What's in my London travel bag

What's in my travel bag: London Edition
What's in my travel bag: London Edition

Hello from LONDON! This morning I woke up in Notting Hill, ready to tackle this old city. Actually, let's be honest, I wrote this from my favorite local coffee shop on Monday. But as this post goes online, I'm strolling the London streets (and hopefully not getting lost!). So back to business, I'm in London but I have this brand-new post for your all about what's in my London travel bag.

The inspiration behind this post is simple. One, I'm nosy and love reading other people's "what's in my bag" posts so I thought I would do one too. Two, I packed my bags for London a bit differently than I have in the past. Now you know I am in a long term committed relationship with my Madewell bucket bag. Seriously the best bag I have ever bought. But it's a bit on the bigger side. As I was prepping myself for our trip abroad, I realized I didn't want a heavy bag weighing me down. Also, I'm the worst at keeping my bag organized and the big bag makes it worse. Thinking about my needs for my London travel bag I came up with this: small so I carried only what's necessary, cross body to keep my hands free, and inexpensive since this is just for London right now. Cue this grey cross body bag from Charming Charlie. It's got just enough room and it's cute. It checks all the boxes!

Now what am I packing in my London travel bag?

What's in my travel bag: London Edition
What's in my travel bag: London Edition

A London guide book. I love the internet but guide books are my love language. They have all the highlights, maps, and insider tips. They're particularly helpful when you're out and about instead of having to figure out exactly what you need to google. The number one reason I made sure we had one for London is that it shows the tube stop for each attraction. So handy when you're using public transportation! I'm a Fodors girl through and through, just like my mom, but there are SO many to choose from.

A notebook and flair pens. This isn't a big surprise since I go everywhere with a notebook. What can I say, I'm a pen and pal girl. Sometimes I'll write down our itinerary and I always write down what we did each day. Again, I got it from my mama. Also, let's just agree that life is better with flair pens.

A selection of travel notebooks:

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A pair of headphones. You guys, I am in LOVE with my new pink headphones. These were a necessary investment for my summer coffee shop blogging sessions (at least that's what I told Nick). They are inexpensive, way more comfortable than earbuds for my small ears, and did I mention they're pink? Headphones are lifesavers on long haul flights for listening to podcasts. I downloaded a bunch after reading Jess's podcast round-up post last week.

A pink baseball cap. Now I'm not a hat person but you never know what kind of weather or hair day you're going to have when travelling. So throwing a small hat in my bag takes care of both.

A pair (or two) of sunglasses. Now London weather is notoriously rainy and cloudy but I never leave home without a pair of sunglasses. I picked up this funky pair at Charming Charlie when I grabbed my bag but I'll probably pack either my favorite LOFT pair or my trusty Warby Parkers.

Some fun sunglasses, under $50, for your travels:

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And now for what's not pictured but still coming with me:

Usually I try to pack everything in one bag, hence my big bag lifestyle. But again, I wanted my London travel bag to be easy to carry and easy to pack. So I am also bringing a tote bag, which is something I also got from my mama. Did I mention she's the travel queen? When my brother and I were kids travelling with our parents, my mom always packed a tote bag with brand new games and books to keep us occupied on long flights to London and across the country to California. How do I deal with the bag restrictions on planes today? Two ways: bring a big enough bag that my smaller handbag can hide away inside it. Or Nick and I pack together, one big checked bag and a smaller carry-on that Nick wheels on. So here's what's hanging in my London travel bag (or tote bag if you will):

A selection of good books. I love podcasts but there is no replacement for a good read. Reading also helps lull me to sleep, which key for those overnight flights. Currently I'm reading The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and I'm packing Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld and Modern Romance by Asis Ansari.

My DSLR camera. On the plane yesterday, my DSLR was safely packed in my tote bag. But it also slips in my London travel bag. The bag may be small but it's mighty! I have a Canon Rebel T3i, a good beginner's camera that can switch from manual to auto easily. This is a good kit option if you're looking buy a DSLR of your own!

A bunch of hair ties. Only the essentials, guys. Hair ties are the key to happy travels because they're not just for holding back your hair. Use hair ties to group things together in your bag, like your passport and tickets. Zipper broke or button fall off? A hair tie strategically wrapped will help in a pinch.

How do you pack your bag for a trip? What are your travel bag essentials?

Shop some of my favorite affordable travel bags below

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