The Most Important Tip for Space Saving
-Make sure you wear all of your very bulky things while you travel. This is especially important in the winter. Wear the bulky coat, scarves and boots. You can take them off while you're sitting in whatever mode of transportation you are using, but this saves a ton of space.
-Do you really need to bring your own shampoo and conditioner? will your be staying with family or friends or at a hotel? if you're staying with family and friends that cuts the amount of toiletries you will need (which tend to explode anyway). Nix the body wash, toothpaste, and shampoo and conditioner (if you're hair won't freak out). I'd stick with your skin care products, most people's skin reacts badly to different people's products.
-One mistake i used to make was to take all of my makeup. In reality, in day to day life i use a fraction of this makeup. One huge problem i had was i had to take several pallets with me for my three or four eye shadow colours i liked. I found a custom palette by anabelle (i know, drug store version... i am a student) but i know mac also has them, and you can combine the colours you use most often into one little palette. In reality, take what you use, and leave all the other stuff home. If you don't normally use your acid green loose eyeshadow, what are the chances you will on the weekend?
My Weekend Makeup Products
-Don't bring a hair straightener and a curling iron if its possible. Take one of the two if you need to, and see if someone else will bring the other and you can share. Almost everywhere has a hairdryer.
Toiletries review: leave anything home you can. These take a ton of room, and tend to explode. The things that you don't want to forget under any circumstances are: Deodorant, toothbrush, face products, mascara, foundation (if you use it). These are the things that aren't really shareable. Don't forget sunscreen if you're going to be in the sun, even if you think you won't need it.
To pack you need to make an awesome mini capsule wardrobe. Take really versatile things. I'll give you an example one, for a spring/summer/fall trip. winter your going to need to take a ton more. Pack an outfit a day, plus an extra.
-One pair of dark wash jeans (do not exceed the one pair of jeans rule. Remember, its only a weekend)
-enough underwear/socks/etc for every day
-Cardigan/sweater (make sure this is basic and will look okay with the shirts and dresses you take)
-Dress(es)... dresses are the easiest. they are a whole outfit all in one.
-One dressier shirt or dress (in case you end up going somewhere nice to eat. Omit this if you are going to the cottage for a weekend on the beach)
-Shirts. The general rule is that the number of shirts and dresses you bring should be around the amount of days you'll be there. Three days, five shirts and dresses (combined). If your exceeding by three or more, cut down. You won't wear all of these things unless you have a very busy weekend with lots of wardrobe changes planned.
Avoid shirts that need something over or under them to look great to cut down on space.
Manolo Blahnik says if you have great shoes, you only need to pack two black dresses and fill the case with shoes. Remember that. Bring basic things and take three or four pairs of fantastic shoes if you're worried about not taking a vast expanse of clothing. if you pack a great dresses that can be dressed up or down, you can wear it on the beach with sandles, and then throw on some great heels and go out for the night.
This is a great example of a dress to dress up or down
wear it with these fantastic flat sandals for daytime fun or beach
But if you threw these shoes on, you'd be ready for a night out.
Ladies (and gentleman) THIS is how to pack a suitcase. This man is packing for a month. Use his techniques and you too can pull off this incredible feat (although you'll take more shoes). The hint for packing shoes: put things inside of them.