When you go on holiday there’s always one person who seems to pack everything but the kitchen sink.

While others have a small, easily-portable suitcase they can take on as hand luggage, there’s got to be someone who turns up with a big, heavy suitcase they can barely drag through the airport.

If that person’s you, it’s time to re-think your packing strategy and pare down your holiday wardrobe. You’ll need a good city break packing list to tone down your luggage.

You only need the essentials when going on holiday and anything else will just be a waste of time and money as you’ll need to pay for extra baggage and maybe even extra weight on the plane. This is where lightweight suitcases will come in handy. You obviously want as much of the weight to be your own possessions as possible, instead of being cheated out of it because of the case!

Related Read: How to pack lightly

city break packing list
Airport luggage – don’t overpack your suitcase!

Here’s a good city break packing list

1. Be comfortable

If you’re going to be walking around a city all day it’s important to be comfortable. Take two pairs of flat shoes you know are comfortable for daytime, and a pair of heels to wear at night if you want. Ensure you choose shoes that go with lots of different outfits – it’s no good taking a spotted blue and green pair that only match one dress.

Softstar offers great comfortable, light travel shoes.

2. Accessories

Once again, you need to stick to a few items that match lots of different clothes. A roomy bag for daytime and a smaller clutch for evenings out are all you need. When it comes to jewellery, stick to a few key pieces: your favourite rings, a statement necklace and a longer pendant necklace. There’s no need to take a bag full of bracelets and earrings unless they’re something you wear every day.

3. Mix and match

The main thing to do when you’re packing for a city break is to think about mixing and matching. One pair of jeans or trousers will do if you’re only away for a few days, so simply find a few tops that match the same pair. Similarly, choose one skirt and tops that match.

Dresses are an easy way to save space as you have a complete outfit in one garment. If you’re planning to go out in the evening, a few dresses are all you need – make sure they all match the heels you’re taking! Don’t go for anything that creases easily – the last thing you want to spend your time doing when you’re on holiday is ironing.

If possible, save even more space by finding some dressier tops that match the day time skirt you’re taking if it’s nice enough to dress up in the evening. Similarly, if you have tops you can wear to dress up your jeans then great!

4. Layering is key

Unless your destination is guaranteed to be sunny, you’ll need some clothes to layer up in. A leather jacket is a great choice as you can wear this for a night out as well. If it’s going to be very cold, then take a couple of warm woolly jumpers to layer over T-shirts. If it’s spring or autumn, then a couple of cardigans will do the same job. Depending on your personal style you could swap these for a hoodie, which will also double up as a jacket.

Merino wool clothing is the best for layering as it’s lightweight and keeps you both warm and cool. Check out the options available from Unbound Merino and also our guide on why it’s the best clothes for travel.

Luggage for a trip
Luggage for a trip

Here’s a city break packing list of what you’d need for about four days:

  • 1x trousers/jeans
  • 1x skirt
  • 4x tops
  • A dress or tops for each night you’re planning to go out
  • 1x cardigan for layering
  • 2x daytime shoes
  • 1x evening shoes
  • 5x pieces of jewellery maximum (to accessorise)
  • 1x day bag
  • 1x evening bag



Don’t forget your charger! Nowadays we travel with lots of different tech equipment like smartphones, cameras and computer games for the kids. A lot of the gear, but also gadgets at home, needs batteries. It’s so annoying to always buy new batteries, but it’s also bad for our environment and expensive.

So instead get rechargeable batteries and a proper smart charger for them. They might cost a bit more compared to others, but because of it’s extra-long lifespan you will actually save money quickly (after 2-4 charges already). You can charge good quality batteries 500 – 2,100 times and they maintain around 70% of their charge even after years of storage. Like that you actually save quite a bit of money and you stop wasting the environment.

We got the eneloop batteries and the fitting charger from Panasonic for testing and can only recommend them. There are three different types:

  • eneloop pro: 2,500 mAh (AA) & 930 mAh (AAA); recharge up to 500 times; precharged with solar energy; for photo cameras & equipment, radio-controlled toys, wireless keyboards, household devices,…
  • eneloop: 1,900 mAh (AA) & 750 mAh (AAA); recharge up to 2,100 times; precharged with solar energy; for compact cameras, video game controllers, flash lights,…
  • eneloop lite: 950 mAh (AA) & 550 mAh (AAA); recharge up to 3,000 times; precharged with solar energy; for remote controls, DECT phones,…

Order the eneloop batteries on Amazon


A smart charger makes the difference!

Go for a charger, which works with AA & AAA batteries.

Take a charger which notices if your battery is rechargeable and which does not charge it, if it’s not. How quickly have you might added a battery, which is not rechargeable. This can create problems, unless the charger detects it and does not charge this one, but the others who got entered.

The charger should show the battery status (80+% – green; 20% – 80% – Orange; 20% (or less) charged – red).

The charger should also stop automatically if one battery is full, so that it’s not getting overcharged. And the charging shouldn’t take forever.

And wouldn’t it be nice if the charger could also charge your smartphone via a USB (output)? And let the charger use an external USB to charge your batteries (input), so that you can charge it in the car or plane. The size and weight is important too, so that you can take it along on your journeys.

The BQ-CC87 smart charger does all those things from above and it automatically checks the power voltage and temperature, saving charging time and energy. It charges the lowest battery quickest, while relatively full ones a bit slower. Like that it uses the energy efficient.

The approximate charging time is about 1.5 hours (example on two AA 950-1,000 batteries), with 4 AA Mignon 2400-2,550 mAh batteries it is about 6 hours. Both very good results!

Order the BQ-CC87 on Amazon

If it’s going to be cold:

You should add in 2x jumpers or 1xhoodie, as well as 1x jacket/coat depending on projected temperatures.

All you need to add is your make-up bag, basic toiletries (don’t take things you only use once a month – and buy travel-size bottles!) and bits and bobs like hair straighteners, underwear and some sunnies!

Check out the boots from Softstar.

city break packing list - Your Stylish City Break Packing List


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.

    View all posts I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.