Pack smart: the clothes and essentials you’ll need on a London trip


Make no mistake, whatever the season you choose to descend on London Town, you’re going to have make sure you’re properly prepared in the clothing department. That means packing smartly – making sure you really do pack the clothes you need, as well as those you know you’ll feel comfortable in and want to show off in one of the most fashionable cities on earth.

Yes, that’s right; it’ll do no good to pack only your most stylish of threads without a thought to include in your suitcase(s) sensible, practical clobber you’ll need for sightseeing each day. In which case, here’s our guide to what to pack for a stay in London – both in terms of clothing and those all-so-easy-to-forget essentials…

London trip

• Waterproof boots and shoes – depending on the season, they may be ankle height or taller but make sure they are broken in and comfortable (don’t take your newest, unworn shoes on holiday; blisters are never fun!), so take two pairs and alternate them’ don’t ruin your trip immediately by spraining your ankle on the second day thanks to cobblestone streets in your accommodation’s neighbourhood by wearing heels instead of flats, so yes, reserve your fancy shoes for an evening out that won’t involve lots of walking on semi-even surfaces

• A rainproof jacket/ trench coat – women usually like a longer jacket than men; be sure to find one that can roll up and tuck into your bag on warmer days, but keeps you protected when the sun sets or the clouds get dark; in the winter you will want a jacket with a liner, or a warmer coat, but remember, unless it’s the baking days of summer, you’ll see your coat in almost every picture you take (have taken) of yourself, so make sure you like it!

• A scarf or shawl – don’t forget a heavy wool scarf in the winter or a lightweight scarf or shawl the other seasons; many women opt for a thin pashmina shawl to wrap around their shoulders when the air conditioning in the summer seems uncomfortably cool, as don’t doubt it, yes, it can make the difference of enjoying that special dinner in London

• An umbrella that’s both fairly strong and compact – tuck it in your day bag and you needn’t worry about the weather if you are prepared, or do like some travellers and buy a cheap one if you happen to be outdoors during the rain; if it gets damaged in the wind, buy another for a very cheap price (it may not last that long in the wind but you won’t be staying *that* long at the likes of The Montcalm At Brewery London, right?) because, it’s true, so ubiquitous are they here, they can be found in the vast majority of clothes shops in London – and even in other stores too.

Pack light; pack right

There’s nothing more cumbersome than hauling numerous suitcases through the airport and train station. With the extra cost of additional bags, when in doubt-leave it at home! If you’re travelling with someone else (especially as, say, a couple), the two of you might want to share one large suitcase that’s checked. In the checked bag, you can include any liquids and your razor. Then each take a carry-on… and that is it. Easy-peasy.

Wait and buy your shampoo and hair spray once you’re ensconced in your accommodation (near Brewery Road, for instance) instead of taking valuable luggage space. And don’t forget to take your medications with you in your purse or carry-on. Unpleasant experiences can be had by people when they’ve lost their luggage – including necessary prescriptions. Don’t fall victim to that sort of sticky situation.

You only need 2-3 pair of trousers/ jeans and one skirt or dress for the ladies. Take half as many shirts, socks, and underwear as the number of days you will be traveling. Even when traveling for more than two weeks, you can make it with less. Just do laundry two or three times if you need to (easy-to-use laundrettes are plentiful in London). And remember, the capital is, of course, such a fun place to shop so, if you’ve forgotten anything, you really won’t have any trouble finding an affordable replacement at one of the multitudes of clothing stores that litter the centre of the city. Truly, not at all!