The first trip I ever took to England, I packed a suitcase so large, I could have slept in. I also brought a smaller suitcase. In all, I think I had packed my entire wardrobe! Needless to say, I NEVER did that again. Over time, I have learned how to pack for England, look great while there, and not lug around my entire wardrobe.
So Here are my Top 11 Tips To Ensure You Are Properly Packed for Trip To England:
1. Choose Your Clothing Wisely: This is perhaps the most important tip for packing. While you can’t take your entire wardrobe, you can still look fabulous during your vacation. Try to choose pieces of clothing that can go with everything else that you are taking, like a white button down shirt. You should also try to wear layers, as weather in the UK can change quickly. Pack one or two heavy shirts only, and layers to go underneath. Cardigans are perfect for this. Keep in mind, what you choose to wear will be remembered in videos, and pictures for years.
2. Three Pairs of Shoes ONLY: I know three pairs sound like a lot, but if you are a woman, it’s really not that many. I usually pick one pair of “dressy” shoes, for an evening out. I also pick a pair of shoes that will be comfortable on the airplane. My feet tend to swell, which is pretty common, so pick a super comfortable shoe. I recommend slip-on’s. Your final pair should be what you plan to walk around in. Keep this in mind when making clothing choices. On my last trip I took a pair of loafers on the plane, a pair of high heels for a fancy dinner, and comfortable boots that I could wear to walk around.
3. Make a List: No matter where I am going I always make a list of EVERYTHING I am going to need to bring with me, from a toothbrush to socks. I list each day I will be away and assign an ensemble for the day, listing everything needed to wear it. Once your list is made you are ready to select a suitcase.
4. Try to Take The Smallest Suitcase Possible: Make sure all of your things fit in your suitcase, you should not have to sit on it to close it, but you also don’t want tons of unused room. Keep in mind, you are going to have to make your way through airports, and through out your journey. If you can’t carry it, you’ve packed too much!
5. Pack a Souvenir Bag: Jon and I learned this trick years ago, and it is the way to travel. We pack a collapsible bag that goes in our suitcase on the way to England. As we buy souvenirs, we can put them in the bag. When it is time to go home, we carry the bag on the plane with us. This trick serves two purposes, you don’t need a bigger suitcase and you are assured your precious souvenirs are not crushed in your luggage.
6. What You REALLY Need in Your Carry on Bag: As airlines are continuing to crack down on the size of carry on luggage, you need to make sure that you have what you really need in it. Jon and I learned this the hard way, when his suitcase was lost on one of our trips. He was left without knickers, a toothbrush or a change of clothes for almost three days. Make sure to take what you would absolutely need, if your luggage was lost.
7. Mix Up Your Suitcases: If you are traveling with a spouse, put some of your clothing in their luggage and vice-versa. If one suitcase is lost, you are sure to have at least some of your clothing. I would not recommend doing this if you are unsure of the person you are traveling with. Always be present when your suitcases are packed, that way you both know what is in them.
8. Keep Certain Items With You: All electronics, like cameras, and laptops should never be packed in your luggage! Make sure to put them in your carry-on bag. Ladies, you should also keep you jewelry with you.
9. Make Copies of Your Passport and Birth Certificate: I have done this every time I have traveled overseas. While your actual passport should be carried with you while traveling via the airports, I always have a paper copy of both documents tuck in my luggage. If my passport were ever lost or stolen I would need these documents.
10. Things You Can Not Pack: Like all countries, the UK has restrictions on what you can bring into the country. You cannot bring certain foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, raw meets or unpackaged foods. As of my last trip, certain cosmetics and bottles of water, lotion and perfume were not allowed in my carry-on luggage for security reasons. If you are unsure if an item can come on the plane with you, check with the airline you will be flying with.
11. Plug Adapters: Be sure to pack plug adapters for your gadgets (iPhone, Laptop, etc) as American style plugs don’t work in UK Plug outlets. You can pick up plug adapters cheap at Target or Wal-Mart. In most cases, you will not need a voltage converter. Most American electronics can be used in the UK with a simple plug adapter.