The ultimate checklist for your city trip luggage

Going on a city trip is so much fun, but packing always seems challenging. Do I have everything? Why isn’t it all going in my suitcase or bag? Do I really need that much underwear?

Because I struggle with those questions myself, I made a list of how I pack my luggage for a city trip. This means this should all fit in a small suitcase and rucksack you can take in the cabin. That is why some things might not seem optimal, like a towel every two days instead of every day, but sometimes you have to choose.


As you will probably not walk around naked, I suggest you take some clothes with you. They help you not get arrested for public nudity and can showcase your personality. Two big plusses!

Tip: try not to look too touristy. T-shirts with a location printed do not help with that. Leave that Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt at home too.

  • 1 piece of fresh underwear for every day (and take a spare one for every 3 days or so)
  • 1 pair of long pants for every 3 days you go
  • 1 pair of short pants for every 3 days you go
  • 1 t-shirt/top for every day (and take a spare one every 3 days)
  • 1 sweater per 3 days (just 1 per week if it’s going to be hot)
  • 1 raincoat, because you never know.
  • An outfit you can go out with.


If you don’t care about your appearance and smell, skip this part. But I’m pretty sure this is rather basic than excessive. So maybe not skip this part and be hygienic. Especially if you stay in a hostel, you don’t want to scare your roommates away.

  • A toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Hair wax
  • Shampoo and body wash (but only if you’re not going to a hotel that provides those)
  • A towel for every two days (again, only if you’re not going to a hotel that provides those)


  • Bring some basic painkillers
  • Your prescription drugs
  • Bandages
  • Sun protection

Personal documents

  • ID-card or passport
  • Any insurance documentation
  • Credit card(s)
  • Tickets and reservation information

Documenting your trip

  • A camera or a good phone
    • Bring the appropriate chargers
    • Plenty of memory cards
    • Plenty of batteries
  • A power bank
  • Your chargers
  • A notebook to write your experiences in

Prepare your phone

  • Back up and erase photos to make room
  • Download some music playlists
  • Download courses/ books


  • A magazine or book to read, although you might not have time for that
  • A laptop, but only if you really can’t wait to share those photos.
  • Business cards: as a freelancer, you never know who you’ll meet.

Do I forget something? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “The ultimate checklist for your city trip luggage”

  1. My packing is more like: 1 long pants, pyjama, 1 jumper and sports jacket, no go-out outfits. The only towel I take (even when staying in a hotel) is a short-dry towel from tourist shop. I always have shampoo/body gel with me, you never know. 😉 I packed for 2 weeks in Japan in a carry-on daypack (with netbook, camera, smartphone) and I was travelling through half of Japan. The key was to pack similar coloured clothes and wash it every few days.

    1. Very clever to wash your clothes regularly, especially on a longer trip. Thinking about your outfits and colours is a great way to make your luggage even smaller. Thank you for the comment!

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