5 Essentials to Pack for a Surprise Trip

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s pretty tricky to pack a bag for a weekend if you don’t actually know where you’re going!

Next weekend I’m heading off on my ‘trip to somewhere’ with Surprise Trips, a new company, which books your European city break for you and only tells you your destination when you arrive at the airport. Cool huh?

But that does leave the dilemma ‘oh my god, what should I pack?’. I know that two days before my trip I’ll get a weather forecast for my destination sent through from Surprise Trips, but as I’m a busy bee this week I’m aiming to get most of my packing done now, which is harder than you’d think!

So I’m bringing it back to the essentials, and will add in clothes later this week once I know whether I’ll need shorts or a winter coat! Here are the 5 essentials to pack for a Surprise Trip.

A Cabin-Only Suitcase


Surprise Trips only include cabin luggage, so getting a bag which is as big as possible, but still within the cabin bag limits is extra important. Our trip is for 3 nights, and I’m travelling with this 4 wheel suitcase from American Tourister.

I love it because it’s super light (it only weighs 1.57kg!) and it’s actually super spacious! The dimensions are within the limits for most airlines (see below) but it still has room for everything I need. Love.

Let's hope I'm travelling with one of these airlines!

Let’s hope I’m travelling with one of these airlines!

Miniature Photography Equipment


As I’ll need to maximise space for all of the lovely souvenirs I’ll be bringing back, I’m choosing to travel with just the minimum when it comes to my photography equipment.

I’m replacing my DSLR with my Samsung S7, which actually has a really AMAZING camera, especially in low light, and my HD compact video camera with my GoPro Hero 4 Silver, This means I don’t have to lug around any bulky cameras but I don’t have to compromise on quality.

Miniature toiletries


There’s nothing that says ‘I’m going on holiday’ more than a mini shampoo, right? The trip is only 3 nights so mum and I are going to share this collection of miniatures over the weekend to save on space. They are;





Clinique pack care pack including face wash, toner and moisturiser

That’s it!!! 

Ice Currency Card


I used this currency card for my round the world trip as it works out cheaper than using the bank’s exchange rate plus their withdrawal fees abroad. As I don’t know where I’ll be going I’m just going to load it up with Pounds Sterling (my home currency) for both of us and draw out the cash when I arrive.

This card is designed for international travel so I know I won’t get any suspicious sounding bank employees on the end of the phone asking me why I’m taking out money in a foreign country. I mean, is that a crime? 🙂

Travel Apps


I like to use an app called Spotted By Locals, which has paid city guides written by local people, which you can download and keep on your phone to reference on the go. Guides are either free or about £2.99 each and I think well worth it to avoid the classic tourist traps.

Another cool city guide app is Triposo, which offers free guides, although I think they’re a little more geared towards someone who just wants to ‘tick off the sites’. Still the guides are useful for a quick overview of the city and the basic info you’ll need to travel there.

So these are the 5 basic things I’ll be taking alongside my clothes of course. Now to get packing! Is there anything you think I missed?

Disclosure: American Tourister have loaned me a carry on sized suitcase for my trip. There are also a couple of affiliate links in here, which if you click and buy something through I’ll get a small commission at no cost to you. As always, thanks for your support! 🙂

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Hayley is the author behind A Life of More, a travel and lifestyle blog with the goal of helping you to live a happier and more fulfilled life, whether you're currently travelling or happily settled.

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