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Whats On London – What NOT To Pack When Traveling In London

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1. Laptops

No matter how small and thin, laptops are heavy-duty machines that you absolutely must not bring on a trip. If you’re going to stay in a hotel for more than 3 days, you could risk leaving it in the room. If you have no set lodging or you’ll constantly be on the go, you’re going to regret bringing the weight and fragility.

Leaving your laptop is also a good way to leave work behind. Chances are, you’re traveling to relax. How are you going to appreciate the Michelangelo sculptures or the succulent dishes in London restaurants if you’ve got that report you’re supposed to file gnawing at the back of your mind?

2. Travel Pouches/Fanny Packs

Nothing screams “tourist” more than fanny packs and travel pouches. At first glance, they seem secure and practical; everything you need within easy reach, all tied neatly around your waist.

Unfortunately, no one uses them as part of their normal, everyday attire. Putting a fanny pack around your waist tells everyone that you’re “not from around here.” This an excellent way to get thieves to notice you.

3. Umbrellas

If your destination is fairly sunny, pack one or two sturdy hats and your favorite shades. If you’re sightseeing in places that are a little more on the drizzly side, like London city, pack a raincoat or a nylon jacket.

Don’t pack an umbrella. Not even the small, fold-able ones. They’re bulky, they drip indoors, and take up too much space when they’re dry. Raincoats and jackets can easily be sent to the cleaners, unlike umbrellas.

4. Denim Jeans

Just like an umbrella, denim jeans are recipes for disaster. They’re hard to clean, take forever to dry, and are extremely uncomfortable. When wet, they cling to the skin in the itchiest way possible. When warm, they’re suffocating.

Opt for cargo pants or pedal-pushers. For the fabric, khaki and cotton are the best way to go. Shorts and skirts are alright, but be mindful of the windy or cold weather.

5. Flashy Jewelry

It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning to eat in a five-star restaurant when you get there, or you’ve bought tickets for a London Broadway show.

Wear your best clothes to these events, but leave your jewelry at home. These are the things that get left behind in hotel rooms or fall off during the commute. They’re also nice, shiny targets for the criminal kind.

6. Overabundance of Gadgets

Be reasonable. You may want to commemorate your visit by taking selfies in the dungeon of the Tower of London. However, overabundance of gadgets during travel can spell trouble.

Don’t bring your camera for taking pictures, your phone to stay in touch, your kindle to read books, your iPad or iPod touch for apps, and your laptop for storing the photos you took. Limit yourself to a camera and a phone, if you can.

7. Maps.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can download maps to your phone. Take advantage of that. Unfolding huge maps in the middle of a crowded street is just begging for unwanted attention.

If you’re lost, take a break from your London sightseeing and pop into the nearest tea house to get your bearings and take a proper look at your phone. Use apps to figure out your location. When asking for directions, be discreet.

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