, the tricky part about packing for this time of year is that the weather is more changeable than at any other time.

There’s seemingly – but not scientifically proven – more chance of rain. And there’s a fair chance that it could be summer-hot one day and strangely cold the next. Melbourne I’m looking at you.

Read on for my tips on how to pack for long weekend. Plus I’ve created a new 15-piece travel capsule wardrobe that would work for a relaxed autumn long weekend. The capsule is geared at a beach getaway but if you swap out the beach-specific items, it would work for just about any long weekend destination.

Study the weather app

The number one tip I included in this post about packing for any destination holds very true for this time of year.

Study the weather app on your phone with as much obsession as you’d apply to a Netflix release of your favourite show. (Completely off track … but WOW … the season finale of House of Cards!)

You’ll get a glance at the week leading up to when you’re arriving at your destination and then when it gets closer, you can revise what you’ve planned to pack based on the updated forecast.

While it’s not always a 100% sure thing that the forecast is correct, I’ve found that it does provide a good indication of those days when the temperature can swing between seasons in just a few hours.

It also helps me to track the night-time temperatures – especially helpful if you’re heading out for dinner or having barbecues etc outdoors. I swore I felt a teeny bit of autumn in the air early yesterday morning on the way to yoga. It must be on its way soon. It just must be.

Pack light layers

So, you’ve watched that weather app and you can see that the temperatures are going to vary a lot during your time away. Regardless, it’s always good to pack a few light layers as an insurance policy.

This is crucial if heading to the beach at any time of the year. Even in January on our beach holiday, there was a rainy day where the summer clothes just weren’t cutting it and I was glad I packed a wrap and a light, long-sleeve tee.

Pack at least one evening outfit

Ok, so this might not apply if you’re camping away from civilisation but if you are within easy distance of a restaurant or bar, and feel so inclined, then have an easy evening outfit on hand to wear.

You might decide that the finest dining you intend to do involves hot chips and a kilo of prawns, which is very ok in my books.

Me? I love a holiday that offers up a chance to eat out somewhere new. (As an aside, if you do want to eat out at popular restaurant on your break, it pays to book ahead so you don’t miss out)

Pack pieces that can work with each other

This is the cornerstone of all my capsule wardrobes I share with you here but when you’re going away on a short break, I think that’s even more essential.

You want to have enough clothes (without having to wash) but you want to have a bit of variety as well.

Stick to a neutral colour palette – with a couple of pops of colour to keep things fresh while away from regular wardrobe planning.


I do tend to pack active wear these days (I don’t know who I am either) on account that I 100% know I’ll be announcing happy hour at 4 5pm whenever I feel like it. One will never counteract the other but it makes me feel good thinking that I’ve made some attempt at exercise.

{Click on image to enlarge}

15-piece long weekend capsule wardrobe | what to pack | Styling You

1. Kmart long-sleeve tee $8

2. Sparkles and Stars tee $119.95

3. Surafina dress $169

4. Trenery dress $96.75 (on sale)

5. Adrift dress $109.95 (available in blue in plus-size here)

6. Motto pants $99.95

7. JAG shorts $69.95 @ Birdsnest

8. Katies jacket $69.95

9. Target hat $20

10. Surafina scarf $59

11. Beach Interiors bag $29

12. Queensland Swimwear Company tankini $119.95 (plus pant $64.95)

13. FRANKiE4 Footwear sneakers $234.95

14. FRANKiE4 Footwear sandals $209.95

15. Havaianas $39.99

Just a few possible outfit combinations

Remember, the capsule wardrobes I create are just a starting point for you. You might have some of these style of pieces in your wardrobe and just need a couple of other pieces to finish the puzzle.

You might prefer more frocks and less tops/bottoms combos. You might need more cool weather gear. Swap out the things that work for you and your destination.

What I’ve incorporated above are a number of dress-up/dress-down items so that they can serve you doubly as well in case you need some dinner or drinks outfits.

A swimsuit like the one featured can also double as a top. Add a scarf or jacket and team with pants or shorts and it will also perform double duty for you.

I’ve left out heels because … BEACH … but if you’re heading to a city, you may want them in.

1 + 6 + 13

1 + 6 + 13 + 8

1 + 6 + 14 + 9

1 + 7 + 13 + 12 + 15

1 + 7 + 14 + 10

1 + 7 + 9 + 15 + 11

2 + 6 + 15

2 + 6 + 8 + 13

2 + 7 + 15 + 9

7 + 12 + 10 + 14 + 11

3 + 13 + 9

3 + 14 + 10 + 11

3 + 12 + 9 + 15 + 11

4 + 8 + 9 + 14

4 + 1 + 15 + 10

5 + 10 + 9 + 14

5 + 12 + 15 + 9 + 11

So tell me, what are your plans for Easter? Escaping or are people coming to you?

You can catch up on more of my packing tips, HERE.

* This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something via one of these links I may receive a small commission. Full disclosure policy here.

Comments 24

  1. We’re escaping to the beach/wine region for some much needed R&R. A dress or two is definitely on the packing list for some winery touring and cocktails at the local tapas bar. The rest of the time I will live in my active wear or an easy maxi! xx

  2. Oh I love this post! We are off to Dubbo Zoo with another family and I’ve been freaking out about the weather. Last week it was high 30’s but next week looks like a cool change is going to arrive just in time. I’ve also been freaking out about bike riding around the zoo as I’m a dresses girl but for riding a bike shorts and a top are probably best. I’m thinking active wear will win out 🙂 Enjoy burleigh heads.

    We are mid way through season one of house of cards… so much to catch up on!

  3. Don’t say any more! We’ve got two episodes left of House of Cards. The pure evil of those Underwoods astonishes me.. Makes for good viewing though.

    1. Oh Clare, Clare, Clare…stylish and evil. I hope there is Season 4, what more could she do?
      I love all the ideas here and I am away to Hobart in April and have booked just with cabin luggage to force myself to pack smart. I keep it all black and white with a jaunty lipstick and jewellery and scarf and a smart colourful bag.

    1. They are Nikki she saw her OB on Monday and she has to have a urine test to check her kidneys and a blood test and ultrasound today to check blood flow through the cord,and it’s a 3D ultrasound and we are invited I can’t wait till this afternoon to see the little one,she 19 weeks today,they are aiming for 35-37 weeks,very exciting Nikki and thank you Xx

  4. Great suggestions Nikki. I find shoes the most problematic thing, when packing. My size 10s take up so much suitcase room. I recently discovered Conf3ss shoes. A Gold Coast lady deigned them. They come in either nude or black – flat, wedge or heel and they have interchangeable coloured ankle, T, and toe straps. You can have a gazillion different looks from one pair of shoes and just a few different straps. Such a great idea for travelling. I have the flat sandals and find them extremely comfortable. Hope you enjoy your break. Xx

  5. reformed packer! … yes if you can do it, so can I nikki!
    inspirational hun! that is a great selection!
    we will be home but family visiting for a long lunch!
    enjoy your day! love m:)X

  6. We’ll be home for Easter as it’s the opening round of the AFL and my husband and friends will be off to the footy on Saturday night. Looking forward to the break anyway and just enjoying resting and hanging out in our own city.

  7. Love your What & How to Pack posts! You have reformed my packing fro for business and leisure trips. A little planning goes a long way. We’re up the Sunny Coast. Enjoy the Goldie. x

  8. Easter weekend we are helping our son move house, but the next weekend I am off on a 4 night cruise with 2 friends ! I’ve already started to think about my capsule wardrobe, I tend to stick with 2 or 3 colours to mix and match !!

  9. Escaping to Metung on the Gippsland Lakes for 4 days and this being Victoria in autumn, could be bathers, jumpers and coats all at once!

  10. Love these suggestions Nikki. As for Autumn, I have it on good authority – my Dad – that the sun is rising later and setting earlier every day. He tells me every night by how minutes, he’s an old sailor so weather is one of his things lol 🙂 We are staying home for Easter – 4 days at home with no work yahoo! I seriously cannot wait! My son and his family might be visiting so it will be baby boy and big boys cuddles, easter eggs and family time. Happy happy days! x

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