Having trouble packing for London? Because as a super, unstylish American, I’m right there with you and FEEL your pain. Legit, I need a London packing list JUST to make sure that I don’t stick out like a sore thumb during any trip to London.
Therefore, to save yourself from any excessive, packing for London related anxiety:
Just stick with this tried and true guide and you’ll be totally fine.
Because I promise:
This London packing list will not only help you decide what to bring to London, but it will also help you create a stylish, London wardrobe that you can be proud of.
You never know:
People might even start to think you’re a local…until you open your mouth. LoL.
Sorry, but I can’t fix your accent.
This checklist for traveling to London is a guideline only. So feel free to tailor these suggestions to match your own personal style.
I just like having a list fo things to pack for London:
Because inevitably, I always forget something. And it’s never anything minor like a tweezer. It’s always something insanely essential like ALL my underwear (shudders in horror).
Since this phenomenon is very unfun, I don’t want this to happen to you.
I want you to be MUCH better at life than me. I want you to be able to pack seasonally appropriate London outfits that match the overall style of the city.
As a result:
You’ll feel 10,000 times (obviously that’s en EXACT figure) more confident during your London trip since you’ll look less like a tourist and more like a street-savvy local who knows exactly how to create a perfect UK packing list.
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But I still don’t know what to pack for London!
Take a deep breathe, namaste it up, and relax because all my packing for London secrets will be revealed.
You will have to leave those UGG boots, high top sneakers, ratty sweatpants, and half destroyed flip-flops at home.
Londoners typically exude style and confidence than their American bretheren.
You’ll want to create a packing list for London that embraces confident feminity, with a dash of edge for good measure.A
So think stylish and fit, with a conservative flair that is NOT overwhelmed by vibrant colors.
AKA, Don’t Dress Like a Rainbow Brite.
Instead, minimize the colors in your London wardrobe, ensuring that none of your London outfits consist of more than three colors,
Your checklist for traveling to London should include a dressy top that you’d feel comfortable wearing to work, and a nice pair of jeans or dark colored pants (One of my favorite packing tips is to leave the jeans at home since they are bulky and retain odors).
***If you CANNOT live without jeans, then the only jeans/women’s travel pants that I ever wear are Aviator Travel Jeans! WOOT WOOT! Not only are they the most comfortable pair of jeans that I’ve EVER owned (I literally could sleep in them). but they have Grand Canyon level deep pockets (with zippers), and are insanely flexible/durable, making them amazing in basically every way possible, minus the high price tag. But totally worth $110 since they last FORVER.***
If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especially since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
The Ultimate London Packing Checklist!
We all know that it rains a lot in London. I mean, locals practically do a celebratory dance when they see the sun.
Packing a rain jacket of some kind is a total must.
And my personal favorite?
The Cole Haan packable raincoat! Not only does it neatly and easily fold up into your suitcase, but it has a removable hood and a charming belt, that when used, gives you a more customizable, feminine fit.
The fabric is durable, comfortable, waterproof, and heavy enough to be worn throughout the spring and fall. Just wear a sweater underneath and you should have no prioblem staying warm.
This jacket does run a bit small, especially in the back and arms, so definitely try and order a size or two up.
When packing for London though:
Always remember that the weather in London can be slightly manic and change rapidly.
Always check the weather forecast before you depart since there is nothing worse than being totally unprepared for the weather at your final destination.
Pack only for the activities that you know you’ll be doing.
If you don’t plan on hiking then leave the hiking boots behind. Or, if you know that you’ll be walking the not so mean streets of London, then sacrifice that pair of Stilettos for a nice pair of walking shoes or comfortable ankle boots.
Since the weather in London tends to be a bit damp and cold, packing a nice pair of warm, walking boots is a must!
The UGG Simmens Boot! Seriously one of the BESTpair of boots that I have EVER bought!
Not only are they cute AF, and mad comfortable to BOOT (get it), but they are waterproof and come with an awesome zipper that helps you quickly and easily remove them at airport security.
They have a wool insole to help keep your feet warm and a rubber sole on the bottom for added traction (there are also little brown flecks in the sole that are adorable).
If you’re looking for a pair of boots that hold up to the wear and tear of daily life, but still look good in the process, then these are the boots for you (these boots are also perfect for your winter London packing list).
They do run a bit small so I would definitely consider ordering a half size up.
When shopping for a carry on bag:
I prefer a stylish backpack, like the Bebamour College Backpack, when I travel to London.
This bag is my fave since it’s sleek, stylish, and has an awesome, wide mouth opening that allows you to see everything in your carry on bag at once (no straight up, scavenger hunts as you frantically rifle through your bag, searching for your passport).
Not only does it fit all of my electronics (camera, phone, laptop, tablet), without making me resemble the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it also has two handles at the top so that I can carry it as a tote if my back gets sore.
It’s also comfortable to carry when full, even if it’s a bit snug underneath the seat of an airplane.
One down side?
Apparently, it’s a diaper bag but that wasn’t a huge deal to me. I just took out the changing pad and put my USB cords in the front pocket.
There’s also a HUGE laptop pocket and a zippered pocket that is perfect for all of your valuables.
The water bottle holder is also pretty tiny and not super functional but hey, nothing in life is perfect.
If you’re carrying a backpack and traveling alone in London, you won’t be able to see behind you.
Anyone could steal your stuff and you’d probably have no idea.
I always put a lock on my bag and only bring enough cash with me for the day.
If my bag does get stolen, at least I still have some cash and credit cards back at the hotel that I can use.
***Not sure what to pack in your carry on? Click here! I have a ridiculously long article ALL about it!***
“I love getting blisters and making my heels bleed from way too much walking!” said no one ever.
This one is kind of obvious but I think the real challenge is finding comfortable shoes that don’t make you look like a total tourist.
London is one massive city. So even if you take the Tube everywhere (because no one can afford to cab it all the time), you’ll still need a pair of stylish walking shoes that won’t make your feet beg for mercy.
My go-to walking shoe is definitely the Steve Madden Women’s Gills Fashion, even though I was a bit worried when I bought them.
A while back, I had gotten a pair of quilted, Steve Madden slip-on sneakers, and they were exactly what I was looking for.
They were stylish, just as comfortable as regular sneakers, and really easy to slip on and off.
Until I broke them in, they gave me wicked AWFUL blisters.
When I finally caved and got these shoes, I was a bit nervous that they might not be comfortable.
But, I learned from my mistakes and diligently researched these shoes before I bought them.
That’s also why I ordered a size up as a preemptive strike against any possible blisters of doom.
And I ‘m overjoyed to say that my love for all things Steve Madden has once again been restored!
In this model:
Not only is the heel of the shoe rounded and padded, to prevent blisters:
But they’re also super comfortable, last, a LONG time, look good with almost any outfit (just be sure to buy a neutral color) and are easy to get on an off.
An awesome pair of cute walking shoes for anyone who wants to feel like a total boss while walking down the streets of London.
***Socks look gross with these shoes so if you wear them to the airport and don’t want to step on the nasty floor in bare feet then definitely pack some no-show socks. ***
London, and most of the UK really, are known for having rather damp weather.
It’s always smart to bring something nice to throw on, just in case the weather changes and it gets chilly.
So instead of rocking a sweatshirt with unintended holes for your thumbs:
Why not try a chunky knit sweater like this one?
Not only do these sweaters keep you warm, but they really pull an outfit together without making you look like you’re trying too hard in a Hillary Clinton power suit.
Chunky knits help keep you warm and toasty on those over-airconditioned, long-haul flights.
I happen to love this one by MEROKEETY since it’s soft, comfy, and drapes open in a charming way. (FYI it doesn’t have any closures which is kind of annoying).
It falls just above the knees, has incredibly deep pockets, offers a flattering v neck, and fits well in all the right places.
The stitching is a bit odd and gives it an almost terry cloth look.
It also isn’t made for really cold weather, so don’t rock this sweater in the dead of winter
6. Leave the Tye Dye Behind
I didn’t get this memo my first time in London.
Therefore, I looked like an overgrown pinata in my insane kaleidoscope of colors. Yeah, don’t be like me.
Locals prefer subdued colors like blue, grey or brown, especially during the winter and fall. And if they do use color, it’s typically a pop of color from a signature accessory.
But feel free to wear what you want.
Just remember that if you wear a bunch of super bright colors, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re a total tourist.
That’s Why I Love this Shirt!
It has a feminine, baggy fit that is still attractive. I also love the inspiring quote and the neutral color that pairs well with a colorful accessory.
Plus It’s Only $11 and I’ve Worn it a Bunch of Times and It Hasn’t Worn Out.
Not into the T-shirt Look?
You can always pack a nice sweater dress too! In a nice neutral color, they look great and keep you nice and warm, like the one below.
7. Bring Sunscreen and a Scarf
What, You Haven’t Met Casper the Friendly Ghost?
Yeah, that’s me, your pasty white friend with the passport. That’s why even in London, I still need to think about the sun’s effect on my skin.
I suggest packing sunscreen and a nice scarf to protect you while you’re out exploring some of my favorite, top London attractions.
I wear a hat since they look lovely and really enhance the quality of your photos.
London can get pretty windy and result in the loss of your aforementioned hat. That’s why it’s probably best to pack a nice scarf and not a hat.
And this scarf is extra awesome!
Not only is it incredibly light, and available in a ton of fantastic colors, but it’s also long enough to wear as a scarf, sarong or headwrap.
Making it a true carry on essential when packing for London.
8. Selfie Stick Free is the Way to Be! But Don’t Forget Your Photography Gear!
In general, I’m not a huge fan of selfie sticks.
I dunno why, but they feel very self-indulgent to me.
So as a solo traveler, with no Instagram husband to speak of, I suck it up and get up at the crack of dawn.
I’ll then wipe the sleep deprivation from my face, grab my tripod, and take photos while everyone else is sleeping.
If this doesn’t work for you:
That’s totally cool. But just know that in most major cities, the selfie stick is the calling card of a naive tourist.
Therefore, Leave the Sehfie Stick at Home.
And prepare for that socially awkward moment when you need to ask a total stranger to take your picture.
I hate being social so instead, I usually bring a tripod since I’m also not confident in another person’s ability to take my photo.
No, I’m Not Anal Retentive or Anything (Note the intense sarcasm).
And while we’re on the subject of cameras, there are a few other photography essentials that you might want to pack as well.
Because truthfully, London is an insanely photogenic city that is filled with a vast array of photo spots that you’re gonna want to take advantage of.
You might want to pack some photography gear like spare batteries, spare memory cards, any type of lens you may need, a UV filter, and a great camera bag to keep all this expensive gear safe!
My favorite camera bag happens to be any of the amazing bags over at GATTA.
Well, you need a nice bag to protect your absurdly expensive camera from damage while you’re strolling through London.
Most camera bags are ugly AF and not something that you want to be seen with every single day.
GATTA bags! Seriously, they are the highest quality and most stylish camera bags that I have ever used.
Sure, they’re a bit on the pricey side, but totally worth the investment in my humble opinion.
I love the Rosewood Camille (above) and the Chloe Noir (smaller, chic, and black).
Both of these cameras are stylish on the outside and have a fabulous, felt like interior with an adjustable divider that cushions your camera and protects it from damage.
PSST: Pack some extra Ziploc bags to put your wet clothes in or to keep your electronics dry.
I will now channel your mom and dad and start to lecture you about travel safety, so be prepared.
You ALWAYS NEED to purchase travel insurance for EVERY single trip you take!
Sure, it’s tempting to forego insurance when you’re in a major city and feel like nothing bad could happen.
But don’t do it. Because truthfully:
No one ever expects some horrible medical tragedy to befall them or for someone to steal all their stuff.
I sure didn’t anticipate my wallet getting stolen in Barcelona or someone scamming me out of thousands of dollars, right before my trip to Norway, forcing me to cancel the trip.
But this stuff does happen and that’s why you always need to be prepared.
That’s why I LOVE World Nomads Travel Insurance!
Sure, they’re a little on the expensive side but so what?
Insurance is one of those things that you don’t want to skimp on. You just can’t afford to be cheap when it comes to your health and well-being (trust me, I’ve tried about a billion different companies and they are the best).
But more importantly:
World Nomads travel insurance covers almost any destination that you might want to visit (besides SUPER offbeat places like Pakistan), gives you a fantastic level of coverage that includes just about any travel mishap possible, short of getting eaten by a sea monster, it’s easy to customize, and you can extend or change your travel insurance policy while you’re on the road.
***If your gear is worth less than a $1000, get the basic plan. If your gear is worth more than a $1000, get the explorer plan (both have $100,000 worth of emergency medical coverage).***
So heed my words and purchase travel insurance, even if it’s not with World Nomads.
Because trust me:
The last thing you want to do is declare bankruptcy because your medical bills are insanely expensive.
Okay, lecture over.
Raise your hand if you carry electronics with you on vacation?
(This girl’s hand shoots up)
I’ll admit it, I’m a tech-dependent Milennial who would probably fall down a well or get eaten by a bear if I didn’t have my GPS with me at all times.
If the battery on my phone dies, it’s like a Defcon 5 level state of emergency.
But Never Fear:
That’s where this handy, pint-sized portable charger comes in.
So take a deep calming breath, namaste it up, and relax because this gadget will recharge multiple devices and save you a trip back to your hotel.
The Best Part Though?
This little charger is tiny and can easily fit in your day bag; a fact that keeps your hopes of becoming the ultimate minimalist packer very much alive.
***Friendly reminder not to forget your UK power adapter! Remember, the UK uses a higher voltage than the US; a fact that will render your electronics totally useless if you plug them into an active outlet (remember that you may need to flip a switch to turn the outlet on). So always pack a dual voltage universal adaptor that you can use all across the globe, like the one below. Plus, it has extra USB plugs so that you can charge multiple devices at one time!***
Since I’m probably not the only tech-dependent millennial out there:
I figured it was a good idea to add an assortment of electronics to this insanely long, London packing list.
Since the UK has a 220v, three pin system, this basically means that everyone, besides a local, will need a travel adapter (see above).
Bear in mind though:
If you’re traveling from the good old US of A (and my stats show that most of you are), some of your electronics might not work, even with a travel adapter.
Most laptops, cellphones, and cameras should be totally fine, but many hair dryers, curling irons, and hair straighteners won’t be.
These electronics just don’t typically support multiple voltages and will probably fry like bacon.
There are a ton of dual voltage straighteners and hairdryers out there for you to buy. I just never use them so i’ll leave that purchase up to you.
You’ll also want to bring your smartphone. DUH.
If you want to use the internet while you’re abroad, you can always pick up a sim card and just put it in your unlocked phone while you travel.
I use T-Mobile and get unlimited data internationally for like $50 a month.
I can use the WIFI on my phone pretty much all across the globe, at no extra cost.
I can also make calls and text, but that service isn’t unlimited.
You might want a sim card if you make a ton of calls and texts internationally.
Don’t forget to pack a decent pair of headphones, which is the socially acceptable way to ignore people who try and talk to you.
I love a good pair of noise-canceling headphones since they help drown out the ambient noise while you listen to music or watch a movie.
But any pair of headphones will do. It just depends on your budget.
Also, depending on your your needs and preferences:
You might also want to pack a tablet with a keyboard, a lightweight laptop, and an e-reader like a Kindle.
But whatever you do:
Choose wisely and don’t overpack!
12. Portable Charger
Since we are on the topic of electronics lets talk about portable chargers.
No use having all the electronics in place if they just die out on you when you need them the most!
So I know that there are always cafes where you can kick back, relax and charge your phone (assuming you’ve carried your charger!). I however highly recommend taking a portable charger around.
If you are anything like me, you will probably have a packed day.
Which means you will use your phone for photographs, navigation and so much more. You just can’t afford to have it die out on you.
I charge my phone up at night and then carry a portable charger along. I just attach the two together when I’m on the move which ensures that I always have a full battery.
I don’t know about you but I really hate searching for a café or restaurant with a port. This works best for me.
13. First Aid Kit
You know how mom and dad INSIST that you buy travel insurance, even though you never actually use it?
A travel first aid kit is kind of the same thing. Sure, it won’t get you a date on a Friday night, but it’s helpful when you’re… trapped down a well (where’s Lassie)!
It’s much more likely that you’ll get a blister and need a band-aid.
So not usually end of the world stuff:
But a travel first aid kit is one of those things that you should always pack because even though you probably won’t use it, if you need it and don’t have it, you’ll regret it.
Like big time.
So check out this super nifty and super compact first aid kit. I love it and use it on all my trips.
Not only is this bag SUPER strong (it’s made with 600D polyester but that actually means nothing to me):
But it comes with stainless steel scissors that can cut through seatbelts (obviously if you’re traveling carry on only, leave the scissors at home).
It comes with over a hundred essential medical items, weighs only a pound, and is waterproof.
Yup, this is some straight up MacGyver shiz.
Plus, all the medical tools inside are FDA approved and organized, with labels, according to their function.
So a total travel must-have for an anxiety-ridden traveler like me who constantly thinks she’s gonna get struck down with a case of Ebola.
Kidding…sort of. I mean, I saw Outbreak. I know what happens!
OMG! Cutest Passport Holder Ever Right?
I mean, it doesn’t even look like a passport and document holder. It just looks like a super awesome and super cute little clutch that you can bring with you for a hot night out on the town.
An awesome clutch that just happens to hold your phone and have RFID blocking capabilities (Superhero much? LoL)
It also comes in a variety of colors, has a removable strap, and costs less than $20.
Talk About Winning at Travel Life London.
15. Reusable Water bottle
I always always advise people to pack a reusable water bottle when traveling to London. Especially during the hotter months. The reason is really twofold.
One is that the water in the city is portable.
This means, if you have a reusable water bottle with you, you won’t spend on bottled water which quite frankly can get expensive.
Plus, the waste generated by the plastic bottles being discarded alone should be reason enough!
And you know what London can be like when things get hot!
The flipside is that you really should keep hydrating yourself when outdoors. London has experienced heatwaves and carrying a water bottle alongside you could just save you from a heat stroke!
Oh and if you are still worried about the water potability, I would suggest trying the lifestraw which filters the water before you drink it!
16. Packing Cubes
Back in the Day:
I never really used packing cubes. I just thought they were for obsessive-compulsive weirdos who had nothing better to do than obsess about their upcoming trip to London.
Until I tried them and Realized that I could Never Again Live Without Them!
Not only do packing cubes help organize your carry on, so that you can easily and efficiently find everything you need, but they give you more space by compressing your London travel essentials into a smaller size, allowing you to pack more.
The packing cubes above are probably some of my favorites. They have a mesh top that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, they come in several different sizes that help you pack anything and everything you need, and they are also extremely durable, so no need to worry about inconvenient rips, tears, or broken zippers (they also come in a variety of colors that you can match to your luggage).
One of Those London Packing Essentials I Can’t Leave Home Without.
17. Toiletries (and toiletry bag)
This one is Homer Simpson “doh” level obvious but I put it on here because well, clearly you’ll need your toiletries when packing for London.
You’ll want to pack the same essentials that you would bring on any other trip around the globe.
Things like a brush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodarant, moisturiser, contact lens solution (if you wear contacts), medication, and any makeup or sanitary products that you can dream up.
If you forget any of these items, don’t have a Mount Vesuvius caliber meltdown because you can get all of these things in London.
Unless of course, you have some crazy level of brand loyalty that makes you incapable of using any other type of product.
But take a deep breath.
Because even if you forget your deodorant, the world will keep spinning and everything will be just fine.
***PS: Just a friendly Girl with the Passport reminder to pack your sunscreen in the summer and your chapstick in the winter so that your lips don’t quickly resemble sandpaper.***
London Packing List Winter
(Temperatures are milder throughout winter in London than in many other parts of the world. Therefore, between December and February, expect temperatures from 40°F to 50°F. Rain is also common so warm waterproof clothing is a must.)
- Warn Jacket
- Opt for Sweater Dresses with leggings
- Pack a Chunky Knit Sweater
- Waterproof booties
- Thermals for layering
- Pack Extra socks to keep your feet warm
- Wool lined leggings
- warm hat, gloves, and scarf
London Packing List Spring
(Spring in London is between March and April, with temperatures that are between 45°F to 60°F. There are not too many tourists so it’s a great time to explore London. However, the weather can vary wildly during a single day, so pack for almost any type of weather.)
- Ankle Boots
- Weather can vary so pack layers to wear under any dresses or skirts
- Pack waterproof, boots jacket, and compact umbrella (it rains a lot)
- Pack a raincoat (rainboots if you need them)
- Ballet Flats for an evening out
- Nice Cardigan
London Packing List Summer
(Summer in London lasts from June through August, with temperatures between 60°F to 75°F. It can rain but summers are mild and a great time to be outside with all the other tourists that take over London at this time of year.)
- Nice Ballet Flats
- Comfortable yet stylish summer sandals
- Leather Jacket
- Jersey Skirt and Dresses (try bright and sunny summer dressy if it will be sunny)
- Can be windy so think about layering
- Pack a light scarf and sunscreen to protect you from the sun
- Light cardigan
London Packing List Fall
(Fall is from September through November in London, with temperatures that range between 55°F and 65°F. And while there are fewer tourists at this time of year, this is also the rainiest season in London so pack accordingly.)
- Earthy tones
- Warm Hat
- Ankle Boots
- Nice raincoat
- Chunky knit sweater
- warmer scarf
- Leggings under skirts or dresses