It’s approaching! The ultimate weekend adventure to LONDON! Ooh, how I’ve waited for this.
It’s going to be quite a quick visit but it’s London, my former home city, so I know already I’m gonna enjoy it 100%. AND I shouldn’t get lost too badly because a year should’ve been enough time for me to learn how to get around there and where about is Hammersmith, London City, and Canary Wharf.
Choosing a hotel was quite a challenging process because I needed it to be somewhere close to a train or a bus station from which I can easily get to the airport without getting lost too badly (yes, my sense of direction is in fact the worst in the world, hence I got lost in my own kitchen once…). Also, my budget was extreeeemely tight.
I managed to get a hotel room close to Paddington station, so I think I couldn’t be much better located.
This is not the first time I travel to or from London with only hand luggage in tow. Most often, when visiting home from London, I’d squeeze my week’s worth of stuff into a big bag so that I could avoid paying extra for a suitcase. So, if I can manage to fit 3-5 pairs of shoes AND a week’s worth of clothes in hand luggage, I venture as far as to proclaim that I am a pro packer.
I love packing (yeah, I’m weird), and I often start veery early on; 3-4 weeks before the actual trip. This time I was “late”: I started packing only 2 weeks before the trip. The thing that I like about it is to go through all my outfits and plan what I’m going to wear each day.
It might actually be the ‘control-factor’ that makes me love packing early. I’m afraid of flying, particularly alone, so having complete control over at least that makes me feel a tad better. So, here goes
My Hand Luggage Essentials For Weekend In London
I don’t actually own a proper carry-on bag with wheels and all. Instead I have couple of these enormous “hand bags” where I can literally fit my entire life. They’re handy particularly because some cheaper airlines want you to put your carry-on bag into a metal box to check whether your bag is too big (which can end with them telling you to SHOW THEM THE MONEY!).
But these bags can be shaped and wriggled into the box, no matter what their measurements are (before you ask, yes, I’ve been there, done that).
As I talked on the post on Tuesday, my go-to travel outfit is always a pair of leggings and a long top. Leggings are so light on and there’s no need to pull them up every time I bend down to pick up my bag, like I’d normally need to do with a pair of jeans.
When traveling, comfort and simplicity are key because I don’t want to worry about my bra pressing on my midriff uncomfortably when I’m loading all my shite on the security check belt.
But there is one thing about my travel style that ‘comfort’ doesn’t necessarily apply to, and that’s shoes. I wear heels, no matter what. It’ll be a rare sight if you ever witness me leaving a country or entering another in any other foot-wear than heels. But the thing is, my travel heels are, of course, milder than what someone would opt for to a party. Ankle boots with 5cm heel are optimal!
Nothing beats a pair of skinny jeans and a pretty pullover, right?
It’s the ever classic basic outfit that works on any day no matter for current trends. And when I found this white pullover in Zara I knew immediately that I would definitely be wearing it in London!
Pairing up a basic jeans+pullover combo with a pair of ankle boots is the ultimate chic choice. Accessories-wise I like to keep things in check during the day so I’d add a black tote bag on this outfit, perhaps a pair of big earrings and voilá.
One of the main reasons why I always wear heels is that they elevate any outfit. Even a small heel has an immediate effect on your posture and your legs. Since this time I can’t fit multiple pairs of shoes along I’d pair my day outfit with the travel-heels. Basic ankle boots seriously are life-savers.
One thing I particularly love about London is the amount of unique styles that you encounter there. People there are so inspiring and brave in displaying their own tastes through personal style with no regard to what anyone else thinks. And I love that!
That’s why I find London the place to wear my most adventurous outfits, which I might consider twice wearing back at home. To be honest, it’s stupid to be so afraid of going all out every time you leave the house but sometimes one just isn’t in the mood for being stared at all the time.
So, the first thing I decided to pack were my culottes! My boyfriend absolutely hates them so I don’t like to wear them when he’s around but every time he’s not, culottes are out! I’m also going through some sort of a turtle-neck phase, so I chose another such option here; a crop top with turtle-neck to pair up with the high-waist culottes.
I love this outfit and I can’t wait to get to wear it! And since I always have to pop a bit of colour on every outfit I chose the gorgeous yellow River Island purse to brighten up the ensemble.
As I’ve mentioned in a post last Autumn, many people prefer to wear culottes with sneakers. I’d never do that. Culottes are such ‘unflattering’ length that pairing them with sneakers makes one look shorter, plumper and older. But that’s just my opinion.
So, for the evening outfit I would pack along another pair of shoes and opt for a skinnier heel. Skinny heels are simply sexier.
Obviously hand luggage brings some restrictions on what you may and may not pack along. A regular size hairspray is the first thing to be left out of the list.
The thing with travel size beauty products is, though, that you can purchase them at the destination instead of carrying them along. But since my budget this time is quite tight, and I have an abundance of products I’ve deposited in my suitcase from previous travels, I’m packing all essentials.
Remember that in hand luggage the maximum amount of liquids allowed is 100ml (for most airlines).
First up I collect all the basics together: deodorant, toothbrush, make-up removers, moisturizer and a shower gel (because I doubt it very much that this particular hotel would have any products in the room).
The second group of products are make-up, perfume and a tiny hairspray. Then I separate these products to liquids and the rest. Liquids – deodorant, perfume, lotions, mascara – plus hairspray I put in a zip-lock plastic bag so that I can easily lift them on the security check belt. I’m sorry, but I don’t have any patience for people who do not do this beforehand, and thus stall the queue while they dig around in their bag looking for individual items.
All the rest can then be thrown into a toiletry bag. And may we not forget the essentials that are underwear, couple pairs of socks and this little thing called adapter, because the phone needs to be charged. Sprinkle a dash of joyous anticipation on top and close the bag.
culottes and bag | River Island
pullover | Zara
turtle-neck top | from my cousin’s closet
jeans | Stradivarius
sunglasses | Chopard
I can’t end this post without mentioning the couple things that I hope I never need to travel without; my headphones paired with a killer playlist (to take my mind off the fact that we’re doing the one thing a human being was not made to do) and chewing gum for the flight. Don’t forget that passport! Next stop, adventure!
I’d absolutely love to hear if you lovelies have some items you would never travel without. And let me know if you’re hanging about in London this Friday and let’s catch up! You can email or just DM me on Instagram @the_teresamaria xx