How to Pack an Overnight Bag

Four Parts:Think SleepAdding Personal Hygiene and Beauty ProductsThe Following Day's ClothesPacking the Bag

Spending just one night at a friend's or relative's house? You really don't need to pack much for a short stay and you'll feel fresh and comfortable as long as you pack just the right essentials. Here is how to pack your overnight bag with ease, all while keeping it light.

Part 1
Think Sleep

  1. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 1
    Grab some comfy pajamas (PJs). The style of pajama will depend on where your overnight stay will be––if it's winter or cold weather, you'll probably need long-leg and long-sleeve pajamas, and in some cases, these may need to be thermal. If it's summer or warm weather, pack short pajamas, a nightie or even a t-shirt and boxer shorts. Pack only one pair of pajamas.
    • Skip the PJs if you like sleeping in the nude. However, be sure that this will be acceptable where you're staying (and won't be too cold). Also bear in mind that carting along a dressing gown to cover up that nude body may add more weight than taking a pair of PJs.
    • In some cases, sleeping in your underwear might work at a pinch. Just be sure to put on fresh underwear the next morning.
    • Borrow something. If you're staying with someone you're close to and who has a similar size to you, perhaps ask if it's okay to borrow a spare pair of their PJs. Only do this with close relatives or friends though, as it could be construed as being too personal otherwise.

Part 2
Adding Personal Hygiene and Beauty Products

  1. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 3
    Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 4
    Pack the basics. You'll need a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss for your teeth. A hairbrush for your hair––some compact hairbrushes include a small mirror in the handle to make it easier to see what you look like.
  2. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 7
    Pack deodorant. Smelling fresh the next morning will be guaranteed with this important addition to your bathroom bag.
  3. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 2
    If you wear makeup or use beauty products, pack these. Both women and men have their own preferences and it's not hygienic to borrow other people's, so take your own. But keep it pared down––no need to cart your entire beauty selection with you for an overnighter.
  4. 4
    Add hair accessories or hair ties if relevant. This will enable you to quickly tidy up your hairstyle if you have medium to long hair. You could also bring headbands, and hair gel for boys / men. [Image:Pack an Overnight Bag Step 8.jpg|center]]

Part 3
The Following Day's Clothes

  1. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 5
    Bring a fresh change of underwear. Not something you want to forget, as clean underwear leaves you feeling fresh the next morning.
    • If you do forget the knickers, turn yesterday's inside out. It's better than nothing, although do change out of them as quickly as you can upon returning home again.
  2. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 6
    Choose an outfit for the next day of your trip. Take into consideration the likely weather, which should be readily available at your favorite online weather forecaster as it's just the very next day. If possible, aim to only change your first layer above the underwear, such as the t-shirt or shirt. That way, you can wear the same jacket/cardigan and pants/skirt/shorts as the day before. Unless you're a fashionista, this will work just fine for you. (Add a silk scarf to dress it up if needed.)
    • Don't forget to add shoes if they're going to be different from the ones you're currently wearing.

Part 4
Packing the Bag

  1. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 9
    Lay out all the things you have gathered together on your bed or on the floor. Start to pack them into your overnight bag.
    • Choose an overnight bag that is just large enough to carry your items without squashing them. The smaller you can keep this, the more discreet it will look and the more comfortable it is to carry with you.
  2. Image titled Pack an Overnight Bag Step 10
    Zip up or close your bag. You're ready to go!


  • Only take the essentials. Doing this will keep your bag light and easier to carry––this is only one night, not a fashion holiday!
  • If you're staying overnight in a hotel room, ring ahead and ask what bathroom products they supply––this can save more room for you.
  • If you're staying at a friend's house, ask if you can borrow their toothpaste and soap, to save on carrying extra.

Things You'll Need

  • Overnight bag
  • PJs
  • Makeup and/or beauty products
  • Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste (optional if you can use some at the place you're staying)
  • Floss (optional)
  • Deodorant
  • Pair of clean knickers
  • Minimal amount of next day's clothes
  • Hair ties/accessories (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Sleep Overs