Packing for a city break

I have had the pleasure of going on a few trips recently, and when I mentioned online that I was going away, I received some messages about how I pack for trips, how I outfit plan and if I have any tips or tricks. Instead of replying to them all individually in depth, I thought I'd write a post for you all. Fingers crossed you find it helpful!

When you have limited time away, your packing needs to be condensed (sometimes you only have hand luggage space to contend with) and it needs to versatile. I like to pack items that I know will work with each other and that I can wear numerous times throughout the trip. If you are smart with your shoes/ accessories, you can make one item of clothing look different depending on how you style it for instance.

My travel attire

I often get questions about what I wear when travelling and my answer is always this: something comfy, elasticated and long. If the flight is relatively short, I will typically wear a comfy, elasticated maxi dress. I find my legs get quite cold and achy on trips and a maxi dress does the trick of keeping you cool in the airport, yet covered up on the plane. 

If I am flying further abroad, I usually opt for leggings, a long line vest or tee and a zipped up hoody. I am not one of these people that looks chic as hell in the airport... I am ALL about the comfort! I tend to wear everyday white trainers, no matter what I'm wearing to the airport. I can't walk far in flat sandals, and I need support on my feet, so trainers are perfect. I will generally wear these same trainers throughout the whole weekend, saving space in my bag for other shoes.

My handbag is always the same when I go away. I like to take a large shopper, with a detachable clutch bag inside. This clutch doubles up as a bag when you go out for dinner in the evenings!

How many days?

If you're packing for a long weekend away, you'll need your Friday travel outfit, and an evening look. Your Saturday day and night look and your Sunday daytime look (which is potentially your travel outfit as well)

I like to break the days down into day and night looks and I also see if I can use any of my staple wardrobe pieces, more than once. Basics such as Breton stripe tops, jeans and white shirts can be styled in SO many different ways; it is worth thinking about wearing items more than once. 

I also pack a pair of undies for each day and night look and one extra pair for good luck.

What's the weather like?

When you're going away, if you're anything like me, you'll check the weather every hour. I need to see how hot and sweaty it's going to be and if I need to pack a brolly or not. The key to packing for a short break is to pack thin layers that you can build up, instead of chunky knits that take up half your suitcase. Brollies are tiny these days, and sunnies are obviously easy enough to slide into your handbag or even wear on your head to/from the airport as I do. 

Travel size toiletries

One of my fave places to buy travel size toiletries from is actually M&S. They have great branded products like Pixi, Ren and Nuxe and I always do a last min, next day delivery shop for items before I go away. 

I am pretty lax when it comes to taking my entire skincare range with me when I go away. I would instead take minimal bottles to save weight, and I just like to make sure I have all the basics covered. I take face wipes for ease, and they're great in your handbag for freshening up on the flight. I take a little cleanser, a moisturiser with SPF in it and toner/make up remover. Controversially I don't take my eye cream when I go away as the air con in the hotel always makes my eyes puff up and its even worse if I've applied eye cream the night before.

I take my It Cosmetics Mascara, CC Cream, Concealer and I also take travel shower gels and shampoos/conditioners that I have pinched from the last hotel I stayed at.

Until last year, I never rolled my clothes; I just laid them out on top of each other. I am now an avid roller, and the difference it makes in my packing/space saving is huge. I also find my clothes are less creased and look a lot better when it comes to unpacking at the other end.

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes have changed my life. It's not just the cubes that I love, but its all the little zip-up bags and cases that these packing cube sets involve. I love them! I buy mine from Amazon and especially love the 8-piece sets. I keep my dirty laundry separate from everything else, I pack my toiletries in the larger ones, and I pack my jewellery and sunglasses in the makeup bag style ones. They are SO handy, and they honestly make packing so much easier. I even put my hand luggage things like lip balms, face wipes, earphones, chewing gum etc. into one and it saves scrambling around my big shopper bag trying to find all my things.

Mix and Match

When going away for a short break, it is important to pack clothes that you can mix and match and build various looks from. Take items that you can dress up or down by switching from trainers to heels. A cross body bag is great for the day, and if it has detachable straps, you can whip them off and use the bag as a clutch at night time.

The striped dress I am wearing is an excellent example of how you can wear something with flats for the day and then glam it up with a woven bag and white, red or navy heels for the night time.

Long maxi skirts are a great city break essential. You can wear them to the beach, while exploring in the day or glam them up with heels and a beautiful top for a perfect dinner/dancing outfit.

Classic shirts can be worn casually with trainers and tucked into midi skirts but then dressed up with heels in the evening.

Bardot style dresses are the perfect city break dress! They can be dressed down with flats for a more boho vibe and then glammed up with chunky heels when you're ready for dinner.

Act natural

When I go abroad, I try to take items made of natural fabrics as I can get very hot and sweaty when walking around a city. Polyester is NOT my friend. I hate it and hate wearing it abroad when it's hot. Linen, cotton and silk are my go to's, and thankfully they have a lot more items made out of these fabrics for us plus size women.

I've started to buy plain, handheld fans from Amazon for when I need to cool myself down and no matter where I go, people always ask where they're from. They look really chic and save me from melting! Pick one up here.

Photography by Bethany Elstone 

Shop my Look

1. *Dress | 2. *Trainers | 3. *Handbag | 4. Sunglasses 

*This post is written in partnership with M&S as part of an on going collaboration. 

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  1. Great advise I will definitely be putting to use on my summer vacation! LOVE the dress, the purse, the shoes, thank you for making things that are fun to read and help a girl to try new styles that look great on me!! ��

  2. Such good advice on packing, I'd not heard of packing cubes before so I'm intrigued! I so rarely think to put trainers with dresses these days, I need to imvest in a good white pair since my favourite converse are dying! Fab post anyway Danie!


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