Whether you’re a RTW traveler, work and holiday maker, summer and spring break planner, or weekend jet setter, you’ve probably asked “what should I pack for fill-in-the-blank destination for X number of days at this time of year”! No matter how often you travel, the packing question can still prove to be a challenge. Hopefully, the longer we travel, the more savvy we become with packing smartly and lightly!
After five visits to London, I think I may have the packing essentials down to a science. From the slightly cheeky to the practical, here are my tips for what you should really pack for a London getaway.
A pair of cute wellies (rain boots, gum boots) – chances are it’s going to rain during your visit, so find some boots with a fun design and colors to match your outfits.
A brolly (umbrella) – again with the rain!
A jumper (sweater or even a jacket or hoodie) – As a little girl in the USA, we called a certain style of dress a jumper. You can imagine my surprise on my first visit to the UK when a male friend said he just needed to “grab a jumper” before we went for a walk.
Some attire in football (soccer) team colors – to fit in at the pub! I love American football and Australian football, and now a friend is trying to get me into what the world calls football. He’s a Chelsea fan and thankfully blue is my favorite color. My Arsenal friends are not very pleased!
A plug adapter – you’ll want to charge the laptop so you can blog about the beautiful weather!
More money – not only is London known for being an expensive city but the exchange rate doesn’t help either.
A pocket dictionary or translator app – to understand and communicate with the locals! Many of us have heard of loo (toilet, restroom) or queue (a line or to form a line), but even after five visits, I’m always learning “new” words or being reminded of British English phrases, terms, and slang. In the last few weeks, I received a refresher that (American) pants are (British) underwear, something “dear” is expensive, and a friend needed bandaids when she asked for “plasters”.
An Oyster Card – save money on public transportation with London’s travel card.
A Tube map – there are maps at every Underground station, but sometimes it’s nice to have one of your own.
A London A-Z – get the pocket size map & street finder (that’s A-“Zed”, not A-“Zee”)
Good walking shoes – the Tube is easy to use, but it’s nice to get from A to B on foot (just be sure to look right when crossing the street)
Head to Primark for inexpensive clothing. If the queue for the fitting room is long (and it will be), join the others who are trying on clothes over their outfits in the aisles.
If you’re staying at one of the many hotels in London, the staff can provide you with missing toiletries or point you in the direction of a nearby chemist/pharmacy.