Truth be told, packing for a trip to London isn’t one of life’s biggest headaches. There aren’t that many restrictions on what you can bring into the UK and its climate being so temperate – and, yes, far from tropical – not many hazardous things you might come across and require protection from. However, there are a few tips when it comes to packing for the British capital you’d be wise to be aware of…
First up, perhaps the most important point when it comes to packing – choose what to take wisely. It may seem obvious, but remember you can’t take your whole wardrobe with you, so try to always pack light rather than heavily; things that go along with each other instead of bits and pieces that’ll look great on their own but won’t merge together well as layers (always a wise clothing choice in the often weather-changeable London).
Don’t overdo it on luggage
Ideally, you want to take one suitcase; that’s it. Just one, you might exclaim! Yes, really. The point is, London’s a busy place; it’s bustling 24-hours-a-day at its many and various transport hubs, not least on the London Underground train network (or the Tube, as it’s known to all and sundry).
Indeed, on the Tube, in particular, you’re going to struggle to drag your luggage – whether they’re fitted with wheels and long handles or not – if they’re made up of more than one case and carry-on hand luggage. Especially if you’re relying on the network to make it from one of city’s out-of-town airports to one of the luxury hotels London, such as the Montcalm Brewery hotel on Chiswell Street London.
Go gender-neutral with your luggage
It’s not just a good idea to mix and match when it comes to clothing choices, but also in how you actually pack them; that’s to say, it may prove sensible to put some of your things in your travel partner’s case – and vice versa – should you be travelling with someone else. Why? Well, it’s unusual for your luggage to get lost on a flight, but it does happen (and, don’t worry, if and when it does, it’s very rare you don’t get it back eventually) and if you should be so unlucky, at least you’ll have something to wear thanks to what you’ve packed in your travel partner’s case. Just a thought.
To avoid a real carry-on, make sure you include in your carry-on luggage your most valuable thing – of either financial or emotional value, or both. We’re talking the likes of laptops, cameras and other electronic equipment, as well as jewellery and essentials like make-up and medication (although, in terms of the latter, you’ll need to follow specific legal/ airline guidelines, of course).
Identification and documents
It’s one of those things so easy to forget, but try not to – be sure you make copies of the most important documents you’ll need to take with you: your passport, birth certificate and flight documents. In fact, this goes not just for travelling to London or the UK, but for every time you fly overseas. It’s a very good habit to get into; don’t doubt it. After all, if you do lose any of these documents in transit (especially the first two); imagine the difficulties you might get into without back-up versions to prove you are who you say you are!
Like it or not, there are certain things you won’t be able to bring into Britain. A number of foods such as vegetables, raw meats, fresh fruits and unpackaged foods aren’t allowed, perhaps unsurprisingly. However, when it comes to carry-on luggage (see above), bottles of water, perfume and certain other cosmetics are no longer allowed – owing to security reasons. Ultimately, you should check with the airline you’ll be flying with for allowances and restrictions.
Finally, if you’re travelling to the UK from the US or certain other parts of the world, you’ll find the plugs you use for your electronic devices won’t work in Blighty. Irritating, yes; but something that can be easily got around. Simply, you’ll need to get hold of one or two UK-favouring plug adaptors for your gadgets. Armed with these then, you shouldn’t need a voltage converter on top – thus, you should be able to run the likes of your laptop and charge your smartphone just as if you’re at home, while making the absolute most of London. Sorted!