What to Pack When Moving To London
When you come to London, some things about clothing that you should remember will be included in this article. First is a jacket. What kind of jacket is going to depend on what time of the year that you’re going to visit. It doesn’t often get terribly cold here, but we do have cold spells at times. So, check the forecast ahead of time and pack accordingly.
It is also important to check on the rain forecasts. If it’s going to be raining, then you want to make sure you have something waterproof. Even if you’re visiting in the summer, in the evenings here it does get quite chilly, so I would plan to bring a light jacket. This could be a nice leather jacket, those are really popular here, or something that can cover up your arms and your shoulders when the sun goes down. Even if it’s not forecasted to rain when you’re here in London, I would bring at least one pair of shoes that can get wet, just in case. These can be leather boots, or they can be durable tennis shoes, like my leather Converses, or whatever works for you. You can even go ahead and spray water-repellant onto whatever shoes you want to bring, just to make sure that they’re good for walking.
It is a good idea for everyone who comes to London to bring a couple of nice outfits. You’re likely to be going to at least one nice dinner while you’re here, or maybe on a night out or two and people usually like to get a little bit more dressed up when they go to dinner or go out in London. If you go in your casual clothes, you’re going to stand out a somewhat. So, for women, I would recommend packing some nicer shoes and then bring a nice dress or a nice blouse that you can pair with jeans. For guys, I would recommend that you bring a few collared shirts, and if you have buttoned-down ones with long sleeves, that’s even better.
Try to go with some fitted pants or trousers that are a little bit nicer. Jeans can work in some situations but go for the darker ones. And for your feet, just have anything besides tennis shoes/sneakers. You also want to make sure you bring lots of layers. The temperatures can vary widely here in London, from day to night, so layering up is going to make sure that you’re not too hot during the day and you’re not too cold at night. Also, it gets really hot down on the underground even when it’s freezing outside, so you might need to peel some off while you’re sat on the tube. Some good pieces that are great for layering are scarves, sweaters, tights, light jackets and blazers.
As for non-clothing items that you should definitely pack when you come to London, you will 100% need a travel adapter. Remember that we have different plugs here than in the US and most of the world, really. So for any of the things you’re bringing along that are dual-voltage, make sure you have an adaptor that you can plug into it.
A Note About Electrical Plugs In London
Note that the electrical plugs here in England are different from the rest of Europe, so if you’re going and traveling the rest of Europe, you’re going to need different adaptors from the ones that you’ll use in the rest of Europe.
Sweatshirts and Sweatpants.
Europeans and Londoners and Brits alike do not wear sweatshirts and sweatpants out in public, except once in a while when they’re going to the gym. So leave your sweatshirts and sweatpants at home or in your suitcase and you can wear them for pajamas. But you’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you wear them in London. T-shirts with writing on them. I know we all love to wear T-shirts with our universities on them and everything. However, nobody outside of the US wears things like that. So, again, if you’re gonna wear them here in London, you’re going to send out. And you can wear what you want, however, I always think it’s good to blend in rather than stand out as a tourist because sometimes that can mean that you’re a bigger target for pickpockets. Plus, we’re a bit of a fashion-forward city here in London, so try to look your best.
Sundresses and Tank tops
Even if you’re visiting in the summer, there’s actually a decent chance that it’s not going to be warm enough for you to wear sundresses, or if you’re a guy like your tanktop, say you guys like to wear. This is why it’s so important for you to check the forecast before you come. Finally, when you’re packing for your trip to London, remember that you can get anything that you could ever possibly need here. And we even have stores that you’ll recognize, like H&M and Top Shop. So if you forget anything, or you find you haven’t packed as you should have, just go pick something up at the store.
Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving To London
1. I wish someone would have told me about moving to London is to carry an umbrella with you at all times. There have been several times here where it said 0% chance of rain showers however there’s a rainstorm during the day so I’ve been caught out a lot without an umbrella end up getting soaked because you really have to walk here. It’s one of the easiest and best ways to get around so make sure you have a trusty umbrella on you so that you won’t get caught out in those typical London rain storms.
2. I wish would have known about London is how compact central London is. If you look at a map of the tube or the city, it may look massive and it is a big city however most of the sites and major landmarks are in zone 1. You can walk from end to end of zone 1 in just one hour so don’t waste your money on the tube or the bus. Get in your 10,000 steps per day like I’ve been trying to do. However, don’t overestimate how big central London is while you’re exploring London. Make sure you pack a hard copy of both a tube and a London street map super. Or you can rely on Google maps your phone. I’m definitely guilty of this however there’s always a chance that your phone could die and you could be caught without service or Wi-Fi, so you may want to go old school and rely on a hard copy just in case.
3. Another thing I really wish I would have known before I moved here and would have saved me a ton of money is to get an oyster card. Please get an oyster card unless you’re only going to be here for like a day and just take the bus. The oyster card is always going to be cheaper; it’s something like two pounds and will save you money for a bus or a tube ride. I made the mistake of getting a travel car that cost me like eighty-five pounds for the entire week. I can get a student oyster card unlimited travel for 485 pounds a month. While we’re on the topic of transport the bus is your friend I come from an American city and in most US cities not a lot of people take the bus however the bus system here is so easy so much cheaper than the tube and there’s a bunch that runs like 24 hours.
4. I also wish I would have known before I moved here is that in order to get a UK phone contract you’re going to need a UK debit card first. It’s not super difficult to get out the card if you’re a student here or have a job, so open that up right away. You won’t be able to get your UK phone until you get that debit card in the mail so maybe get a SIM card or pay as you go plan to hold you over.
5. Another thing I knew is to carry snacks. I find that I am usually on the go here in London. If you go out for the day you’re going to spend a lot of time in the city so if you’re out and about traveling, stock up on snacks at the grocery store. They are a lot cheaper than something on the go. I know I’ve been tempted to check out Starbucks or Pratt here and that can really add up. I think it’s a really unnecessary expense so be frugal buy snacks and just toss them in a bag to go.
6. I wish I knew that It’s important to take time to explore London. If you’re here working or going to school, it’s really easy to just get caught up in your day to day and not take advantage of the city. This is an amazing place. There’s so much going on almost too much but take the time to look at what’s happening around you. Many events here are free, or you can just explore the city, there’s so much to see.
7. Another thing I wish I had known is that most stores here especially grocery stores or drug will charge you extra for a plastic bag so if you know you’re going to be doing some shopping definitely pack a large shopper or tote bag. Definitely bring a bigger bag with you so you don’t have to spend something, and you’re helping the environment.
8. The final thing I wish I would have known before I moved to London is just how nice Londoners are. I think there’s this misconception in America that Europeans are snobby or that they just like Americans. Most everyone I have met here has been super nice and welcoming. Just to give you an example I am super clumsy and the other day I tripped and just wiped out in the middle of Covent Garden which is an incredibly busy area however instead of just like walking over my collapsed body so many people stopped to help me and make sure I was okay. So don’t be scared of Londoners. If you ever need help or want to say hello people are generally very welcoming and just nice.
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