What NOT To Pack – 10 Travel Packing Don’ts

Travel Packing Don'ts

To all the over packers out there, this one’s for you.  Consult this list of travel packing don’ts to keep you in check.

There is an art to travel packing that takes some time to perfect.  We all have those things we actually CAN’T live without when away from home… but chances are the items on this list are not one of them.🙈

So, consider the length and purpose of your trip and keep the following in mind for what NOT to pack.

1. Anything irreplaceable 
This means expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, and sentimental objects… anything that would suck really bad if you were to lose it.

Especially with the fancy jewelry… it may look nice, but guess what?  Thieves think it looks nice too and you may have just became a mark.  Save yourself heartache and leave the expensive or meaningful stuff safely at home.

2. Full bottles of anything
And depending on where you’re going consider skipping even partially full bottles all together.  This obviously counts for anything hotels typically provide.  Unless you are on a seriously remote adventure you can pick up toiletries on location.

3. “Just in case” items
You know the ones…  they begin with the words ‘Maybe I’ll throw that in just in case…’  These include workout clothes, that third pair of shoes, and an outfit you’ll only wear once.

4. Your bookshelf
Nothing will weigh you down more than hardcover books, travel guides and stacks of magazines.  Don’t do it!

Instead, invest in an e-reader, subscribe to a magazine’s digital edition or check out the second-hand bookstores once you arrive, (and donate it before you leave).  If you are a physical-book-ONLY type person, then just one or two paperbacks, depending on how long you’re gone for.

5. “Useful mementos”
Think of things you need for this type of trip and instead of bringing, buy the local version.  It’s an awesome way to really immerse yourself in your destination and live like a local.

So you get the concept, we’re talking about things like hats, coolers, toothpaste, snacks, etc.. Grabbing stuff like this once you arrive is a great excuse to check out a corner shop or grocery store for some regional fun-ness. 😊

6. Umbrellas
This can almost fall under the ‘Just In Case’ items, but it deserves a special mention.  Even the most compact umbrellas really are not necessary to pack.

Most hotels, hostels or private rental properties will have umbrellas for you to use free of charge.  Or find a cheap one while your there.

7. Too many clothes
This one is so easy in theory, but so hard in practice for some of us (cough 😉).  Choose wisely!

Don’t pack 5 of your bulkiest sweaters.  The lightest packing travelers focus on versatility and color coordination that make a few key pieces all they need.

Another pro tip: Pack only 1 pair of jeans and make sure your tops can be worn with all your bottoms.

8. Shoes, shoes, shoes
They get their own point because they can majorly sabotage your light-packing efforts, for the gals AND the guys.  Resist the urge to stuff running shoes, dress shoes/heels, sandals and hiking boots in your bag.

You ideally want TWO pairs max (INCLUDING the one you’re wearing) and they should work for every occasion you need.  Make sure you wear the bulkiest pair on travel day.  Bonus points if you only bring the pair you wear!

9. Keys!
This is a small thing – but it makes a difference if you’re like me and they weigh 5 pounds between the sheer amount of metal and keychains you’ve attached to them. 😂

So unless you’re a school janitor, pack only your crucial keys… and walk a little lighter.

10. Too much tech
Technology is great… what’s not great, however, is loading up your precious packing space with your tablet AND laptop AND smartphone AND etc., etc..  Take inventory of your technology and pair it down to as little as possible.

This way, you’ll have much less weight, more room and less expensive tech to worry about.

Have some pro packing tips we didn’t mention?  Tell us in the comments below!

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