Going on a short city break and wondering what to pack? Pre-planning your city break packing will enable you to pack smarter and more efficiently.
The key to great city break packing is to look stylish whilst not overpacking and saving space in your luggage.
You should also consider what tech and entertainment you need to pack for your city getaway?
City break packing essentials
Weekend city break packing list
I would recommend packing layers and neutral colours so that you can mix and match your outfits and avoid overpacking.
A good starting point when curating your packing list is to look at how long you trip is and plan how many outfits and toiletries you will need based on the length of your trip.
Prepare for your next city break with these handy city break packing essentials and my favourite and recommended travel products, that will help you nail down what you need to pack.
I have a few quick tips and tricks to help you pack like a pro straight off the bat.
Some of my favourite city break packing hacks include:
- Wear your heaviest clothes to the airport
- Use compression packing cubes to save space
- Pack laundry bags to separate dirty clothes
- Bring travel-sized toiletries rather than full-size
- Use an electronic organiser for all your chargers
- Use a travel-size luggage scale to weigh your luggage before check-in
City Break Luggage
A small and lightweight carry on bag is the smart choice for a weekend city break.
Reduce the amount you pack by only taking carry on luggage, you’ll save both time packing and money on baggage fees.
You’ll be able to breeze around the airport and in your destination, without being weighed down by 25kg’s worth of luggage.
It’s important to check the luggage restrictions of the airline you are flying with when planning a city break trip abroad.
Budget airlines often chop and change their luggage policies [I’m looking at you Ryanair]. So you should always check your baggage allowance before you fly.
Cabin Luggage suitcase
The Cabin Max Travel Hack Cabin Luggage Suitcase is great for short city breaks and weekend getaways.
Its 28-litre main compartment comes with built-in packing straps and handy zipped internal pockets to help you to separate your luggage.
For the lady traveller, it also has an integrated compartment designed to hold your handbag as you go through the airport.
City Break Backpack
If you are looking for a city break day pack then the Anti-Theft Heritage Backpack by Travelon is a great day pack for city break travel.
This stylish backpack is super stylish and is great for carrying your travel gear on the go safely.
The backpack is really roomy and has an internal padded sleeve for your laptop.
It also has secure pockets with locking zips that are great for holding your wallet and passport safely.
Its full Anti-Theft features include surround slash-resistant body panels and shoulder strap; locking compartments; lockdown strap; and RFID blocking card and passport slots and pockets.
Check out my ‘easy tips for saving money on a city break‘ article for money-saving hacks on your next city trip!
Prefer audio? Listen to this Travel Goals Podcast episode ‘how to save money on a city‘ break for the best tips.
Organise your packing system with a set of travel packing cubes that allow you to sort your laundry from fresh clothes and separate your shoes from your smalls.
Layout all your travel items before you put them in your case and then group into clothes, underwear, gadgets and toiletries etc.
If you then put them into separate packing cubes, you will be super organised when you arrive at your destination and will be able to hit those city streets a lot faster.
Travel Document holder
Be sure to pack your essential travel documents for your break, remember your train tickets, hotel confirmations and details of any activities you may have booked.
Invest in a stylish document holder to keep them safe whilst on the road Travelon’s RFID Blocking Bouquet Ladies Wallet not only has a gorgeous design but is also lightweight for travel.
There are two compartments for organising currency, as well as 8 card slots and a zipped pocket.
For security-conscious gals, it also blocks RFID readers from capturing information.
Reusable water bottle
Save money and reduce your plastic waste by travelling with a reusable water bottle on your next city break.
I love the Bambaw Steel Water Bottle, it has a minimalist design with stainless steel and a sleek bamboo lid.
You can fill your water bottle up at airports, cafes and train stations in many European cities.
Also, lots of cities and towns in Italy have gorgeous, ornate fountains where you can fill up your reusable bottle.
Tech Accessory Organiser
A travel tech organiser is a total game-changer for properly packing your cables and small electronic items like memory card readers.
Say goodbye to tangled cables and neatly organise your cables in a handy travel organiser.
I love the Travelon Tech Accessory Organizer for keeping all my travel tech neatly organised and packed.
This handy organiser has zippered pockets for your adapters and snug pockets for your cords.
City Break Fashion
To save space, I often pack smart casual clothes that can be dressed up and down with scarfs, jewellery and accessories, depending on the occasion.
When packing for your city break, try limiting yourself to a selection of versatile pieces that you can mix and match to create a variety of looks.
For a 3-day city break, you could aim to pack the following clothes:
- 3x underwear and socks
- 1 nightwear
- 2 shoes
- 2 lightweight dresses
- 1 neutral jeans/jeggings/trousers
- 3 lightweight tops
- 1x warmer top/cardigan
Try packing a neutral coloured, versatile coat that will go with all of your outfits. You can also then wear it to the airport if you are flying and save on packing space.
If you are visiting a city during the spring or summer, you might be able to get away with just packing a nice blazer, or lightweight trench coat, denim jacket or khaki jacket.
A high-quality winter coat is one of the most important items if you are visiting a cold destination for your city break.
You definitely want to stay snug if you are rocking around a city in the winter.
Want winter packing tips? Check out my Winter holiday packing list article for tips on what to pack in cold climates.
Dresses are ideal for spring and summer city breaks as they are light to pack, easy to roll and can be dressed up with accessories.
If you pack 1-2 dresses for your short city break trip you can always add a jacket, cardigan and accessories to really add to your city girl look.
There is a fantastic range of dresses from JD Williams, that are reasonably priced and perfect for city breaks.
You can always pack a few lightweight and bold accessories to add to your mix and match city break outfits.
This should help you create new looks for each day and keep your style looking fresh.
Here are some of the accessories I pack on a city break:
- Statement jewellery
- Pashmina wrap
- Chunky belt
- Leather gloves
City Break travel tech
There are a few travel tech essentials that you can pack to enhance your city beak.
Try to think about the pieces you will need the most and what are your mst lightweight items of travel technology?
From kindles to cameras, here are some of my favourite pieces of travel tech that I like to take on a city break.
If it’s not on Instagram, then it never happened. Don’t miss out on making your friends uber jealous by forgetting to pack a quality camera for your city break snaps.
The best travel camera is one that will give you great image quality without being too bulky.
Size and ease of use are key if you want to enjoy your travels without being overloaded with super heavy camera gear.
The Olympus PEN is a high-performing, lightweight camera that is perfect for city break snaps.
It comes with instant and easy sharing of photos and video clips via smartphone thanks to its integrated WLAN, so you can get your travel photos online easily.
DJI Osmo Pocket
I love the super lightweight DJI Osmo Pocket to get travel photos and video clips on city breaks.
DJI Osmo Pocket is a small and mighty camera gimbal that is perfect to use for travel photography and videography on the go.
This tiny camera is just 12cm long and only weighs 112g, its small size means you can easily take this device anywhere to record videos.
Despite being small, the DJI Osmo Pocket is an impressive 4K 60fps-capable camera that has three-axis gimbal for stabilised video.
Check out my DJI Osmo Pocket review for more information!
Wireless headphones are ideal for a city break, they pair with your device, are lightweight and you can wave goodbye to tangled cables.
If you are in a new city, you can use them to navigate your way around. Simply connect them to your device and use Google maps to explore the city.
I personally love RHA TrueConnect headphones. They come in a compact, aluminium charging case that charges super fast.
They are also sweatproof and weather-resistant, so you can go for a city-run or still listen to your tunes if you get caught in the rain.
I am an avid reader and I love nothing better than having something engaging to read while I’m at an airport, on a train or sitting in a busy, city coffee shop. It’s probably my favourite thing to do.
If you are travelling light then make sure to pack a Kindle Paperwhite. This super slick reading device has a 300 ppi, glare-free Paperwhite display, meaning you can read for hours.
The new Kindle Paperwhite comes with Audible and lets you switch between reading and listening via Bluetooth-enabled headphones.
This means you can carry on reading whether you are commuting, waiting for take-off or taking a walk around the city.
Portable WiFi device
Want to have data on the go? Why not get a Mobile WiFi Hotspot? The Skyroam Internet hotspot gives you fast, reliable mobile data in many destinations across the world.
The main benefits of the Skyroam Mobile WiFi Hotspot are that it’s extremely portable and is SIM-free.
It cleverly works with Skyroam’s patented virtual SIM technology to connect to local mobile networks.
City break toiletries
My advice would be to pack small and smart when it comes to city break toiletries. Instead of buying full-size shampoo, conditioner and body wash, I use shampoo bars and refillable travel bottles.
They are much smaller than normal-sized bottles and can be used over and over again.
For a 3-day city break I would aim to pack these travel sized-toiletry essentials:
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Body wash
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Makeup and make-up remover
- Travel-sized perfume
City Break essentials
Some of the most important travel items for your city break include things like comprehensive travel insurance and travel money if you are going abroad.
Your city break essentials include:
- Travel wallet
- Boarding pass and travel tickets
- Travel guide book
- Travel Insurance
- Copy of your passport if abroad
- Travel first aid kit
City break saving
If you are looking for ways to save up for a city break, make sure to check out my 21 easy ways to save money for travel article.
This article is full of practical tips to help you save money towards your next city break adventure.
Prefer audio content? Listen to this episode Travel Goals Podcast – how to save for travel.
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