What to Pack for an Overnight Stay


I often find myself in situations where I have to spend a single night away from home. The reasons vary, but an increase amount of out-of-town business seminars have forced me to live the hotel life (temporarily, of course). These one-night stays have taught me how to pack lightly but intelligently.

When you’re away from home, it’s never fun to discover that you’ve forgotten something in your suitcase. Although you may be staying in an area where you can purchase missing items, it’s always better to save money and have your own belongings handy.

I like to think of myself as a “seasoned overnight traveler.” Here’s what I pack for my shorter stays:

Essential Toiletries Bag

Before taking the leap and packing your toiletries bag, try to think of only the absolute essentials you would need to keep your hygiene at bay. Can you maybe skip out on the regenerating cream and save space (and potential bottle leakage)? Perhaps one night without mouthwash is bearable? Hygiene products can really add up and bulk-up space in your suitcase. Sometimes, hotels even carry those “key items” you may have forgotten/left behind (only to realize last-minute that you actually need them). If this ever happens, try your luck and call concierge. They may be able to bring up a couple of things like a small tube of toothpaste and a disposable toothbrush.

In my toiletries bag, I pack the following: travel toothbrush and toothpaste, facecloth, deodorant, makeup wipes, mascara and blush (makeup may vary depending on what type of event I’ll be attending).


Your wardrobe skills of “mixing and matching” will stand the test of time when you start going on mini trips. For one-night stays, I pack a single pair of bottoms (usually black dress pants or dark-washed jeans – remember: it all depends what your trip is for) and two blouses/tops to match.


Place your intimates in a separate mini-bag/pouch so that they don’t get dirty from other belongings in your luggage. Ideally, you’ll want to bring one set of pajamas, two pairs of underwear and an extra pair of socks.

Electronics & Entertainment

If you’re constantly connected, be sure that you pack all necessary chargers for all of your devices. Nothing’s more irritating (and inconvenient) than a low-battery phone or tablet. Also, if you’re taking the bus, train or airplane, consider bringing a couple of magazines or a single book for entertainment. However, don’t go overboard: think of how long your travel time is and how much literature you’ll actually go through. Too many books and magazines can add lots of weight to your load.

Let’s Talk: What do you pack for an overnight stay?

About Rebecca 2230 Articles
Rebecca is a boy mom, traveler, Disney addict, chocolate lover, and tea drinker. She lives in Florida and enjoys good food, good music, and a great book. Her goal in life is to live in the moment and to always be open to new things.


  1. Great tips! Packing one pair of bottoms for multiple tops is a great way to save space in suitcases. Especially for just an overnight trip where you won’t want to be bringing more than one bag and maybe a business/tech bag.

  2. Making sure I have the right chargers is paramount. A good trip can get ruined fast if its not fairly easy for me to find a way to meet a deadline (and theres always a deadline). 🙂

  3. Good list. I try to consolidate our toiletries. That’s where we end up with the most weight. I use to be a huge over packer, so it’s tough to try to get rid of things!

  4. I am terrible at lightly packing and it makes no sense as there are few things I actually like to wear, it isn’t like I am going to become someone new on the trip and suddenly like the pink blouse I never wear, yet still pack! The “what if’s” get me and I over pack. I need to work on this. Thanks for the tips!

I enjoy hearing your thoughts so please Leave a Reply