How to pack an overnight bag

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How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Avoid overpacking for an overnight stay. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images )

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Short overnight stays usually only require a small bag, but you don’t want to underestimate your needs and be caught without a necessary item when away from home. Pack carefully so that everything fits in an overnight bag, but also bring along a few extra items in case your trip takes longer than expected.


Pack the minimum of wardrobe items needed for an overnight stay, but bring along one extra outfit in case your trip is prolonged or you need an extra change of clothing. Wear comfortable clothing for traveling and bring along dress clothes to change into as necessary, depending on the reason for your stay. Pack extra socks, hosiery and undergarments because these are the items most likely to require a fresh set of if your trip takes longer than initially planned.


Keep expensive accessories that you aren’t wearing, such as jewelry, packed in a bag that you will keep with you at all times during travel, such as your purse or in carry-on luggage. Bring only the accessories you need so that you don’t end up with a bulging overnight bag. Belts, ties, hats and bathing suits are examples of accessories you may require for a short trip. Don’t forget jackets, gloves and other items you may need at your destination.

Personal Care Items

If you take medication, bring along extra even if your trip is only a short one. Delays can happen and you don’t want to be caught without the items you need to remain healthy. Also bring a copy of any prescriptions and your doctor’s contact information. If you wear contacts or glasses, bring an extra pair so that you have a replacement on hand if necessary. Minimize your personal care bag by packing travel-size versions of shampoos, soaps, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant and hair care items. Bring along only the cosmetics you need for the short trip instead of your entire makeup case.

Travel Essentials

Some essentials make travel more enjoyable, even on short trips. If you’re traveling by air, bring along reading material and a music player with headphones. Activity books, journals, cameras or a laptop computer — including the requisite power cords — are other items sometimes needed on even short trips. Don’t forget your cell phone charger. A car charger is sufficient if you’re traveling by car.

Childcare Items

Even a short trip requires careful packing if you’re traveling with children. Kids need two changes of clothing in case an accident happens. Bring snacks, extra bottles, diapers and wipes, as needed. Remember to pack a few new toys or books, or some old favorites, to help keep the kids occupied and prevent boredom. Put a few plastic bags for dirty diapers or soiled clothing in the overnight bag.


Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Sometimes after a long week you just need to pack a bag, grab the toddlers and have an overnight adventure. We call them staycations. Often, we opt to stay the night at a local hotel or sleep over with family to shake that weekly case of the blues.

We all know how stressful packing a family for a long vacation can be, but packing up two toddlers is a dream. Our overnight travel bag includes MUST HAVES ONLY. That keeps it simple and makes the joy of escaping for a night stress free.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Our must haves for an overnight trip are:

-Next day outfit.

-Bathing Suits (ALWAYS if you are staying in a hotel).

-Necessary toddler toiletries (Toothbrush/Diapers/Wipes)

-Favorite blankie/stuffed animal.

Obviously your children will need to wear clothes. Hotels are often cold so we pack warm PJ’s and an outfit appropriate for activities we will be doing the next day.

Bathing suits, especially when staying at a hotel, are an ABSOLUTE must. We love to take our children down to the pool and let them swim and splash their hearts out. It’s the perfect before bedtime activity to tire those little ones out. Don’t worry about towels if you’re staying at a hotel but be sure to grab one if your staycation includes a beach or waterpark. If your kiddos aren’t swim safe yet be sure to pack their lifejackets.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

It always amazes me the maintenance my toddlers need with the constant diaper changing, teeth brushing, eczema cream, bath scrubbing and hair brushing. To minimize packing and forgotten details, we have a small “kids toiletries bag” that stays ready for any last minute overnighters.

Our bag includes; Diapers, wipes, Desitin, baby shampoo, lotion, Q-tips, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag


Our toddlers are not terribly picky but we know what makes them happy, when we are out of our own environment, staying happy is a priority. Each toddler packs their favorite blankie and stuffed animal to sleep with on our overnighters.

We also have found that packing a handful of snacks and drinks we know the kids like to eat is helpful. Hotels usually have fridges in the room that your snacks can be stored in and can easily be accessed if you child is hungry or thirsty or whiny during your trip.

This list is simple and can easily be adjusted if you have a child with specific needs (specific medicines or foods), a child potty training (extra outfits/undies) or other age appropriate needs (sleeping bag, pack ‘n play, noise machines, lifejackets, sunscreen, etc…)

The best part about a staycation is that you can a) send your hubby back for anything your forgot or b) realize you’ll be home in less than 24 hours and your kids will PROBABLY survive without whatever you left behind.

We are facing slight delays on delivery. Rest assured we are working closely with our partners to ensure smooth delivery cycles.

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Packing your backpack for an overnight trip might seem like an easy thing to do. In fact, a lot of backpackers don’t even think twice about it. They believe that they can toss everything in their packs, and they are good to go. Well, the problem is once they hit the trail or get to their destination, they find out that they are not a pro. Maybe things were missed, or they didn’t pack efficiently enough.

Here are some tips to help organize your backpack to maximize efficiency and help create a balance between weight and positioning so you can quickly get access to the stuff that you need when you need it.

Before you do anything, waterproof all your gear

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that all your gear is waterproof. The best way to do this is to use a pack liner. These are high-quality, durable plastic or composite liners for backpacks available in the market. You can buy this online pretty easily. They’re not that hard to find. Not only do these liners serve as a lining inside the bag to keep out moisture, but it also enables you to organize the items in your bag reasonably easily.

You can also use a thick garbage bag if you don’t have access to specially designed liners. Finally, for extra added moisture protection, you can pack your items individually.

Pack your sleeping gear at the bottom of your bag

When you are packing your backpack, it’s very tempting to just stuff everything in there because you’re in a hurry. Don’t do that. Instead, be strategic about it and put your sleeping gear near the bottom of your bag or at the very bottom. What does this mean?

Well, you need to pack your sleeping bag first. This is something that you will use at the end of the day, so it’s essential to keep it at the bottom of your bag because you’re probably going to be accessing a lot of other stuff. So put those near the top and your sleeping bag at the bottom. If you’re using a closed cellophane pad, you should place it outside of your backpack because those don’t usually fit in a pack.

Bring lightweight cooking gear and pack it close to your back

When you are bringing cooking gear with you because you’re going to be spending several nights on the trail, do yourself a big favor, put it near your back. This is important because you want to cook epic meals on the road, and for this to happen, you have to have the right equipment. Pack gear for cooking. This must be lightweight, and even if they’re a little bit heavy, they’re closer to your hips.

This way, you can distribute the load more evenly on your back. It’s not going to feel like a hassle or your bag’s not going to feel top-heavy, which can get quite uncomfortable quickly. This also stabilizes the center of gravity of your backpack.

Place water at the top of your cooking gear

When you have cooking gear, put water at the top. Why? Water’s very heavy, and when you have a hard base provided by your cooking gear, this stabilizes whatever packaging your liquids are in. Maybe you’re using hydration packs or some sort of camping bladders or even plastic containers. This way, when you set up your drinking device, you can drink while walking without also using your hands. These devices are lightweight, and they really don’t take up much space once you have drained them of liquids.

The problem with water bottles is that once you drink the water inside of them, they still occupy the same amount of space. It’s much better to use rubber or plastic drinking bladder or hydration pack because you can free up space as you drink on the trail.

Put food items near your water

The best way to pack food items is to place them around your water. Water is quite heavy and takes quite a bit of space, depending on the container you use. The coolness of the water helps preserve your packed food. Keep the heavy items close to your back. This stabilizes the weight of the items and makes for an easier and more comfortable backpacking journey. Put the lighter things around your bag’s edges.

Use the smaller pockets for electronics and other accessories

Whether you have some sort of earphones or toiletries, wallet, pocket knife, or flashlight, or that kind of thing, but them in the small pockets of your backpack. This is very important because you probably need to get access to these items very quickly. By putting them in the outer pockets of your backpack, you can pull them out right when you need them.

Place your emergency kit and raincoat at the top of your bag

You don’t know when the weather will change. You also don’t know what kind of emergency is awaiting you around the corner. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to pack your emergency kit and raincoat in a spot that you can readily access, and this is, of course, the top of your bag. Make sure, however, that the emergency kit is entirely waterproof. It’s not going to help you all that much if it gets soggy. If you still have some space after storing your raincoat and emergency kit at the top of your bag, you may want to place snacks or any other items that you know you’ll regularly access at the top of these things.

Carry a jacket close to the top

Finally, protect yourself from any sudden changes in the weather. Maybe it can get cold overnight. Perhaps it would start to rain. Whatever the case may be, make sure to take along a jacket. Keep in handy by putting it at the top of your overnight bag.


Please understand that packing efficiently and effectively takes time; it definitely takes practice. The good news is that the first few times that you pack and repack your backpack, you will be able to pick up some clues, and before you know it, you’ll be able to stick to the rules that I’ve outlined above. Practice, after all, makes perfect. The more you do this, the better you get at it, and the more you will fit your packing preferences to accommodate the way you actually pack for your camping trips. It just takes quite a bit of getting used to, but it definitely is worth learning.

The way a pack is loaded will have a big effect on how it feels on your back. If you just cram everything in without thinking about it, you might feel uncomfortable and unbalanced – plus you could end up unloading your entire pack in the rain to get to a jacket you somehow stuffed at the bottom.

Before you start packing, spread everything you plan to take on the floor in front of you. Leave behind the things you may not really need, and remember to include the essentials. If you’re not sure what to take, start with our backpacking checklist or one of our hiking checklists.

Make sure your backpack fits you well – it should feel like an extension of your own body. If you have any questions, stop by your local MEC store for help.

Video: how to pack a backpack

Whether you need to pack your backpack for hiking, camping, travelling, climbing or ski touring, the main principles are the same. Imagine that your pack is made up of three zones:

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Zone 1: Put light items, like your sleeping bag, at the bottom. It gives structure to the bottom of the backpack and is a solid base for other items above it. A compression sack can help reduce the size of your sleeping bag.

Zone 2: Pack your heaviest items, such as your tent, food for meals, water or climbing gear closest to your back. If you’re using a bear canister to store scented items, this is the zone to put it in.

Zone 3: Place medium-weight or bulkier items toward the top or down the front of the pack. This will likely be things like extra clothing layers, your water treatment system or your first-aid kit.

Your objective is to avoid having a top-heavy pack, which will pull you backwards, or a bottom-heavy pack, which will make you feel like you are being dragged down. Packing heavier items close to your centre of gravity (middle of your back) will keep you balanced and make the load feel more natural.

Tips for packing your backpack

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Before you leave the house, weigh your pack. As a general rule, your pack weight shouldn’t be more than a quarter to one third of your body weight. Some more tips:

  • Use your compression straps to bring the load closer to your body and keep everything in place.
  • Distribute the weight evenly between left and right sides.
  • Make sure to spread the load across your hiking group (you can divide up your tent into the body, fly and poles so each person can take one part of the tent).
  • Place frequently used items such as your GPS, map, camera, water bottle, sunscreen or snacks in an easy-to-access place, like side pockets or the top pocket.
  • When you’re hiking on easy terrain, pack heavy items a little higher for better posture.
  • On harder terrain, putting heavy items lower down helps give you better balance.
  • Stuff sacks allow you to quickly pack and unpack your gear and find what you need. Super organized people put each category of items (first aid, kitchen, etc.) in different coloured bags to make them easy to spot. Try not to stuff the sacks full, as a little play makes them easier to squeeze into gaps.
  • Use your pots as hard metal stuff sacks to protect delicate items.
  • Make sure all items that can’t get wet are waterproofed (plastic garbage bags are an easy option), and that all liquids are very well-sealed.
  • Pack your food above your fuel bottle.
  • Many people will lash on trekking poles or their sleeping pad to the outside of their pack, but don’t go overboard – a well-loaded pack should have minimal items hanging off of it.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Moving cross-country can be a very tiring experience. When you get to your new home you may not have the energy to unpack everything right away. Furthermore, you may be traveling a long distance and will need provisions for while you travel. So you should always pack an overnight bag with your essentials. Here are some ideas on what to bring in your overnight bag.


The first thing you should think about bringing in your overnight bag is toiletries. You should pack the toiletries you’d bring on any trip like soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. Also pack any medications and a first aid kit. Another important thing to pack is a roll of toilet paper so you have one as soon as you get to your new home.


Obviously you want to pack clothing in your overnight bag. Pack clothes that will be comfortable and easy for you to move in. Also it is a good idea to check the weather where you are moving and pack any clothing appropriate for the new climate.


It’s also a good idea to pack any necessary kitchen items you will need when you get to your new home. Plastic plates, silverware, and cups are a great idea so you can eat without having to unpack your kitchenware first. It’s also smart to bring bottled water in case the water isn’t on yet at your new home. You should also consider packing a couple of garbage bags so you can have a place to throw trash.


You should pack a set of bedsheets, blanket, and a pillow. That way when you get to your new home, you can make the bed without having to fully unpack. It’s also a great idea to have bedding while traveling so you are always comfortable.

Important Documents

You should pack all your important documents like birth certificates, passports, and social security cards. You should also have a folder with the information on your new home, rental agreement or mortgage, and utilities. Also it is important to keep a folder with all the important moving documents like the bill of lading and inventory.

An overnight moving bag will save you a lot of hassle. Make sure that you pack an overnight bag for every member of your family, including your pets. Make sure to keep your overnight bag separate from your other possessions so the movers know not to put it in the moving truck. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll have an easy move.

Updated on February 8, 2020

Have you ever wondered how to pack a backpack like a hiking pro? Sure, everyone can stuff their gear into a bag but learning how to load a pack has some big rewards.

For one is you’ll be much more organized on the trail. Since you’ve made an effort to put each item in its place, it will be easy to find what you need when you need it. And two, your bag will be much more comfortable to carry because you would have distributed the load.

If you’re struggling with packing your backpack, don’t worry, that’s why we’re here. One of our big goals at The Adventure Junkies is to give you the resources you need to enjoy yourself on the trail.


Before we get into the details of loading up your pack you need to ask yourself a simple question: What type of backpack do I need? This core question can only be answered by imagining what you want out of your trip. Is it going to be a morning stroll, a full-day hike or a multi-day adventure?

To learn more, check out our article about how to choose a backpack for hiking . In that article, we show you everything you need to consider when choosing the right pack for your adventure.


The first tip given by the folks over at is to lay out everything you want to bring in front of you. Spreading out all your gear gives you a good overview of what you plan to take. You can then begin to visualize where you’ll put your gear and come up with a packing strategy.

Another useful tip is to take a closer look at the clothing you’re planning to pack. A common hiking newb ie mistake is to overpack. Trust us, you won’t need as many pieces of clothing as you think you might. Base layers and wet-weather gear are necessities, pretty much all else isn’t. adds that laying out all your stuff allows you to group gear together into categories such as ca mping, cooking, clothing. Once you’ve done that you can organize them by weight. We’ll go into more detail why this is important in a moment.


In this video by Marco Johnson from NO LS ( National Outdoor Leadership School ) shows you exactly how to pack a backpack. His A-B-C-D-E-F packing principles are especially useful, easy to remember and worth checking out. Watch this great ten-minute video and see how an experienced outdoorsman packs his backpack.



Now it’s time to pack your backpack. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.

So, what should we pack first?

Since things at the bottom of your pack are the hardest to get to we’re going to start with what we won’t need during the day. This is typically camping gear.

The first thing to go into your backpack—and the last thing to come out—is your sleeping bag. Make sure you store your bag in a dry bag to make sure it won’t get wet if you set your pack on wet ground.

Now let’s pack the rest of our camping gear, such as a sleeping pad and a pillowcase, around your sleeping bag. If you have a bulky sleeping pad like the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite , you can save space by strapping it onto the outside of the pack. In general, all camp gear goes in the bottom of your backpack except for your headlamp o r flashlight.

As you’re loading your pack, keep weight distribution in mind. Put lightweight gear in the bottom of your backpack. The heaviest things should be as close to your back as possible and in the middle of your backpack.


Now that we’ve got the bottom of our packs loaded, let’s pack the middle. Put heavy gear right on top of your sleeping and camping gear. Think cooking stoves, food, extra water and pots and pans.

Are you worried about packing your food next to your cooking gear? REI offers a useful tip, when packing fuel, make sure to place it below your food in case it spills. Another option is if your backpack has side pockets, pack your fuel in them.

The trick is to figure out how to pack your backpack so that it is well balanced, with a stable center of gravity. How do you do that? Keep heavy things away from the outside, bottom and top of your backpack.

Once you’ve packed your heavy things, you can fill up any leftover space with lighter items such as a rain fly, tent body, and clothes. P.S: Wrapping your clothes in your tent body, incidentally, also helps to keep them dry.

If you’re heading into bear country, always bring a bear canister . You should also pack this among your heavy stuff, close to your back.


Now that we’ve packed the bottom and middle section of the backpack, let’s move on to the top section.

So, what goes into the top portion of your backpack?

Cooking gear, extra layers of clothes and anything else you might need access to during your outdoor trip. This is where you should put your small necessities, such as sunglasses, a first-aid kit, a rain jacket, a compass, and snacks.

Sometimes, backpacks come with small zippered pouches on the hip belt. These, along with other external pockets, are also great places to keep small gear and trail food.


After filling up your backpack, you might still have some gear left. Strap equipment such as hiking poles , tent poles, crampons and ice axes to the outside of your backpack.

When you were a kid, sleepovers and an overnight bag were simple. You threw your pjs into your backpack, grabbed your coolest Disney sleeping bag and bam — you were ready to party. But grownups sleepovers are another animal altogether. While you may begin the night with your favorite movie and some pizza, you’ll (hopefully) end it with a mind-blowing orgasm.

If you’re a gal who’s planning on sleeping over at a guy’s house, ditch the sleeping bag, grab the sex lube and prepare the ultimate overnight bag by packing it with these essentials:

A Variety of Condoms. You can’t always count on a guy to supply condoms, even if you’re crashing at his pad. Bring at least three (in case you feel extra frisky or one malfunctions) and if possible, select a variety of types — every guy has a brand or style he prefers.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Condom-Safe Sex Lube. You never know when you might need some help with lubrication. Choose a personal lubricant that’s condom-friendly like ASTROGLIDE Liquid or ASTROGLIDE X Silicone Gel(an especially great choice if there’s a chance you’ll be getting busy in the shower or hot tub).

Shower Wipes. These pre-moistened towelettes can help you feel fresh before and after sex, and are a great stand-in when a full shower just isn’t an option.

Scented Lotion. Keep skin touchably soft and smooth without piling on fragrance by using a lightly scented lotion. Just be sure not to slather it on when you disappear to powder your nose. There’s a fine line between supple and slippery.

Black Ballet Flats. No one wants to jog to the bus stop in last night’s five-inch heels. A sleek pair of ballet flats are the perfect solution.

Yoga Pants. What if he slips into sweats and leaves you standing there in your mini dress? Time to break out the yoga pants — they’re notoriously flattering but casual at the same time.

Hangover Helper. After a night of drunken debauchery, feel like yourself again with some Ibuprofen, chewable Pepto Bismol tablets and a packet of Emergen-C. It’s a hangover-vanquishing trifecta.

Hair Essentials. Pack a hair tie, brush and go-to styling product to tame your tresses after a roll in the hay.

Toothbrush and Mints. There are few things less sexy than super stinky breath. Bring your own toothbrush and a pack of mints or mint gum to ward of morning breath and stay kissably fresh.

Keep in mind that you may want to be a bit coy when choosing your overnight bag. Select a large hobo bag or tote instead of a duffle bag. Most guys will be more than a little freaked out if you show up for your third date looking like you’re prepared to spend a month trekking through the Rockies. It’s also a good idea to use a makeup bag inside your tote to organize smaller items like sex lube and condoms.

What’s in your overnight bag? Check your baggage in our comment section.

Images pictured are for illustrative purposes only.

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No matter if you are moving across the street or across the country, moving is a stressful time for everyone. Taking into account all the difficulties associated with ensuring that all your personal belongings are kept and packed in boxes (or garbage bags), it is easy to forget about the merits of an overnight moving bag. Luckily, we are here to remind you of its importance and list the things you should pack in it. It may seem strange to you to pack your bag at night when you move to a new place. After all, you won’t be away for the weekend. Movers North Lauderdale FL will move all your property to your new destination right away. Regardless, it is absolutely necessary to arrange a sufficient bag for the night, because it can be difficult to find out where some of your main items are packed.

Things you should pack in the overnight moving bag

1. Important documents

Any personal documentation, including birth and marriage certificates, real estate documents, licenses, school certificates, medical records, bank and tax returns, as well as invoices and receipts that must be presented at closing, must be kept and not packed in a moving truck of your movers Fort Lauderdale FL. This information may come in handy during closing proceedings or when unforeseen problems arise in other areas of your life.

How to Pack an Overnight BagMake sure you bring a signed copy of your moving contract, in case some misunderstanding arises

2. Valuable items

Before putting your home on the market, think about collecting valuable items, such as expensive jewelry and precious relics, and storing them with a trusted friend or relative or renting a safe. This protects your favorite items from disappearing during the move. When moving to Florida, keep the jewelry on yourself so that it does not get lost and go with a suspicious person.

3. Money and credit/debit cards

Put money and your cards in a moving box – you might as well throw them out the window! Keep money and bank cards in your wallet always. First of all, you will know that they are safe on your side. Secondly, if you need cash when purchasing goods in the middle of the way, they will be easily available.

4. Toiletries

Once you get to your new apartment, it can be tiring to look through a dozen boxes for your toiletries. When you unpack, it may be regrettable to realize that you have no idea where you packed your toilet paper.

In addition to toilet paper, it is important that your overnight moving bag includes any cherished and indispensable toiletries. Keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste in a bag may seem like a simple matter. But you cannot forget to include other essentials for the bathroom, such as feminine hygiene products, lotion, shampoo, and prescriptions. Make sure you also pack your hand soap, face cleansers, body cleansers, hand towels, body towels. And everything you could include in your skincare or hygiene routine.

5. Laptop

You can reply to your emails and register with friends and family from your smartphone. However, keeping your laptop in your bag overnight will help you do your schoolwork and assignments more efficiently. Also, if you pack your laptop in your bag, this will ensure that it travels safely to your new home. To guarantee the safety of your electronics, you should pack any cameras, tablets or game consoles in your bag overnight to protect them from damage during your move.

How to Pack an Overnight BagIn addition, it is important to remember that any charger for your electronics must be included in the overnight moving bag

6. Change of clothes

Although you may know exactly where all your clothes are stored after packing for a move, it may take some time to unpack everything. It’s important to pack a couple of comfortable outfits, but make sure you don’t worry about getting dirty. In the end, you will move a lot of objects, organize, unpack and do a fair amount of cleaning. It is also important to keep your pajamas close so that you can sleep peacefully.

7. Notebook

Although you may not have enough time to write a lot during the first few nights at a new address, a notebook and some pens can be extremely useful for any move.

If you bring a notebook and writing utensils in your overnight moving bag, you can write down all the important things that you may need in your new apartment. In addition, it will help you record all the notes about your new apartment. Regardless of whether there is a hole in the wall or a stain on the carpet, it is important to write these problems down in a notebook so that you can tell your homeowner or apartment manager later. Despite the fact that minor issues cannot be corrected by the administration of your apartment, noting it down, you will not pay for these scratches and abrasions when leaving.

If you want to really use your notebook, you can also sketch out the floor plan of your apartment and draw where your things should go. Whether you are an interior decorator or not, this can be a great way to optimize the storage space.

8. Bedding

Your pillows, sheets, and blankets can be some of the most important things you can pack in your overnight bag. Without your bedding, it would be incredibly difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep the whole night.

How to Pack an Overnight BagSleeping on clean sheets can also calm you down and prepare you for the long day of unpacking

9. Snacks

Although you may decide to treat yourself to takeout food during your first night in your new apartment, surviving on fast food and takeaway can be expensive, even if only for one night. Pack a few sandwich packages with snacks that you don’t need to store in the refrigerator (in case you need to wait to connect a mini-fridge). Granola bars, apples and a trail mix – these are additional snacks, which can be included in the overnight moving bag. In addition, they will keep you energized and motivated to unpack after the move.

What to Pack In An Overnight Bag for Your Kids’ Sleepover

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When it comes to regular overnight visits, you want to equip your kids to eventually take responsibility for packing all of their own stuff. After all, you don’t want the responsibility — and anxiety — of that left-behind toy or homework assignment to rest on your shoulders. Print a copy of this packing list and use it to teach your children how to pack their own overnight bags.


How to Pack an Overnight Bag

___ Toothbrush
___ Toothpaste
___ Hairbrush
___ Hair accessories (if needed)
___ Hair products (spray bottle, gel, etc.)
___ Shampoo and/or conditioner (if needed)
___ Body wash or soap (if needed)


How to Pack an Overnight Bag

___ Pajamas/sleep attire
___ Jeans/pants/shorts (one per day)
___ Tops (one for each day)
___ Undergarments (one pair per day)
___ Socks (one pair per day)
___ Shoes (if additional shoes are necessary)
___ Sweatshirt
___ Outerwear (as needed)


How to Pack an Overnight Bag

___ Books to read
___ Homework assignments
___ Journal and pen/pencil
___ Favorite stuffed animal or toy
___ Games

Seasonal Items

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

In Cold Weather, Pack:
___ Winter coats
___ Gloves
___ Hat
___ Boots
In Warm Weather, Pack:
___ Swimsuit
___ Beach towel
___ Sandals
___ Sunblock

How to Pack an Overnight BagWhether it’s for work or for pleasure, you’ve had your share of overnight trips, and you’ve probably experienced packing way too much or way too little for the occasion. To help you out, here are a few tried and tested tips to make sure that you don’t needlessly bring your whole closet with you:

Check the weather and double-check your itinerary

Any smart traveler knows that no matter how long or how short your trip may be, it’s always important to check the weather of your destination. You’ll also need to take into account what your itinerary is—are you there for a wedding? A business event? Or just for R&R? Keep these in mind before you consider the outfits you’ll be bringing.

Go with basic colors and try to stick to a palette

Leave your fancy patterns at home and settle for basic outfits you can mix and match. (Personally, I always go for either plain black or white clothes because you can easily wear the colors together and you’ll only need a few accessories to either dress a piece up or down.)

Bring only one pair of denim jeans (or shorts) and reuse it

In case you didn’t know, denim doesn’t need to be washed after one use. In fact Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh famously said that there was a pair of jeans he hasn’t washed for a year, while journalist and CNN primary anchor Anderson Cooper has admitted to only washing his jeans maybe twice in six months. Granted that both live in temperate countries and that you’ll need to wash your denim pieces more often if you’re based in a humid place like the Philippines, the point is that they’ll survive a few years without you running to the laundromat. It’s fine to reuse them. How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Bring one flexible piece of outerwear

Depending on the weather of your destination, bring one piece of either light or heavy outerwear that can fit both a casual and a more dressed-up look.

Bring extra underwear

If there’s one thing that’s okay to overpack a little, it’s your underwear. Always bring an extra pair of bra and panties. Underwear is important, as these pieces are the first ones to get soaked in sweat, plus breakthrough bleeding can happen any time in the middle of your cycle—you’d want to always be clean and comfy as you travel, after all.

Bring only one pair of shoes if you can, two at most

If you’re heading out of town for an event, it’s pretty logical to bring two pairs of shoes—one which you’ll already be wearing during the trip and one for the event. The trick is to keep both pairs simple and light. If possible, wear flats or low heels for easier packing. For a personal excursion, however, one pair of sandals or slip-ons can suffice.

Invest in small containers you can transfer your beauty and skincare products into

Don’t bring those bulky, heavy moisturizer and serum bottles with you. Instead, transfer pea-sized amounts in smaller containers. You can also get yourself one of those hanging organizes that you can put all your toiletries in, so they don’t get squished in your bag.

Bring accessories and place them in a small, clear bag

Since you’re sticking with pretty basic clothing colors, don’t be afraid to accessorize! You can bring two pairs of statement earrings (one of which you’ll already be wearing during your ride) and maybe a watch and a bracelet you can wear together or separately so you can easily change up your look with minimal effort.

Bring a couple of clear, reusable, and resealable bags

In the occasion that you’ll have to pack in a wet bathing suit, these reusable and resealable bags are life savers. Bring two (or five, just in case) and simply fold them into one of your bag’s pockets.

Bring a small bag that’s just enough for your ID, your money, and your phone

No need to bring your huge everyday shoulder bag to the trip. Instead, opt for a light purse you can bring your basics in while your main luggage stays in your hotel room.

Travel Tip – Packing for an Overnight Trip

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

I will never forget a flight I took in January 2012.

I was flying to Chicago for the start of a hectic multi-city trip – Chicago, Columbus, and Las Vegas. 10 days. All in a carry-on.

As I boarded the first flight out of Newark, I struck up a conversation with the woman behind me in line. She carried an overstuffed tote and a small carry-on suitcase, like myself.

“I hope my bag comes first in the baggage claim,” she remarked. “I have a meeting to get to.”
“How long will you be in Chicago for?”
“Oh, just a night,” she replied.


That exchange remains fresh in my mind, two years later, every time I pack. I thought of her Tuesday morning as I packed for my overnight business trip in Illinois.

One night. Everything in my Lo & Sons bag.

It’s entirely possible. And as I breezed through the LaGuardia and O’Hare airports, it was freeing. And now I’m going to show you how to do the same.

Since my meeting was scheduled for the afternoon I arrived, I wore my business casual uniform of slacks, a silk blouse, and pointed-toe flats on the airplane. I packed a pair of underpants and a clean blouse for traveling home the next day, and a chemise to wear at night. All the clothes were rolled and packed at the bottom of the bag, to conserve space and potentially embarrassing moments in my meeting. I kept the jewelry to a minimum (long necklace and three bangles from Alanna Bess, a watch from Coach, and my wedding band) and wore them all on the flight.

My pre-packed toiletry kit went straight in the bag, and I packed my makeup as I applied it in this case. I keep a set of brushes and a Beauty Blender pre-packed in my makeup bag to reduce the packing/unpacking to a minimum. Powder, a brush, and lipstick went into the small zippered pouch and was tossed in the front section of my bag, along with my apartment keys. I slipped my hairbrush after I packed my clothes, and then tossed in my toiletry case and makeup bag.

These pair. That’s it. Comfortable enough to walk through airports and parking lots, and elegant enough for meetings. One pair is all you need for such a short trip.

My laptop, Kindle, and notebook slid into the laptop pocket in the bag. Rather than carrying my full chargers bag, I selected the laptop and phone chargers and packed them in the interior zip pocket, along with a handful of business cards and a spare pen. Headphones were packed at the top of the bag, along with a scarf.

My GiGi wallet never left my wrist from the Uber ride to the airport. It made my two trips through security a breeze (mobile boarding pass – win. Lounge outside of security – fail), as well as exiting the airport in my rental car.

Moral of the story – don’t check in a bag for an overnight trip. And try to pack it in a single bag. The smaller, the better.

I’d love to know – what was your most proud moment when it came to packing for a trip? COMMENT below and share your story!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Welcome to the second installment in this series of items that can easily get overlooked on wedding days! (Or pushed until the last second & then something inevitably gets left behind!)

If you missed the first article, be sure to jump over here to read about how to prep your dress & veil.

When I’m lounging at home, I can wear one outfit all week. But when I go on vacation, I’m probably going to change clothes at least 3 times a day, so I better pack 32 outfits for 4 days.

Sounds about right to me!

I’m a firm believer in over packing, & I think most girls are with me on this, so this blog post may be a bit unnecessary. Basically, pack as if you are spending the night in a hotel even if you aren’t. You’ll be glad you did.

In my next post, I go in detail over several items that usually get overlooked but come in handy on wedding days.

If you’re the bride or groom, your overnight bag for your wedding weekend should not be the same thing as your honeymoon suitcase!

When packing for your wedding day, only pack things you’ll need the night before & the day of your wedding. If you’re going to the tropics for your honeymoon, you don’t need to be digging through 7 bikinis & 3 floppy hats to find your wedding jewelry. That just adds clutter to the chaos.

Your honeymoon bag can sometimes be packed a few days or weeks in advance. If you’re going somewhere with a vastly different temperature, chances are most of the clothes you’ll pack won’t be things you need the week of the wedding.

Anything you can do early that doesn’t have to be done the week of the wedding will help alleviate unnecessary stress.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

pack backups

When I say “backup”, I don’t mean “one.” I mean a “spare.” Plan on someone leaving something at home. It always happens.

Even though you’re having a professional do your hair & makeup, pack your makeup, a hairbrush, & curling iron. You never know when your pro has to cancel or is late due to a medical emergency or a pileup on the interstate. I once had a pro fail to show up for the bridal session hair & makeup, & the bride & I had to make do with what we had. (She still looked stunning!)

Even though you already have your special blue lacy underthings to wear, pack a back up or two. You just never know.

Pack a pair of socks. Because it might be freezing. If your wedding shoes are cowboy boots, definitely make sure you have those socks!

If you’re flying to a wedding, pack your most essential essentials in your carry-on (following the 3oz rule of course. We don’t need you arrested on top of showing up with nothing.)

I recently went to Portugal, but my suitcase decided to take a trip of its own & didn’t show up to our hotel until LITERALLY two hours before we headed back to the airport 6 days later. (I really wish I had had a GoPro on it to figure out where all it went.) Thankfully, I overpacked my carry-on & had a few extra outfits & most of my toiletries with me.

bonus tip for the bride & groom

If anything in your overnight bags needs to be transferred to your honeymoon bag (like your toothbrush or prescription meds), it wouldn’t hurt to make a physical list ahead of time & hand it off to your maid of honor to make sure those items get moved!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

The next post coming up includes FREE PRINTABLES for essentials that usually get overlooked when packing for a wedding weekend.

To recap, here are 11 items to pack in your hospital bag.

  • Loose, warm and comfortable clothing.
  • Your own pillow.
  • Your own toiletries.
  • Flip-flops.
  • Earplugs and earphones.
  • Comfort flicks.
  • Escapist books.
  • Laundry lists: of your medications, doctors and family and friends.

What should I pack for an overnight stay at the hospital?

Night clothes (avoid snaps and long gowns), bathrobe, and sturdy nonskid slippers or shoes if staying overnight. Comfortable clothes to wear home. Personal toiletry items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb or brush, deodorant, and razor, although these items are available at no charge during your stay.

What should I pack for an overnight hospital bag when having a baby?

Hospital Bag Essentials for the Birth Partner

  1. Snacks and water. Labor can be thirsty work even for supportive partners.
  2. Phone, camera and/or video camera, plus chargers and batteries.
  3. Clothes.
  4. Toiletries.
  5. Spare glasses or spare contact lenses.
  6. Small pillow.
  7. Entertainment.

What should I pack for day surgery?

What to pack for hospital

  • a nightdress or pyjamas.
  • day clothes.
  • clean underwear.
  • dressing gown and slippers.
  • small hand towel.
  • toiletries – soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant.
  • sanitary towels or tampons.
  • razor and shaving materials.

What should I wear to hospital after surgery?

Packing for Your Overnight Stay

  1. Comfortable loose-fitting clothes and cotton underpants; waistbands should be loose and comfortable.
  2. Glasses case or contact lenses case and supplies, if you wear them.
  3. Inhaler, if you have asthma (Leave all other medications at home)
  4. Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  5. Socks.
  6. Robe.
  7. Nightgown.

Do hospitals provide toiletries?

Toiletries – To be more comfortable, take a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chap stick, makeup, hairbrush, shampoo, soap, lotion, hair dryer, etc. Sanitary pads – The hospital can provide you with these, but many women feel more comfortable when they bring their favorite brand with them.

How much does a night in the hospital cost?

A typical in-patient stay in a hospital is about 5 days, and that may cost you over $10,000.This figure does not include major procedures, ambulance fees, or other charges. It’s easy to see how a short stay in the hospital may leave your family in a difficult financial situation.

When Should I pack my hospital bag?

When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag? You should have your hospital bag ready to go between the 32 and 35 weeks of pregnancy. You may start packing it at any time in your pregnancy, but it is important to have everything packed by your 35th week in case baby comes early.

Do I need to bring diapers to hospital?

Diapers/Wipes- The hospital will provide these for you so no need to break into your own stash yet. Tip: under the baby bassinet there will be drawers filled with diapers and wipes. Before you leave the hospital take EVERYTHING in those drawers. Nobody wants to miss out on free diapers.

What dads should pack for hospital?

What should be on my list to bring?

  • Plenty of loose change.
  • Digital camera, camcorder, or smartphone.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • A change of clothes.
  • Swimwear, if your partner is planning a water birth.
  • Helpful tips for labour.
  • Painkillers, for you.
  • Snacks and drinks.

Is it OK to use deodorant before surgery?

As a general rule, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight before surgery. In some cases, you may be allowed to drink clear liquids up to a few hours before your anesthesia. Bathe or shower the day of surgery. Do not wear makeup, lotion, powder, deodorant or nail polish.

Can you be left alone after anesthesia?

Yes, you must make arrangements for a responsible adult to take you home after your anesthetic or sedation. You will not be allowed to leave alone or drive yourself home. If you have local anesthesia only, with no sedation, it may be possible to go home without someone to accompany you.

Do you breathe on your own under general anesthesia?

Intubation is required when general anesthesia is given. The anesthesia drugs paralyze the muscles of the body, including the diaphragm, which makes it impossible to take a breath without a ventilator. Most patients are extubated, meaning the breathing tube is removed, immediately after surgery.

Is a mastectomy painful?

You will have some pain after breast surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy or breast reconstruction). For most people, this pain is temporary. Pain right after surgery is usually due to injury to the skin or muscles.

Is a mastectomy major surgery?

First, a mastectomy is considered major surgery. In “a conventional mastectomy, you remove the breast tissue and the nipple with an incision,” and this may be performed “in conjunction with a plastic surgeon to conduct an immediate reconstruction,” she says.

Do you wear clothes during surgery?

Leave your jewelry at home so you won’t worry about losing it at the hospital. Clothing—While you are a patient in the hospital your clothes will be placed in a bag with your name on it. You will be given a hospital gown to wear during the operation and while you are recovering.

orange silk singlet

What do you think of SJ’s list? Why not tell us what you’d pack for an overnight stay? Just to make it interesting, let’s assume you don’t know what the weather will be like, and that you may go even out for a nice dinner or breakfast too.

moisturiser, light foundation, lipstick, eye shadow and mascara.

Nickers and thong.

high heels (maybe, depending) or flats.

That would do for o’nite, but less if I knew where I was going.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Geez Phyl, it’s over night. lol. you will need a large suit case for that lot. 🙂

Change of undergarments

outfit for next day

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Nice lists, although I probably wouldn’t pack a thong Phyl! I do like how you took care of the torch and clock first though!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Pyl, why only one thong? Are you an amputee?

I always wear a pair of thongs, and pack another pair. I rarely go anywhere that requires shoes and socks.

No, you’re thinking of Peg.

LOL D. and I forgot the most important two, toothpaste and brush oh and deodorant.

BUT hey in my defence where am I being taken for the night and two days? Gotta be prepared.

You forgot your vitamins Phyl 🙂

SO VERY TRUE Robi. BUT they would have to fill my back pack lol but of course they would have to go. Silly me I would just take two days worth so no need for the back pack.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

I’d have to put my entire wardrobe on mini wheels.

I just never know what to wear. LOL

Now that’s my style of “overnight” bag!!

lol Leon, er the thong was to wear under jeans. Hate knicker lines under jeans.

Oh, that sort of thong. At first I thought it was Madam Lash replying.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

I too wear thongs under my jeans. A pair of them way down under the end of the legs where my feet stick out.

Do your seams show?

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Keeping it light like Deanna, would use my phone as the clock and as the torch along with a charger and a back up charger case in case of no electricity but would add earplugs absolutely essential if it is a noisy place.

Pyjamas a top amd skirt toiletries shoes jacket a camera and a book.

Wouldn’t go anywhere without my goats’ milk bubble bath crystals and at least one scented candle!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Thea, the mind boggles

How do entice your goats into a milk bubble bath?

Do your goats get distressed when you take their milk bubble bath crystals?

Do your giraffes get jealous of all the attention you give to you goats?

Do you take part in Satanic rites?

Gentlemen. in answer to your questions. I do have very hypnotic eyes. so beware. my “Satanic” rites can reach far and wide.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Hawkeye. no the giraffes don’t get jealous. they’re happy creatures and lead a very joyous.. carefree lifestyle. When I run out of goats milk. I milk them for all they’re worth.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

The first and most important thing that gets packed in my overnight bag is my nice firm countoured pillow.

It actually goes with me everywhere, even to China and on a Mediterrenean Cruise. And it will be coming along to Morroco in a couple of months. I don’t leave home without it.

Another one off to Morroco. wonderful country Hawkeye. hope you enjoy it as much as I did on my visit a couple of years ago..

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

I hope you dont mind Thea. I just love your eyes. in fact I love them so much I am pinching them.

Only until tomorrow when the full moon is over. lolol.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

You’re very welcome cranky. I always carry a couple of spares. These produce a great “glassy” stare.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

If you take medication please don’t forget that. I agree with a small torch. If you aren’t alone you don’t want to walk into somebody. Also you could walk into furniture or other fittings. Not all places have light switches close to their beds. Also there could be a power failure. Been caught too often in places I’m not familiar with. I also use the clock in my mobile phone.

Regardless of whether you are travelling or not -in your handbag or wallet – you should carry a list of next of kin and other emergency contacts with phone numbers, any medical conditions you know you have, medications you are taking. and allergies. Medications and allergies are important as Medical Staff do not want to give you anything that could interact with current medications or any you are allergic. If you are sick or injured and can’t give details, as much as they hate invading your privacy, and ambulance crews and staff in hospitals will check if they can find a list for the reasons above. 1. They don’t to have to do tests not needed or give incorrect medication/treatment. It can mean the difference between life and death //quality of life. I have been advised to do that by Ambulance crews, Local GP, Emergency Dept in hospital, and a friend who is a Registered Nurse. None of them knew it been suggested to me by others.

Contributed By Dawn Allcot

If you’re a caregiver, you never know when a midnight emergency room visit will result in hours in the emergency room waiting area or even a hospital stay for your loved one. Likewise, if you’re a caregiver who lives apart from your aging parent, you never know when you’ll be called to stay the night in their home. In either of these scenarios, having an emergency bag packed in advance saves time and energy. Here are 10 things to keep in your emergency bag. Keep your emergency bag in your car at all times so you will always be prepared for any contingency, wherever you are.

1. Change of clothes (including socks and underwear)

You never know when you’ll be stuck somewhere overnight. In addition, caregivers often wind up in the situation of having their clothes soiled unexpectedly. The clothes in your emergency bag don’t have to be fancy. Yoga pants and a t-shirt or sweatshirt, depending on the season, are fine. If you’re a mom of young children, include outfits for your kids plus diapers if needed.

2. Healthy, non-perishable snack

A protein bar, trail mix, peanuts, or a granola bar are perfect to keep you going when you don’t have time to stop and eat. Read this article for more tips on how to eat healthy, whether you’re on-the-go or at home.

Always carry a bottle of water in your emergency bag. Whether you’re using it hydrate, wash a sticky toddler, or use as coolant for your car, you don’t know when or where you’ll need it – but odds are you’ll need it.

4. First Aid Kit

A good first aid kit should include Band-aids, Neosporin, ace bandage and clips, vinyl gloves, alcohol swabs, and a thermometer as the bare necessities. It’s easier to buy a self-contained kit than to try to put one together yourself.

5. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and antihistamine

Whether it’s to stave off that impending headache or give to someone who’s sprained an ankle, these drugs are must-haves for every emergency bag. While Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, both work as painkillers, not every drug is suitable for every occasion, so carry both. An antihistamine alleviates symptoms from seasonal allergies, bug bites and allergic reactions.

6. Flashlight and extra batteries

In a pinch, you can use your phone as a flashlight, but you’ll drain your battery quickly. An LED flashlight is small, lightweight and incredibly useful. Pack one in your emergency bag and you won’t be sorry.

7. Portable cell phone battery and wall plug/USB cell phone charger

Chances are you already have a car charger for your phone in your car. But if you’re stuck somewhere like the hospital, for hours, a wall charger comes in handy. If you’re on the go, a portable cell phone battery, which attaches to your phone via a USB charger, is indispensable.

Whether it’s $5 or $50, stow whatever you can afford in your emergency bag. This could be used for vending machines or an emergency where the power goes out and you need to make a purchase using cash.

9. Feminine products

No explanation necessary, right?

10. Preparing an Emergency Bag for a Real Emergency
The “bare bones” emergency bag items listed above will help you with an overnight emergency. But with a few modifications, you can create an emergency bag for a natural disaster or other event that may require evacuation. To create a true “bug out bag” emergency kit, add:

– 1 gallon of water per day you expect to be away
– Water purification tablets
– MREs or other non-perishable, easy-to-eat food items (ideally, 1600+ calories per day)
– Chocolate bars (if the world is going to end, you don’t want to be without chocolate, do you?)
– A waterproof box containing copies of your birth certificate, marriage certificate, children’s birth certificates and any other important paperwork you wouldn’t want to be without or lose in a disaster.

With these emergency bag essentials, you’ll be set for anything that comes your way.

Whenever you move from one place to another, there’s a chance you’ll stay elsewhere during the move. Some people stay in hotels; some stay with friends or relatives; and others remain in their virtually empty current homes the night(s) before a move. In order to be comfortable and ready for anything, you need your daily essentials and other important items easily accessible. The question is what do you need to keep in an overnight bag and/or luggage until you’re settled in your new home?

Important Papers

Any personal documentation including birth and marriage certificates, real estate documentation, licenses, car titles, school transcripts, medical records, banking and tax statements, and bills and receipts to present at closing should be kept with and not packed away on a moving truck or in storage. You could need this information handy during closing proceedings or if unforeseen problems arise in other areas of your life.


Before even putting your house on the market, consider collecting your valuables like expensive jewelry and precious heirlooms and storing them with a trusted friend or relative or renting a safety deposit box. This safeguards your beloved possessions from disappearing during walk-throughs or moving. During the move, keep jewelry on your person, so it’s not lost or walks off with an unsavory someone.

Money and Credit/Debit Cards

Storing money and/or your credit or debit cards in a moving box – you may as well throw them out the window! Keep money and bank cards in your wallet/purse at all times. First of all, you’ll know they’re safely by your side. Second, if you need cash when dining out or purchasing supplies mid-move, they will be easily accessible.


How did we exist before cell phones and other portable devices? Make sure you pack your cellphone, tablet, laptop and other devices along with their requisite chargers. These items are easily stolen and serve no purpose packed in a box. While you’re between homes, you’ll need to stay connected with family, real estate and moving professionals, work and other important folks.

Toiletries and Medications

Feel fresh by stocking up on your daily toiletries including toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, deodorant, shaving implements, perfume and make-up. Also, ensure you keep an adequate supply of vital prescriptions and medicine in your bag. Take a box of baby wipes, too, for a quick refresher.

Cleaning Supplies and Paper Goods

You never know what you need till it’s gone. When you move into your new place, you’ll want to clean it even if it appears tidy. Bring a box of basic cleaning supplies with you. Also, don’t forget that you already packed your dishes, glasses and utensils away. Purchase paper plates and cups, paper towels and plastic utensils, so you’re not eating the food right off the floor! Stay hydrated by taking some bottled water with you.

Don’t Forget the Kids!

What about the kids?! Sure, you brought their diapers or glasses, but what about things they REALLY can’t live without? Remember to keep their favorite blanket or stuffed animal for sweet dreams insurance. Bring their handheld games, books and compact but entertaining toys. If they’re staying with you throughout the moving process, unless they’re old enough to help, they’re bound to be bored. Keep them busy and moving will be a breeze!

Did you ever forget or pack away something you absolutely needed during a move?

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Somya Abrol | May 29, 2015

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

It’s not what you think it is. We’re not giving you gyan about “protective gear” – though, that wouldn’t be a bad idea! Anyway, staying over at the boyfriend’s, especially the first few times, can bring on some very, very mixed feelings – “I can’t wait to fall asleep on his shoulder” and “What if he sees my not-so-pretty face when I’m in deep, deep slumber?” or “Oh god! What if he sees me drooling?!” We get it – it can be nerve-wrecking, spending a night at your Significant Other’s place. And we’re here to help! Though we can’t help you with awkward sleep positions, we sure as hell can tell you what to pack for your overnight voyage on the “love boat”. You can thank us later!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

1. A bag of toiletries

Now now, don’t go on thinking we’re suggesting basics here. Besides the regular toothbrush-hair comb-moisturizer routine, here are some must-haves for the night you’re SO going to need:

Body Mist: You don’t want to drown him in perfume, and you don’t want to be smelling like your “natural self” after a looooong day at work/college. Your mid-path answer is a body mist, just so he doesn’t smell you before he touches you!

Vaseline: Though lip balms are a great go-to after an extended lip-locking session, Vaseline petroleum jelly is the safest, most effective replenisher for luscious lips. Go on, a mini one wouldn’t make your night bag heavier.

Tampons: In case it’s “that time of the month”, tampons always work better when you’re trying to cosy up with someone. Why? Because you don’t have to worry about sleeping in awkward positions, and it keeps your Pink Princess all nice and clean. If you’re new to tampons, here’s everything you need to know about tampons.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

2. Lingerie (Lacy AND Regulars)

Come on, this one is a no-brainer. You obviously don’t want to get into bed with him in your granny panties! So, pack a pair of your prettiest delicates, AND keep an extra pair of cotton ones for the next morning, because you don’t want to suffocate your sensitive areas with satin for too long. Given the heat, a cotton pair of underpants is just what you need when heading out the next morning!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

3. Mint: The Last-Minute Saviour

4. Light Makeup

You don’t want to be looking like a WHOLE different version of yourself the next morning; just a light base, some kajal/eyeliner and lip balm is just what you need to make you look morning fresh! Look at it this way – if you’re conscious about being around him without makeup at night, light makeup works just fine!

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

5. Pajamas. JUST Pajamas

6. A Towel And Some Wipes


Yeah, we mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again. Do. Not. Forget. You never, ever want to be stranded high and dry, do you? So stuff those condoms into your bag already! 😛

Travel Tips

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Brides need to remember to pack an overnight bag with essential items. (Photo: katielittle25/iStock/Getty Images )

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Often dubbed the “biggest party you’ll ever throw,” weddings come with a high price tag – and one that’s more than just financial. Planning the big shindig may be physically and mentally exhausting for many couples and requires a quick getaway the night of the wedding, even if it’s just to a local hotel, to enjoy some sorely needed rest and relaxation. Packing the essential items in your overnight bag makes the retreat that much less stressful.

Practical Items

Pack a semi-formal or cocktail dress if you wish to leave the reception in something other than your bridal gown. Consider this option if you don’t wish to walk through a hotel lobby or endure a long car ride in your wedding dress. If you’re going to stay in your bridal gown, you need a bag for storing jewelry, a garment bag for your dress and a box for shoes. You should bring a bag to hold the numerous bobby pins you might have in your hair. For those heading to a hotel, make certain you bring your credit cards and some form of identification to check-in. Pack a nonperishable late-night snack for you and your groom. Many couples are so busy hosting their own receptions, they don’t get the chance to eat a proper meal.

Recovering From the Big Day

After spending the day done-up in heavy makeup and an elaborate hairstyle, make sure you pack makeup remover and high-quality shampoo and conditioner, the latter of which helps remove copious amounts of hairspray. A good supply of toiletries in general, such as contact solution, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, facial wash, body wash and lotion, helps you recover from a long day.

Don’t Forget the Romance

Romance is a major part of any wedding night. Add a little spice to your evening by packing fun pieces of lingerie, particularly any you might have received as bridal-shower gifts. Bring one of your favorite CDs or a bottle of your favorite wine to create a romantic setting. Some couples exchange gifts in private on their wedding nights. Make sure you pack your groom’s gift for such an event. Depending on your timeline for starting a family, you may need contraception as well.

The Next Day

Pack comfortable shoes, clothes and undergarments to wear the day following your wedding. In addition to your other toiletries, you’ll need makeup and deodorant to get through the day. Many couples make plans to meet family, friends and out-of-town guests for breakfast the morning after. Make certain you not only bring your phone but your charger so you can stay in touch with your guests. Pack a camera so you can commemorate the special occasion and the day’s events. After a grueling planning period and a long wedding day, treat yourself to a day of leisure. Be sure to pack a bathing suit or lounge wear if you’re staying at a hotel with a pool or spa.


Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

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Deciding what items to bring during an overnight stay depends on the type of travel and destination. For instance, packing for a short beach stay, overnight camping, a sleepover at a friend’s house or an out-of-town business meeting each requires different items. Whatever the travel purpose, it is best to pack light while still making sure you have the essentials.

Overnight Bag

An ideal overnight bag must be flexible and reliable. A bag with secure yet easily accessible pockets also makes it convenient for you to store travel documents and access often-used items. Depending on your more specific needs, a good overnight bag can be a duffel, small piece of luggage, beach bag, folding bag or backpack. Take into account any requirements or restrictions, such as having to comply with an airline baggage size limit or fitting it a locker, or durability needs, such as for a hiking trip.


If traveling internationally, you need your passport. You can use your cellphone, laptop or another storage device for encrypted (password-protected) copies of your travel documents — including your passport, e-tickets or paper tickets, passport photos, health insurance, driver’s license and other ID — and a list of phone numbers for your hotels or hosts or for lost credit cards and health insurance information. Emailing copies to yourself serves as a good backup. You may also prefer having photocopies with you for the most important documents you might need. A physical map of your destination is helpful even if you are bringing a GPS unit, to avoid problems with a low battery.

Clothes, Toiletries and Sleeping Items

Bring more clothes than you typically need overnight in case your clothes are stained or you need an extra shirt to play basketball with old pals. Pack basic toiletries in small containers, and store them in a bag to protect the other items you have packed. Consider also bringing your own pillow.

Snacks, Electronics and Emergency Items

Food items like nutrition bars, chips, sandwiches, fruits, cheese and bottled water or canned drinks are handy during travel. Be sure they are portable, properly packed and do not spoil easily. For your gadgets, always bring your chargers and extra batteries, especially for your cellphone and GPS unit. Bring prescribed and over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers or antacids. Have a watch, flashlight, all-purpose knife and first aid kit with you. Extra pairs of glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses may also come in handy.


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About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.

Planning your first trip out with your new baby? Consult our diaper bag checklist before you go. A well-stocked diaper bag is something you just can’t live without, whether you are heading out for baby’s first check-up, or you are planning a longer visit with family and friends.

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Picking a Diaper Bag

When you are buying a diaper bag, pick one that is light-weight and has lots of pockets. Unless you plan to carry a purse, consider one that is big enough to hold a few items for you as well, such as your keys and wallet. Keep in mind that cloth diapers are usually fluffier than disposables, so when you decide to use cloth, it will be a good investment to choose a from our list of larger designer diaper bags.

The Essentials

As you pack for your trip with baby, here’s a diaper bag checklist of the essentials:

  • Diapers (2-3 for an afternoon out, and up to 12 for an overnight stay)
  • Baby wipes – you can pack cloth wipes in a wetbag or ziplock bag, or you can buy a travel-size pack. Even though I usually took wet washcloths when we traveled, I always kept a sample-size pack of wipes in the bottom of the bag for emergencies.
  • Rash cream (optional)
  • Changing pad or a simple towel
  • 2 wetbags or a couple of plastic grocery bags to bring home your cloth diapers and any soiled clothing

Other Helpful Items

And don’t forget to pack:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Change of clothes for baby (and possibly a clean shirt for Mommy)
  • Bottles and formula if bottle-feeding, spare breast pads if breast-feeding
  • A bib
  • Baby food depending on age of baby
  • Snacks and a bottle of water for Mom and Dad and older kids
  • A couple of small baby toys
  • Large receiving blanket – can be used for swaddling, as a breast-feeding cover, to lay down underneath baby, or for many other uses!

Just in Case.

You may also want to add the following (but if you do, be sure to keep your bag out of your baby’s reach!):

  • Baby Advil or other painkiller (optional)
  • Tide to Go or other stain remover (optional) – once baby has started solid foods, treating food stains early can make your laundry efforts easy later on!

What you should take with you really depends on how long you’re planning to stay and the age of your baby. Newborns usually need at least one extra change of clothing for when they spit up all over (and you may want to pack a clean shirt for yourself too!)

If you buy extra supplies, you’ll find that you can leave most of your diaper bag packed all of the time. All you’ll need to add is a few clean diapers, a clean wet bag, a few wipes (if you’re using cloth wipes), and double check the diaper bag checklist to make sure you haven’t run out of any of the other supplies.

Tip: When you get home, as you remove the dirty cloth diapers from your bag, take an extra minute or two to re-stock your bag with clean diapers and clothes, plus any snacks or other supplies you may have used up, so that your diaper bag is ready to go whenever you are. This habit sometimes takes a few trips to establish, but you’ll thank yourself later next time you’re running late or if you’re ever faced with an emergency.

At Thinking About Cloth Diapers, we’ve got reliable, up-to-date cloth diaper research to save you time so you can get on with the other things you want to do.

Doctors and charities have warned that people with suspected Covid-19 are going to hospital unprepared

How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Vulnerable people have been urged to keep overnight bags in their homes in case they are rushed to hospital with coronavirus.

Doctors and charities have warned that people with suspected Covid-19 are going to hospital unprepared and without personal necessities, including phone chargers, leaving them unable to contact loved ones.

One doctor warned that some patients are “dying alone” and should be encouraged to be more prepared.

Hospital visitors are currently prohibited, due to restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the virus, leaving family and friends unable to bring in clothes, food or daily necessities should unwell relatives need them.

The charity Age UK urged vulnerable people to pack an overnight bag, including regular medicines, to ensure they are prepared.

Caroline Abrahams, the organisation’s director, said: “While no one wants to think about going into hospital, it makes sense at any time to be prepared and now more than ever. Getting a bag ready while you are feeling well just in case you need to go to hospital costs nothing but might pay off handsomely later on.

“For people on regular medicines, it would also be worth noting down what you’re taking and the times of day you have them, particularly if you’re on more than one medication. It would also be wise to include copies of any existing care plans and a note of other things you’d like your healthcare team to know about, like special dietary requirements.

“If you have a spare mobile phone charger, pop that in as well with the phone numbers of your nearest and dearest.”

Dr Sharon Raymond, a London GP working for NHS 111, said an overnight bag would help people be “practically prepared” in case they are suddenly admitted to hospital with the virus.

“It is important that people are prepared,” she said. “What are the things you are going to need? Who will be the person to speak for you when you can no longer speak for yourself?

“I have heard stories from colleagues of patients on wards not having their phone chargers and they want to contact their family. These are tragic situations, where people could be left dying alone.”