What to pack for a city break abroad

Well hello to you my reader chums! Going on a city break is one of my favourite ways to travel. It means a few days away in a new place, a new vibe and offers a small break from every day life. There's something unique about every single city, and that's what makes a city break ever so special. If you're heading on your first city break abroad or you're looking for some advice on what to pack, I'm going to share some of my wisdom.

What to pack for a city break abroad

Here's what to pack on a city break abroad...


When it comes to packing, it's always best to do everything in steps and I like to start with outfit planning. Now the first thing to consider is the climate of the city and what time of year you're planning to visit, for instance going to Rome will be a little different to Belfast. 

Spring is probably my favourite season to go on a city break. The weather is generally beginning to get warmer, but not too overwhelmingly hot like summer months - making it easier to explore. The in between season, just like autumn can be the trickiest to pack for, however it's all about being prepared.

Spring and autumn must haves:
  • Light jackets - in case the weather gets cooler
  • Jeans 
  • Jumper/hoodie (cold evenings)
  • Raincoat 
  • Layers in general (vest tops, thin jumpers etc) - so if the weather fluctuates you can add or remove layers of clothing
  • Dress/playsuit/jumpsuit for day outfit or evenings out 

Summer time is generally the easiest to pack for a city break, as there's no unnecessary layers needed (unless you're heading to a cooler climate city), and you can rock cute summery dresses.

Summer must haves:
  • Summer dresses/playsuits
  • Sunglasses
  • Denim jacket
  • A light jumper or jacket 
  • Denim shorts or dungarees

When it comes to a wintry city break such as a Christmas market, it may go without saying but you need to pack a lot more - and that always excites me. For any city break abroad, I only ever bring a cabin suitcase as one it saves on the cost, and two I generally can fit everything in there. Winter is the hardest season to pack into a cabin suitcase because of all the bulky jumpers and coats, however if you wear your heaviest clothing, packing can be easy.

Winter must haves:
  • One staple winter coat (which you can wear on route)
  • Versatile pair of jeans that go with everything
  • Denim skirt and very thick tights
  • An assortment of jumpers
  • Vest tops and t-shirts to layer under jumpers
  • Hat, scarf and gloves
  • Ear muffs always come in handy

What to pack for a city break abroad


Once the outfit is sorted, you need to pick the shoes to go with. On any city break, I'd recommend packing two pairs of shoes: one which is suitable for walking and the other for evenings out or more dressy attire - and the less bulky of the two, wear to the airport.

  • Spring, summer and even autumn: staple pair of trainers and sandals/flat shoes.
  • Winter: Sturdy pair of boots (Chelsea boots are my favourite) and trainers.


As a beauty blogger, packing makeup is just as difficult as planning outfits. I never know which palette or lipsticks to bring, however I'm going to offer a few tips to make the packing planning process a little bit easier. 
  • Limit the liquids - If you're flying abroad with only a cabin bag then you need to be crafty with your liquids, and that means minimalising as much makeup liquids as possible. Decant your foundation into a small tub, stick to one concealer, pack lipsticks instead of liquid lip products and purchase a mini primer.
  • Separate the 'dry' makeup products with the liquids - My favourite tip when packing makeup is separating products into two different makeup bags. One will contain all the powder products such as eye shadow, bronzer, lipstick, brushes etc and the other makeup bag will be transparent. This will consist of all the liquid makeup products alongside with wash stuff and other liquids. I find this a useful tip, as you're able to take the transparent bag out at the airport for security screening - instead of rummaging around for your liquid products inside your makeup bag to put into the disposable bags they provide.
  • Stick to one eye shadow palette - I'm a bit of an eye shadow palette addict, and for a city break, it's always ideal to only stick to one versatile palette. A palette that has all the neutral shades and a few bright ones in case you want to change up the look in the evening.
  • Pick a nude and bright lipstick - Likewise with eye shadows, I love lipsticks, especially an orange or red. As a city break is only a few days, I'd recommend a neutral colour you can wear on any occasion, and a brighter option if you want to glam it up a bit.

What to pack for a city break abroad

Wash stuff

Packing wash stuff links in with makeup, however here's a few tips to consider:

  • Purchase minis - Every supermarket, Boots or Superdrug store will sell an array of mini sized products suitable for city breaks and that abide by the liquid laws (cabin bag) on aeroplanes (under 100ml per liquid). Buy shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, toothpaste and whatever you need - then put them all in the transparent bag ready for flying.
  • Or put the products into smaller travel pots - If you'd rather use all the wash products you have at home, buy yourself some travel sized pots and put the liquids in them.
  • Pack roll on deodrant - Planes don't allow aerosols in cabin luggage, so on your short break, buy yourself a roll on deodorant. This will also will have to go in the transparent liquid bag.
  • Buy roll on perfume - To save on space in your liquid bag, buy a roll on perfume. You can buy many famous named perfumes in roll on form in Boots - for example I have Marc Jacobs Daisy.


There's no doubt on a city break, you're going to bring a few electronic items with you such as curling tongs and a phone charger. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Pack an adapter - Whether its Europe or the US, ensure you check that the appropriate adapter is packed before setting off.
  • Bring an extension lead - My favourite tip I like to share is bringing an extension lead. This means if the hotel room or apartment has limited plug space, you can have extra plugs for your devices and appliances.
  • Portable charger - On a day out in the city, you'll be using your phone to take images and keeping updated on social media that you'll want to keep your phone topped up with charge - and that's where a portable charger comes in handy.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What's your main advice on packing for a city break?

Thank you for reading <3


  1. Girl you already got me thinking of what to take to Amsterdam in October! Super helpful post as always. X

  2. These tips are amazing, Della! I've never travelled by plane before so I didn't know you weren't allowed to bring a lot of liquid products!

    Lovely blog post, Della!😊

    Shirley | https://shirleycuypers.blogspot.be

    1. Thank you so much Shirley! I hope you take your first flight very soon xx

  3. Such good tips! I am such a crazy overpacker, it's insane! I nevee used to be but now.. boy, oh, boy 😅


    1. Haha I used to be too, I hope these tips help xx

  4. I am always Googling this kind of thing before I go away. I'm such an over-packer but will be sticking to your list from now on!

    1. Ah thank you - I'm glad this guide is helpful xx

  5. Fab post, with really helpful tips! layers and rain mac are key! xx

  6. I always over pack with shoes! Even just for a visit home I end up with a different pair for each day. This is a great post!


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