Because I do love a good list…

City breaks are good for the soul. So good that they should be mandatory, at least once every couple of months. You don’t have to block book a whole week off work, you can pack minimally and because time is constricted, your stay is far more productive than usual.

With the deficit in time and space however, how should you pack differently? And what exactly does one pack to be as efficient as possible?

First up, I’m going to state the obvious and say CHECK THE WEATHER. Believe me when I say I have a great many friends, myself included, who don’t check it before leaving, and realise far too late that a sleeveless camisole is not going to offer much during a torrential downpour. My last city break to Milan, I checked the weather two weeks beforehand and it was a balmy 12 degrees. Fast forward 14 days and it had plummeted to -2 degrees and a whole new wardrobe was required once there to avoid frostbite. Lesson well and truly learnt.

Second, CONSIDER YOUR SHOES. It’s all too tempting to pack a fancy pair of towering heels but let’s face it, they’re not going to see the light of day, nor are they worth the suitcase space. As well as trusty trainers, I’ll always pack a midi-heel for the evenings. A pair that I can actually walk in; and by walk I mean tackle a cobbled street or a vertical staircase should I have to. Marks & Spencer’s sandals are designed with Insolia, which is endorsed by the UK College of Podiatrists. They redistribute weight on your foot, reducing pressure and increasing ankle stability, which is a godsend if you’re wanting to cover some serious ground during your trip, whilst still looking stylish. The pair I’m wearing in the photos are the comfiest heeled shoes I’ve ever worn and look equally good with jeans or a dress. You can see the full collection of sandals here.

PACK THE ESSENTIALS. A good pair of jeans or denim shorts, a simple beach dress, swimwear and a good pair of trainers covers off most warm weather city breaks. Just one bag, rather than several in different colour ways will suffice and I never bother with kindles or iPads. You just generally don’t have the time and by bedtime, you’re so shattered from all the walking and culture, you pass straight out. Grab as many toiletry miniatures as possible, especially if like myself, you’re a skincare junkie and have more serums than pairs of knickers.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER TO leave enough space in your case for a few cheeky purchases. I almost always end up buying clothes or shoes when I go away, in shops I can’t find in the UK, then end up having to pay excess baggage. Fail. Pack a jacket whatever the weather may say, as evening’s nearly always end up chilly and if you carry a camera with you, remember to also pack a spare SD card. The amount of times mine has broken on me mid trip is almost comical (bar the lost photos, that’s anything but comical).


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This post was sponsored by Marks & Spencer.