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Backpack Essentials for a City Break 2017 – Last Minute City Breaks

Backpack Essentials for a City Break

Last minute City breaks are the ideal stress antidote. A few days in a European capital will lift your spirits and reinvigorate body and mind.

Still, some find the idea of spending just a couple of days abroad frustrating when it comes to packing. How can you possibly think in advance what’s essential and what’s not – especially when you are on a pretty stiff budget!

No worries mates! We have compiled a list of all the backpack essentials for a last minute city break. Use it to get prepared for your journey and make sure everything you may need is packed inside your bag.


5 Cities The Valencia Collection Hand Luggage, 42 Liters, Set of 2

Let’s start with the basics, your choice of luggage.

Obviously, the best possible choice for last minute city breaks is a carry-on bag backpack. Make sure its dimensions are within the accepted limits of the airline you plan to book, and, at the same time, provides enough space to pack all your essentials in an orderly fashion.


Since we talk about a last minute city break, we are apparently referring to around 3 – 4 days maximum. Anything longer is more of a holiday, not a break.

Without counting the clothes you will probably wear aboard the plane, (shoes, jacket, scarf, gloves, socks, etc.), you will need to pack at least:

  • 2 T-shirts or Long-sleeves/ Pullover, depending on the weather and climate of your final destination.
  • 1 shirt, for more formal occasions.
  • 3 sets of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 towel – prefer one made from microfiber, since it dries much faster.
  • A pair of slippers or Flip Flops.
  • A robust plastic bag for your laundry.

Clothes will be, of course, your biggest issue while trying to pack everything you may need in a single carry-on bag. The key here is always the meticulous preparation. Learn as much as possible about your destination’s climate, weather, average temperatures. Take also into account the terrain you plan on exploring, the sights and events you wish to attend, as well as your personal taste.

Moreover, remember, if they do not fit in, just take out your pajamas! You can probably sleep with your underwear – or even without them!

Toiletry /Cosmetics


Here we will mention just the basic. Of course, you will probably have one or two trifles, but make sure you have packed the following:

  • A vanity bag. Opt for a transparent one to expedite security checks.
  • A Deo / Roll-On (< 100ml)
  • One small bottle of shower gel (< 100ml)
  • Your toothbrush & favorite toothpaste.
  • A set of your absolutely necessary The key here is to use the smallest possible packages. In case some of them are tubes, opt for half-emptied that can roll and use less space.


Today, traveling means nothing without the proper gadgetry. Besides, they can prove really helpful as you move around the sights and some of them can preserve special moments and treasure memories from your journey forever.

Based on international research, the following gadgets were voted as the most useful for small city break abroad:

  • iPod Touch – more of an iPhone without the “make a call” feature, and less than half its cost, it is ideal for snapshots and Facebook sessions and has all sorts of handy apps tailored to the needs of a traveler, including endless music tracks, offline maps, dictionaries and sightseeing directions.
  • A tablet – whether an iPad, a Nexus or something humbler, is your choice. A good tablet will serve as your reader, PC, video player, Email manager, financial transactions platform and, in case it is something really good, your camera.
  • A GoProvideo camera – this robust, waterproof and versatile camera is very easy to handle, it is almost impossible to break and will be your best friend during your next to last minute city break.
  • A Power Bank – that is an external battery that makes sure you will be able to use your other gadgets when you need them.
  • Several memory cards – take us much as you like, they do not use much space after all.
  • A multi-charger, which will serve all or at least most of your devices and gadgets. Make sure you know the type of socket used in your destination and get the appropriate adapter
  • Extra batteries – you never know what might happen.
  • Your Headphones – essential for long flights and rides.

Travel Aids & Medication

Travel aids may include:

  • Ear plugs – especially if you are a light sleeper.
  • Your sleeping mask – you never know how much light may penetrate your room’s blinds!
  • Handy multiple plugs, since often budget hotels do not have enough in their rooms.
  • A pair of sunglasses – essential for both alpine and Mediterranean destinations.
  • A mini umbrella– that depends on the destination of course, and the time of year you plan on traveling.
  • A combination lock – indispensable if you intend to spend your nights in a Hostel.
  • A sunscreen, again depending on your destination and season of travel.
  • Some plain painkillers like Aspirin, for headaches.
  • Moreover, of course, your personal medication, if you are on some kind of It would be wise to take with you the double of what you actually need for the days of your journey and pack them in 2 different spots.

Documents, Money & Security

Since you probably plan on traveling abroad, do not forget the most significant traveling items for your journey – your papers! Make also sure they are stored safely and away from sports easily targeted by pickpockets: Money Belts and Neck Wallets are considered excellent choices for both your traveling documents and credit cards.

  • Your ID and
  • Your tickets.
  • Money in the currency of your destination. Never exchange currency after arriving there, rates are considerably higher than those of the exchange offices in airports.
  • Credit Cards – make sure the ones you take with you are indeed valid to your destination.
  • Helpful addresses (of your hotel for example).
  • Tourist guide. You could have this one in a digital edition and save even more space.
  • Your travel health insurance papers.
  • Your cancellation and travel insurance papers.

That’s it! Now you have a list of all the essentials for your upcoming city break. Just choose your destination, prepare carefully and use our checklist to make sure you have got everything you need to have a very good time abroad.

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