True, you’re not as restricted as when flying, but you still can’t bring the kitchen sink! Here’s how to pack for a weekend getaway if you’re leaving by train.
That fantastic weekend you’ve been waiting for is approaching; you’ve planned the itinerary but… you still have to pack your bags! Sure, you have more baggage leeway on the train, but loading up like a Nepalese Sherpa might be a bit uncomfortable. So, here are three useful tips on how to pack for a weekend if you are leaving by train, without forgetting the necessities.
1. Which kind of suitcase should you bring for a weekend?
For train travel, the choice of material and shape of the suitcase is almost irrelevant. However, some options may prove more practical than others, depending on your trip.
For example, are you traveling with children? Then you should opt for a model with wheels, which is definitely easier to handle in any situation, perhaps paired with a smaller backpack or bag, where you can keep the things you need on hand while traveling.
If, on the other hand, you are going through stations and boarding connecting trains, you should go for a soft duffel bag with shoulder strap, which can be stowed in the train’s overhead rack. In this way, it will be easier to grab on arrival and you will save time.
Finally, a light backpack is the best choice if you plan to do some sightseeing before reaching your accommodation. If you have one with a breathable back and weight distribution (similar to hiking models), that would be perfect!
2. What to pack for a weekend?
To make it easier, take pen and paper and make a three-way list of things to bring: day-wear, evening-wear, and accessories. The first two are garments, the third covers everything else.
For clothes, our advice is to choose “universal” garments with similar or easily matched colors so that the amount of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and pants you need to carry is kept to a minimum.
E.g. a pair of jeans can work for both day and evening (especially if you’re planning a weekend with friends, perhaps in Milan).
In the morning, you can wear them with a t-shirt, in the evening with a dress shirt. Finally, add a cardigan or sweatshirt in a color that looks good with both your T-shirt and your dress shirt, and maybe even with the outfit you will wear the next day. Saving space is a breeze!
A no-brainer, but still sound practice, don’t forget to check the weather forecast. No use bringing a raincoat if scorching sun and 35 C temperatures are expected! On the other hand, if it’s going to be very cold, you need a scarf, and it’s better to choose one that matches all the other garments you’ve already packed.
3. Accessories… and souvenirs
Compared to air travel, on the train, you have complete freedom over the contents of your luggage: razor blades and liquids are not a problem. For example, you can bring both razor and shaving foam with you if you shave every day, or you can avoid using the hotel’s bubble bath (which, let’s face it, is always a bit tacky) and bring the one with your favorite fragrance, just like at home!
Leave some space in your suitcase, or bring another bag for souvenirs. If you go to Oporto by plane, you won’t be able to take a bottle of port home for your loved ones unless you check in extra luggage and bear the extra cost.
Conversely, on a trip to Reggio Emilia by train, you can grab a few bottles of Lambrusco for your friends. Or, if you go to Venice, you can buy your mom a Murano glass souvenir without fear of a bellhop breaking it while carrying your luggage because your suitcase always travels with you!
Have we thought of everything?
Now that you know how to pack for a weekend, would you like some suggestions for how to spend your time on board? Read our tips on the nine essential items you must have on a train trip.
And if you often take the train to work, we suggest you read our tips on how to prepare the perfect overnight bag. On Italo, in addition to space in the overhead racks above the seats, there is a video-monitored area in which to store luggage in comfort..
On the subject of stowing luggage on board, we have prepared a summary for you. How big is your suitcase? Do you have anything else with you, such as a stroller or a bulky item? See our infographic for information on how to stow your luggage on Italo: comfort and safety are guaranteed!