Forum: General / Travel

First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??
By Puffin Comments: 28, member since Mon Dec 10, 2012
On Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:24 PM

So, I'm leaving for the the UK (around London area) in a few days, and I have no idea what to pack! For clothing, I was reading some travel blogs to get some ideas, but I don't think our idea of what is considered "cold" or "windy" match up. For instance, they referred to their 5-7°C winters as "very cold", meanwhile I'm coming from where it is currently 9°C (48ºF) at the end of June. Their "very windy" might not be the same as our average winds of 30km/h. Point being - I'm a little lost.

I should note that I'm going to be there for 6 weeks, so I'll probably need to pack enough for multiple occasions, though most of my time will be spent on day and weekend trips to here and there.

Also, are there any "fashion faux pas" that I should be aware of? Useful tips of what-not-to-do / what-to-do? What to bring/not to bring (clothing or otherwise)? This is my first trip out of the country, so I'm a bit nervous. I've always been a terrible packer, and I'm afraid that I'll forget something useful.


5 Replies to First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??

re: First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??
By hummingbird Comments: 10442, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sat Jun 27, 2015 01:02 PM
I don't live in England any more and haven't done for quite a few years now but I spent most of my life there and most of my family still live there.

Because the UK is surrounded by the sea the wind is strong there, particularly if you're in a coastal town and structural damage warnings are regularly issued on the radio when storms are approaching. The moisture levels in the atmosphere due to the closeness of water wherever you are means that cold weather will feel very cold and damp. I now live in Canada and in 3 degrees we would go out without coats on here because of the dry atmosphere, in the UK you would go out with coat, mitts, hat and scarf in only plus 3 and still probably feel the cold.

If you look at the weather forecast for next week though they're meant to be getting temperatures of over 30 degrees celsius in the south of England so I would take summer weight clothes with a couple of sweaters or light jackets just in case. It always pays to have those just in case in England, you never know when the next downpour is round the corner :)
re: First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??
By LoriCook Comments: 1763, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Mon Jun 29, 2015 06:09 AM
Bring a little sunscreen, I had a hard time finding some when traveling around rural areas.

I always bring layers of clothes for all possible weather but as few items as possible. You can re-wear pants, jeans, shorts, bras, sweaters and skirts so only pack one or two of each. I usually pack 3 light weight pajamas, 7 tops, 7 underwear and a few pair of socks so I only have to do laundry once a week. Wear or carry any bulky clothes on the plane. I roll all of my clothing in the suitcase to fit as much in as possible. Leave some room for souvenirs. I usually bring one cross body small purse (for doing tourist stuff) and one medium purse to get as much as possible onto the plane. Aim for one checked suitcase, one smallish carry on and your medium sized purse. Remember you have to be able to wheel all this through the airport and to your ride/rental car so keep it small.

England is a bit dressier than North America so leave athletic clothing and shoes at home (unless you are hiking.) Think neutral colors and a few bright accessories.

Bring comfortable shoes that go with a variety of outfits and wear one other versatile pair on the plane. (I wear black clogs and pack black flats.) You will be on your feet a lot.

A large cotton gauze scarf is helpful to use as a shawl, head wrap, cover up, sunshade, fashion accessory, etc.

If there's something I need, I buy it at a thrift store for a few pounds. I've bought rubber boots, flat iron, blow dryer, a big tote bag, a rain coat, an umbrella and a fleece jacket there then left the big stuff behind when headed home to avoid overweight luggage.

You will need a convertor kit to use any electrical appliances and if you want to use your phone you will need to contact your carrier. Be careful of hidden charges and data charges! The car cigarette lighter charger will work in their cars so if you'll be in the car a lot, that is an option.

Whatever you do, don't over pack. Chances are you can buy or borrow anything you need. Start making a list of what you will need then try to pare it back. Don't leave your packing for the last minute.
Have a great time!
re: First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??
By maureensiobhan Comments: 4741, member since Wed Dec 24, 2003
On Sun Jul 12, 2015 09:48 AM
As well as comfortable clothes, don't forget to pack plenty of rain gear. Sure, there are still plenty of sunny days in England, but there are more rainy days than sunny days there. Have fun :) !
re: First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6362, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Mon Jul 13, 2015 02:30 PM
Watch your power converters carefully. I bought a "converter set" that I found out when I got to Europe was only a plug adaptor, not a voltage stepdown. Fortunately the thing I needed most for....recharging my camera, the voltage wasn't critical, my Nikon recharger work on either European or North American voltages, but I didn't know that until I got there. Finding a place that sells rechargers isn't east on either side of the ocean. Check the internet and allow enough time for it to arrive. Leave electric alarm clock home overseas power is 50 cycle not 60 cycle, your clock will be 80% slow.

re: First trip abroad (England)! Any packing or clothing tips??
By hummingbird Comments: 10442, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Mon Jul 13, 2015 04:47 PM
^ Most people just use their cell phones as alarm clocks now, that way you only have to pack one device, not two. Having just gone back to the UK myself I didn't find any converters that were just for plugs, the ones for sale near us were all voltage converters too.