Every time we set off on my travels our make the same mistake again and again. We always pack items we never use and don’t actually need. As with travelling, packing is a learning experience too, the more you pack the more experienced you get with packing your belongings effectively. We always want to be covered with all the items we think we need. But as we get more experienced with travel and packing, we start noticing we are actually hauling more than what we really need. As a result, we’ve made a list of items you won’t need when travelling, to help you in the process.
Valuables (Jewellery, Watches etc.)
Expensive valuables like watches, sunglasses and jewellery are all unnecessary items you won’t need when travelling or when thinking about what to pack. Wearing valuables just draws a massive target on your back for petty thieves pickpocketing or stealing them. Not only this, but you carry the risk of loosing them. However, I would pack cheap sunglasses, a watch and some jewellery to wear on nights out or in fairly nice places. Seen as you are a luxury backpacker!
People all over the world use toiletries, including shampoo and toothpaste. So don’t feel the need to stock up on supplies before you leave. Personally we would suggest to just bring carry-on sizes of everything to last you the first few days. Then after that you can buy everything you need once you arrive at your first destination.
Too much makeup
*cry* Emma’s a sucker for makeup and she has heaves of it back home. Therefore, she can relate to so many girls that take way too much makeup with them. Which not only weighs a lot but realistically you never use all of it, therefore these items you won’t need when travelling. Once you start travelling you forget what makeup is. Personally she would bring one bottle of foundation, mascara, eyeliner, 2 shades of lipstick and some eyeshadow. No need for all the fancy stuff as you just won’t need it.
Another one for the girls, but guys we are talking to you too. Maybe you decided to bring some for nice occasions, like sky bars or lounges in hotels. However, these nice shoes you bought are going to get dirty and ruined very quickly when they’re wedged into your backpack. Instead, we suggest bring either a pair of Toms or Vans, which can be smartened up with a dress or long skirt. But are also comfortable enough to wear on planes, and walks around cities etc.
No more than one pair of Jeans (if any)
Personally for girls we suggest not to pack a pair of jeans, just because if I’m (Emma) heading to tropical countries like South East Asia, they take ages to dry, they’re too thick, and they get sticky real quick. Instead I would just wear harem or baggy trousers. However, if you’re in a semi-temperate climate for example Australia I would talk 1 pair of jeans for evenings out or cooler days.
Guys however should generally have a pair of jeans in the bottom of their backpack, be it for a religious site you want to visit, or for a cool rooftop bar you want to go to. You might be denied entry if you haven’t got long trousers with you, especially at the latter.
Too many towels/bulky towels
Only bring one towel away with you, laundry’s are always close by and too many towels just take up way too much space in your backpack. If you really want to save space we would highly recommend a microfibre towel, they’re super lightweight, dry quickly and can be packed into a small cube, easy!
Another one for the girls, sorry! We both know how much humidity makes your hair frizz and it can be a nightmare. But realistically you will hardly use them. They are also really awkward to pack and surprisingly take up weight and space which can be used for more necessary items. However, if you really insist on taking some, you can buy mini hair straighteners. They don’t do the job as well but they are better than nothing.
More than one warm/rain jacket
You will need to pack one jacket even if you are heading to tropical climates. Because you’ll be surprised how cool some places get at night. However, don’t pack heavy or too many jackets (unless you are going to travel to truly cold/snowy climates).
Even though they take up little space in your backpack. It’s so cheap to have laundry done for you. It also takes so much less time, there’s not much use in taking an hour here and there to hand-wash clothes in a shared dorm sink, find a place to hang them up, and wait around until it’s time to take them down.
Don’t forget you can always buy items or anything you forgot to pack while you’re travelling. So don’t panic if you do forget something!
Believe us, carrying less, especially in a backpack, is so much more relaxing than having to lug around a large, heavy, and bulky backpack. For an article on Emma’s personal packing list see, Emma’s Personal Packing List.
Did we miss anything out? Comment below for anymore suggestions or opinions you may have!
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