Here we help you prepare what to pack for London based on our insider knowledge of the city.
London is a large city to explore, so be sure to pack some comfortable shoes. And whatever time of year you visit, you definitely need to layer up and take an umbrella!
We take you through seasonal packing below but you may want to check out our guide to the best time to visit London to be prepared for what to expect throughout the year.
Some of our favourite travel essentials for your London packing list are highlighted below. We have included links to Amazon to make your pre-travel shopping super easy and have all your travel essentials delivered to your door.
You can download a full printable packing list at the bottom of the page, with checkboxes to tick items off as you put them in your suitcase.
Travel accessories for London
If you are visiting London with a baby or small toddler you will likely find a baby carrier equally as useful as a stroller. Getting around London Underground with a stroller can be cumbersome, but you will likely be grateful still for bringing one when you see the amount of walking you are likely to do. It’s one city where the stroller/carrier combo throughout the day works great.
Much of London is best seen on foot so if you are sightseeing with kids, a stroller is recommended. Beware there are a lot of cobbled streets and high curbs, but for ease of manoeuvrability, we’d still suggest you use a lightweight stroller that is easy to fold. Look for a brand that has good storage and ability to recline for naps. We’d also recommend investing in a rain cover fitted to your stroller brand.
Portable booster seat
You will probably use London’s public transport system for most of your sightseeing. However, a portable booster seat is a great investment to keep your little ones safe for airport transfers and any taxi rides around town.
- We recommend: the mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat or the BubbleBum backless inflatable car booster seat.
Having a daypack is always a good idea for city trips with kids, so that you can carry all the wet wipes, snacks, tissues, sun cream etc and still keep your hands free to keep hold of the kids. Look for a lightweight backpack that can be easily packed in your suitcase when not needed.
- We recommend: the ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack or the Outlander Most Durable Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack.
Collapsible water bottle
Do your bit to save the environment and bring your own refillable water bottles with you instead of relying on buying plastic bottles of water every day. We love a collapsible water bottle that can easily be packed in the suitcase when not needed.
- We recommend: Baiji Bottles Collapsible Silicon Water Bottles or the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle.
When you are travelling as a family, it is inevitable that you will end up with multiple accessories needing charged: phones, tablets, cameras, kindles etc. Don’t ruin the holiday by fighting over the charger; opt for a multiple charging station instead.
- We recommend: the Photive 60 Watt 6 USB Rapid Desktop Charging Station or the Vogek 6-port USB Charger.
The standard electrical voltage in London in 230V and all electrical sockets take a “Type G” or standard UK plug which is the 3 rectangular pins. If you are travelling from a country with different style plugs, make sure you bring a travel adapter.
- We recommend: the Urophylla Universal Adapter Dual Fuses or the Pac2Go Universal Travel Adapter with Quad USB charger.
Portable Charger Power Bank
Have you ever been caught out sightseeing with a low-battery phone and not been able to take photos? Or found your child’s iPad has run out of battery half way through a long haul flight? Don’t let it happen again! Go prepared with a portable charger power bank, a great tool to have in your travel arsenal.
Of course you have to record all your happy holiday memories, and having an easy-to-use waterproof and shockproof camera means everybody in the family can share in the photo taking, without having to worry about the camera getting damaged.
Although not a constant nuisances, bugs definitely like to come out over the milder summer months if you are near water or enjoying one of the city’s many beautiful parks of an evening.
It’s always good to have some hand sanitizer in your bag when you are travelling, for times when you can’t wash your hands before having a snack, or have been traveling on public transport.
- We recommend: Babyganics alcohol-free foaming hand sanitizer on-the-go or PURELL Advanced hand sanitizer travel size.
Although not renowned for its sunny days, London’s rays can often catch people off guard. Always be prepared with sun cream in your daypack wherever you go.
- We recommend: Babyganics Mineral-based baby sunscreen spray or Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.
Books and Games
London Travel Guide Book
No matter how much research you do online before you travel, it can still be handy to have a travel guidebook in your bag. It’s hard to choose what guide to use when travelling to London as there are so many choices, and editions are constantly updating. We recommend something compact but comprehensive to fit in your day pack.
Activity books about London
It’s always handy to have a few activity books in your bag for your kids, for airports, flights, or when they just need some downtime after a hard day of sightseeing. There’s a fabulous range of activity books specifically about London which are sure to keep kids engaged on this big city adventure.
- We recommend: Mission London Scavenger Hunt Adventure and the City Trails London by Lonely Planet Kids.
The family that plays together stays together! Pack a few fun travel games for fun family evenings, rainy days or airport layovers.
What to wear in London
London is a big spread out city so whatever the season, comfortable walking shoes are essential – as is layering to deal with the ever-changing weather and change in temperatures from inside to out!
Clothes for London in summer
London pulls off glorious sunny days almost like no other city – but sadly they can be few and far between! That said, you’ll want to pack everything from ssunglasses to your umbrella or rain poncho to be sure.
We recommend including the following for your summer in London outfits:
- Cotton t-shirts
- Cropped jeans
- Sundresses or skirts
- Cotton trousers
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Light jacket or cotton knit poncho
Clothes for London in winter
London can get very chilly in the winter so you really need to wrap up warm. When planning your London winter outfits you will need to include a warm coat, waterproof boots, scarf and hat. And of course, layers! It can be very hot once you walk into a heated building and you will find yourselves stripping down again once inside, or even on public transport.
We recommend including the following for your London winter outfit:
- Long-sleeved tops
- Warm sweaters
- Waterproof boots
- Warm scarf
- Warm hat
- Winter coat
Travel accessories for the plane
Multiple Passport holder
A multiple passport is invaluable for keeping all the family’s passports together in one place. Look for one that makes it easy to remove the passports, and that has space to store luggage tags, frequent flier cards etc.
- We recommend: Zero Grid Travel Wallet & Family Passport Holder or the Apadi Travel Document Organizer.
Travel Pillow (neck support)
We all know how uncomfortable it is trying to sleep on the plane. While we can’t promise you a good sleep, we can recommend using a travel neck pillow to help ease your aches and pains once you get to your destination.
Travel Pillow (leg support)
Travel leg rest pillows have been a bit of a game changer for long haul flights with small kids. These inflatable pillows allow you to fill the leg gap between the seats, allowing small children to stretch out or even lie down flat. Note that some airlines have banned the use of these travel leg rest pillows. Check with your airline before you go to the airport.
We highly recommend headphones for everyone in the family. Noise cancelling headphones for mums and dads are great for cutting out the ambient sound of the plane, while kid-sized headphones with volume limits will ensure kids can watch their iPads without disturbing others, and without damaging their eardrums.
- We recommend: Bose QuietComfort 25 noise cancelling headphones for adults and Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for kids.
If you’re looking for a new suitcase for your London trip, we love the foldable luggage from Biaggi – these can be folded down into a small pouch for easy storage and saves you from having to step over your suitcases in your hotel room. We love the easy-glide spinner wheels on them too.
- We recommend: Biaggi Luggage Zipsack 31” Micro Fold Spinner Suitcase and the Biaggi Zipsack 27” Micro Fold Spinner Suitcase.
Packing cubes are so useful when you are traveling with kids. There is nothing worse than spending every morning rummaging through your suitcase looking for a matching outfit. Packing cubes allow you to segregate clothes into their own cubes, making it easy to find what you need. Look for cubes with a peekaboo window so you can easily see what is inside.
How many times have you found yourself rummaging around in your suitcase looking for a phone charger? An electronics organizer can save you plenty of time and frustration by keeping all your chargers, cables, memory cards, headphones and adapters in one handy pack.
Ziploc bags are a parent’s secret weapon when traveling. You can use them to store snacks, dirty clothes, nappy changing kits, puzzle pieces, small toys, crayons and leaky shampoo bottles. Be sure to add a few to your case!
Be super organized for your next city trip. Download our fully comprehensive printable packing list, with checkboxes to ensure you don’t forget anything.
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