Planning a London holiday after coronavirus is an exciting thing for most people. Now that you have made a note of all the things that are important for the first-time visitors of London to know before the travel, it is time for working on the ultimate packing list for London vacation.
Pick the right luggage or hand carry depending on the type of your travel. Check luggage requirements according to the airline you are traveling with. And make sure you don’t over pack to avoid opening bags at the airport, buying an extra bag that could be expensive or throwing away valuables.
The first thing you need to pack is your passport, your ticket(s), visas, and your travel itinerary. Although e-tickets are accepted on most of the international airports, it is highly recommended to get a print copy just in case. Also print a copy of the front-page of the passport.
Another recommendation is printing a copy of London Underground Map. Also, find the travel routes of all the attractions that you are going to visit from your accommodation in London, and print a copy. This will save you time and confusion.
Travelling with your credit cards is great but if you want to avoid unforeseen circumstances like when some small corner shops won’t accept card payments or your card has denied the payment or even if a retailer is not taking a particular card payment for some reason, make sure you are carrying some cash in the local currency (Sterling Pound £).
Clothing and shoes
As mentioned earlier in my Things to know before travelling to London blog post, London weather can be very unexpected with heat waves in March and April this year and constant rainy days and chill nights in July. You should pack according to the season you are travelling in, however, you must pack a few warmer outfits in the summer and slightly cooler options for cold weather.
For example, pack a pair of jeans with some cropped jumpers for the winter. But for indoors, pack a couple of tee-shirts as it can be warm inside the house. Make sure you have scarves, hat, and gloves for the cold weather. For summer, everyone prefer shorts and vests or even cropped tops, however, you should also pack a pair of jeans and a light cardigan in case the weather turns cold.
The secret here is layering – so if it turns cold, you can pull up a cardigan or a coat and if it turns warm, just take the extra layers off and you should do fine.
Swimwear is another important thing to pack in case your hotel has a swimming pool. Also, make sure you pack enough undergarments and socks for your trip. Take along a couple of comfy nightwear for a good sleep.
Pack a pair of comfortable walking trainers as walking is the best way for sightseeing London. You can always hop on to the tourist buses too. A pair of leather boots is vital for the winter season as it covers you from the cold and saves you from the wet streets in Winter. Obviously, feel free to pack your favourite heels when you want to dress up for that posh restaurant dinner.
Do not forget your favourite sunglasses and a hat to save yourself from the sun in summer. Only pack the jewellery that you know you will wear.
Toiletries and makeup
Pack your usual travel toiletries like toothbrush and toothpaste, mini shampoo and conditioner bottles, sanitary pads, cotton buds, your hairbrush, a good sunscreen (if travelling in Summer), deodorant, body soap, body grooming kit and your own travel towel. You should pack some antibacterial wipes too.
If available, pack the small travel makeup items like 15ml-30ml bottles of perfumes and foundations. You must pack a good facewash and a moisturiser as travel can affect your skin. Make sure you only pack the stuff that you actually need, in order to save space in your luggage.
Travel adaptor and electric equipment
Make sure you grab the right travel adaptor for UK as this is different than almost the rest of the world. It is a 3-pin dual adaptor, and you can find it easily on Amazon or eBay. In case you forget to get one, these are easily available on arrival at the airport. However, travelling after current situation, it is best to get one before you travel to avoid any disappointment. Grab a UK extension cord, so you can plug in your phone, laptop, hair straightener and much more all at once.
You must pack your portable power adaptor in case your phone battery dies unexpectedly. This would save you a lot of hassle. Make sure you pack extra charging cables for phone, camera and bluetooth speakers, in case you are taking one along. Another good thing to pack is a decent headphone, perfect for the long-haul flights.
Phone Sim Card
You can pick up a local sim card on arrival at the airport. The best options are GiffGaff and Three Mobile, with some great deals and packages on unlimited data. Three Mobile also provides FREE WIFI on underground platforms and stations.
Read more: Top 25 places to visit in London in 1 week
Laptops and photography equipment
If you are looking to do some kind of work, office of study, make sure you have packed you Laptops including chargers. Chromebooks are preferred for people who want to travel light but definitely need a laptop on their trip.
If you are into photography make sure you pack extra memory cards, a tripod stand, some spare batteries, an external hard drive to back up your photos and obviously a good camera. I would recommend investing in a camera bag to make sure no equipment is damaged while travel as these can be costly.
Reusable water bottle and travel mugs
Take along a reusable water bottle so you can fill these in at many of the water refilling station all around the city or from restaurants and cafes.
If you are travelling in winter, taking along your travel mugs for on the go hot drinks is recommended too. Many restaurants offer discount on coffee if you have your own travel mug as this saves us from wasting more plastic and paper.
Invest in a good strong wind-proof umbrella specially for winters as you might face very strong winds due to bad weather.
Do not forget to take along medications like antiallergens and pain killers as these might be helpful in unforeseen situations. If you have a certain health condition, make sure you pack your regular prescription medication and have your doctor’s letter too. Always pack some extra!
Also make your own mini first aid kit. If you have glasses for your eyesight, pack them too. Packing some gums and mints is good too.
Take along a good backpack for daytime sightseeing as most of your day would be spent travelling from one attraction to the other. A backpack is a great help as it stores many of the things that you would need to carry all day long, including your photography equipment, food and drinks, umbrella, medication, first aid kit, some cash and even extra stuff like gloves, scarves and extra layers for a colder weather.
Most of the above are usually same for any travel, however, this one is specifically targeting to London. Hope this has given you some idea on what you must pack. If you have another good recommendation, leave it in the comments below. XX