i don’t know if this is of any interest to anyone, but i enjoy reading what others carry with them on their journeys and occasionally like to share my own packing lists. i’m not good about taking pictures, so you’ll have to bear with me on that one.
traveling in colder weather is always tricky, because you need enough clothes to stay warm but also need to be able to adapt to whatever comes up. layering has always been my answer, and my recent trip to london and barcelona was no different. the cities have different climates, with london being about 10-12 degrees cooler and more likely to be overcast than barcelona, so i had to be quite strategic in how i packed for the trip.
below are all of the things i packed, including what i wish i had and what i could have left behind.
five sweaters. one sweater dress. three tank tops and three t-shirts for layering. one tee for sleeping.
two pairs of jeans, one black and one denim. two pairs of dri-fit leggings, one of which i wore on the flights. one pair of pajama pants. one pair of tights.
patagonia nano puff jacket which is my absolute favorite because it is so light, super warm, and packs into itself to take up virtually no space in a bag.
north face fleece because it is cozy and warm and is always a great extra layer.
this madewell blanket scarf that went with everything i packed and doubled up as a blanket while traveling.
these patagonia convertible gloves that have the convenience of fingerless gloves but the warmth of mittens.
11 pairs of underwear, 2 bras, 2 sports bras, 2 pairs of running socks, 3 pairs of ankle socks, and 3 pairs of taller socks.
i took three pairs of shoes and had all my bases covered: my blundstones, my running shoes, and a pair of ankle boots.
the blundstones were my everyday shoe, what i wore for traveling and for all of the walking we did. they are so, so comfortable, wide enough that my toes aren’t cramped and with enough support that my flat feet could walk miles without hurting. i love these boots so much and am so glad i bit the bullet and purchased a pair.
i went back and forth on whether or not to take ankle boots with me, and i’m honestly still on the fence about whether or not it was worth it. i intended to have them for evenings, but i wound up wearing them all day in london one day and my feet were unhappy with me. even having ones with a lower heel, i was on my feet most of the day and my flat feet were done by the end of it.
i always pack running shoes for a trip, and it is always a toss up as to whether or not they will actually get used. i was hoping to squeeze in two runs but am content with the one run i managed in barcelona. regardless i’m always happy to have them.
the electronics + other things.
as always, the trusty iphone for navigation, for quick pictures on the go, and for podcasts.
i also carried by sony alpha a6000 digital camera, because i knew i would want some nicer pictures from the trip. i don’t use this often, or even for every trip i take, but the pictures it takes are so crisp and clear that i am glad i had it with me for the barcelona portion.
for reading i had my kindle paperwhite. i’m not sure which generation amazon is on now with the paperwhite, but it is an incredible e-reader. i can read in any place, in any light level, and it holds so many books. for someone like me, notorious for taking a minimum of 3 books on every trip, the paperwhite is so much lighter and efficient. also amazon offers great trade-in deals: in early 2019 i traded in my 2013 version and was able to get 20% off along with a $25 trade-in value when i purchased the new one.
i always carry this power bank with me on all trips, regardless of how long i will be gone. it takes away the worry of having to find plugs, and it ensures that even if we are out and about all day i will still be able to charge my phone. it came in super handy when maggie, katie, and i were in europe in 2018, and it came through once again on this trip.
and of course i had my handy-dandy travel adapter. since the uk and europe have different plugs and a different voltage from the states, this adapter makes sure that i can charge everything without worrying about the voltage conversion. i like this one because it has four usb charging ports, so in theory we could charge my phone, jeremy’s phone, my kindle, and my camera, along with something in the main plug, all at the same time. we never had to, and i don’t know how much that would diminish the charging power, but it’s nice to know we could have if we needed to.
the toiletries + first aid.
the great part about london and barcelona is that if you need anything you can always find it there, so i didn’t worry overly much about toiletries. i carried my toothbrush, paste, and floss along with travel size bottles of body wash, face wash, shampoo, and conditioner.
i don’t carry a ton of first aid stuff with me, especially when traveling to larger cities where items are readily available, but i do always have hand sanitizer and a few band-aids on hand. these come in handy on long travel days, and especially if i cut myself randomly as i am highly capable of doing.
unrelated but because they didn’t fit anywhere else: i also packed q-tips, gum picks, and my revlon eyeliner pencil.
i got to try out my new cotopaxi travel pack for this trip, and i love it so much that i am writing a separate ode just for it. but know that it is everything i ever dreamed of in a pack and i am very happy with my purchase.
i also took my osprey daypack with me. i picked this up on a whim at the rei grand opening party in 2018, and it has come in so handy. it’s a great carry-on, perfectly fitting my kindle, my camera, my water bottle, my passport, and a shawl, and it is great for walking around a city for all the same reasons. when i’m going to be out all day i love having this bag, because i can tote everything i need but it’s not so big that i’m tempted to fill it up and make it too heavy.
and finally i took this a fossil crossbody with me for evenings when i didn’t need to carry all the things with me.
what i wish i had + what i could have left behind.
in all honesty, i didn’t need the north face fleece, the ankle boots, or the crossbody bag. i very easily could have left them behind and carried a lighter load. i am also still on the fence about having carried the bigger camera. yes, i got great photos from it in barcelona, but it was also an added weight for what ultimately amounted to less than a hundred photos. if i were doing it over again i would probably leave it at home.
i went back and forth between packing my rain shell or my umbrella and in the end forgot both. i wound up buying an umbrella from the waitrose near king’s cross for £10, and it was money well spent. note to self: always pack something water proof when traveling to london.
and there you have it. this list obviously changes depending on which season you’re traveling in and how long you’ll be on the road. i knew i would have the option of doing laundry at ellie and ben’s should the need arise, so i wasn’t overly worried, and i also purposely packed sweaters and things that i could wear multiple times.
note: the amazon links are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something through my link i will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.