When people “panic pack” – that is, pack for a trip at the last minute – they tend to overdo it a little. Remove “Just in case” from your headspace when packing and you'll save a lot of bag space and headaches down the line.
With a few simple omissions, and some smart additions – like Merino wool – you can ensure you don’t over-pack on your next trip. There are lots of articles out there telling you what you should bring on a trip…we thought it would be fun to make a list of 5 things you probably could do without.
It’s understandable that you likely have a preferred brand or an anti-aging regiment. Pack the stuff you can't live without. But for the "doesn't really matter" products, there isn’t a whole lot you can’t find abroad these days. Sure, if you’re going somewhere super remote you might want to bring toiletries, but stuff like toothpaste, shampoo, soap and deodorant are cheap and widely available abroad, not to mention usually stocked at hotels (and some hostels) for free. The concierge is your friend. There’s no use weighing your bag down with these.
This is one area where packers get carried away. You don't need a new outfit every day, just a durable that is versatile enough to be worn in a number of settings, as well as some socks, underwear, jeans, shorts and whatever weather-specific additions will be necessary (e.g. a sweater or a rain jacket). Choosing simple, versatile clothes will allow you to mix and match easier, as will a simple pair of jeans. If you need some more help reducing your clothing list - Here's a packing list for pretty much ANY trip.
There's really no reason to bring a nice watch or jewelry on a trip, and doing so can make you a pickpocket target. It’s tempting to want to rock your expensive watch, but ultimately the risk isn’t worth whatever is gained.
If you’ve done a lot of travelling, chances are you’ve met this traveler: the walking bookcase. Avid readers, they’ve opted to carry around every book that they might conceivably read on a trip. That can get very heavy, very fast. It's easier these days to or computer to read, though if you really love physical books, look for book exchanges abroad, that way you're never carrying more than one.
Towels take up a lot of real estate in your bag, and for what? For something that is inexpensive, ubiquitous and easily replaceable? Either your hotel (or hostel) will have a towel, or you can buy one for cheap. Nevertheless, if you really want to bring a towel, there are very compact that dry very quickly, so you won’t have to haul a bulky wet towel around. These are especially helpful if you're traveling somewhere remote.
We want traveling to feel more like an adventure and less like a hassle. We want you to pack less so you can experience more. Next time you pack, stop thinking about "just in case" and only think "for sure will need". Hopefully, with these five omissions, your next trip will be light and easy.