My Weekend in the big smoke – packing the essentials

It’s official. This mum is escaping her official duties for the weekend and soon…wahey. The husband is kindly taking over the reins for the weekend whilst my big sister and I make merry in London town. It’s all part of my extended significant birthday celebrations and I can’t wait. The anticipation started in November when my sister asked me which weekends I’d be free around my birthday. Having provided a long list of available dates, I was already beginning to speculate about what we might get up to. By December, as a naturally impatient person, I was ready to be put out of my misery and I was not disappointed when, on Christmas Day, my pressie formed part of ‘the big reveal’. 

The clues were: 

  • A long stemmed red rose and; 
  • A niftily-wrapped half face mask a la…Phantom of the Opera 

Yes, people, we’re off on a stonkingly good theatre break, which is right up my street. There’s nothing quite like a city break to restore the mojo; you can enjoy all of your favourite bits and pieces of a city without overdoing it and London is definitely one of my favourites. There is nothing quite like it in terms of all the different areas and their very different vibes. On our last jaunt we managed to cover Covent Garden and most of Oxford Street and Regent Street, including all available Disney stores, so I’m hoping for more of the same. I am probably one of the last remaining users of a hard copy of the ‘A-Z of London’; there is nothing quite like whipping it out when you alight at your chosen tube stop and working out your bearings.  

I’ve been on a few weekend breaks over the years and I like to think that I’ve narrowed down my packing list as I’ve gone on (the husband might disagree). The last thing you want is to be travelling heavy; I always like to start with what I know I’ll be doing and work around that.  Then I start to think about the bag that I’m aiming to get all of this stuff in. I also have my escalator phobia to take into account but we’ll come to that later. 

The handbag 

Everybody has their favourite; for me when I’m out and about I prefer a shoulder bag. It just means that I can keep all of my stuff close to hand, without being so big that I end up losing my travelcard right at the bottom of it. This little beauty from Accessorise is the kind of thing I tend to go for. This will be the weekend home for my purse, keys, cards and make-up essentials. Even if I were to travel at my very lightest, there is no way that I would get my overnight gear in that bag which brings me to my next dilemma. 

The overnight bag and what to put in it 

I love a wheelie suitcase but they definitely do not like London’s bumpy pavements and extensive network of escalators. I’ve found that they can be something of a hindrance when attempting to navigate around the capital. Here’s where the overnight bag really comes into its own. As I know that I can’t just put it down and drag it along, it does really help me to restrict my packing to the absolutely necessary. The last thing I want before the weekend begins is a shoulder strain. 

The essentials

  • One pair of shoes  

As comfortable as you can go – I’m opting for either my trusty ankle boots or a pair of loafers. Pounding those pavements can be hard on the feet so this is a weekend break rule to live by. 

  • Skinny jeans or leggings, if you prefer 

They will go with anything, have the comfort factor in spades and they will match your chosen shoes! 

  • One camisole/vest 

Great to go under a shirt or sweater – with this you have options. 

  • One top/t-shirt 

Something to go with your jeans on day two. 

  • One piece of knitwear 

Jumper or cardigan – the choice is yours – in combination with the cami, you can adjust your look to the prevailing weather conditions. If travelling on the tube, it can get fairly toasty (it’s the tube fluff that insulates the place). 

  • Something dressy for your Saturday night antics 

This will go with your jeans or leggings ideally so a tunic or a dressy top is ideal. If you’re looking for a totally different look then a dress that complements your shoes may be the way forward. 

  • Scarf  

Always helps to change up your daytime or evening look. 

  • Underwear 
  • Socks/pop socks/ tights 

Here every woman knows what she needs. 

  • Jewellery 

A couple of statement pieces that match your day and night outfits should suffice. 

  • Smellies 

Go travel-sized or even better, decant. Take what you need to do your thing. After shoes, this is where you can really begin to add weight to your load. There are some fab perfume atomisers out there to lighten things up. This one from Amazon won’t bust the budget either. 

  • First Aid essentials 

Based on past experience, I like to have some blister plasters and some basic painkillers close to hand. 

  • Technology 

Phone chargers or power banks are always handy to re-juice gadgets overnight. 

What to pack for your weekend break in the bag infographic.

You can see this little beauty in all its glory over on my Pinterest, be sure to follow me to keep up with more of the same! This list is based on one night away and includes the clothes that you’ll be wearing on day one. For a longer break, you’ll just need to factor in another day into night outfit and that you’ll be carrying this on day three. 

Irrespective of what you take with you, the most important thing about any weekend away is the enjoyment and the company. Where are you off to on your next break? I’m always looking for some weekend break inspiration.

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