Pre-Packing for England


As you may know, most international flights includes one free check-in luggage with your airfare, and because of this I am forced to pack with a limit. At first I was annoyed; going away for two weeks – what am I going to wear after a week?!

Then, it got me thinking. Perhaps I just need to reconsider what it means to pack for a two-week vacation. Do I really need to bring a bunch of outfits with me to accommodate each day and location?

Comfortable, low maintenance, and simple clothing is what I need to take with me. T’s are the solution; cotton and loose. T’s are simple garments that don’t require special care. They can be laundered or easily washed in the bathroom sink of a hotel. They’re also versatile; I can dress them up when going out to dinner, for example.

Just in case the warm weather isn’t warm enough or when exploring in the evenings, I’ll take with me a cardigan or sweater. A thin cotton cardigan is very handy when traveling. They are lightweight and make a great layering garment with T’s and tanks.

A jacket is also very practical on a trip. Sometimes, I need something a little warmer and a thin cotton cardigan won’t do. I have a tweed jacket that I have taken with me on most of my trips; from Morocco to Vancouver, B.C. and it’s still holding up! I like my jacket; it adds a bit of a civilized style to my travels when I look back.

Wherever I go, I expect that I will be dining at a somewhat fine or upscale restaurant at least once. A simple dress that requires no ironing is what I will pack. Something dark in color is always classic; for instance, the ever so popularly quoted, “little black dress”.

As for bottoms, I will take a mix of jeans and trousers, a pair of shorts and a skirt or two. If my tops are going to be simple, then my bottoms are going to be fun but still comfortable and low maintenance.

The packing list looks in order and fitting quite well in my largest suitcase. Most of the clothing I will pack will fit compactly, which will leave me room for the next big thing I’ll have to tackle – footwear. This is where I always have a dilemma.

What shoes do I bring along? Weather-wise, the London (and I suspect the rest of England) isn’t as warm as NYC. However, when it rains I’d like to take along my Hunter rubber boots. But then what all around shoes do I take? Athletic style footwear? Ankle booties? Obviously, it should be something comfortable which they are. And of course, I have to take a pair of dress shoes for those evenings out to dinner or theater. Yes, I do get dressed up for the theater which many American audiences don’t seem to do in NYC. I hope it is different in England. Oh, and let’s not forget about tea time! Ok, I am digressing. Shoes; what to bring?

To be continued…

Another potential dilemma are toiletries. It’s not simply shower gels, shampoo, and toothpaste. I have a facial regiment of cleansers, moisturizer, toner, and treatments. I think this is simply going to Sephora and procuring travel size or samples of products. Because of their size, they should tuck away nicely in the suitcase, or within my rubber boots. Don’t freak out; toiletries will be placed in bag for toiletries and wrapped in plastic bag as insurance against spillage.

Other things that I make sure to take is an umbrella, slippers (I don’t like walking barefoot or with socks on hotel flooring), a few spare plastic bags (for keeping dirty clothing and you never know what other uses you may need) and power plug adaptor. The suitcase is also a great place to store your guidebooks, at least the bulky ones.

Well, I think everything seems to be in order. Hopefully, the actual packing will not be as stressful as when I packed for a weekend to Maine. And perhaps I will have room in the luggage to fill it when returning with souvenirs. 🙂

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