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It's the night before your holiday, you're standing in front of an empty suitcase and you haven't a clue of what to put in it. How often have we gone on holiday and then noticed that we’ve forgotten something important? Or come back from vacation and realised that we packed 20 pounds of stuff we didn’t need? To make sure that this doesn’t happen on your next weekend away we've put together the ultimate packing list for your next city break.
If a city packing guide isn’t what you’re looking for, you can check out our other guides for packing. For instance, our packing list for a hiking holiday, packing list for a beach holiday, and packing list for a winter holiday might interest you! Or head to our vacations page to plan a completely different type of holiday.
The important stuff. You can’t board a plane without your passport, and you can’t buy a coffee in any city without a bit of money. Here’s a tip: always bring your IDs and documents with you. If you don’t feel comfortable bringing the originals with you, take a photo of them or have a PDF scan on your phone. Just make sure a stranger isn't able to unlock your phone.
Credit card/Debit card
Cash (foreign and domestic)
Phone number of your bank if you need to lock (or unlock) your card
Consider bringing a bum bag to keep all your things in (all the hipsters are doing it)
ID cards: Identity card and/or passport
Driver's license (if you have one)
Student card (if you have one)
Health insurance card and, if necessary, proof of health insurance abroad
Any medical prescriptions (in case you need them)
Train ticket or plane ticket
Hotel confirmation (with the address on it)
Visa (if required)
Maps if you need one—I’d recommend downloading an offline map of whatever you’re visiting
For toiletries, of course, it's all about what you need and what you use—everyone has their own routine. We've listed a few basic things that most of you will want to carry in your luggage. But no matter what you bring with you, please remember that in your carry-on bag you can only carry bottles with a capacity of 100 ml and you must put them in a transparent zip bag. Don’t be that person in the security queue.
A zippered toiletry bag
Shower (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel)
Razor (the disposable ones usually make it through security, but double check w/ your airline to make sure)
Toothbrush and paste
Moisturiser (hand, face, body)
Sun protection (We’re pirates against skin cancer. Check here for some tips)
A towel (best ones are microfibre towels - they dry quick)
Most of us often take too much in your bags. Pack only the bare essentials and spare yourself the unnecessary weight. Most city breaks are for a weekend or a little more, but even if you are travelling for more than a week, you often do not need more than a few days worth of clothes. No matter where you are in the world, you'll almost always have the opportunity to wash - even if it's only in a hotel sink. Your wardrobe may vary depending on the season, but make sure you always wear comfortable, broken-in shoes!
Trousers, shorts/skirt (or a kilt if you’ve joined the tartan army)
Belt (if required)
2x T-shirts and long sleeve tops
Pullover (worth having for a cold flight)
Hat (For warmth in winter or to shade the sun in summer)
2 pairs of comfortable (!) shoes
Flip-flops (for the shower or the beach)
A hair scrunchy
Make-up and make-up remover
Feminine hygiene products
Contact lenses + accessories
Water bottle you can refill
Combination lock for your luggage (especially important if you are in the hostel)
Book or magazine (Here’s some inspiration)
Glasses (if you need them to read your new book)
Technology make seem like a luxury but having Google Maps on hand is an essential part of any city tripper's itinerary for a weekend break. Avid amateur photographers will also want their camera on hand. Charging these devices is also of course necessary, so make sure to bring an adaptor if it's needed.
Mobile phone + charger
Powerbank + charging cable (Definitely recommend for longer trips)
Adapter for the socket
Camera + battery, charging cable u. SD card
Possibly laptop or tablet + charging cable
There's nothing is worse than being unwell while travelling, so pack a few medical essentials for your trip. What you need depends, of course, on your destination and the season (for example, if you need mosquito spray). But first think about your individual medications, especially those you need to take regularly.
Wound and blister plaster
Pain and fever remedies
Something to calm a gippy tummy
Allergy pills (possibly nasal spray and eye drops)