Our first time across the pond we were embarking on a 6 week backpacking trip through Europe and as a result our wardrobe options were limited. Shoes consisted of sandals and sneakers that fit easily in our heavy bags.  While the most efficient garments were those that could roll up and did not wrinkle.  Needless to say, we were not confused for locals in our efficient/chic attire.

As London and Paris are both well known for their designer clothing we can’t wait to dress less like weary backpackers.  This excitement however does not make up for my distaste of packing.  This afternoon, my attempt to carefully catalogue outfits from my closet ended up as an explosion of everything across the bed.  From my massive pile of shirts, sweaters, socks and whatever else I was able to throw in I laboriously pulled together a few key pieces.  These outfits should hopefully be able to get me through a day of sightseeing and an evening out.

Clothing

With warm weather in the forecast but an always looming chance of rain (it is the UK after all) I worked with layers that I could easily put on or take off.  A few of my go to’s include a long grey sweater from Wilfred, my favourite pair of worn in jeans, a classic black blazer and a variety of camisole’s in different colours/prints.  In addition, I selected a few dresses that can be made casual by wearing a pair of flats or dressy by wearing heels.  Here is the full list:

  • 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of leggings
  • 3 dresses – 1 printed, 1 purple and 1 black
  • 4 camisoles, 3 short sleeve tops
  • 3 blazers – 1 printed, 1 black, 1 grey
  • 3 long sleeve sweaters, 1 oversize sweater (my favourite airplane choice as it is almost a blanket)
  • 1 light trench coat, 1 short sleeve black jacket
  • Socks and underwear

what to pack when visiting london and paris

what to pack when visiting london and paris

what to pack when visiting london and paris

what to pack when visiting london and paris

Shoes 

My disdain for packing most likely comes from the inability to find space and bring all of the shoes I own. Who knows when it might snow in the tropics and I’ll be wishing I had my sheep skin lined boots; or if sandals will come in handy during a December heat wave in the Arctic Circle.  Regardless of this, I am forced to pick the most sensible footwear and sadly leave the others behind where I picture them sulking in the closet.  Again, I am almost certainly bringing too many but just couldn’t narrow it down further then this:

  • 1 pair of white converse sneakers, 1 pair of Sperry boat shoes – for daytime walking
  • 1 pair of black booties, 1 pair of tan booties – with different heel heights I can justify needing both
  • 1 pair of chelsea boots – brand new and pair easily with any outfit
  • 1 pair of fancy heels – for a night out

what to pack when visiting london and paris

what to pack when visiting london and paris

Accessories and everything else

I’m not an overly huge fan of accessories as I prefer to avoid things being stolen however I’ve included a few inexpensive items that add a bit of fun to my rather black and grey wardrobe. Included is a statement necklace that will pair well with a solid sweater, several long gold necklaces to layer with one another, and an oversized hat that I have been seeking an excuse to wear.  In addition to jewelry my luggage will also not leave home without an umbrella and my favourite scarf.

what to pack when visiting london and paris

As fairly regular travellers, some time ago we put together a first aid/survival kit that has been invaluable. The kit has grown over time as with each trip we have added a new item that we found ourselves in need of however as a result it is now an almost perfect collection.  We highly recommend putting together your own kit and having it ready for any spur of the moment travels.

what to pack when visiting london and paris

Lastly, but certainly not least are electronics!  While we try to minimize what we need in order to reduce weight (electronics are heavy) there are some items that add comfort to our travels and are a necessity to documenting our trip.  Here are the most important:

  • Bose noise cancelling head phones – I can’t rave enough about how fantastic these are on flights
  • Ipad – we use this for flights that don’t offer movies as well as to upload photos on the go
  • Kobo – with a new book loaded for flight and train travel
  • Adapter – for when we are travelling oversees
  • Mountain Equipment Co-op backpack – we refer to this as the Mary Poppins bag, it can literally hold anything and everything
  • Nikon D630 – with lenses
  • Nikon point and shoot – for shorter trips
  • Chargers, memory cards, batteries – all stored in a cute zebra print case

what to pack when visiting london and paris

With two days to spare I’ll spend the rest of my packing time wondering if I have forgotten anything. Hopefully I haven’t.  And as for Kevin (since you may have noticed this is quite a female packing list) he waits until the night before or the day of depending on our flight time to toss everything in his bag. For some reason however he never seems to forget anything, maybe he’s onto something?

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