A view of a busy thai street full of cars.

If you want to explore a new city, it’s best to travel light and thus, pack the right things. Things like toothpaste or fresh underpants can usually be bought in every city in case of emergency, but there are a few essentials that you should never leave home! Read on to find out the five things I pack for every city trip:

My City Trip Essentials: 

1. Comfortable Shoes

On a city trip, I usually spend hours on my feet to discover as much as possible! No matter if you’re a fan of walking or not, comfortable, well worn shoes are never a bad idea. Nothing is worse than blisters on your feet when you’re not done exploring yet! (Or blisters in general, to be honest.)

In spring or summer, my favourites are sneakers, in the fall and winter when it gets cold and rainy/snowy, my robust Dr. Martens boots are the number one choice. 

The most important rule, though: Don’t take brand new shoes on a city trip! Worn in shoes are already fitted to your feet and thus present a far lesser chance of blister or pain when worn for a long time.

2. A travel bag or a travel backpack

There is a lot that accompanies me on my exploration tour through a new city: A water bottle, a city map, my mobile phone, wallet, camera, sunglasses… and so on. All of this stuff has to be comfortably carried somehow, right? That’s exactly why I always have a good, reliable travel bag with me.

There’s two important aspects to consider before choosing your travel companion: Comfort and storage space. You’ll need enough space to carry your things (and sometimes the stuff of your partner or friends too, if we’re being honest). And since you’re probably going to be out and about for quite some time, it’s favourable if by the end of your trip you’re not crippled by back pain, so comfort is a must.

3. Camera and memory cards

City trip without a camera? Impossible if you ask me! Not only because I like blogging about the places I visit, but also because I am convinced that photos best capture memories. 

Now when it comes to what kind of camera you’re taking with you, it of course depends on what kind of pictures you want to take. 

Personally, I don’t take my DSLR camera with me on city trips, simply because it’s too big and heavy to lug around all day. If you don’t mind the extra weight, go for it though! If you’re like me, look into smaller digital cameras. There are a lot of great quality cameras like the Olympus PEN E-PL7 (a personal favourite of mine) for example. 

In any case, make sure you take some extra memory cards along. It’s a special kind of sad feeling when you run out of storage for your photos mid-way through your city trip.

4. Power bank and phone charger

My mobile phone is one of the most important tools when I travel. Not only can I quickly snap pictures when I don’t have my camera handy – I also use Google Maps for orientation religiously. And just to make sure I don’t run out of battery at the worst moment, I always carry a small, lightweight power bank and my charger. 

5. Layers

Traveling only with carry-on means limited space for clothes for the trip. That’s why it’s important to choose clothes that can easily be combined with each other. Most useful are tights, a pair of pants or jeans, a dress, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a hoodie and a thin scarf. During winter or fall, a winter or rain jacket of course. Try to take a look at how the weather’s going to be beforehand and plan accordingly. With these essentials, you should be able to create at least 3 to 4 different outfits!

Those are my personal city trip essentials I would never travel without. What can’t you live without on a city trip?