Packing for a City Break

In my family I’m known as the serial over-packer. No matter what the occasion or destination, I will most likely have as big a suitcase I can bring jam packed to the brim with potential outfits, their inevitable accessories, several footwear options and of course enough make up to power a small editorial photoshoot.
I blame it on my indecisive nature, and my unending obsession with buying new clothes.
Normally my tendency to over-pack isn’t too much of an issue. Sure, I’ll be complaining about lugging my ridiculously heavy suitcase around and I more than likely won’t wear half of the clothes I take with me, but it works for me.
Unfortunately, a city break with hand luggage only proves a bit of a challenge for chronic over-packers like me. Add in the extra factor of the forecast being well below freezing every single day we’re in the city, and my hatred for being cold, there’s an extra challenging element thrown in there too.

The Outfits

The starting point for most of my packing is always the basics – think jeans, plain tops and lots of grey. In a step away from my usual attire I’ve opted for mostly high neck, almost polo like styles for that little extra bit of warmth. One of the pieces I think is going to see the most wear throughout our time away is the grey high necked light knit peeking out in the photo above which cost me a mere £2.90 in Primark. I’ve picked up a black one too, as I just couldn’t resist that price. I’m trying to pick things that I can easily mix and match to maximise potential outfits, so hopefully avoiding too many bold pieces will help in this.

I’m planning on mostly wearing jeans when we’re away, and sadly my ripped knee skinnies have been left behind in favour of my beloved Frankie jeans from Dorothy Perkins. Best jegging style jeans ever, seriously. I have popped in my new Clueless-esque tartan skirt and my black faux leather skirt for evenings, when I’ll be pairing them with some thick tights and a big fluffy jumper for warmth. I envy the kind of people who have cold weather dressing down to an art form, but I doubt that will ever be me. I did buy a really cute hat with a fluffy pom-pom though, so there’s that.

We’re going to be doing a lot of walking in Berlin, so sensible shoes were a must. I’d intended to rely on my favoured Adidas Gazelles for the trip as they work with basically every outfit I own without compromising on comfort, however they’re not really warm enough. Especially when you like to wear them with those annoying little footsie socks like I do… The Gazelles are still coming, mostly for travelling and on the off chance the forecast was wrong, but I think I’ll be opting for a pair of flat boots for the majority of the trip. 

(brooch from Claire Barclay Draws)

The Beauty

Downsizing my usual make up collection to something that will fit in a small make up bag, including brushes, and make it through security unscathed was always going to be a challenge for me. I’ve tried to make the most of the multitaskers in my stash, such as a lip tint that doubles as a blusher, a priming moisturiser and a full coverage CC cream with lots of SPF in an attempt to maximise space.

At any given time I will more than likely have a box full of sample sized products somewhere in my house and holiday time is where they really come in to their element. I always try to take the smaller sizes of products away or depot in to containers that I’ll be happy to throw away at the end of the trip. It might seem like the space they take up barely makes a difference, but if I’m chucking out an empty cleanser, toner and moisturiser that makes room for at least one souvenir!

Another thing worth mentioning is thinking about the products you’ll more than likely be able to buy at the airport or at your destination. Whilst this doesn’t always work for that perfectly refined skincare routine or your favoured concealer, it does come in handy for staples like toothpaste and deodorant.

The Memories

Obviously things like currency, passports and your forever-tangled charger collection are relatively important when going away, but one of the most important things for me is having a way to document the trip. Maybe you like making a journal full of your ticket stubs, or maybe you have oodles of artistic talent and can sketch out the scene in seconds, but for me I like taking photos.

This trip will be the first “proper test” of the new addition to my photographic line up, the Canon G7X. I toyed with this purchase for a long time, but ultimately I know it was a damn good decision. I needed something that packed a powerful punch and was on a similar level to my SLR, but with the added aspect of a small portable size that’s easy for travelling around with. Most bloggers seem to favour the Olympus Pen series, but as I already own an SLR and numerous lenses for that I didn’t want to buy in to yet another lens based system. Luckily, the G7X is a pretty powerful little point and shoot that I’m really glad to have in my arsenal.

I find there’s something really romantic about film photography and the choice to capture that one specific moment in time, as opposed to taking hundreds of selfies on my phone just to get the *perfect* angle. Paddy bought the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 just after Christmas and I’m really excited to use it to document our trip – and the rest of our year!

So that about sums up my attempt at packing light, which will hopefully serve as inspiration if you’re a serial over-packer like myself. Do you have any tips for minimalist packing, or are you the kind of person who takes everything but the kitchen sink?