City Break Packing Guide

city break packing guide

Ever the over-packer and over-planner, packing for a short city break was always one of my toughest challenges. Especially if I'm travelling with just hand luggage. But I've finally mastered the art, so I thought I'd share my top packing tips with you.

These are my top tips for packing light for your next trip, along with a few of my top city break essentials to help you plan...


Pack Neatly

A neatly packed case can fit a lot more in, so it's worth investing some time to do things properly. I use packing cubes, which are lightweight, fabric cubes with zippered openings, to neatly store and compress my clothes. This helps stop them getting wrinkled, and keeps them separate from the rest of my luggage – adding order to my case and creating extra space.


Organisation is Key

Create a city break checklist and get organised!

Decide on the outfits you want to take and only pack the things you need to create those outfits. Try to get inventive with clothing that can be used in more than one outfit. Choose a base tone or colour, and structure the rest of your outfits around it, so that everything can be easily mixed and matched.

Look up the weather forecast and plan accordingly. If it's set to be hot and sunny, don't waste space on a jumper or umbrella “just in case”. You can always buy an emergency poncho if your luck takes a turn for the worse! And if you're travelling in winter, wear your bulkier items on the plane, and pack a few lightweight layers to go under them in your luggage.   


City Break Essentials

Assuming you're going to be away for a weekend, that's just two nights and three days. So, you only need to pack two evening outfits, and two daytime outfits – because you'll be wearing day one's outfit when you leave your house. If you're savvy, this also means you probably only need two pairs of shoes too.

Here's a city break checklist for a typical two night trip:

- One pair comfortable, lightweight walking shoes (I like Sketchers GoWalks)

- One pair smart evening wear shoes if needed

- One pair skinny jeans or one pair leggings – to be dressed up and down for day and night

- Two casual tops / two casual dresses / one of each

- Two dresses / two smart tops / one of each

- Undies for two days

- Swimwear if needed

- Scarf

- Sunglasses

- Travel Adaptor

- Overnight toiletries (remember most hotels provide a lot)

- Phone charger

- Small bag or foldable rucksack

- On the plane: one casual dress or long t-shirt, leggings, lightweight jacket


One last pro tip: try not to worry! I have a tendency to stress pack, and cram all kinds of “just in case” items into my luggage. But I try to remind myself that as long as I have my passport and phone on me, pretty much everything else can be bought or replaced. That thought certainly makes packing feel less stressful.

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