I’ve covered what to pack when you’re off camping. But what if you’re more a short City Break kinda gal?

You might stay in the UK and spending a few days in one of our fabulous Cities like Norwich, York, Exeter or, of course, London. Or maybe you’re jetting off to Prague, Paris, Rome, or even further afield. The packing basics for a city break remain the same.

You want to pack light. You want comfortable clothes and shoes for trekking round the sites during the day but you don’t want to scream TOURIST! You want elegant evening wear, but you don’t want to take stuff that needs hanging, ironing or will crease to hell after 2 hours in a suitcase. If you have 2 nights and 2 days, plus some hellish travelling you want clothes that do double duty and stay looking good.

I do a fair bit of hellish dragging myself around the country, and I’ve gradually learnt to be slightly less of a “fling it all in” kind of person. Though I fight those urges every day. I also suffer from the curse of carefully planning a wardrobe, only to go away and throw a hissy fit as I don’t want to wear those carefully planned outfits as I’m not in the mood anymore. Here I’ve tried to put together a few tips that will mean you can pack light and take a small bag AND still have a bit of flexibility in what you wear.

Top Tips for your wardrobe:

  • Pick a colour palette for the weekend – If your skirt, trousers and tops all go together you will have much more choice when you get dressed in the morning.
  • Choose fabrics from your wardrobe that you know don’t crease.
  • Stick to what you know – If you take what you think are great new outfits, but when you try them on you hate them then you’re kind of stuck.
  • Accessorise – Belts, earrings and necklaces take up no room at all in your luggage and mean you get a bit more flexibility in your outfits. Clip on earrings change the look of shoes, brooches work on T Shirts, bags and jackets.

Here a bold red belt and cuff, teamed with smoky eye make up give a bold, dramatic evening look, while the same dress, bag and shoes teamed with delicate silver accessories and red lipstick gives an altogether more elegant evening look. If you take a scarf that doubles as a shawl you can take that out with you in the evening too.

Whilst for daytime sightseeing and travelling 3 t shirts, a skirt and a pair of trousers actually gives you 6 different outfits before you’ve even accessorised and considering you’ll be wearing one of these outfits when you arrive and another when you leave you should have no problem fitting it all in a small weekend bag

Your essential 2 day capsule wardrobe:

  • Little Black Dress
  • 2 different belts in different colours
  • evening bag
  • Large day time tote bag
  • Pair of lightweight, comfortable trousers
  • A skirt
  • 3 x T Shirts/Tops
  • A scarf
  • A lightweight jacket
  • Ballet Pumps or flats
  • Black heels
  • Jewellery and accessories
Finally, keep your packing even lighter by paring your make up and wash bag down to the bare minimum.

Top tips for your makeup and wash bag:

  • Keep the samples you find in magazines, or even ask for them at beauty counters. They’re great if you’re only going for a few nights
  • Don’t waste money buying tiny travel sizes. Decant your larger products into smaller bottles (you can buy these at Boots) or if you’ve bought travel sizes in the past, keep those bottles to decant into
  • Keep your look simple. Hairdryers in hotels are never right in front of the mirror and they mostly wheeze like an asthmatic tortoise.  Take a hair brush and a few elastic bands and save the up dos for home.
  • Take double duty make up. Lipstick works as blusher, eyeshadow as liner.
  • Don’t paint your nails blood red just before you leave. Travel manages to chip nail polish without you even touching anything.

Now if you just need something to pack it all in then you’ll need to look at some lovely new luggage….

Photo by Passetti