City break packing tips

Are you one of those people who always over-pack their suitcase? Do you often find yourself packing 5 different evening outfits when going on a weekend getaway thinking ‘oh maybe I will wear it ‘ and end up bringing it all back without even removing it from your suitcase?  Yes, I have done it many times. Completely pointless! 🙂


My long-awaited, New York City break is fast approaching. I have been so excited that I have already started to compile a list of things I am going to pack. As I will be going for the whole week, and because I am planning to do some major clothes shopping, I am taking 1 piece of hold and 1 piece of hand luggage. If you are going for less then 5 days (and not flying to another continent with intention of leaving a fortune in clothes shops), I strongly recommend taking just a small suitcase; it will reduce the cost of your trip (a lot of airlines now charge for hold luggage) and make your trip more enjoyable.

The cabin baggage dimensions in a lot of airlines are 56x45x25cm (max. 10kg). Check out this functional and Coool suitcase on a scooter I found here .


Wherever you go, whether it is a city break, mountain hiking or river rafting, it is important to pack all the necessities to ensure your own comfort. To put your mind at ease, start writing a list far in advance. Phone applications to help you packing are PackPoint, Pack the Bag.  Being organised pays off big time!


The kind of clothes you are going to take very much depend on the time of the year and your destination.

First rule: Pack clothes which will prove suitable for various occasions. 

Winter in New York is ‘hat, gloves and warm jackets’ kind of weather. During colder months take layers, they will  keep you warmer then one piece of bulky jacket because of the warm air trapped in-between the layers. In autumn and spring time you should be prepared for both warm and chilly weather. Take light, thin coat which is not too heavy to carry around.


Summer time in a lot of cites around the world is the time of warm/hot weather. Take a couple of summer outfits made out of breathable cotton or viscose (even better)! Clothing made of natural fibres will keep you cool during hot days!  1 dress, a couple of skirts, tops which will go with the skirt and a pair of shorts will do the trick.

Less is more! Staying light and comfortable is key. Try it all on in front of the mirror before packing.

You are probably going to do quite a bit of walking so think about a pair of light sandals or breathable trainers. You can take a pair of heels for the evening (you want to look fashionable).

Since summer evenings can be chilly, it is a good idea to take a light cardigan or a hoodie to cover up. You can also use it in metro or air-conditioned shops, as the temperatures there can be quite low (sometimes it feels like they set it to below freezing 😉



Where would you go without your smartphone these days ha? Obviously I don’t have to remind you to pack it as it is probably the first thing you are going to tick off on your list. Don’t worry, I am the same!

  • Phone and camera (+chargers)
  • Travel power adapter
  • Headphones
  • Kindle (if you are a bookaholic like me; it takes less space then most books and you can take thousands of them)


Cosmetics are often responsible for the weight and size of your luggage. I have a set of few 100ml plastic bottles in which I take my shampoo etc. They don’t weight as much as the big ones and you can take them in your hand luggage. You can also buy ready, travel size versions of cosmetics in most bigger shops and supermarkets. If you can get your hands on miniature versions of perfumes (like samples) then this is a great option as glass bottles often are quite heavy. Pack in thin, clear bags to save on space in your suitcase.

  • Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel
  • Make-up: I take only 1 of each type: 1 mascara, 1 blusher/bronzer, highlighter pen which I use as a concealer, eye-liner, eyebrow pencil.
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush
  • Face wipes



  • Scarf: this is a must as it is multifunctional. It can be used as a blanket when you are asleep on a plane or you can wear it to cover your bear shoulders when visiting temples, churches and put it over your head when is raining! Be creative with it!
  • Umbrella (only take if you have space for it; remember you can also buy it whilst you are there)
  • Jewellery

Don’t forget to pack all the essentials:

  • Passport, visa, ticket, map
  • Wallet, money, cards
  • Sunglasses
  • Over the shoulder bag with a zipper (to prevent against pickpockets)
  • Comfortable pair of trousers or leggings for the flight
  • Flip flops for the shower or swimming poole in your hotel
  • Underwear, pyjamas
  • Ear plugs (some city hotels are noisy)
  • Medicines, sticking plasters
  • Towel (check if your hotel doesn’t provide one)
  • Travel size hair dryer and hair straightener (if you really can’t do without them and if your hotel doesn’t provide it)
  • Hairbrush or a comb

Let me know if you can think of any other important things I should include in my list? 

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