How to Pack Light yet Stylish for a City Break

Packing light while also making sure you have all you need, is one of the challenges when it comes to traveling! You usually end up over-packing or missing that one thing you need.

I’m going to New York for a week at the end of this month. I’ve never been, so I’m obviously very excited and planning ahead! I’ve slowly been putting aside all the essentials. There’s nothing I hate more than that last minute rush to get things organized and cleaned!

I’ve been traveling back home to Slovakia for short trips at least once a year, so I have my packing system pretty much down. Comfort and ease often takes precedent on those trips, but this time, seeing as I’m going to one of the coolest cities in the world, I wanted to be a little more stylish!

I thought I’d share a few simple tips with you on how to pack for a city break and also show you what’s in my suitcase.

The Essentials

1. Shorts
I’m packing high-waisted black denim shorts with both a silver and gold detail black belt.

2. Good pair of jeans
I went with high-waisted dark blue ripped denim jeans. I’m so glad the mom-style jean is back in fashion – it’s so flattering and easy to wear! I was so happy to find this pair in New Look. For the journey over, I’ll also be wearing a pair of black harem pants – so comfy and perfect for going between different temperatures.

3. Little black dress
Nothing like a trusty LBD for evening drinks or dinner! This Penneys one is in the stores now and fits like a dream.

4. Light dresses
Effortlessly chic and perfect for a hot summer in the city. I just had to include a gingham print item in this selection – it’s absolutely everywhere now and I love it! This lovely gingham shift dress is from Missguided and you can get it here. They deliver in Ireland within 48 hours, which is great if you’re packing last minute!

5. Trusty denim jacket
People pay a lot of money for this distressed look but mine is like that because I’ve had it for years! It’s a cropped one and I’d be happy to throw it over any of these outfits. I might also wear a black jacket going over, just to have that option too.

6. Comfy white runners
In the city, it’s likely you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so these are a must! I also like to travel with a closed shoe to escape all the dirt at airports and allow for weather changes between countries. I chose white because they go with everything.

7. Reliable black sandals
I wanted an all black pair, so they don’t clash with any of my outfits. I also wanted to make sure that they are a perfect fit. I wore them around the house to break them in and make sure they don’t give me any blisters.

8. Rompers (Playsuits)
I love them perhaps even more than dresses! You don’t have to worry about what way you’re sitting or if the wind blows the wrong way! There are so many pattern and style options available in all the high street stores at the moment. I particularly love ones that tie up or have an open back.

9. Crop tops & cold shoulder tops
To pair with the high-waisted shorts! Cold shoulder tops are all you see on Instagram these days, I personally love them. It’s funny how a little fabric cut-out can transform a plain top!


  • Carry a small cloth bag for dirty laundry so you don’t have to mix it with your nice clothes.
  • Put a fragrant incense stick, bath salts or a sample perfume patch into your suitcase (about a week in advance), so all of your suitcase contents will smell lovely.
  • If you’re stuck for space in the suitcase, tightly roll your items like swiss rolls! It’s amazing how much room you can save this way.


10. Cute eye patch and soft slippers
A necessity on the plane! It’s such a little thing but they make you ten times more comfortable. That’s a scientific calculation by me!

11. Luggage tag and passport cover
I always travel with them because it makes my items instantly recognizable. And let’s be honest, you’re going to do that airport check-in photo, so you might as well do it with style!

12. Decent Sunglasses
It makes sense to pay a little extra for your sunnies, to make sure your eyes are protected and they don’t brake on the first day. I’m short-sighted, so mine are prescription pair from Zennioptical – which you can even customise with your own name or text!

13. Beauty must-haves

  • I always love having a small perfume bottle or body mist in my handbag (one that’s below the 100ml hand luggage guideline). This Blush Pink Ted Baker Mist is so nice and only €4.
  • Nude nail polish is my go to for travelling, as you hardly even notice when it chips. With a top coat, you’ll easily get a week out of it. My current fav is Sally Hansen in the shade ‘Devil Wears Nada’.
  • Facial moisturizer. I’m not one to moisturize frequently, but skin gets extra dehydrated while travelling and it’s nice to give it a protective barrier from external factors. Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate is the dream for long-haul flights and sensitive skin.

Well, there you have it, my ultimate light & stylish packing guide! All of this could fit into my carry-on and packs a minimum of 7 different outfits that I can mix and match. Have you any packing tips of your own? Share them below!

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