PPreparations for the upcoming trip have not yet been completed, but your travel suitcase is already full? Do you want to lose a few pounds or fork out money over your weight limit? This reverse travel packing list of what not to pack on holiday will help you figure out how you can lighten the load. Please note that the answers to the question: what not to take with you on a trip are given by popular travel bloggers, whose opinions do not necessarily coincide with yours...
1. Too much underwear or any cotton underwear
Debbie Lee Jagerman from Debby's Departures: What things should you not take with you on a trip? Well, basically, too many clothes. My grandmother once told me: “Take half the clothes and twice the money.” And she was right! Three pairs of underwear are all you really need: the one you're wearing, the one you just washed and dried, and one spare pair. And if you have less clothing overall, your bags will be much smaller, lighter, and easier to carry. Believe me, carrying less with you, especially in a backpack, is much more convenient than carrying around a large, too heavy and cumbersome suitcase.
And besides, if you realize you need more clothes, use the cash to buy something locally made, which can often be quite good value for money.
Nicholas Tjin from Unearthing Asia: During one of my trips, I realized that I, in principle, did not need to pack the usual cotton underwear for the trip. I bought myself paper underwear, which is intended for one-time use, and this purchase was the right decision. This approach turned out to be very convenient and justified for me, especially on those trips where washing is difficult, or there is simply no desire to do it and waste your precious time on household items.
2. Soap and soap dish
Shelley Rivoli from Travels with Baby: Soap dishes - that is, boxes for soap - have had serious development and support for a long time. Design, shape, color - manufacturers tried to attract attention and make us buy their products in various ways. I'm not against soap dishes and soap in general, but try to remember when you used a whole bar of soap taken from home on a trip? Don’t you live in hotels or can’t buy soap somewhere locally if you urgently need it?
Personally, I was always interested in what kind of soap the hotel would offer me on my next trip. Its shape, smell, consistency and everything else. It’s like a kind of part of the journey from which I get satisfaction...
Karen Catchpole from "Trans-Americas Journey": Not only are they NOT necessary, they are harmful and interfere with our comfort. They are heavy, bulky, and impossible to wash in the sink and hang to dry overnight. Leave your Levi's at home.
4. Paper books and magazines
Tammy Dooley from Solo Road Trip: Those two old Nat Geo issues about "The Queen of Egypt" and "The Ice Baby" that you're dying to understand? The latest The Economist with articles like "The Pandemic Threat, What You Should Be Afraid of" or "Obama's First 100 Days" that make you feel out of touch and guilty because you've been reading travel blogs all the time?
Do you remember that novel that you started twice and still haven’t finished reading until the third chapter? Psssssss... I have bad news - you will NOT get to all of this on the trip you are about to take. Leave them at home!
Personally about me. The presence of paper material when traveling bothers me for two reasons: firstly, it is weight. Besides the now expensive weight it adds, its presence creates a huge dose of guilt (as if it wasn't enough). I recently decided that unless I'm traveling to work on a deadline, I'm not going to post about the trip, respond to emails, or tweet. And I'm tired of packing too much reading material on trips and then feeling guilty about all the pages left unturned. Let's take back some freedom and unencumbered joy in our travels - just say NO to unnecessary reading material!
Eric Gauger from Notes from the Road: When I travel, I like to have a lot of information at my fingertips. Information on restaurants, hotels, directions, maps, plant guides, butterfly guides, bird guides, mammal guides and more. I used to pack a lot of these things for travel. But the books are deceptively heavy, especially the hardcover ones. I learned how to make my own easy travel guide from a Moleskine planner. Whether I'm copying, cutting and pasting, pasting, or just recreating with pen and pencil, I create my own guide to where I put the pieces together and the books stay where they belong, at home.
Lauren O'Farrell from Purl Interrupted: Being a shameless bookworm, I always, always want to take more than one book with me. I end up giving up on them all in favor of one of the many books. These paperback treasures will most likely be books that are relevant to where you are, creased enough that you don't have to worry about keeping it "pretty", and maybe have a vaguely greasy patch on page 49 local delicacy.
5. Money belt or fanny pack
Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere: They identify you as a tourist as soon as you start using them. Take pants with a zipper in the front pocket or shorts of this type when traveling. This makes it much more difficult for pickpockets to steal your money, and you won't be a tempting target for every pickpocket or mugger anywhere on the planet.
Nancy Satre-Vogel from Family on Bikes: A towel, you ask? Why on earth is a towel a useless thing? I understand that a towel is one of those items that almost every traveler on earth carries with them. We check into cheap hotels and go to their dirty showers to clean ourselves up. And then we need a towel to dry ourselves off, right? Incorrect answer.
Do not misunderstand me. We all travel with a towel. Or rather, two out of three. But more often than not, they remain hidden in the deepest corners of our suitcases and rarely see the light of day. After swimming, we go to hotel rooms, where there is almost always a towel. You may ask, why do we carry a couple of towels with us around the world? For sentimental reasons, I might answer that way.
7. Water filter
Craig Martin from the Indie Travel Podcast: I've seen water filters, especially the cool Star Trek-themed straws, popping up on packing slips all over the internet. My question to you: Where are you going?! Water can be drunk straight from the tap in many places around the world. If not, bottled water can be purchased from a store on every street corner in cities and towns. I would say that with the 90%, travelers do not need to carry any kind of water filtration device.
There are travelers who need it: people who are going to developing countries and going off the beaten path. People who engage in hiking or mountaineering. People who may need a jungle survival kit. But, let's face it, you're probably not that much of a rugged traveler. Therefore, keep your money in your wallet for now and spend it somewhere useful later.
Nomadic Matt from "Nomadic Matt": I never take a jacket with me wherever I go. I have a long sleeve shirt for when it gets chilly, but jackets are bulky and bulky, which will weigh down your backpack. If I'm going somewhere relatively cold, I'll buy a cheap jacket for that period of time upon arrival. When I leave, I will donate to a homeless shelter. This may cost a little extra money, but if you move between climate zones frequently, it will save you a lot of space.
People always pack for a trip and take everything with them for any occasion. But in any case, you only wear half of what you take. The jacket is one of those things that I rarely wear. Why carry a jacket from New Zealand ski season across Southeast Asia? You're not going to wear this. It's better to just buy as much as you need. Plus, donating to charity is good for your peace of mind.
9. Unnecessary chargers and cables
Dave from The Longest Way Home: Chargers and cables! One each for phone, mp3 player, laptop, camera, AA/AAA batteries and razor. I used to carry them all wrapped in a laundry bag and the devil would weigh it. This was 5 years ago, before some good people made multi-adapters and fast chargers. AAA/AA rechargeable batteries now charge in 15 minutes with the charger, which takes care of my flashlight, camera, razor and mp3 player. I threw away my old phone charger and bought a new one that was lightweight and had fast charging. Now my bag is lighter on the 50%.
I also carry a small multi-outlet adapter with me. These days, you sometimes find one of the few precious outlets, and there are usually lines of people around them with tons of cables and devices wrapped around them. I only need one outlet and most things charge in 15 minutes. Laptop and phone take 2 hours. But most importantly: I no longer need to carry a bunch of cables with me, as if I were an electrician on the road.
10. iPod and analogues
Greg Wesson from Greg Wesson's Esoteric Globe: I see so many people now traveling with their eyes closed and white headphones in their ears. This is normal and good for commuter train travel. However, when traveling by bus through the wilds of Costa Rica, you lose something when you put on your headphones and select the playlist of "enjoyment" instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to admire the scenery, listen to the sounds of the journey and, most importantly, interact with your fellow travelers and locals . Of course, I could be wrong, and this could all be jealousy on my part, since I don't have an mp3 player to speak of... But I'm pretty sure I'm right.
11. Vintage Hermes scarf
Laura Motta from Le Blog Laura": This is definitely on the list of things that will never be useful to you on vacation. I have a vintage Hermes scarf that I bought a few years ago. It's beautiful and I love it and when I decided to move to Paris I had plans for it. I imagined myself being so chic in this absolutely chic city in my absolutely chic headscarf, sitting in cafes and going out to parties. But here's the thing. I didn't go to Paris to work or be a fashionable lady in my spare time. I was a student. During those dreary winter months, my wardrobe consisted mostly of Old Navy jeans and simple sweaters. My handkerchief remained hidden all semester. It's amazing how my strange cultural beliefs (I don't know who wears Hermes scarves in Paris, but poor students definitely don't) influenced my travel packing list.
12. Convertible trousers with zipper
Geoff from Itinerant Londoner: One of the typical mistakes of “super tourists” is this strange and inexplicable to me craving for transformable trousers with zippers. Why do I consider it stupid to take this invention of mankind with me on a trip? I personally have no desire to look like an idiot.
Have you ever wondered why children from that remote Andean village run out to look and point at you? No, it's not because you're a foreigner. They see foreigners like you all the time. It's because you look ridiculous. Indeed it is. Just next time leave your super pants at home and stick to separate shorts and pants like a normal person. My words may sound like some kind of fiction, but honestly, I'm just telling you this for your own good.
Nora Dunn from The Professional Hobo: My boyfriend and travel partner Kelly insists that we don't need a variety of shoes. A good pair of hiking boots and a few flip-flops packed in your backpack will do. Personally, I prefer to take an in-between pair, but maybe that's just because I'm a girl. Depending on your destination, an inexpensive pair of shoes can be purchased and used abroad, leaving more space in your backpack.
14. Huge supply of toiletries
Nora Dunn from The Professional Hobo: Some of the things you don't really need on your trip. A huge supply of toiletries is impossible to pack. Initially, I took with me a slightly reduced assortment of my usual kit out of fear that what I needed would not be available, but now I limit myself to the bare necessities. Most often, you can buy everything you need along the way.
15. Voltage converter for your gadgets
Sherry Ott from Ottsworld: Well, it may sound strange, but in many cases you don't need to take a converter with you for your electronics. Of course, I always travel with adapters, but I have never taken a converter with me. I traveled around the world, visiting 23 countries, with two cameras with chargers, an iPod with charger, a cell phone with charger, and a laptop with battery; a lot of equipment that needs electricity!
However, I strongly recommend that you read the fine print on your electronics. Most modern gadgets come with chargers that convert different voltages. For example, read your iPod charger carefully: in the fine print you'll see "AC Input Voltage 100-240V" - this covers the range of what you need - no converter required!
My best advice is to lay out all your electronics before you leave and read the charger and voltage instructions. You might be surprised to learn that all of your electronics already convert energy. And you'll be happy that you don't have to take a relatively heavy converter with you!
16. Cosmetics and jewelry
Kate Dowman from Caffeinated Traveler: What I notice comes from a woman's point of view. I see a lot of women take thick makeup bags and jewelry cases with them when they travel. I think the need for this depends on where you're going and who you're traveling with, but these are two categories of things that I personally would never take with me unless I was going to a friends wedding.
Since I often travel alone and often in developing countries, I try to keep my profile private for security reasons. I trade my usual watch for a cheap plastic one and rarely carry makeup with me, except for the simplest things like mascara and lip gloss. I save my makeup and jewelry for work, not travel.
17. Electric toothbrush or electric coffee grinder
Rachel Hanley from "Roaming Rachael": It is better not to take this with you on a trip. Let's face it. No matter where you go, you won't need an electric toothbrush or an electric coffee bean grinder. Sure, maintaining a clean white smile and being able to brew a fresh cup of coffee straight from local beans seems like a good idea... until Murphy's Law comes into the equation. Then you discover that A) you forgot the power cord and converter, B) there is no electricity, C) none of the batteries sold nationwide are compatible with your device, and D) the coffee beans are grown only for export. and is actually not sold in the country.
Either option will turn your favorite portable friend into either a very heavy regular toothbrush or a coffee-scented weight for the bottom of your bag. The general rule of thumb is: if it looks like something from a Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue, leave it at home.
PS Do you like coffee? Choose hotels with coffee makers included in your room or just visit a decent coffee shop...
18. High expectations
Bonnie Brewster from The London Spy: Traveling through many countries and all continents, I learned one simple, but immutable truth for me. You shouldn’t expect anything beyond emotional from the trip in advance. It is always better to be amazed and surprised by something: a new place, its beauty, nature, architecture, strange dishes, people and their traditions, than to be disappointed in your expectations.
Curtis Forman Principles
Curtis Foreman from Flashpacking Life: Want to reduce the number of things you take with you on your trip? Here's a simple tip that will lighten your load and make your trip more memorable:
- Do not take anything with you that would be interesting to buy upon arrival;
- Take this strategy to heart and I guarantee that every trip you take will be even more enjoyable. (Or at least memorable);
- Third sunglasses? Buy as much as you need when you arrive - it will be fun. Book by your favorite author? Ditch it and go on a book hunt. I found a wonderful second-hand bookshop on Poppy Lane, in the backstreets of Kuta, Bali, and bought a copy of Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis after watching the owner win a game of chess;
- Beach towel? Shaving foam? Reusable water bottle? Fashionable sun hat? Jewelry? New outfit? Buy local and meet the locals. Practice your language skills. And don't rush into your purchase: spending some time chatting with the seller is a great way to learn about the best and worst of local culture, food and attractions;
- Plus, by shopping after you arrive, you'll be less likely to waste money on junk that seemed like a good idea before your trip—like that ergonomic, breathable money belt you never wore.
Compare the tips with our detailed list of necessary things for a trip or a trip to from the article "What should a girl take with her to the sea...»
What things do you know that, in your opinion, other travelers and tourists carry around unnecessarily? What have you learned to cross off your travel packing list? What is your personal anti-checklist?