Packing is one job that most of us dread; not only does it require a lot of planning but it can also be stressful to pack for somewhere you have never visited. Knowing how to prepare yourself for a London trip makes the entire packing process quicker, easier and more straightforward. Plus, you’ll be able to leave for your trip knowing you haven’t forgotten anything.
Whether you are visiting London on a city break or are planning to spend a little more time in the city, use our handy packing guide to ensure you bring everything you need to make the most of your time in the capital.
The UK uses a different type of plug socket to most of Europe, Australia and the US. So be sure to visit London with travel adaptors so there’s no delay in charging your essentials such as smartphone, camera and laptop or using any electronic devices when you arrive.
Copies of Passports
This is an important packing essential for wherever you go and should not be forgotten when travelling to London. If you are visiting London from overseas, be sure to have a copy of your passport with you incase you misplace or lose it when out and about. This makes the process of obtaining an emergency travel document much easier!
Even if you are travelling to London in the summer it is always advisable to travel with layers such as a light jacket, a jumper or a shirt. The weather in London is temperamental and some evenings can become cold. In fact, even during the day the weather can change dramatically.
There’s a stereotype that it is always raining in London and while it’s not entirely true, there is a chance you’ll be caught in shower at least once during your stay. Though it doesn’t rain all day every day, it can rain at a moment’s notice and even in the middle of the summer months. Carrying a small umbrella with you at all times is the best way to avoid getting caught in a downpour.
On a city break to London you will find yourself doing a lot of walking. Though the London Underground and bus services are exceptional and everywhere can be reached easily, it’s important to think about the amount of walking you’ll be doing when you’re out and about all day looking at different sites and attractions.
Though there are a lot of hidden gems in London, it’s a good idea to pack a list or rough itinerary of the things you definitely want to do. There are a lot of must-visit attractions in London, such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, and you won’t want to miss out.
There are hundreds of places that will change currency for you in London and almost all ATMs accept international debit and credit cards. However, if you are arriving late at night you may struggle if you arrive without any cash at all. Be sure to pack a little currency in your bag for when you arrive, just in case you’re unable to find an ATM or Bureau de Change.
If you are visiting London in the summer, it’s a good idea to bring sunscreen. Temperatures in the capital can reach the high 20s in July and August.
Proof of Age or ID
Whether this be in the form of a passport or ID card, if you are planning to drink alcohol or visit nightclubs in London you will need to prove your age. The drinking age in London is 18 and most pubs and clubs will require ID before entrance.
Though refreshments in London aren’t hard to come by and you’ll never have to walk more than a few steps before finding somewhere to get a drink, it’s not always convenient to stop and find a store. Bring a refillable water bottle – the tap water is safe to drink and it’s much more eco-friendly to refill than buy a new bottle each time.
There you have it, an insight into how to prepare for a London trip. Though the items listed about are not all necessary and they won’t all apply to everyone, they’re a good place to start if you haven’t visited London before or are unsure of what to pack.