Once you’ve made a reservation for your dream London vacation rental, it’s time to start planning for your trip. It may be that you don’t have long here - you can be in London for several weeks and still leave without having taken it all in - so you want to be sure that the time you have here is well spent, exploring the city and enjoying yourself and your time with your friends or family. Here are a few tips on what to pack.
You don’t need to bring a ton of clothes. London’s climate is not so extreme, and obviously the kind of outerwear you bring will depend on the time of year, but know that London in the winter rarely drops below freezing, and the last two winters we’ve had have been pretty mild. Certainly if you’re coming from the colder parts of the US and Canada, you’ll find our climate pretty clement, and you won’t need heavy goose down jackets and thermal underwear. In fact, we’d actively counsel against these - if you’re exploring the city on foot, you’ll overheat very quickly, and you’ll realise you overdid it when you step into shops/pubs/almost any building which will be heated warmly. As you’ll hear so often when it comes to travel attire - layer up. Bring a wooly hat, a waterproof jacket with some thin insulation, and you’ll be fine. If it’s summer, well, pack for both summer and spring / fall, you can have some days in mid July which will need you to wear a jumper, but obviously hopefully you’ll be enjoying some sunshine too so bear that in mind. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 80F, and again, depending on where you come from, you’ll find London's a pretty temperate climate. Do prepare for rain though at any time of year. Don’t lug a massive umbrella around with you. Either you can buy a small one for £5, take around with you a disposable poncho (if you aren’t overly fashion conscious!) or, probably best, just wear a waterproof jacket.
Bear in mind - and this is one of the reasons many people select a London vacation home over a hotel - that all Ivy Lettings properties provide laundry facilities (and detergent for them), so this should lighten your packing load!
This depends on how much walking you’re planning on doing, but even if it isn’t a lot, if you’re doing any decent amount of sightseeing, you’ll find you’re covering quite a bit of ground. So, bring trainers, good walking shoes. (Whenever I’m abroad, I always take my trusty Timberland hiking shoes, they’re lightweight, super comfortable and waterproof, and they look smart enough to wear to (most) restaurants!)
This is up to you I guess, and if you have a relatively recent iPhone or other latest generation smartphone, you may not need a separate camera. But just make sure you have something with you, be it your phone, your top of the range Canon DSLR or something in between. London is a fantastically photogenic city and you’ll want to record as much of it as you can.
Spare Phone Battery
If you’re anything like me, you’ll use your iPhone a lot to navigate the city, book tickets, make reservations, search exhibitions etc. And this drains your phone’s battery pretty quick. So invest in a portable spare battery, which you’ve charged up prior to leaving your rental home. You can get pretty good ones which have several charges for your phone.
Helpful Apps to Download for your London Trip
Whilst we’re talking phones, I’d recommend the following apps: CityMapper (for getting about town, travel routes and live transport updates), Uber (massive in London but you’ll find at certain times of day it’s quicker walking or getting the tube, traffic in London can be horrific), Maps (native iOS app or similar, e.g. Google Maps). And on that note, make sure before you come to London that you have a good data roaming deal with your network provider, to avoid punishing overseas data roaming charges!
Bring these or purchase here in the London (in many pharmacies, hardware stores, larger supermarkets). In the UK we have 3 pin 220-240 V electrical outlets. Given how we all love our devices so much, it’s good to buy a few!
What We Provide
I’ll just list the items we provide, to prevent you having to bring them with you. At Ivy Lettings, all our properties are furnished with high quality bed linens, towels, hand towels, bathmats and facecloths for all guest. Additionally we provide soaps and shower gels in the bathroom, toilet paper, detergents for washing machines and dishwashers (one of two of our 120 properties don’t have dishwashers, please check the listing’s amenities). At time of press, you’ll also get a small bag of (really pretty good) chocolates, the kind you’d find on your pillow in a nice hotel. We don’t really provide any other food however, but of course you don’t need to bring this, just shop for it locally. London is extremely well served by multiple supermarkets and you’re never far from your basic supplies.
Oh, and you can drink the water.
We'll see you in London!
If you're searching for your ideal London vacation rental apartment or house, just get in touch and our friendly team will be delighted to help. Call +44 20 7349 7016 or email [email protected], 7 days a week.