One traveller to this fascinating city reported, on returning home, that they “must have painted the sky blue for the postcards” because the weather was overcast and cool most of the time. While this is not always the case, the weather can be a bit brisk, even in May, so it’s advisable to bring a stout jacket that will block the wind and protect you from a drizzle of rain.
You will also be well served by one of those handy collapsible umbrellas. They’re much easier to manage when on public transportation and when strolling the streets of London. One other “must have” for experiencing this great UK city – comfortable walking shoes. While the bus service, the tube, and the taxi service are all excellent, you’ll be glad you had those shoes when you want to see such sites as Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London.
Keep your clothing basic and uncomplicated. This makes for easier transport on the airplane, the bus, or when you need to use one of the sometimes-narrow elevators in quaint, older hotels. Your clothing list can include polo shirts, high-end T-shirts, tank tops, and so on. You’ll be much more comfortable layering your clothing and taking your jacket or outer layer off when inside.
Keep in mind that the traditional blue, denim jeans you see in the USA and in a few other locations around the globe are not as common in European countries (though that’s changed some in the last few decades). If you want to fit in a bit better, try black slacks for men and dark skirts or slacks for women, but don’t overload yourself with more formal clothing unless you have specific plans that require this type of dress.
When you need to know what to pack for London, apart from these fashion ideas, you may want to bring your tablet or a small laptop along, since you’ll find free Wi-Fi in many locations. A durable laptop briefcase can serve as a carry-on for smaller items and accessories as well. You can keep that small umbrella in this, along with sunglasses and more. Be sure you have your portable chargers with you as well. As you place these items on your list, be sure to include travel adapters for the UK three-pin voltage system (220).
Leave Things at Home
Some savvy travellers understand this, but there are still individuals who insist on taking almost everything they own in several large suitcases. The most important tip for enjoying a visit to London: pack light. In fact, pack what you think you’ll need and want, then take about one-third to one-half of it out and leave it behind. This includes your cell phone, unless you want to pay hefty roaming charges or have made some other arrangements.
If you do bring your phone, use it as a camera. In fact, you may want to bring one of those point-and-shoot cameras with you – buy one with a zoom lens. The architecture alone makes this a good investment. Don’t forget your London Pass and London-Pass Guidebook.