How to Pack for a City Break

How to Pack for a City Break


We have all fallen prey to poor packing when it comes to a long weekend away. We have ended up forgetting essentials such as underwear, packed for entirely the wrong weather, under or overestimated how much we actually need, and always, always end up taking shoes that hurt our feet and give us blisters. With that in mind, we have put together the perfect city break packing list to help you streamline the suitcase, make sure you take clothes that you will actually wear – and save your poor feet!

How to Pack for a City Break

Shoes you can rely on

While a city break is a perfect opportunity to debut that gorgeous new jacket or those cocktail dresses that you have had your eye on for months, it is absolutely not the time for new shoes. We repeat – NO NEW SHOES! You can almost guarantee that if you do take ones you have not worn before, or for very long, that they will rip your feet to shreds. If you are worried that your oh-so-comfy and cool sneakers will not look quite right with that glamorous dress you have picked for dinner and cocktails, throw in some flat, embellished shoes. Avoid the sandals as far as possible – they are perfect for the beach but will not hold up against the cobbles you often find in city centers.


Coats and jackets can be some of the bulkiest things you need to pack, so take something that can be used for daytimes and evenings. Oversized blazers, denim jackets, and or a sophisticated trench coat in a neutral color are some of your best bets. A savvy packer would choose one that is versatile for all occasions, is lightweight enough to sling over your arm if it is warm, and wear them to the airport to save on valuable suitcase space.

Cross-body bags

When you are walking around all day, the last thing you want is the inevitable shoulder ache that comes with lugging a colossal shoulder bag around. No, this is where a small cross-body bag is your friend. The chances are you are trying to carry too much around with you, so think about what you actually need – cash, cellphone, lipstick, and keys, and make sure you can fit those into your bag. If need be, you can balance your sunglasses on top of your head, and you can probably leave the travel guide in your hotel room – your cell phone will give you all the information you need for the day!

Layer up

Rather than oversized bulky sweaters that will make you melt by lunchtime, think about thin, loose layers. Silk camis with lightweight cashmere cardigans or knits, long sleeve tops under printed dresses are the sort of things to think about. They take up much less space in your suitcase and will not have you looking like a hot, sweaty mess. As well as that, their mixing and matching properties give you maximum outfit choices – perfect for when packing is at a premium. 


Accessories can make or break an outfit, and they are ideal when it comes to a city break. They take up very little room in your suitcase and turn a daytime outfit into something you can wear to go bar hopping. Some sparkling earrings can make an everyday outfit special, a silk neck scarf can make a plain white tee look entirely different, and an armful of chunky bangles can create an exotic look out of a very average outfit. 

Cabin-appropriate baggage

The laws around what you can and can’t take on a plane have changed dramatically over the past few years, and each airline has its own version of the rules. The best thing to do is to check when you are booking your flight to see what sort of baggage you can take, but generally speaking, if you are carrying hand luggage only, a case with a hard exterior is the best option to protect your belongings. Just make sure it is within the correct dimensions for the aircraft; otherwise, you will find yourself landed with an expensive bill at the check-in gate. Remember, anything you buy after you have gone through security doesn’t count towards your luggage allowance, so it is the perfect place to take advantage and stock up on all of those duty-free perfumes and cosmetics!

Hopefully, these tips will show you how to pack for a city break – whether it is a  romantic city getaway or a fun weekend with the girls. Think versatility, pack carefully, and remember – NO NEW SHOES!

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