Packing 101: What Not to Pack

We all know the routine. We pack our toiletries, gadgets, travel gears, clothes for sleeping, for going out, for formal dinner, for swimming, for walking tours, for what ever activities that you have planned. But when you arrive at your destination, you realise that you pack way too much stuff, all that unnecessary weight making your shoulder and back curse you. But not everyone know that there is an art to it.

We all know what to pack in our suitcase or backpacks but do you know what not to pack? The next time you need to pack for your upcoming travel or adventure, here are some pointers that you can use to not pack so much stuff and avoid unnecessary weight on your carryon or checkin luggage, and in effect it will save you some money from excess baggage charges.

Lay it all out in front of you

Lay out all your stuff and do an inventory of what you actually want to pack. It really helps if you actually lay out in front of you the things you plan to bring. That way you see everything and you also see what you are missing.  What I do is this, it may or may not be helpful for you, but what if you actually spread it out on your bed the things you plan to bring? That way you can check if you have enough swimsuit for a week for your beach getaway or enough warm layers for your winter skiing trip to Iceland.

Don’t pack your entire beauty routine

Do you really need to bring that big bottle of moisturizer? And do you think you will need to wash your hair 7 times during your 1 week stay in Paris? These are the line of questioning that you should ask yourself while packing toiletries. The sample packs in those teeny weeny bottles and sachet from the drugstore pharmacy are handy during these times. Invest in some GoToob Tubes 3ounce (3 packs) Travel Bottles. This genius products are very useful for my liquid toiletries.

If it doesn’t serve multiple purpose, don’t bring it

If you want to bring a piece of clothing and that will serve only one purpose, maybe you don’t really need to bring it all. Still debating whether to bring a shiny strappy sandals just in case? I tell you, these “just in case” will be the death of your shoulders and back for lugging all that weight “just in case”. It’s not like you will get invited to a Prince Ball or a Gala dinner while you’re there. If you are debating whether to bring it or not, then don’t bring it.

Which gadget or electronic device to bring?

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Ah those gadgets to help you document your every trip happenings and every food your ordered. Of course, you need to bring your GoPro for water activities and DSLR camera for travel photography.  

But how do you eliminate which ones to bring? If you’re headed to an island getaway for around 1 week, you can leave your laptop and just bring your notebook or journal for writing. For travel photography, then you don’t need to bring around your GoPro and all those clamps accessories. For reading, I bring my kindle and leave those paperbacks at home.

Must Read: Essential Tips for Starting Out Your Travel Photography

Leave some room for souvenirs

Don’t pack too much shirts so you can have room for souvenirs that you plan to bring home. Most of the time, I bring old shirts that I don’t use anymore and when I get to my destination, I buy some new shirts for souvenirs and leave out the old shirts. So in effect I have the same number of shirts when I go home.  

Lastly, buy a smaller backpack

People tend to pack too much when they feel there is still space to fill in. So buy a smaller one and fill it all you want. In the end you pack lighter. Many have recommended to me the Osprey AG 50 backpack but I feel that for me the Osprey Kyte 46  (I used in below photo in Tokyo) is enough and feels great on my shoulders and waist.  

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Buy a smaller backpack so you pack less stuff. Click To Tweet

I hope these packing exercise helps you when packing for your next trip and I bet you, your shoulders and back will thank you.

Must Read: Ultimate Guide for your Solo Backpacking Trip

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Samantha - 8 months ago Reply

Hi Carla, It is always so hard to try to decide what to bring. I usually bring my laptop, two cameras (one water) and my tablet. I know it’s a lot, but the cameras can go in one bag, so it’s not taking up any extra space. However, I usually forget to leave space for souvenirs, lol. Thanks for the helpful post.

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