Hi Frugalistas! The lovely Clare from Need Another Holiday is back with a great guest post – this time she’s taking just one carry on bag on a weekend Amsterdam break and has kindly agreed to share her packing list for winter weekend breaks with frugal first class travel readers:
The best thing about travelling with only carry on luggage is the speed at which you can whiz out of the airport once you get off that plane. And for weekend city break packing lists, that’s exactly what you need to do. Time is of the essence when you only have a long weekend to enjoy your trip, so wasting precious minutes waiting at the luggage carousel is definitely off the itinerary.
What to pack for a city break
Cold weather city-breaks come with their own packing problems though. Much as I love my selection of cosy knitwear, my weekend away bag is not a fan of chunky jumpers even if they’re precisely what I want to wear. It’s like trying to pack giant marshmallows that just won’t squash. Even just one will take up more space than everything else put together, and the winter staple soon becomes the winter scourge.
You’ve heard this before, but you know it makes sense – winter packing for city breaks in Europe is all about layers.
And the chunky knitwear best suited to this kind of holiday is a big cardigan you can wear while you travel. Make sure it’s neutral and not too shabby, and most importantly, make sure absolutely everything else you pack can go with it. Then move onto those layers. Ideally, I’d love to pack different outfits for day and night, but realistically – a weekend away can often be so chock full of stuff to see and do that you might not make it back to your hotel to change. For that reason, I never wear sporty clothes or shoes – I need to know that I can go from morning to evening and still look decent if that’s how the day develops.
I pack three or four good quality jersey tops (long sleeved tees). They roll away to take up minimum space and I stick to styles that have interesting prints, are cut with a swing, or have a bit of clever ruching so they don’t look “tee shirt”.
I also think tonal with everything belonging to similar colour palette. Then I can be sure all my tops will match my cardi and, in this case, my skinny black jeans and black boots.
For my Amsterdam weekend away, I went for a mixture of grey black and blue hues. But sometimes I’ll go with brown boots and tweak everything else to match.
I usually take two pairs of stretch skinny jeans, one very dark blue, one black. One on, one in the bag. I don’t think you can go wrong.
Throw in a couple of fine spaghetti strap vests for wearing under everything and you’re pretty much good to go. All you need then in your city break wardrobe is a good all-weather coat, a scarf that you can wear both for warmth and as an accessory, and a cross-body handbag you can stuff your necessities into (including a beany hat). Oh, and one last point to emphasise – travel in the only pair of boots you’ll be taking. you really don’t need any more than that as your city break shoes. And yes – to anyone reading this who has seen my spare “shoe room”, I really did just say that!
Now you can move on to your beauty products and that pesky plastic bag. Oh, how I loathe trying to fit my bathroom into a sandwich bag! But, alas! It must be done. Rule number one is be ruthless. Pare down your make up to a minimum and when it comes to skincare, ask yourself do you really need x, y and z? If you hesitate – leave it at home. You’ll only be away for a few days, after all. A packet of good quality cleansing wipes is my weekend friend and the only liquids I know I need to are these:
A really good anti-perspirant (if long days run into long nights you need to stay fresh)
A multipurpose mini moisturiser (forget day product and night product – they suck up space in the clear bag)
Mini shampoo and conditioner (I’m an everyday washer, so if I arrive late on a Friday evening for a weekend away, I don’t want my moonlit stroll to turn into a race through dark streets to find supermarket)
Perfume (I’m never without it)
Any additional space can be taken up with the liquids and gels in your make up, or whatever else you feel you need to squash in, but only if the word need genuinely applies. Throw in your other bits and bobs (chargers, tablet computer, camera, brush and comb) and everything should fit beautifully into your city break bag of choice. Mine? It’s a four wheel spinner expandable Samsonite I got on sale about 5 years ago. It was a bargain, and I can’t imagine weekending without it!
Clare Farrell works a full-time job which means she always needs another holiday. Originally from Liverpool in the UK, she’s a part-time traveller with a penchant for European city breaks and Mediterranean beaches. Clare adores good food, good wine and good company. She loves visiting new places seeing the familiar through new eyes.Wherever she goes, Clare hunts for five star luxury and tries her best to get as close to it as possible – with a three star price tag. Connect with Clare at: http://www.facebook.com/needanotherholiday http://twitter.com/holidayaddict23 http://instagram.com/holidayaddict23 http://www.pinterest.com/holidayaddict23 http://plus.google.com/+ClareFarrell