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Whether you work in a corporate office or in a place that actually shutters for the summer (here’s lookin’ at you, educators), everyone can appreciate the sense of wanderlust that sets in during this season. With summer Fridays and long weekends on the brain,we’ve compiled a short list to ensure your weekender is properly packed and at the ready.

 

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1. Start with the Right Suitcase

A long weekend is still just a weekend, so leave the oversize luggage at home. Instead, invest in a heavy-duty canvas duffel or a leather tote meant for schlepping all of your necessities. The fabric here is key--you want something that will withstand the less-than-pristine train floor, but won’t weigh a ton when draped over your shoulder.

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2. Count the Pieces You Actually Need First

Chances are, you’re not going to end up at a spontaneous formal dinner party, so leave the pumps and cocktail dresses at home. What you will need are the following: a pair of jeans, a casual dress, a skirt, a swimsuit, three tops and undergarments (of course). These pieces work best in neutral hues with minimal patterns that you can easily dress up with jewelry or a playful clutch. To get the idea, scroll through our picks below.

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3. Follow the Rule for Shoes

We’re here to tell it to you straight: You need only four pairs of shoes for any vacation. Yep, any vacation. But for a long weekend, we’re going to reduce the number to just three: versatile sneakers, lace-up sandals and a wild card (depends on where you are traveling--bring the strappy heels for a wedding, the flip-flops for the beach, etc.).

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4. Streamline Your Toiletries

Tip one: Beauty products pack nicely into clutches that you can later use for nights on the town. (Just pop them into a plastic bag first.) Another tip: Stock up on travel-sized versions of everything at your local drugstore or Sephora. You will never not be glad you had them on hand.

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5. Finally, Pack It All In (Smartly)

You’ve heard it time and time again, but the rolling technique really is the best way to squeeze all of your essentials into one small carry-all. A few more key tips: 1) Store your sneakers in a shower cap to protect your clothes from dirty treads; 2) pack a floppy hat by stuffing it with bulky items; 3) use plastic grocery (or dry cleaner) bags to help prevent creases in silk dresses.

RELATED: 7 Things You Should Never Pack When You Travel

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