5 Travel Essentials for Overnight Trips & Staycations


Sometimes you just want to get away. You may not be planning a long 7-week excursion each time. In fact, quick overnight trips are some of my favorite trips to take because you’re challenged with making the most of your time in a new locale. When it comes to convenience while overnight traveling, I usually opt for very compact luggage and small bags to save space and time. That typically means I only bring the essentials with me, so I get super selective about which items I pack. I always opt for items that serve double duty – whether clothing or beauty. Below are my top 5 travel essentials for overnight trips. These will save you time and space when packing:

1. Overnight Backpack

There are a plethora of options for carrying your overnight must-haves. I’ve traveled with everything from duffel bags to rolling mini suitcases. My favorite of overnight travel options is a great sized and stylish backpack. If I’m traveling by air, it keeps me hands free to carry other items or to hold my little one’s hand if it’s a family trip. It’s usually spacious enough to fit all of my essentials and it has tons of side pockets for little things like chargers, wallets and hand sanitizer that I need to grab quickly on-the-go without digging deep to find them. The one pictured here is from Mina Kay Bags.

2. Double Duty Cleansers

This one is a no-brainer for me. To cut down on clutter, I bring cleansers that I can use for both face and body. I don’t always trust hotel soaps & cleansers. I don’t have a full breakdown of the ingredients in those products, or how my skin will react to them. When it comes to cleansers, I have to go with a brand I trust so there are no surprises. I typically bring a Dove Beauty Bar along with me on my travels. I also always bring a travel size bottle of Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap. This is a must, especially if I’m traveling with the kids. They have sensitive skin so I trust the organic ingredients and multi-purpose use.

3. Red Lipstick

I come from the school of “Red Lipstick Fixes Everything”. When I can only bring a pared down makeup collection on my travels, red lipstick is the first thing I pack. Even if I only have tinted moisturizer and mascara, I can throw on a red lip and be ready for anything. It’s my number one makeup must-have for travel. My favorites include The Lip Bar “Bawse Lady”, MAC Lipstick in “Ruby Woo” and Lip A.R.T “SLAYbelles”.

4. Jeweled Flats

If I can only bring one pair of shoes with me on an overnight getaway, I always aim for metallic or jewelled flats. In addition to my airport sneaks, they’re a must-have. They add an extra “wow” factor to any outfit and you can easily take them from day to night, beach to bar-hopping, and everywhere in between. They work with denim, linen or fancy dresses. My favorite places to get jeweled, inexpensive flats are ASOS, Zara and Nordstrom Rack. It’s always best to buy inexpensive ones in case they get lost or you accidentally leave them. I leave my super expensive shoes at home when I’m traveling.

5. Day to Night Dress

Typically when I’m picking outfits for an overnight trip, I stick to pieces that can serve multiple purposes. The perfect little black romper, a printed kimono I can wear as a beach coverup, or a bright a statement piece that can go from breakfast mimosas to sight-seeing to dinner. A great day-to-night dress is a must. I typically choose something solid colored, with breathable wrinkle-free fabric and a really beautiful silhouette that compliments my curves. Maxi dresses are my favorites. Some of my favorite places to get comfy day to night dresses for travel include Rue 107, ASOS, and Eloquii. You want something simple enough to be worn with flats for day and dressed up with heels at night. Two outfits in one.

Ok so please share in the comments – what do you guys pack for your overnight trips? 

Christina Brown

Lifestyle influencer and digital mompreneur Christina S. Brown is a New York native, LA resident, and the founder of and BrownGirlsLove. She's an award-winning storyteller, a motivational speaker and an advocate for confident millennial black women.

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