12 Things You Don’t Need to Pack on Travel

There are two types of travelers – those who travel light and those who travel with too much luggage (even for short trips). If you fall in the latter category, you are undoubtedly an overpacker. Experts believe overpacking is driven by an urge to be ready for countless ‘just in case’ situations. 

Here is an anti-packing list to help you travel more mindfully on your next trip.

Extra Pairs of Jeans

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Packing more than one pair of jeans will take up additional space in your bag and make it heavy. It makes more sense to pack just your favorite pair. You can synchronize the same pair of jeans with different tops. 

Jeans can last days without washing. If they get dirty, you can spot-clean them and wear them again. 

Too Many Shoes

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A matching pair of shoes for every dress is a fashion indulgence and packing nightmare. You will need a separate bag to fit them all. Leave your fancy, designer, and impractical footwear at home. 

A pair of comfortable and well-worn sneakers or walking shoes can suffice for the length of the trip. You can also pack flip-flops, slip-ons, or flat sandals, as they are lightweight and versatile.

Wear your heaviest footwear on the travel day to save space in your luggage.

Different Outfits for Everyday

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You may want to pack one to three outfits for every day, but you are likely to wear half of them. Stick to a minimal pair of comfortable tops and bottoms. Mix and match them to style yourself differently to last the entire trip.

When packing weather-friendly wear, limit yourself to one jacket, beachwear item, or poncho. Learn the art of layering for cold climates and pack accordingly.

Accessories and Valuables

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It is expected to go overboard with packing a matching watch, purse, jewelry, or other accessories for every outfit. They will eat up the space in your bags. 

Pack bare minimum functional accessories. As much as you want to flaunt your diamond necklace or a Cartier timepiece, keep them safe at home. You can lose them yourself or to pickpockets. 

Books and Magazines

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A travel reading list is something you may not want to compromise with. However, the weight of paperback books and magazines can be a mood-spoiler. You can always rely on your Kindle, tablet, or e-reader. You can easily slip these slim design gadgets into your carry-ons and access them suitably.

Unnecessary Toiletries and Cosmetics

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From mouthwash to hairstyling products, overpackers like to fill their luggage with every personal hygiene and makeup article. You don’t need more than a travel-size toiletry or beauty kit that can fit your strict minimum essentials. 

Remember that airlines restrict the number and quantity of liquids you can carry. Check with the hotel to see if they offer complimentary toiletries.

Fluffy Towels

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Let the large-size fluffy towels stay behind in your closet. These towels are voluminous and take time to dry. Instead, you can pack microfiber, super thin, or quick-dry towels to free up valuable space in your luggage. Find out with the rental property if they provide towels to the guests.


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Not packing blankets or sheets can be a nerve-racking decision for clean-freak travelers. Bedding is necessary only when you are planning a camping trip. If not, then it is cumbersome to lug it everywhere with you. A good alternative is a packable blanket or a thick scarf that can fit into a small bag. 

Travel Pillow

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A travel pillow is a non-essential item unless you need a specific one for health reasons. Its bulkiness can be problematic, irrespective of whether it is inflatable or you are carrying it in your hands. You can request the airline or train crew to provide you with a pillow. Alternatively, you can roll your hoodie or jacket into a makeshift pillow. 

Too Many Gadgets

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Packing more gadgets will require you to haul extra luggage and keep a close eye on everything for safety. Moreover, these gadgets will prevent you from experiencing travel to the fullest.

Your smartphone, cellphone charger, power bank, and power adapter are the only basic tech gear you need for a trip. If you can pack smart, you may carry earpods, a camera, or an e-reader. 

If you are a food or travel blogger, then it is reasonable that you will need the necessary equipment and tools. Find out if you can rent or ship your gear to the destination. In either scenario, pack ultra-light with only what is necessary.


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Resist the urge to pack unnecessary snacks or homemade food. While they may help you save money, they may also increase the weight of your luggage and cause spillages, which can ruin your clothes.

Local food tasting is one of the best ways to make travel experiential and unforgettable. A survey found that 55% of Americans selected local food and drinks as the most important trip-planning factor. The cultural experience was another high-ranking choice for 39% of Americans. These days, most tourist destinations cater to all types of food options. You won’t have trouble finding vegan, gluten-free, or other foods of your preference. Plan and research for restaurants before travel. 


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Medicines are necessary for travelers with health issues. Make sure you carry a written prescription. While it is understandable that you also want to pack over-the-counter drugs, vitamin supplements, and a first aid kit, don’t overpack the unessential medicine supplies. Otherwise, you may encounter travel hassles at security check-in counters.

Check with the airline’s policy regarding flying with medication. If you are traveling out of the United States, keep CDC guidelines in mind.

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