City breaks are one of my favourite types of holidays, so much so that I’ll be going on my third one of the year at the end of April. They’re short and sweet but full of fun, adventure and culture. They are perfect for those of us who can’t just drop everything and go catch that **WANDERLUST** (insert picture of insta model posing by Santorini sunset). They can slot into the end of your week and most of the time you don’t even need to take any of your precious annual leave for a weekend of new cultures and good times. For those of us lucky enough to live in Europe, we have so many different countries on our doorstep which have their own completely different cultures with new food, drink, sights and history to soak up. Whilst RyanAir and EasyJet are in no way my favourite ways to travel, if I can go to a new country for £30 then I’m happy to be cramped like a sardine and get what I pay for. For those of you who have the money and the time, get out there now! You can read my blog posts on Brussels and Budapest for some travel inspiration, with an Oslo blog post coming very soon!
Packing for a city break is always a challenge for me because who doesn’t want to look stylish, especially when you’re going to have more photo opportunities being on holiday so you’re adamant that you want to look on point. I’ve put together some of my essential travel needs and key pieces for anyone going on a city break this spring/summer.
Phone cameras have advanced so much that having a camera isn’t on everyone’s list anymore and that’s fine, I’ve seen what the iPhone 7 camera can do. With that being said, having a nice little point and shoot has the ability to 1) take your photos to a new level 2) make you more likely to capture more moments. I find that if I have a camera round my neck I’m more willing to take photos than constantly whipping my iPhone out, ready for someone to swipe it out of my hands. I’d love to get my hands on an Olympus EPL camera after selling my beloved Canon DSLR this year, this is tipped as the perfect camera for bloggers and social media lovers.
2. Passport holder
Now this isn’t technically essential, but it’s a great edition to make your trip a little bit more stylish whilst also protecting probably the most important document of your life. Passports can get really beaten up and damaged, I really don’t know how but I’ve seen some shockers and you can be denied to board a flight if your passport is in a really bad way. A way to combat this is to keep it in a holder, the same as you would with your phone or tablet, it’ll protect it and keep it looking great. I have this one from HA Designs which is personalised with my initials and I love it – it has a slot for my passport as well as credit cards etc, it’s a great little organiser for when you’re away.
Sunglasses are an essential that should always be in your bag 24/7, 365 days of the year. Even for us who live in the UK, where the sun shines maybe 5 days out of the year you should carry around sunnies to protect your eyes as mother nature doesn’t play by rules and you can be blinded in the middle of January. Europe is a lot more clear than the UK, apart from snow in Oslo and one morning of rain in Brussels I’ve had great weather in all my city breaks even in the winter. We all had our sunglasses on in Budapest when the weather was in single digits so keep them on you. Sunglasses are also really great at making your outfit look 10x more stylish.
Don’t be me, wanting to be a fashionista in my thigh high heeled boots as you traipse around pavement all day, it’ll just mean you won’t enjoy your day as much and may even miss out on some sights because you’re too busy looking down at your poor feet. The amount of walking you do on a city break is astonishing – you’ll more than likely stick within the city centre where you won’t feel the need to hop on a bus or tram so your feet are your primary mode of transport. Whether it be trainers, espadrilles, flip flops, boots – make it flat(ish), I’ve noticed that super flat shoes like ballet pumps can also be a pain for the soles so go for something with a platform between your foot and the ground and as minimal a heel as possible.
5. Portable charger
This is the most essential essential of essentialville. I can’t stress how much of a life saver a portable charger is – with us being constantly on our phones and planned obsolescence being a thing *puts on tinfoil hat*, our phone batteries have a shorter lifespan than a mayfly. Gone are the days when your Nokia 3310 would last 6 months without a single recharge, but if it’s a trade off between battery life and accessing memes 24/7 via my phone I’ll just buy a portable charger. This is so essential as not only can you keep taking as many selfies as possible all day, but also if you ever get into any trouble abroad you want to know that your phone is always full of life. In Oslo when our flight was cancelled we battled with me having no data and shitty WiFi (thanks giffgaff) and my boyfriend who had 3G but a very dwindling battery as we rushed to book a flight home. It’s £13 and by far the best £13 I’ve ever spent.
I’ve always worn single strap bags aside from year 7 of high school when I sported a 00s special puma drawstring bag. The issue with single strap bags is that if they’re quite heavy, the weight is unevenly distributed and you end up with one really sore shoulder after a day of walking. I’m not sure if it’s just me either but I always have to have my bag on my right and never on the left, it doesn’t feel right (no pun intended) and therefore my right shoulder never gets a break. I asked for a backpack for my birthday as by then I’d already booked two city breaks and had Thailand in June so I knew it was essential, now it’s my go to bag for everything as it’s so nice to have it resting on both soldiers and is a lot better for a day of walking. Make sure you’re careful as your backpack is behind you so keep valuables elsewhere like in a travel belt.
Try and keep everything cotton and linen which are the best materials for keeping you cool in the heat and try to the likes of satin unless you have a good relationship with excessive sweat. My beloved black clothing, whilst my staple, is an attractant for heat so go as light as possible with whites and pastel colours – they’re also on trend especially baby blue this season.
Denim is perfect for the spring, it’s light enough for when the temperature starts to rise but also protects you from any cold/rainy spells that may catch you off guard. For the hotter months, shorts and skirts are advised and even cut off pants can be a god send, you wouldn’t believe how much your temperature can drop when your ankles are on show!
What are you travel must haves? Where are you jetting off to this year?