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What to Pack When you Visit London

Updated: Aug 23, 2023




Are you planning a visit to the wonderful city of London?

With so much to do and see, to get the best experience you need to prepare.

Here's my hints and tips of what to bring to optimise your visit.

These are the things I would pack if I was having a trip to London.





FOOTWEAR


London is best seen on foot, so wear comfortable shoes.

If you're planning on hitting some rooftop bars don't wear flip flops as they won't let you in!

Smart, but comfortable is the key. Even if you're planning on getting the tube around, there's still a lot of walking to do.

But don't wear any new shoes that will potentially give you blisters- pack some plasters, just in case.

If you want to wear trainers, you can get some cute smart , foldable ballet pumps to change into.




BAG


Bring a backpack. You're going to need your hands for eating, drinking and taking photos.

You can also bring everything you need, and it's better for you as it spreads the weight.

Get a backpack with some safe pockets to put your money, card and valuables in.

When you're drinking and dining use table clips or place belongings on chairs so they can be seen.

Bring some extra foldable bags to put inside your rucksack. This will save extra carrier bag charges, around 30p, and may come in useful if you want to pick up some souvenirs.




WHAT TO PACK WHEN YOU VISIT LONDON - MONEY


Unless it's a greasy spoon, what Brits call a cafe that serves a fried breakfast, card payments are preferred everywhere. Many places don't accept cash at all , so don't be too concerned with having cash on you.

You can use a contactless card to travel and if you use the same card to touch in and out on transport, the total charge you pay will be capped as a travelcard. You can use your contactless card on tubes, trains, buses, overground and trams.

You can also use a contactless payment card on Thames Clippers boats but these are not included in travel cards and cost extra.

It's worth registering your payment card on TFL's website so you can check that you've been charged. If you've forgotten to tap out you can easily apply for refunds too.





DRINKS


Bring a refillable water bottle as there's plenty of points to fill up with water.

You'll find water points in every station, as well as toilets.

Bars and cafes usually have water points too, or you can ask for a tap water when you order a drink.

If you love hot drinks get a collapsible cup. You get discounts at many cafes for using your own cup.





PHONE


Pack a remote mobile charger and your phone cable.

You'll need your phone for directions and photos so a fully charged mobile charger is essential.

Many cafes, bars and restaurants have plug points and USB ports for phone charging. So you can charge up when you stop for refreshment.

If you can't see any places to charge phone, just ask a staff member and they'll be able to point you in the right direction. Everyone's on their phone in London , they'll be used to it!

Phone theft in London is prevalent so keep your phone close to you. Get phone insurance or make sure you're covered on your household insurance.

I swear by these phone screen covers, I'm accident prone, they've saved me a fortune!




BE PREPARED FOR RAIN


No matter what the time of year, rain can always be on the cards in London.

A small packable rain mac is a great option. An umbrella can be tricky to navigate in busy places. Rain does not dampen Brits spirits, so be prepared to embrace the rain.



To help you plan your journeys I'd recommend downloading the City Mapper app.

You can use this free app to navigate most of the London transport system. It shows you your options and the price to get wherever you want to be going.

It's especially useful if you find reading a tube map confusing. It will tell you what tube line you need to get, you can see the stops and also where the train is terminating.

The app also take in account delays and strikes.

There's wifi in most train stations, coffee shops and fast food outlets and even shops.

If you're travelling from overseas, check your data roaming charges before you leave.





LONDON IN WINTER


Bring a hat, scarf and gloves. It's cold but London in the winter is also gorgeous. Those Christmas lights, snow flurries and frosty mornings are cold but beautiful.


I hope these ideas on 'What to Pack When you visit London' help you have an amazing time in London.








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