With limited baggage allowance, packing up all your worldly possessions into a suitcase might seem impossible but it doesn’t have to be. Each item just has to earn its place, and this guide will show you how! 🧳
Clothes and accessories
Did you know the term “capsule wardrobe” was coined by a Londoner? Essentially, it’s the essentials: a collection of timeless staples which can then be paired with seasonal pieces.
For example: coat, jeans, white shirt, black blazer, pencil skirt, little black dress, sundress, jumper, scarf, hat, flats, heels and boots.
Aside from the staples, bring about a week’s worth of underwear, socks and sleepwear. The rest you can cheaply stock up on once you’re here. 🛍️
I also found it handy to bring a set of activewear and trainers as you’ll be doing a lot of running around in the early days.
- Quality over quantity is key. Leave the bargains and synthetics back home and bring only your best pieces.
- Prioritise versatility. Your typical rented room in London is cosy, so ideally each piece can be worn for different occasions, including at work.
- Practice some self-love. If you haven’t worn something in months because it’s uncomfortable or makes you feel self-conscious, donate it to charity.
- London is one of the fashion capitals of the world, so you have loads of options to look forward to!
Toiletries take up a surprising amount of space and the weight quickly adds up. Unless you have a skin allergy or particular hair care needs, don’t bother bringing your cosmetics collection.
Pack around a week’s worth of shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste (travel size is perfect) and stock up when you arrive. You’ll be surprised how cheap toiletries are in the UK, however makeup prices vary greatly.
You might even score a few freebies from the airline or hotel! 🧴🪒
- If you use over-the-counter products, ask your doctor to cover your prescription for the next few months so you can stock up before you leave. Getting a local GP in the UK can take time (a permanent address is essential), so it’s best to prepare in advance.
- Not all products have the same retail name in different countries! Might be worth double checking online for specific products.
Tech is important to get right early on. Having data on your phone for navigating and a reliable laptop for forms and applications are crucial for hitting the ground running. 🧑💻
What to bring: mobile phone (unlocked SIM!), laptop computer, portal power bank, charger per device, adapter (AU to UK is essential, and AU to EU is useful for trips) and a USB stick (you never know).
- If you’re planning to upgrade in the near future, consider waiting until you arrive so you’ll be covered by warranty in the local region. I bought my mobile phone on my first day in the UK!
- Consider bringing a power board to avoid over-relying on adapters.
Get your life admin organised before you go anywhere near Departures. 🛫
You’ll need originals and photocopies of all your important documents and, ideally, digital versions backed up in cloud storage and synced to your devices just in case.
What to bring: passport (visa vignette included), various forms of ID, visa approval letter from the Home Office, proof of funds document (valid up until 3 months), and any professional accreditation documents (university degree etc.) required for your field of work.
- If you get into trouble and require passport or consular support, contact the Australian High Commission: United Kingdom on +44 (0) 20 7379 4334.
- Register your journey on Smart Traveller and follow their recommendations for the United Kingdom.
- Dial 999 to reach emergency services in the United Kingdom.
Food and confectionery
Before you stuff your face or fill every compartment with TimTams, relax. Australian confectionary, even lamingtons, are relatively easy to come by in London.
Pay Clapham a visit and you’ll get a decent (albeit pricey) flat white and ANZAC biscuit in no time. 🇦🇺
- Ask your friends and family to bring a goody bag when they come to visit.
- Admittedly, there are a few things you won’t find like Weis Bars. Have a go at making your own! 🍨
- Australian brunch is hugely popular in London. Check out my top picks to get your avo on toast fix. 🥑
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Let me know in the comments below if you think I’ve missed anything! 👇
More in London
It may be chilly outside but in a city that never sleeps, there’s no excuse to hibernate. 🛋️
Keep the spirit of your last summer holiday alive with the best Greek food in London. 🍋
From council tax to limescale, these are the things I’ve learned about living in London. 💂
London in warm autumnal hues coupled with fun activities and events will make you think twice before swapping hiking boots for slippers. 🍂
Tried and true blue Australian brunch hotspots in London. ☕🥑🍳
As scary as it sounds, the Heathrow injection doesn’t actually involve anything sharp. 💉