This bachelorette packing list isn’t just about what to bring—it’s about how to pack smart so you have everything you need, but aren’t weighed down by tons of luggage. I just took a five-day trip to Belize for a wedding and carried on my luggage (including four pairs of shoes), so let’s just say I know what I’m doing. Carrying on your bag has so many pluses! There’s no risk of losing your luggage and no time spent waiting at the bag carousel. Plus, you’re going to be sharing a hotel room or house with a lot of ladies, so keeping the amount of stuff you are lugging in there to a minimum will be greatly appreciated by all. You’ll stay more organized and keep your temporary roommates happy too.
You can also download a printable PDF of the Ultimate Bridesmaid bachelorette party packing list.
Step 1: Know your itinerary
Before you start packing, it helps to have an idea of what’s planned for the weekend. For example, you may be spending Friday night at your rental house making dinner and playing drinking games, while Saturday will be party night on the town. That makes a difference in what outfits you’ll want to pack. Is there beach time involved? Hiking planned? Yoga class in the mix? Have a basic idea of your itinerary so you can pack smart.
Step 2: Pack neutrals with one accent color
Next, and this tip works for any trip, try to pack neutral colors with one accent color. That way, everything you pack will go together and you’ll have a lot more outfit options. Blue counts as a neutral in this equation because, hi, jeans, so your colors would include blue, black, grey, white, navy, brown and tan. You can safely throw both gold and silver in there too. Then pick your accent color based on what’s in your closet, the season and what you’re loving right now.
Step 3: Pick your travel outfit
Remember to set aside the outfit you’ll be wearing during travel! I always wear my bulkiest shoes on the plane so that I don’t have to waste packing space on them. Wear any jacket you may need to save space as well.
Step 4: Lay out your outfits
Lay out all your clothes on your bed and count through each day. Envision two outfits for each day—it helps to even line them up—one daytime look and one evening look. Remember that might just mean changing your top and shoes, but still wearing your jeans. Factor in bathing suits or special activities. Once you have those outfits laid out, if you still have space, you can add two extra tops and one extra bottom to give yourself a few more options. Be brutal with your choices though. I often end up eliminating a dress or top rather than adding. Packing light is only hard if you aren’t willing to make cuts in your clothing options. Commit to your favorite pieces and be OK with leaving things behind.
Step 5: Roll it up
Make sure to roll your clothing—it both saves space and keeps your clothes from wrinkling.
Wear during travel:
- 1 pair of dark blue jeans
- 1 T-shirt
- The bulkiest shoes you want to bring (tennis shoes, boots)
- A jacket
In your carry-on:
- 1 pair of dark blue or black jeans (if you aren’t wearing them during travel)
- Your favorite pair of shorts or a skirt (2 pairs if you aren’t packing any other bottoms)
- 1–2 going-out dress (I recommend an LBD)
- 1 sundress (especially if there is a shower planned)
- 3 T-shirts or tops you love (2 casual, 1 fancy)
- 1 pair of heels or wedges (choose a pair that can go with both your fancy dress and fancy top + jeans)
- 1 pair sandals or flats
- 1 pair pajamas
- Underwear for each day, and a few extras, just in case
- Bras: Think about your outfits when choosing which bras to bring. Do you need a nude one to go under a semi-sheer shirt? A strapless one for your dress? Wear one of the bras you’ll need and pack one extra in your suitcase.
- Socks and/or tights
Pro tip: Pack your underwear, bras, bathing suits and socks in the top mesh portion of your suitcase. This makes it easy to find these small items during travel.
- Small clutch/purse for going out
- Flight001 travel bags: I love these and always carry one with me when I travel. They are great for wet and sandy beach things. I also put sandy/dirty shoes in them, or fill them with my dirty laundry to keep the other clothes in my suitcase smelling fresh.
- Hair dryer, curling iron and/or straightener: Try to be selective about how many of these you need. I can get by with just a hair dryer. You can also buddy up with a friend. Tell her to bring her curling iron and she can use your straightener.
- Makeup bag + makeup removal wipes or face wash
- Liquid toiletries. You’ll need: Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, lotion, sunscreen, body wash, face wash, bug spray. If you use a loofah in the shower, put it in the same bag as your liquid toiletries. Now you have all your shower things in one place.
Pro tip: Add all your liquid toiletries to a Ziplock bag, seal it well and place it in the OUTSIDE zip pocket of your suitcase. This way, if something explodes and leaks, it will not get all over your clothes. Make sure to get 3 oz. travel-size items of everything (samples are great for this too—great way to try out those Birchbox items you have lying around).
- Non-liquid toiletries: These go in a separate bag from your liquid toiletries. They include deodorant, toothpaste, floss, nail file, nail scissors/clippers, tweezers, etc.
- Medicine: I always carry a separate ziplock bag filled with medicines I might need while traveling. Mine includes stomach medicine like Tums, a painkiller like Advil, an allergy medication like Claratin and band-aids. If you have prescriptions, be sure you include them as well.
- Jewelry: Accessories are an easy way to jazz up a simple outfit without adding bulk to your suitcase, so you get a little more leeway with this. Find a small jewelry tote (I like this one) and fill it up with your favorites.
- A lint roller and Tide pen
- Any gifts or party favors you need for the weekend
If you’re going to the beach, add:
- 2 bathing suits (they’re small, so you get 2)
- 1 pair flip-flops
- Foldable beach tote
- 1 beach cover-up
- Foldable beach hat (like this one)
In your purse:
Your purse is your second carry-on. Choose a big one for your trip. You’ll need:
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger, including power cord and TK.
- Portable solar charger: I love these. We use them all the time on trips. When your battery is dying and you’re moving from place to place, these are a life saver.
- Small umbrella
- iPad or Kindle
- Lip gloss or lip balm
- Cash!: I know a lot of people don’t carry cash. But a bachelorette weekend is one time you should make a special trip to the ATM. Cash will come in handy so often when you are trying to split bills, pay some one back for a drink or pay for a taxi. It can’t hurt to have it! I recommend taking out $100. You can always redeposit it after the weekend if you don’t spend it!
- Checkbook: Likewise, if you owe the host a good bit of money for lodging or bachelorette activities, writing a check may be the simplest option. That, or see if the host has Venmo (more about that below).
- Passport or ID: Whichever you need for your destination.
- Small mirror
- Snack: I love Larabars and always have one in my bag. Way better for you than airport food!
- Printouts of your boarding passes and itinerary
Venmo: If you’re not a cash person, Venmo is a great way to pay for things as a group.
Lyft, Uber or another ride-share app: Super handy for getting rides in a city you’re not familiar with.
Enable iCloud Photo Sharing and create a shared album: The best and easiest way to share photos from the weekend with the group instantly.