Autumn is a very popular time of year to take a city break – many European destinations are just a short plane ride away and with the intense heat from the summer fading, not to mention the throngs of summer tourists, it’s often a much more enjoyable time to explore a new city. If you’re heading away shortly, here’s everything you need to know about city break packing, from what to take to what to leave.

Checked luggage or cabin bag only

If you can pack light, you can avoid paying extra luggage fees when you take off on your city break, and instead pack smart into a hold all that fits in the cabin. If your hand luggage has seen better days, perhaps it’s time you invested in some stylish leather luggage? Just check out this black leather weekend bag from Blakeney, the perfect size for taking away with you.

What to pack

Pack a clean shirt and underwear for every day you’re away, as well as a spare pair of underwear and socks in case of emergencies. It’s easy to match jeans and shirts together, so for one less headache stick with neutral colours like black, white or one solid colour so that you don’t have to think too much about what to pack, or worry about packing too much. A pair of jeans and a spare pair if you want to change in the evening, a jacket or a waterproof coat (check the forecast before you go) and a comfortable pair of boots for sightseeing are all you’ll really need.

What to leave

This is not the time to load up on bulky items, so leave full sized toiletries, shavers, razors, and anything else non-essential at home. Depending on the weather, you might not even have to take a coat on your city break, as a quilted body warmer will be just as effective at keeping you warm and still give you freedom to move when you’re out and about. Leave the bulky guidebooks at home too, and instead download e-versions to use on your phone or make use of local tourist information spots to find your way about.

Day of travel

Travelling can be stressful – rushing to get a flight, delays at security, navigating public transport at the other end in a foreign language – so while it might be tempting to wear the bulky items to save on room in your hold all, you would find it more practical to stick to light layers that you can add and remove as necessary so that you arrive at your hotel or Airbnb refreshed and ready to go instead of frazzled and drenched in sweat.