When thinking of England, the first visualization is usually of London, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the red double-decker buses. Music lovers may have more specific pictures in mind like Abbey Road or the houses where Pink Floyd spent their youth. Art lovers will see Cannon Hall museum or Buckler’s Hard Village. All are amazing attractions that must be seen, but regardless of where you visit, it would be smart to plan ahead and pack everything you need to see the most that the country, not just London, has to offer.
Bring along layers that can be quickly shed when the weather changes at the drop of a hat. It’s a widespread opinion that you can experience all four seasons in England just in a single day. A sweater or light windbreaker is great for adding on when the wind picks up or to shed when the sun is beaming down.
For those pesky months where the weather is downright unpredictable, a scarf is great when the weather is iffy. You should also pack a hat that can easily go on and off to shield from the sun or keep your ears warm in the snow.
England is famous for the soggy, grey days so being prepared for those days would be smart. London is also famous for being expensive. You can save a ton of money by planning ahead and bringing along some of the rainy day basics. Bring along an umbrella, a rain jacket, and wellies or other type of rain boots. If you really want to embrace English culture, dress in head-to-toe “Paddington Bear” attire, bright yellow rain coat is a requirement. Also, ensure your “rain gear” is truly waterproof otherwise you can expect some uncomfortable sight-seeing.
Whether heading to London or Yorkshire, you can expect to have a few dinners that require a more elegant appearance than the local pubs. Bring along a nice dress or a button-down with a tie so you can enjoy a luxurious dining experience. However, for ladies, try to pack a low or no-heel dress shoe as you will likely be doing some sort of walking and after just a few blocks in 4 inch stilettos, you will be seriously considering a pair of those cheap flip flops in the souvenir shop.
No matter where you visit in England, you will be walking, a lot. A comfortable pair of walking shoes are necessary for whatever itinerary you have planned. You won’t want to bring along a pair of shoes that are brand new. Instead, opt for the old pair of running shoes that fit just right so you are sure to not have blisters.
With the amount of walking and exploring you will do, hydrating is a necessity, especially in the warmer summer months. Regardless of where you are spending your holiday, but particularly in the infamously expensive city of London, buying a few bottles of water a day can quickly add up. In London, in an effort to cut waste, riders of the tube (London’s metro system) have access to free, chilled, and filtered water. Each time you jump on to head to a new location in the city you can fill up for free! Just be sure not to have any liquids in the bottle when you are going to London or heading home as it will be thrown away at the airport.
When you arrive in London there are a few things you’ll want to pick or download to help ease your confusion with the new atmosphere.
If you’re headed to London, grab an Oyster card. This is an electronic ticket that you can use on all public transport in the Greater London area. In another effort to reduce waste and ticket office transactions, cheaper fare prices are used as an incentive to use this card rather than with cash payments. You can head to the Visit Britain outlets around the city, the world, or online to grab a Visitor Oyster Card. You will pay a 5 pound ($9.59) deposit towards the card which is refundable upon return. You will also be refunded any remaining balance that is on the card.
You may also want to download the tube app and bus app to help get around London and to know when the next bus or train may be coming. The National Rail Time Table app will give you the most up-to-date information for long-distance train times and platforms.
No matter what you choose to bring with you, you will surely find yourself having fun in London. This packing guide will help you keep the essentials in your bag and the extra weight at home. Protect your perfectly packed luggage with travel insurance from Cover-More so you are good to go, no matter what happens.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Garry Knight