A little preparation for a stylish weekend abroad will make all the difference between a good city break and one that is all levels of epic. I’ve shared my top tips with Luxe City Guides here to ensure that you and your city break fall into the latter category, consider the following essentials (read on for full packing list):Swimsuit
Not an obvious choice for a weekend ‘city’ break, but keep in mind that in European cities, lots of businesses close on Sundays – and that includes shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. If you’ve already overdosed on art and culture by Sunday afternoon, head to a fabulous hammam or day spa for some well-deserved pampering. The swimsuit comes in handy for tiptoeing from plunge pool to plunge pool.
The Right Shoes
Think about footwear before you go. Often in Europe, the roads are paved with cobbles. And we have all found out the hard way that cobblestones and high heels are natural enemies. Pack trainers for day and a chic little pair of pointed-toe slides for evening. If you can’t do without heels, go for wedges.
Yes, hotels have hairdryers, but even the fanciest of establishments tend towards substandard hair-drying equipment. Avoid the dreaded frizz-bomb by packing your own hairdryer – if you’re at all in doubt, and if you’re planning on attending a fabulous dinner/drinks event, BYO.
P.S. don’t forget the adaptor.
Unless you’re travelling in the darkest depths of winter (in which case a winter coat is a must), consider the versatility of a blazer as your outerwear option. A well-tailored blazer sharpens a more casual daytime outfit, and can be slung over your shoulders with a slinky evening dress underneath.
I try my hardest not to overpack, but when it comes down to it, two hand bags are essential for a city break: a larger bag for carrying everything you need for a day out and about, and a little clutch or cross-body bag for evening. There’s no avoiding it I’m afraid.
Come winter, layers are your best friend and will keep your packing minimal. A thermal layer underneath your cashmere means a blazer will suffice where a thick coat might otherwise be required. Uniqlo’s heattech range is perfect – they’re very thin so they will keep you toasty without looking bulky while you’re darting from gallery to bar.
If you’re prone to the above-mentioned frizz-bomb, a mini-umbrella is a saviour. Don’t forget to take one lest you end up wasting precious time sheltering in a doorway, or wearing a travel poncho (and no one should ever, even consider wearing a travel poncho).
Don’t Forget the Details
These are the few little versatile pieces that elevate your outfits from pedestrian-tourist to glam-local status: sunglasses (natch), chandelier earrings (for day and night), a silk neck scarf and a few bracelets to add a little interest.