Weekend city break packing essentials

There’s nothing I love more than a mini-break, a chance to get away from the burdens of everyday life and explore a new city. City breaks are perfect for a quick getaway, they are often accessible by public transport links or serviced by airports if you have your heart set on going international. The key to a short break to carefully considered packing, you want to be gliding magnificently through the city streets with a compact carry on, or small backpack, filled with only the essentials.

Weekend city break packing essentials

The key to a short break is careful and considered packing, you want to be gliding magnificently through the city streets with a compact carry on, or small backpack. Click To Tweet

Regular readers will be quick to point out that organisation and packing skills are not exactly my forte. Which is exactly I have vowed to become a better packer, a veritable goddess of organisation and methodology [One of the lesser known deities I imagine?] and I would start by creating a handy guide to weekend city break packing essentials.

Weekend city break packing essentials


A small and lightweight carry on bag is the smart choice for a weekend city break. Choose a carry on with wheels for extra convenience and soon you’ll be rolling off the plane and onto the dazzling city streets. If you are flying for your weekend away, be sure to check the carry on luggage restrictions of the airline you are flying with. Cheaper carriers often chop and change their carry on policies, so always check before you fly, or you will end up having to wear the contents of your case to avoid a charge. I recommend shopping online at John Lewis, Debenhams or Samsonite UK, to find durable and quality luggage.

Weekend city break packing essentials


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. Layers are also your friend for a weekend break, pack a small selection of tank tops and long sleeve tops that can be added or taken away to account for the temperature. Ladies, try not to take 17 pairs of shoes, pick footwear that will match the majority of the outfits you are taking. Try ASOS or Boohoo for that chic, high street fashion look.

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Essential if you are going on a fabulous spa break, or if you happen to be near a beach for your weekend away. You want to be able to pop a costume on and soak up some rays if the sun comes out, or if it turns out your hotel has a pool. My favourite type of swimwear to pack is a gorgeous swimming costume, that can be jazzed up with a kaftan, sarong or sunhat.


It’s the little things that can make a big difference to the comfort of your trip. Try to make a checklist of your small essentials so that you don’t forget anything. I would make sure to include sunglasses, ear plugs, blow up travel pillow, sleeping mask, mini umbrella and of course, a mini prosecco. You never know when you might need a glass of fizz right?



Minis are the best kind of toiletries to take away, giant bottles of shampoo and conditioner are going to weigh you down on a weekend away. You can buy mini versions of your favourite toiletries at high street stores such as Boots or Superdrug. Many beauty stands in department stores will also offer samples of moisturiser, cleansers and toners, so you could stock up on quality brands for your trip, my personal favourite is Liz Earle. If you are flying, pop your toiletries in a transparent vanity bag, you’ll save time at security that could be spent sipping wine in departures.


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 decent camera for your city snaps. Sure, your iPhone can take semi-decent photos, but I would recommend taking either a DSLR camera, a point and shoot or one of my favourites, the GoPro Hero 5, so that you can get some seriously cool city break shots. If you are serious about your photography I would also recommend investing flexible travel tripod, perfect for keeping your camera still for those long exposure city lights shots.


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. If you are travelling abroad don’t forget your passport or travel insurance, you’ll be in a right pickle without these. Invest in a stylish document holder to keep them safe whilst on the road. Uncommon Goods sell a very snazzy document holder to hold all your travel paperwork and identity documents.

Essential travel items for your 2018 travels


The most useful gadget for a city break is surely the portable charger? There’s nothing worse than reaching for your phone for a perfect ‘city selfie’ and realising you are out of juice. If you are jetting abroad for your city escape, check what plug adapter you need and invest in a multi travel adapter, preferably one with additional USB sockets for charging your phone, tablet or other devices. I would also recommend taking a tablet, Kindle or iPod to keep you entertained on those long journeys. Just remember to bring all your relevant chargers!

Packing pouches

Organise your packing system with a set of packing pouches that allow you to sort your laundry from fresh and separate your shoes from your smalls. Lay out all your travel items before you put them in your case and then group into clothes, underwear, gadgets and toiletries. 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 alot faster.

What do you take on your city breaks? Let me know in the comments below!

Weekend city break packing essentials

Pip Jones

Pip Jones is a travel blogger, writer and content creator, she has been shortlisted for a Vuelio blogging award, is a brand ambassador for Euroventure Travel and is a Travelex ‘Top blogger’. She can normally be found drinking wine, typing an article and taking a selfie all at the same time.