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11 Packing Essentials for a City Break

Spring is upon us and with Covid travel restrictions easing, there is no better time to be taking a city break. Once you’ve picked your dream weekend destination the next step is packing your case! Short breaks are often a struggle to pack for – we either lug around far too much or forget the essentials! Read on for the ultimate roll-call of items you’ll need. This list is based on carry-on luggage only so if you’re going for longer than 4 days you may need a little more bag allowance! 

If you’re looking for new luggage before you travel, check out our guides to the best lightweight suitcases, checked luggage, aluminium suitcases, underseat suitcases and zipperless suitcases. And for travel accessories, we recommend suitcase packing cubes and a luggage tracker.

  1. Travel documents

The most essential thing to pack – your passport (if needed), bank cards, and any tickets you may have for the trip ahead. Pop them in a safe, zipped bag and carry them close to your body in a waist or cross-body bag.

  1. Clothes

Make sure you pack sensibly and think of the weather. If you’re going somewhere warm bring light items that you won’t get too hot in. The reverse for colder climates. A jacket is essential even for warm areas to ward of any chills you might get in air-conditioned places. Shoes should be capped at 3 pairs max. Trainers or comfy shoes are essential for exploring, plus one nice pair of shoes for the evening and flip-flops for warmer climes. Don’t forget accessories such as reader sunglasses, and a hat (great for the heat and the cold!). If you’re planning to visit somewhere fancy for dinner then bring one special outfit that doesn’t crease easily. Bonus points if you can dress it down and wear again the next day!

  1. Underwear 

It might seem obvious but underwear is often overlooked. Think about packing what is best suited underneath your outfits and don’t forget socks and pajamas! Also, add in swimwear if you’re heading to a warm area with beaches or pools. 

  1. Toiletries 

If you’re only away for a couple of days it’s safe to say you won’t need full-sized bottles so purchase some handy travel containers or buy refillable ones for a long-term investment. Remember toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, hair care, and one super important item – sunscreen!

  1. Gadgets

Phone, iPad, GoPro, Kindle the list could go on and on! Pack your essentials and remember any ‘bits’ you might need like headphones, tripods, ring lights (if you’re aiming for Insta-influencer pics), and a power bank. A GoPro is a splurge-worthy investment and you’ll be able to record every second of your adventures! Ensure you bring along a travel plug converter appropriate to the place you’re visiting so you can plug your gadgets in when needed. 

  1. Phone Charger

You’ve remembered your tech, now you need your charger. Do. Not. Leave. Without. One! Phones can be a lifeline when you’re navigating a new city. Maps, translation, banking, weather plane tickets, all in one pocket-sized device! Forgetting your charger means no access to any apps, plus now google to help you explore your surroundings! 

  1. First Aid Kit

You can make your own if you have a small zipped bag, just fill it with plasters, allergy tablets, painkillers and mosquito repellent (plus any personal medication you may need) then chuck it in your bag!

  1. Sleep Mask 

A total travel necessity, a sleeping mask will ward off any bright lights you find on planes or trains. There are super cool masks with headphones inside which are great if you like to drown out noise. 

  1. Entertainment 

There’s no need to lug around a bunch of games for your short trip but packing some playing cards or a book of sudoku can help pass the time on the airplane or coach trip excursions. If you’re a big drinker download some fun drinking game apps to play in the bar! 

  1. Backpack or Tote

When we only take a carry-on bag away it’s easy to forget a smaller bag to use when you’re out and about. Pack a small rucksack or canvas tote that can be folded small. You can use this for all of your daytime essentials like sunscreen, phone, wallet, and hotel key.

  1. Water Bottle 

Not just a packing essential but a life essential! A refillable water bottle is super handy as lots of public spaces have water fountains and free drinking water. If you’re worried about space opt for a water pouch or collapsible bottle that you can fold down when you’re not using. 

Will you be using this packing list? Drop a comment below with your city break destinations you have booked for this year!

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