I enjoy talking about packing, and it’s probably my favourite task as a traveller. But occasionally, I still get stressed about making a list, especially now that I haven’t travelled for a while due to the closed borders.
But as I’m writing this, I have a spring trip which led me to the idea to might as well what my 3 weeks spring vacation packing list looks like. Perhaps you might find something valuable from it.
TIPS TO PACK SMARTLY
Personally, I don’t think there’s one rule that makes packing easier for everyone. Packing is a personal task, and so many unique things are on the list that makes it easy or hard individually. But don’t worry, I will share my general rule regarding packing.
I know this sounds easier than done because it is. However, when I say don’t overpack, I meant to be conscious of what you want to bring. It’s pretty basic really. For example, as a man, I’m not picky when it comes to shampoo, heck, I can use the free one from the hotel.
I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but understand this, shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries are often heavy and take up so much space. These items are available anywhere in the world.
It’s much easier to buy a small bottle of shampoo and a medium-sized toothpaste from a pharmacy or convenience store when you land at your destination – but I understand that people with sensitive skin or a specific type of hair will have to bring their own shampoo and soap.
One more thing about overpacking, you don’t really need 5 pairs of footwear or 3 different kinds of pullovers or jackets, especially if you are going to a place with a spring climate. You probably won’t need a tie either, and if you do, believe me, there are tons of rental places in big cities.
Make a list (free printable packing list)
I know this sounds basic, but it makes all the difference. I have been travelling for nearly a decade now. But whenever I stay in one place long enough, I often accumulate small items or lose some because the pair of footwear finally gave up.
I was once in this marketplace in Laos and bought a water bottle body bag. It’s made of wooden strings, looks really cool, and doesn’t take up too much space. But guess what, I probably used it once or twice because I stopped buying single-use water bottles, and when I do, my day backpack always has a pocket on the size for it.
And one time, I broke my universal plug adapter, forgot that I broke it, and only realised it at the airport. I had to shell out more than I should have. If I had had a list before I took the flight, I could have run into the shop and gotten one.
When making a list, it’s super helpful to make separate ones for different kinds. For example, a separate list for clothing, toiletries, documents, etc. If you are packing for your partner or children, you should also make a separate list for them.
We have a free printable packing list for different seasons. You can download it below:
Pack at least 3 days before
This is something I learned a few years ago. Packing everything you need to bring 3 days before gives you an idea of how much extra space you have or if you are bringing too much. Giving yourself enough time means you can make a decision if you want to pay for extra luggage or make a decision about which ones will make it to the trip and which ones wouldn’t.
We know it’s cheaper to add extra luggage online than to buy one at the airport. As you do this packing trick, I recommend you either make 1 kg extra space because airport scales are really hard to trust. You can also bring a packable digital luggage weighing scale with you in a pocket size.
Cabin bag vs Checkin
I started my travels as a person with two backpacks – one for my clothes and other essentials and one for my laptop and expensive items. Although I have a closet at my parent’s house filled with other travel luggage such as a hiking backpack and suitcases in case I need a different one for a specific trip.
A cabin bag only versus a check-in bag is a very different kind of travelling. Many people on Thanksgiving or Christmas trips will only bring one bag. People who go on a multi-month adventure prefer to have a big backpack or a suitcase to lug around.
My point is, this will depend on what you prefer. I’ve been on both sides and I have no answer which one is better.
There’s a subreddit group called “s/onebag” and it’s incredible how little these people can bring for their trip. Now that luggage fees are getting ridiculously expensive while many airlines only allow you to bring one bag, not more than 7 kgs, it’s understandable why “one bag travel” is taking off.
But if you don’t mind the fees (most people who are taking once-a-year trips don’t) then go for a check-in bag. If this is your annual trip and manages to save enough to splurge – go for it. There is no correct answer here, it all depends on your preference.
NOTE: The packing list sample below should fit on a 40-Litre backpack or suitcase and a small 15-Litre personal bag.
3 WEEKS SPRING VACATION PACKING LIST FOR WOMEN
Since I’m not a woman and don’t identify as one, I had to ask my friend Elizabeth to help me write a packing for women on what they bring on a 3-week spring trip.
“For spring, autumn, and winter trip, my main rule is to plan to wear layers instead of bringing a thick and heavy jacket. The only exemption is if I’m going to a very cold place and plan to do winter activities, then I bring a very warm jacket. Other than that, I instead pack clothing that I can wear on top of each other. I also carry my jacket on the plane instead of packing it in the suitcase.”
- 4 comfortable tops
- 1 long-sleeve top, lightweight
- 1 skirt
- 1 long and comfortable but lightweight trousers
- 2 yoga pants/gym pants
- 2 dresses
- 1 jumper/pullover (lightweight)
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 2 bras
- 1 sports bra – if planning to hike and do active tours like hiking, biking
- 3 pairs of regular socks
- 1 pair of wool/merinowool socks
- 1 pair of walking/running shoes
- 1 pair of sandals/walking sandals that are casual enough for a restaurant or even going out – Birkenstock soft bed is my favourite
- 1 pair of hiking shoes – if plan to do hiking (optional)
- microfibre towel – or not since hotels will provide this
- 1 bar of soap
- 1 bar of shampoo and conditioner
- 1 100ml toothpaste
- 1 toothbrush
- floss – 50 m
- 1 100 ml mouthwash – I just buy more when I land
- 1 deodorant
- 1 small body scrubber
- tampons/pads/menstrual cup
- I have these travel-sized containers
- eyebrow liner – both L.A. Girl brow pomade and Maybelline
- angle brush
- liquid foundation – I either go with e.l.f during winter or Maybelline for summer
- finishing powder
- mascara from Maybelline
- 1-2 eyeshadow palettes – from Urban Decay
- pocket mirror with LED lights
- facial wash
- tea tree oil
- vitamin c serum
- tea tree daily solution/serum
- edelweiss liquid peel
SPRING VACATION PACKING LIST FOR MEN
I personally find packing for spring and autumn because it’s deciding for a season that can be warmish or coldish. It’s hard to predict what the weather or temperature be like especially if you want to make sure that you pack the right items but at the same time have cool clothes to wear.
- 2 casual cotton shirts
- 1 button-down shirt – if it gets cold or if you plan to go to a nice restaurant
- light jumper/sweater
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 1 pair of shorts – if you plan to hike, make it a cargo shorts
- 5 underpants
- walking sandals
- closed shoes – suitable for walking, yet stylish
- 4 pairs of socks
- 100 ml shampoo
- 1 bar of soap
- microfibre towel – unless you plan to 100% stay in hotels
- 100 ml toothpaste
- 100 ml mouthwash
- shaving kit – travel size
SPRING VACATION PACKING LIST UNISEX
Besides personal items, there are others things you have to pack. Make sure you bring a camera, chargers, powerbank, and important travel documents.
- 1 notepad, 3 pens
- 1 power bank – I use a solar power bank, it’s great for hiking or long bus rides
- 2 USB/charger cords
- 1 phone charger
- 1 camera, charger
- 1 wired headphones
- 1 Bluetooth earbud
- Laptop and charger
- Bluetooth mouse and a mouse pad
- Bluetooth keyboard
- Pocket-sized extension cord
- Small-size tripod
- Travel adapter
- Prescription medicine – this is important if you’re taking one in case you can’t buy them at the destination, you should also pack your prescription letter and contact details of your doctor just in case
- First-aid kit – I always bring a pocket-size kit, and it’s been helpful on several occasions
- photocopy of your passport
- a digital copy of your passport
- evisa letter if needed (printed and digital copy) – I always get my evisa here
- a digital copy of your tickets and travel bookings – save a screenshot, it must be able to access without an internet connection
- travel insurance card/letter – this is my go-to travel insurance provider
- yellow fever card/certificate (if you’ve travelled to regions where Yellow Fever is prone in the last six months)
- onward ticket/flight to home – many countries require this, a digital copy is fine, I often rent an onward ticket for immigration purposes unless it’s required on a visa application at an embassy
- Address of your first accommodation/hotel – many countries will ask you to fill up an arrival card, and it will ask you to write the address of your first hotel/accommodation
As I mentioned before, I still travel with a 40L backpack most of the time but I also have other luggage that allows me to change packs depending on the type of trip. Below is a list of my favourite packs you can try:
- Haglöfs Tights Pro Medium
- Osprey Farpoint 40L
- Standard Luggage 40-50L
- Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
- Mountaintop Hiking Backpack 40L
- Osprey Ozone Wheeled Carry-on 42L
- Kelty Redwing 50L Backpack
- Briggs and Riley 21-inch Carry-On Wheel Suitcase
- Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage
- American Tourister Belle Voyage Expandable Softside
RECOMMENDED PACKING CUBES/COMPRESSION CUBE
- Amazon Basics 4-set
- Veken 6-pack with a laundry bag
- Eagle Creek 3-set
- Eagle Creek dirty/clean division
- Bagail compression packing cubes
- Well Traveled 8-pc packing cubes
OTHER BASIC TRAVEL TIPS
Apart from items you must pack, the list of travel services and sites below might help you with your travel arrangement. From hotels and car rentals to tour agencies and even travel insurance. I love using these sites because not only they’re affordable, some also offer flexible cancellation.
FINAL WORDS AND TIPS
It’s hard to be an expert when it comes to packing for a trip. But having a clear checklist will help you get things in order. Personally, the three items I always ask myself before I leave the door are my wallet, passport, and mobile phone. As long as I have these, the rest can easily be bought.
We also have a packing list for summer, a complete list of what to pack for winter, and a general 3-week packing list for any type of trip.
I hope that you found this guide of 3 weeks spring vacation packing list helpful.