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How to pack for a weekend city break

You need to rethink your packing strategy if half of your closet ends up in suitcases for a weekend city trip. Part of the appeal of small getaways is the convenience of traveling lightly. You get a mini-vacation in a lively city without having to worry about lugging your life around behind you everywhere you go. Before you pack for your weekend break in the city, here's what you should keep in mind.

Comfort is Everything

Don't just pack your Paris runway outfits. You're going to walk around during the day, so you need comfortable shoes. Limit yourself to three pairs of shoes. Two pairs should be good for walking, such as flats and sneakers, while the third pair is for your nights out. Make sure the night out pair matches the outfits you're planning to wear.

Accessorize

Accessories are fine, but don't go over the top. Stick to a couple of necklaces, two sets of earrings and a bracelet that matches. Neutral colors, such as silver, will go with any outfit. You also don't need more than one evening purse and one day bag to get you through two or three days.

Mix It Up

Mixing and matching outfits is a great way to cut down on clothes. For example, you can bring two pairs of jeans to wear over a four-day trip if you pack four shirts that go with both pairs of jeans.

If you're packing dresses, don't go overboard just because the pieces don't take up as much space. Trying to cram too much in will result in wrinkled clothes. Pick one or two dresses to take along and preferably ones that match your night out shoes.

Embrace the Layers

Use layered clothes to keep yourself warm instead of taking bulky sweaters and jackets. Long-sleeved tees and hooded sweatshirts are very versatile layering pieces, as well as light cardigans.

Travel Size

Get travel-size everything for your health and beauty products. You can toss the items out when you're leaving, making unpacking when you get home even faster.

Don't drag entire bottles of your favorite shampoo and stylish products if you can help it. Buy small reusable bottles and fill those with the products you can't buy in travel sizes or if you're simply trying to trim your budget.

Plan Your Outfits

Plan your clothing choices beyond basic appearance. If you're traveling extremely light, for example, stick to darker clothes. If you spill something on yourself, it's less likely that anyone will notice the stain if you have to wear the piece again.

Ease Up on the Cosmetics

You don't need an entire makeup bag filled with stuff. Settle on one foundation or powder and your favorite eye shadow and lipstick. Stick to neutral tones you can match with all your outfits.

Use Your Handbag

If you're flying to the city, your handbag may count as a free carry-on. Put your essentials, such as your passport, into your purse. Extra bags may result in more fees, so you can save by packing as tightly as possible.

Go Wrinkle-resistant

All your clothes should be made from wrinkle-resistant fabric unless you plan on ironing during your trip. Check clothing tags and labels before you pack them for fabric information and consider ironing instructions a red flag.

Check Your Bags

Check what you've packed in advance the night before you leave. You may remember something important you forgot or find items you can remove. Repack loose items to gain more space. For example, heavier sneakers, should be packed at the bottom of your bag.

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