Packing for a trip is something of an art form, and it can take some practice to get it right. If you’re not a veteran traveller, you might find yourself burdened with unnecessary items that take up too much space in your luggage and just generally weigh you down. Here are a few things that are pretty much always a mistake to pack.
Shampoo and conditioner are usually a waste of space.
If you’re travelling somewhere where the locals have easy access to shampoo and conditioner, so will you. There’s no reason to trek across the globe with products that you can quickly and cheaply pick up at your destination.
Tight restrictions on liquids also mean that flying with full bottles might even lead to delays at security checkpoints. Simplify your life and opt to pick up a few days’ worth of shampoo at your destination.
You probably don’t need more than two pairs of shoes.
Packing too many shoes can add unnecessary weight and bulk to your luggage. Unless you’re travelling to a special event or on a business trip, you probably only need to pack a decent pair of walking shoes and a pair of nicer shoes for restaurants or events.
Leave the expensive jewellery at home.
It’s natural to want to look your best, but bringing expensive jewellery along on vacation is almost always a mistake.
Travelling with fine jewellery or other flashy accessories could make you an ideal target for pickpockets, Reader’s Digest pointed out. Swap out your real diamond earrings for a pair of imitation studs or strap on a less eye-catching watch to avoid losing or damaging your valuables.
Consider leaving your expensive laptop behind.
Unless you have some serious work to do or are travelling for business, your phone or tablet can probably handle everything you need to do while on vacation.
Travel blog A Little Adrift pointed out that there’s no reason to risk losing your pricey laptop if you don’t have work to do on your trip. Plus, walking around with expensive tech could make you a target for thieves.
Don’t bring anything your travel partner is already packing.
Before you head out on a group adventure, make sure you’re not loading up your suitcase with duplicate toiletries or other items that can be easily shared between friends or partners.
Consider sharing toothpaste and other bulkier items with your travel companion.
Limit the number of bathing suits you bring.
Though it can be tempting to use a beach trip as an excuse to show off all your best swimwear, you probably only need one or two bathing suits for most trips. Bringing two suits will allow you to always have a dry one available while leaving room in your bag for other essentials.
According to Real Simple, an easy way to clean a bathing suit without a washing machine is to fill your hotel sink with cool water and pop in some mild detergent or even vinegar.
Hair dryers are usually provided by the hotel.
You may prefer your trusty hair dryer, but it’s not necessary. If you’re staying at a hotel, chances are they have one. If not, you can always call down to get one or invest in a new one when you get there.
If all else fails, it’s a great way to give your hair a break from the heat.
Don’t bother bringing out-of-season clothing.
Don’t pack for situations that are unlikely to happen – if you’re not planning on attending a formal event, skip packing a ballgown. Heading to the Sahara in the middle summer? You probably don’t need to bring an umbrella “just in case.” You can always buy it when you get there.
Leave the hardcovers at home.
Yes, there’s nothing like the feeling of an actual paper-and-ink book in your hand. However, lugging around real books while travelling is an unnecessary burden. With an e-reader or tablet, you can bring an entire library’s worth of reading without paying a fortune for overweight luggage or straining your back on long treks across town.
Traveller’s checks are basically obsolete.
Just in case you haven’t travelled since the 1990s, here’s a quick update: you definitely don’t need travellers checks.
Though these were once a handy way of safeguarding your money, you’re unlikely to find many businesses or banks that still accept them. Many major banks – including Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America – don’t even offer traveller’s checks anymore.
You’re much better off using a local ATM to grab cash and making sure your credit or debit card doesn’t charge an international transaction fee.
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