Start » Packing List City Breaks – a perfect list for traveling with carry on luggage

Packing List City Breaks – a perfect list for traveling with carry on luggage

packing list city breaks - carry on lugagge

A weekend break in another city is a good option to forget the stress at home as it isn't that expensive and time consuming. I put together this useful “Packing List City Breaks” to save some time for you – it is optimized for traveling with carry on luggage and therefore a great checklist for preparing your upcoming short trip.

During the last weeks I've been traveling around Europe: 1 week in Berlin, 5 days in Paris / Rome / Istanbul and Dublin. Due to the fact that I used low cost carriers to get there I was limited to hand luggage to avoid paying extra fees. The following list is the result of my experiences and has been optimized several times:

1) Suitcase / Backpack

A special carry on bag is the best choice for short trips – the following products are accepted by most airlines and offer enough space to store all following items on the list. Please make sure to also check the restrictions for carry on luggage of the airline you are flying with.

eBags Weekender – I prefer the Backpack, this one is inexpensive and very spacious (identical to the Cabin Max which is sold in Europe)


Samsonite Hyperspace – if you prefer the fancy option with wheels this one is a good choice: stable and comfortable as it has 4 wheels (unfortunately the european version with a lock is not available in the U.S.)

Additionally I recommend taking a daypack with you – while discovering the city it helps you to carry water, camera and jackets:

Outlander Lightweight Daypack – this foldable backpack is pretty handy and fits in your carry on luggage easily!

2) Clothing

As we are talking about a weekend break I usually plan for 4 days – I don't count in the stuff you're wearing on the first day (including shoes, jacket or even scarf and gloves)

  • 2 T-shirts or Long-sleeves / Pullover (depending on the temperature)
  • 1 shirt (for combining / for special events)
  • 3 underwear
  • 3 pair of Socks
  • 1 microfiber towel (dries quickly)
  • Flip Flops (neben Strand auch gut für Dusche und als Hausschuhe)
  • plastic bag for dirty clothes
  • optional: swimming togs

3) Toiletry / Cosmetics

In that case I just stick to the basic stuff – you should add your fav products individually (especially the female readers)

  • transparent vanity bag (important for secutiy check) – consider using a Ziploc!
  • Deo / Roll-On (< 100ml)
  • shower gel (< 100ml)
  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • optional: Creme, Gel, personal fav cosmetics …

4) Gadgets & Camera

Nowadays a few Gadgets are really helpful while traveling – you can do some last minute online research, take snapshots and share those moments with your friends immediately. The following devices are my personal favourites and proofed to be very useful during the last 2 years:

  • iPod Touch – comes with all the features of the iPhone (except the ability to make calls) but is less then half the price. Prefect for Instagram Snapshots, short Facebook sessions, useful apps (offline maps, wikipedia, dictionary) and of course: Music.
  • Nexus 7 tablet – my “iPad” but much cheaper,too. The Nexus is my Reader (kindle app), videoplayer and useful for handling EMails on the go.
  • GoPro video camera – since more than 2 years this little genius is my travel companion. Until today I produced more than 75 video episodes with the most versatile camera: it is robust, waterproof, small and easy to handle
  • Power Bank (external battery) – perfect to charge your iPod, GoPro, Tablet or mobile while on the road. Very useful for long days discovering the city!
  • Gorillapod mini Tripod – since I'm using the GoPro I cannot imagine using it without this flexible travel tripod: small, handy and useful for night shots with your camera
  • empty memory card
  • charger
  • extra batteries
  • earphones
  • optional: Cases

5) travel items & medicine

Beside technical gadgets you should bring some helpful travel items. Moreover you shouldn't forget medicine.

  • ear plugs – for a good sleep in the plane or in a dorm (also in some hotels in Istanbul which are located right next to a mosque)
  • sleeping mask
  • multiple plug – often there are not enough plugs in your room
  • sunglasses
  • Knirps mini umbrella – small, robust and high standard: absolutely worth the money – developed in Germany 🙂
  • small combination lock – for lockers in the Hostel
  • optional: Travel Adapter (depending on the destination: Overview)
  • sunscreen (< 100ml)
  • Ibuprofen / Aspirin – for headache, everything else can be purchased at your destination
  • personal medicine

6) Documents, Money & Security

Don't forget the most important things and keep in mind to store them in a safe spot – big cities are popular amongst pickpockets.

  • ID / Passport
  • Plane / Bus / Train ticket
  • Money in currency of your destination (mostly there are currency exchange offices in the airport)
  • Credit Card to withdraw money abroad
  • Money Belt or Neck Wallet – seems to be a bit awkward but is very safe for your passport and credit cards (additional tip: keep using a wallet for purchases where you only keep the money you need for the day)
  • tours, accommodation (printout of reservation detials)
  • travel health insurance
  • cancellation and travel insurance

Berlin City Break
Berlin City Break – enjoy discovering new cities without carrying around too much stuff!

Anything to add to the Packing List City Breaks?

Please share your tips by commenting and feel free to spread the word by sharing this article with your family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google or Pinterest – use the buttons on the left or below this article!


Packing lists are very individual – I wrote this one based on myself (29 years old, male) and my experiences traveling more than 25 countries during the last years. Due to my profession I might travel with a bit more technical gadgets and pack much lighter than the average traveler. This means for you: just delete the items you don't use and add the things you can't travel without – but keep an eye on weight and packing size to not pay more at the end.

Some of the products are linked to Amazon (US) to help you finding the products online – I bought, use these products and recommend them based on my own experiences (if a product I bought in Europe was not available I tried to find an alternative one with very good reviews). By purchasing the products with the given links you support my work on this website providing more useful articles and tips. The small commission I get from Amazon (not from you!) will be invested in costs for the server, maintenance and development work for future articles. Thank you very much for your support!

Scroll to Top