Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, packing can be a complex part of your trip planning. How do you know what you need to pack for your stay in London? We give you the inside information so that you don’t waste baggage space or come unprepared.
Climate in London
Much of your packing list will be determined by the London weather. One thing about London weather (indeed, British weather) is that it is changeable. You need to be prepared for that.
Generally speaking, what surprises many visitors is the damp. Drizzle is not unusual, even in the midst of summer. That said, one day you may need sun cream and the next you’ll be glad you bought a raincoat and umbrella. In winter (Nov-Feb), temperatures can be cold, hovering around freezing, so if travelling then, bring a warm coat, gloves and hat.
You can find out the weather forecast for the dates of your stay using the . A good basic rule for London packing is to bring layers. It’s also wise to bring a rain or showerproof day bag, whatever season you are visiting in.
You’ll need to pack all the vital things you usually travel with: passport (and photo ID), travel insurance documents, visa documents (if necessary) and your wallet.
Few of us can travel without our tech close at hand. However, there is a huge advantage, when it comes to tech, of staying in a London serviced apartment. Not only will you benefit from far more plug sockets than in a hotel but you’ll also likely benefit from Wi-Fi and entertainment systems and more, within the property.
It is worth bringing some of the relevant power adaptors and converters. London wall sockets take appliances fitted with a three-pin plug and are different from the rest of western Europe. If your device uses a voltage less than 230v then you will also need to bring converters.
Remember to pack your charging cables too! This can be particularly helpful to reduce the number of adaptors and converters you need. A USB hub or laptop can act as the charging device for things such as phones, cameras and more.
It’s worth bringing any needed medication with you. However, if you forget something don’t panic, there are pharmacies dotted around the capital. If you are staying in one of our London serviced apartments then you can of it, and find your nearest pharmacy. You will find it useful to have the generic name of your medication, rather than the brand name.
If you are flying into London, perhaps to Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted and have travelled with hand luggage only, you may be short of toiletries. You can buy these at many London train stations, pharmacies, as well as mini supermarkets and dedicated toiletry shops throughout the capital.
Also remember that tap water in the UK is safe to drink. Therefore, you can bring a reusable water bottle and refill it in offices, your accommodation, attractions and at drinking fountains around the city. It is also worth noting that, along with many cities, reusable coffee and hot drinks mugs are becoming more popular and can easily be refilled at cafes around the city.
London is enormous and often crowded. Whether you’re planning to be a pavement–pounding sightseer or will be commuting on the underground to visit London offices, you will need comfortable shoes. We recommend closed toe shoes which will cope with whatever the weather throws at you, whilst also being comfortable.
Many people come to London purely for the shopping. Therefore, if you forget something, or simply want to make some purchases yourself it is good to know that there are lots of shopping areas nearby. Oxford Street, Regents Street and many of the London markets will have plenty of clothing options on offer.
What else should you remember?
The good news is that in London you are never far from a shop. Forget something and you’ll quickly be able to find a replacement.
You may find that it is beneficial to bring a London map or travel guide. However, you’ll also do well to download a few different apps on to your phone. Use for planning your journeys around the capital, as well as . The free app is also useful for finding out what’s on and how to visit different places.
Also plan your packing with your accommodation in mind. By choosing to stay in a London serviced apartment then you will not only have access to technology, Wi-Fi and power sockets but you’ll also have some essential kitchen equipment and, potentially, washing facilities. Many of our serviced apartments also benefit from a 24–hour reception or concierge who can help you obtain anything else you need.