7 Things Not to Pack on Your Next Trip

By Clark Norton
June 25, 2015

Only you know what is vital to pack for your next trip. But we can give you some ideas of what not to pack – and perhaps free up some space for more crucial items (or things you pick up during your travels). 

Here’s our list of seven things to leave out next time you’re puzzling over how to close your suitcase or trying to decide just what you really need when you set off on your next tour: 

1. Hair Dryers, Curling Irons, or Travel Irons

We’ll lump all these together because they’re heavy, clumsy, and mostly superfluous to carry. Most hotels, cruise ships, etc., provide hair dryers. You won’t need a travel iron if you pack non-wrinkle clothing (see below). And as for curling irons – well, if you’re that worried about your hair on the road, wear a hat.  

2. Clothes That Need Ironing Or Don’t Dry Out Quickly

With today’s miracle fabrics – lightweight, non-wrinkling, breathable, fast-drying – there’s no reason to bring fabrics that require any special care. There’s nothing worse than washing out your clothes at the end of the day and finding them still wet or otherwise unwearable the next morning. We recommend the packable, quality products from ExOfficio and Patagonia

Beach Accessories

3: Expensive Jewelry

Expensive jewelry only makes you a target for thieves and calls attention to yourself. Yes, the latter may normally be the idea back home, but for various reasons (safety included), savvy travelers should strive to fit into their destination, not stand out in it.

4. Too Many Shoes

While we can’t put an exact number of what “too many” shoes is -- for example, if you’re going trekking you’ll need a pair of heavy boots to add to the mix, and there are times you may need dressy shoes – but it’s best to shoot for two pairs (especially men, since their shoes tend to be bigger and weigh more). A pair of comfortable walking shoes (which ideally can double as going-out-to-dinner shoes) is a must, and a pair of sandals is usually essential for warm-weather destinations. A simple pair of lightweight flip-flops can serve as slippers and take up very little space.

Tip: Two pairs of shoes should also be the minimum, since changing footwear provides comfort for tired feet and helps avoid blisters. Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane and pack the lighter ones.

5. Beach Towels And Bathrobes

These take up way too much space in your suitcase, and many hotels provide them. If you think you may need towels, you can buy nearly full size towels that come in tiny packs and unfold.. Or buy a cheap beach towel on the road and toss it when you’re done with it. Lightweight beach wraps or athletic gear can substitute for bathrobes if you’re staying in a place where the shower is down the hall. 

6. Heavy Travel Guidebooks

The era of lugging around heavy, often out-of-date guidebooks is over. Download guidebooks to your kindle, tablet or other sleek device or rely on your smartphone for current information and maps. Most of the major guidebook publishers have developed sophisticated mobile apps, including Lonely Planet. At the very least, rip out the pages you’ll need from your guidebooks and only carry those.

Travel Guide Books

7. Unnecessary Credit Or Other Cards

This one is less a problem of weight than a matter of “Why risk losing them if you won’t need them?” If you’re traveling abroad, for instance, you won’t need your department store credit cards, grocery store savings cards, or any other strictly domestic cards. If you get pickpocketed, at least you won’t have to worry about replacing those.

Bonus Tip: Each time you unpack after a trip, jot down the items you didn’t use and ask yourself the next time you’re packing: do I really need them this time? Chances are, the answer will be “no.”Click to Tweet: Each time you unpack after a trip, jot down the items you didn’t use & ask yourself the next time you’re packing: do I really need them?

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Comments
By Jared Alster
June 29, 2015 at 3:42 PM
Yeah, the more useless stuff you bring with you the less authentic cool stuff you can bring home!
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