How to save time when packing for your city break!

I love a weekend away, whether it be to a foreign country or somewhere a little closer to home, and I especially like a city break. Luckily, the UK isn’t short of cities. We have 69 to choose from, including the big four: London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. You could relax at a southern seaside city, like Brighton, Plymouth or Southampton. You could see what one of the newest cities, like Inverness, Newport or Chelmsford, has to offer. You could step into Victorian times in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. Or, you could explore the history of the UK’s oldest cities: York, Canterbury, Bath, Winchester.

Whatever your choice, you need to pack for the occasion, and here’s where we come in. Whether you are the kind of person that bungs two t-shirts and a pair of pants in a plastic bag, or someone who takes half their wardrobe for four days, you need some help.

Pack light, but not too light

Nothing is worse, especially if you are taking public transport, than carrying a bag that weighs more than a backpack full of textbooks. Not only does it slice your shoulder to pieces, or get in everyone’s way when you’re walking to your hotel, a massive bag means you will be packing an array of unnecessary items and you will take an eternity to do so.

However, packing too light means that you are under-prepared. What if the weather turns suddenly? What if you spilt bolognese all over your only cardigan? What if you left your jumper in a cafe? The rumours about the UK are true: the weather is horrific, so make sure you have your rain jacket in case you’re caught in a downpour.

Count in essentials out loud

Every time I go away, I count the socks and pants into my bag to make sure I have enough. No doubt, I always bring an extra pair, but there’s nothing worse than getting to your destination to find that you have to wear your pants inside out for a day. It makes you feel grimy, and I can vouch that you will spend your time walking round, thinking about your dirty underwear.

I do the same with toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, moisturiser, etc. Before I started saying the item I was putting in my bag, as I put it in my bag, I would always forget my toothbrush. The amount of cheap toothbrushes I had to buy from an off license at 9pm is ridiculous.

Saying things aloud commits it to memory. You’re less likely to forget the really important stuff and less likely to spend hours digging through your bag to triple check that you put your favourite shirt in there.

Day to night stock outfits

Why pack two different outfits for the day and the night? This was the mistake I constantly made when I first started going away for short breaks. I expected myself to be hitting the club every night, dressed to the nines, when in reality, I went to a couple of bars on one of the nights, and every other night was spent sitting in bed in the B&B because I had blisters.

Pick a few statement pieces to wear both day and night, like a black dress, or neat jeans. Your jackets should be appropriate for both occasions, but I always bring an extra pair of shoes (I always walk around in Vans but wear boots, heels or sandals in the night). Then you can simply pack a couple of tops and accessories to dress up or dress down your statement piece.

Does it matter if you are basically wearing the same style outfit for three days? I don’t think so!

Finally… write up a list before you go

How are you going to manage all the above? Draw up a list. I love a list that can be reused and breaks everything down day by day, so I created my own document to use this year. I’m going to laminate the sheet to make the most of the millions of white board pens I have laying around, and I’ll never waste hours packing for a trip ever again!

Download the free, adaptable and printable City Break Packing Guide and Countryside Packing Guide

Categories: Lifestyle

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