How to pack for a Warm Weather City Break in just a Carry On

City Break Packing Tips

As this post goes live, I’m sat in Gatwick departures lounge, likely with a bucket of coffee and a good book whilst I wait for my flight to Seville.

I’ve decided that I want to travel more, both at home in the UK and abroad.  There is so much of the world that I want to see and I do not want to be stuck going to the same places over and over.   I’m lucky that my work has taken me a fair few places abroad; San Francisco, Boston, Vancouver, Vienna.   And I’ve always been able to tag on a day or two to explore outside of the conference venue.    I’m not sure yet what work trips this year will afford (I’m seriously hoping for New York but you never know what deals will come through).

Outside of work, I have a few things lined up, Seville (today), Marrakech at the beginning of Autumn, and Cuba in December.   I’m squiffy with excitement about all of these and I think you’ll be seeing a few more travel posts from me this year – especially if we count UK breaks to Devon and the Peaks.

Today I thought I’d share with you some packing tips for city breaks – especially warm weather city breaks as Seville is going to be mid-20’s this week.

City Break Packing Tips

Choose a colour palette

You want to keep your items to a minimum so being able to mix and match items is essential.   For Seville, I’ve choose a rather blue colour palette, mixing white and blue prints with white skinny jeans and one or too bold coral print and a few metallics to break it up a little.

City Break Packing Trips - Seville

Wear broken-in shoes and underwear

You’re likely to be on your feet all day and will no doubt walk miles.   New shoes are the worst possible idea for this – I always pack my most trustworthy bras (the ones I know aren’t going to leave welts under my armpits after back-to-back wear) and comfiest possible shoes.   For Seville, I’ll be taking my Clarks Brogues (similar here) and my Reebok trainers.    As underwear, my trusted Curvy Kate Daily Dream will be worn for flying and I’ll have my Elomi Bijou for wearing beneath darker items.

City Break Packing Trips

Basic Tee’s are your friend

I always pack a couple of basic t-shirts that can be worn with jeans or skirts alike.  I tend to go for light weight cotton with long sleeves so that you’re covered for exploring churches or religious grounds and you’re unlikely to burn if covered up.  These striped and button detail t-shirts* are perfect for the occasions and available from Simply Be.

I’ll also be taking these cute little camisoles from Next – they are light weight and very fun with the tassels and pom moms.   Just don’t forget to take sun cream if you don’t want burnt shoulders.

City Break Packing Trips

Pack travel size toiletries and embrace minimal make up

Toiletries need to be packed in a clear bag for going through security. Each item can’t be more than 100 ml and altogether they can’t exceed 1 litre.   I decant my favourite products (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner) in these refillable bottles from Boots.  I buy other items, like sun cream, toothpaste and deodorant in travel size bottles.   I also stock up on samples of moisturisers through the year and use these whenever I travel.

When it comes to my make up, I’m a minimal girl anyway – but I still cut down.  For Seville, I’ll be taking some foundation, a highlighter, a miniature mascara that I got with Elle magazine a couple of months ago, and a bright orange lipstick.    After day one, I imagine I won’t be needing the foundation as my freckles will be out in full force.   If it were already summer, I’d just take a little bronzer with me.

City Break Travel Tips

Jersey is your friend

I have always favoured jersey for travel.  It doesn’t crease no matter how tight you roll it and, in a bind, it dries quick so you can give it a wash in your hotel room sink and know it will be dry enough to wear again the next day.

When packing my clothes, I always roll them.  This helps to save room and prevent creasing.   Any delicate items, like white jeans, I roll into a carry bag for protection.

City Break Packing Trips

Maximise the space in your bag 

The thing with most airlines is that you’re only allowed to walk onto the plane with one bag.  That means you’re going to have to have room for your handbag in your carry on.   I’ll be taking this beautiful River Island back pack (regular readers know how obsessed I am with this – it’s now sold out in this colour but available in other colour and print options).  It’s practical as means I can lug around my camera, purse, phone and water bottle all day without hurting my back or getting in the way of my crutch.  Sadly, it’s quite bulky and doesn’t fold neatly into my suitcase.

To prevent wasted space, I’ve rammed my backpack full of items like my pants, socks, scarfs, etc.   This means no space is wasted.  Ta-da!

City Break Packing Trips

Avoid the chaff

With temperatures above 20degrees, chaffing (or chub rub) is always a risk.   I don’t travel anywhere without anti-chaffing devises (especially if I plan on wearing a skirt).   Tortz* are excellent for this are they’re super light weight and pretty if you get caught in one of those Marilyn Monroe moments.

Those are all my tips for now but check out my packing list below – I’ve likely taken too much but it all fits and there is plenty of room left in my case for souvenirs.

What I’ve packed

Oh, and if you want to keep up with my explorations then I suggest following my Instagram.   Promise I won’t make you too green with envy!

C x

 Items marked with * have been gifted for this post.  All opinions remain my own.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. April 4, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    One thing I really struggle with is packing light (or even remotely accurately!) so seeing this is pretty awesome, you got so much in such a small space! I always roll too, I just over pack terribly lol

    • April 4, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      I over pack too – there were two tops I didn’t wear and probably didn’t need the second pair of jeans either!

  2. Hannah
    January 18, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Your such a good packer! I don’t ever just do carry on luggage lol x