How To Pack Light For A City Break

Travelling Light

One of the things I adore about living in London is the ease with which you can travel, and the low cost of flying. Flights can be cheaper than the accommodation at your destination, but the low-cost airlines love to charge you for ‘hidden’ extras, such as luggage. Not only that, but they only allow you to take one item of hand-luggage (you cannot take a handbag as well), they strictly measure and weigh your bags and they love to enforce the rules and charge extra for oversized/overweight/additional luggage.

I refuse to pay these extra fees, so when I travel to a city for a weekend away I take just one bag and fit everything into it – including my DSLR camera. No, I don’t wear hiking shoes and cargo pants, and I don’t wear the same grungy T-shirt for three days. It’s a fine art, and it’s taken lots of practice, but here’s how I do it. Firstly, I travel with my Epiphanie bag (see it here) which I know will keep my camera safe. I put my camera in a side pocket, then take out one of the dividers to create one large pocket in which to pack my clothes.

my Epiphanie bag, with the normal compartments

When packing, here are the most important things to consider:

1. Comfortable, versatile shoes: when walking around a city for a weekend, you need to be blister-free at the end of the day. I wear the same shoes for the whole weekend, so they need to match everything I wear. A good pair of black leather boots matches any outfit, looks smart, endures rain or snow and is comfortable.

2. Layers: all you really need to pack is underwear, socks (and these two items can be snugly packed around the camera for extra padding) and two tops – pick versatile tops so you can wear them out and about during the day or to a nice dinner at night, and roll them up to pack them easily. For the flight, I wear skinny jeans, a top, a cardigan and a jacket – and if I’m not overheating, a scarf and hat too. If I don’t want to wear the scarf & hat, I just roll them up and put them in the bag as well.

3. Sample sizes: don’t pack all of the toiletries you usually use; they are heavy and bulky – not to mention unnecessary. Pack some mascara, lip gloss, deodorant, face wipes, toothbrush & travel-size toothpaste. Save up those sample sachets of makeup, perfume and moisturisers to take on weekend trips with you – they take up almost no room and weigh next to nothing.

4. Wallet, phone, keys, passport and travel documents: these can be slipped in the side pocket of the bag, et voilà! You have all you need for a weekend away in style, and without paying extra costs.

There you have it; a winter city break – a summer weekend away is even easier to pack for, as simple summer dresses take up about the same amount of room as tops in winter, and you don’t need the scarf, hat or jacket (you need to remember sunscreen & sunglasses though).

Do you travel light? What are your essentials?

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  • Abigail says:

    I’m planning to feature this post on Sunday as my Post of the Week. 


    • Elle Croft says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Thanks so much! I’m glad you like the post and I’m so flattered to be your Post of the Week! I’ll be sure to stop by and say hi!

  • Sarah says:

    Ahh, I wish I had time for an awesome weekend getaway to another city! Especially after reading this post… If I had the ability to travel, I would absolutely travel as light as possible.

  • Jenn says:

    Your travel tips are great! I pretty much need to go out and get everything in your picture. And I’m dying to get an epiphanie bag : )


  • Caitlin says:

    Great inspiration board and travel tips!! Would love it if you could stop by my blog and tell me what you think of my latest posts! Follow me, I follow you?!


  • Love it!  You just take 1 lens then?  I miss traveling in Europe.  I lived in Italy for 5 years and loved just hoping to another country to explore for the weekend.

  • Anonymous says:

    You are right, it takes some practice, but I have got it down to a fine art too. It is far easier to meet the one bag rule on a summer trip when your clothes are all flimsy vest tops and little dresses, far harder in the depths of winter when you need jumpers and coats – so I go for wearing the bulkiest items on the journey and keep a fold up bag inside my main bag so that once on the plane I can remove the coat and scarf and expand into two bags!

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