Are you planning to travel to London? What must you pack for the trip? Lucky for you, here’s a complete packing checklist for traveling to London, and everything you’ll need.
Everything is set. You have your air tickets ready, you have already booked your accommodation, and have all the attractions sites you want to visit in the most exciting city in the world.
You even have a schedule of what to do in the city. What’s remaining? It’s time to pack. But you don’t have any idea what you should carry with you. What are the right essentials for the season?
What should be on your checklist for traveling to London? You don’t want to appear like a lost kid on the streets. We’ve got you covered.
In this in-depth article, we shall have a look at all the must-have travel items you need to make your trip enjoyable as you had hoped.
A few things will depend on some factors like the weather, your estimated budget, and the purpose of travel. But, I’ll try as much as I can to pivot all through these options so that you get credible advice.
So let’s not waste any time and dig in already.
Must-Have Travel Items for London
Here are some key items to have on your packing list for London.
No hard feelings if you love glaring clothes, but what to wear in London should be decent. It’s what the locals are used to. It would be reasonable if you pack nice outfits.
No worries though, you are still at liberty of wearing your red-carpet attire if you will be visiting some of the nice bars in London or going for occasional dinners. But they should be smart.
London weather can be unfriendly if you don’t have the right clothing. You can be surprised to experience four seasons in a single day.
But ideally, there are two main seasons; summer and winter. All need different clothes.
Clothing for Summer
For men, a pair of jeans rhymes perfectly with the weather. But, some days can get uncomfortably hot, and staying in jeans becomes a battle. Pack some shorts or light pants. A few shirts will also do the trick. The critical thing is to look for something light for airflow and freshness.
A pair of light pants and light dresses are perfect for ladies. The dress should have a shoulder strap. If you are planning of going hiking, you need boots to tackle the rough terrain and some hiking pants.
- Clothing for Winter
All your clothing should be warm. London can get extremely cold during this season, and you don’t need frostbite to be your travel agent. Consider heavy pants or jeans that have to wear layers.
Also, you can look for a heavy warm winter coat and a good-looking travel scarf. You’re also trying to be in fashion here. You can then top it up with a warm hat.
See Related: London vs. New York: City Comparison Guide
2. The Right Luggage
You can agree that the longer you travel, the smaller your suitcase gets. Why? You get to know new tricks for packing your suitcase in the right manner to maximize space.
It’s no different when looking for what to pack for London. It’s a busy city, and you don’t need a large suitcase that gives you a headache in the busy intersections. If possible, you can comfortably live with a 48L backpack.
But first, decide if you either prefer a suitcase or a large backpack. Either way, you must still have a smaller backpack that will help you when walking up and down the many stairs and public transit.
A large backpack or suitcase is essential to carry most of your stuff like toiletries, clothes, makeup, and gadgets. Some people prefer backpacks to suitcases because they don’t have the energy to drag huge luggage across the streets. Plus, the busy airport will give you a hard time if you have not traveled light.
But this doesn’t mean you should take a suitcase. It’s your choice, and you pick what best suits you. If it’s a must that you choose a suitcase, at least meet these requirements.
- You will be staying in a hotel with bigger lockers to fit your suitcases
- Your hotel has an elevator, and you’re not staying in the top-most rooms
- London must be your only stop.
Why a Backpack is the Best
A backpack is easy to wear when you’re on the go. The backpack you chose should have an equal distribution of weight to avoid back problems.
A good recommendation is the Gregory mountain backpack. Thanks to the fact that it’s taller than the width. Its ergonomic features make it less burdensome.
Once you’ve arrived at the hotel, you need another simpler bag to carry a few stuff. The right bag for this task should have these features:
- Comfortable to wear and not heavy
- Have extra room for gadgets like a camera to take some shorts and a laptop if it can fit
- Have anti-theft safety features for petty thieves that target tourists
- Small enough so that it doesn’t take much room on the taxi
3. Electronic Gear and Gadgets
These are other sets of essentials that must appear on your checklist for traveling to London. Since you are on a lifetime venture, it’s good to make some memories. A camera, therefore, makes it to the top list of what to bring to London.
The city is photogenic, and you can’t help but take a few shots. This means that you need a good camera to capture all your fun moments. You can still use your phone if it has an excellent camera. You will need to charge these devices to continue using them. The UK uses a 220V pin system for handheld gadgets.
This means that you need to carry a travel adapter and extensions with the right number of USB ports, to keep all your devices alive. While some of these gadgets will work, a few electronics like curling irons and hair dryers won’t.
Mostly this happens if you’re carrying these gadgets from the USA since they use 110V. Ensure you grab one of these top dual voltage travel hair dryers, if that’s a priority for you.
Ideally, it’s of no use to bring all these in the first place if you’re not staying for long. Also, you’ll want to keep up with your family at home. You can order a SIM card in advance or buy one on arrival. A good headphone is perfect when you’ll be spending most of your time traveling.
These are decent headphones if you want to watch a movie or listen to your favorite jams.
See Related: Best Gadgets for Long Flights
4. Skin Care and Toiletries
You need to keep your natural complexion at all times. Note that it’s acceptable to carry all your liquids in travel-sized bottles when traveling to London. These give you room to store in zip-lock bags and spare some space on your suitcase for other essentials.
Most of these items are only associated with women. For a man, a roll-on, a few bathing items, shaving cream, and dental care are good to go.
Women need loads of skincare to make sure that they are still beautiful in this foreign land. Here is what you need to include on your checklist for traveling to London.
- Sunscreens if you’re traveling during summers
- A moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated
- Body lotion and deodorant
- Vaseline helps in revitalizing cracked or dry feet and soothes sunburn if you forgot your sun cream.
Bathing and Haircare Items
- A conditioner with travel-sized shampoo. You can add an extra dry shampoo for hydrophobic days. Yes, it can happen!
- Hair products that you use at home. Carry, depending on your duration.
- Bathing soaps and razor
5. Getting Comfortable Shoes
This is rather obvious, but you don’t want to have the experience of traveling in unfitting shoes. Imagine yourself scampering to the London subway with your shoes, biting you like hell.
What you get in the end are blisters and bleeding after walking for a long. London is a big city, and you’ll spend most of your time walking than driving. You will either be walking the cobbled streets or down the escalators as you visit sights.
Here’s the thing; your comfort comes from the shoes you will choose. And you don’t want to make a mistake here.
Your ideal choice of shoes should be sturdy, water-resistant, and long-lasting so that you can use them when back home. They should be stylish too (and much with your outfit if it can).
Since many travelers forget this part, do thorough research so that you don’t become one of them. They are many good shoes, but not all are good for London.
Plus, arm yourself with at least 7-8 pairs of socks that are enough for a whole week before you do laundry.
See Related: Why is everyone obsessed with travel?
6. Your Medicine Kit (Not the everyday First Aid Kit)
While there are many over-the-counter pharmacies, it’s still reasonable to carry a medicine kit when traveling to extreme areas. This doesn’t mean that it should be a sophisticated kit with all-disaster medical items. Just a basic kit is okay.
Such a kit should have a few items like your prescriptions from home. If you have a few things, you regularly take for medicinal purposes, put them in the kit. These may be weekly antacids or daily vitamins.
It’s also essential to carry antidiarrheal like Imodium. You never know, but travelers’ diarrhea may strike anytime when you’re far from the nearest pharmacy.
While taking a lot of water may still counter-attack diarrhea, antidiarrheal drugs make you feel secure and holds long enough before you reach a local pharmacy.
See Related: Best Travel Accessories
7. Reusable Water Bottles
Why? You can refill your bottle with water at water fountains, which are many in London. You will not have to buy water from the stores.
You will also save some cash that can help you somewhere. This is a good tip if you’re traveling on a budget. Not only that, but you will also be conserving the environment by creating less plastic which is a good thing altogether.
See Related: Fun Facts About London
What Not to Carry to London
Sometimes it’s good to leave a few things behind. It reduces your traveling weight and also makes you comfortable. And what’s more?
You can still buy some of the stuff when you arrive in London. Some items to leave at home include:
1. Valuable Jewelry
You don’t want to catch the attention of thieves. Leave them at home, and your security will be guaranteed.
It’s a good idea to have a guidebook around. But if we put comfort into consideration, it doesn’t add up.
What’s better? The Lonely Planet’s Best of London eBook.
It has all the discoveries that await you in London.
You will get these at your hotel. Also, remember that your hairdryers may not have rhyming volts.
See Related: Best Portable Car Seats for Travel
4. Kid’s Toys and Novels
These are unwanted additional weights. If it’s a must you carry a novel, invest in a Kindle book.
An eBook is even better. There are many places to buy toys in London.
See Related: Best Travel Safes
Few things to Know Before your Trip to London
- It’s not a must to take a cab. They are expensive and might cut deep into your pockets. Instead, take a bus which is a tenth cheaper than buses. A double-decker is better if you want to see the magnificent skyline of the city.
- If you’re looking for the perfect market, the Borough market fits the bill. This place is beautiful and has all the stuff you may need. You can get every kind of foodstuff here.
- There are suitable substitutes for the Tower of London, which are less expensive. A few remarkable museums are Victoria & Alberta, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum. All of these are free.
- A few of the attraction sites you will find interesting include the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge. Here are some cheap hotels in London to consider.
- Don’t get stuck in London only. You can get to see more beautiful attractions in the UK in Bath, Brighton, Windsor, Wales, and Oxford. Check out these awesome small towns in England.
Conclusion on the Checklist for Traveling to London
When it comes to traveling, you must know what to carry and what not to, depending on your destination. And, with our detailed article on the perfect checklist for traveling to London, you can now enjoy your tour of this beautiful city.
You now know how to pack for a trip to London from this step-by-step guide. The critical thing is to make sure that what you pack is not bulky, but still relevant.