Think you need that second pair of boots? Think again.
This one’s for you, over-packers.
1. Shoe Options
Consider where you’re going, what kind of shoes you’ll need, and pack them. Pack only them.
A comfy pair of day-to-day sandals or sneakers and a decent pair of walking/hiking shoes should be all you need, depending on the location. If you have more than three pairs of shoes in your suitcase, you’ve likely over-packed.
2. Gym Gear
Are you seriously going to hit the hotel gym every day during your holiday?
Unless you’re Hugh Jackman prepping for an upcoming Wolverine sequel, it’s likely you’ll want to spend your days doing other things – like sleeping in or drinking by the pool. Or, you know, literally anything other than working out.
If you’re an active kind of gal or guy, one or two gym outfits should do it. Don’t bring your entire Nike wardrobe.
A lot of people go on vacation to get off the grid. And whether your itinerary involves high-end shopping or bar-hopping, chances are you won’t be on your devices as much as you would if you were chilling at home.
Unless you’re working remotely, it’s probably not necessary to bring your smartphone, tablet, laptop, MP3 player, and all their cords and chargers with you. These days, smartphones have just about everything you could need in one, anyway.
4. Hair Styling Tools
Dreaming of that perfect sunset selfie on the beach, complete with shiny Victoria’s-Secret-supermodel-worthy curls? Once you snap it, you’ll likely lose interest in taming your locks on the daily because:
- You won’t have time to do your hair every day (or would rather use that hour to sleep in) or;
- You’ll be getting it wet in the ocean or sweaty from activities, anyway.
Maybe leave the curling wands* and straightening irons at home – or consider a cute travel-sized styling tool. And don’t forget most hotels and Airbnbs have hairdryers free to use, so you don’t have to pack yours.
*The person writing this would never travel without their curling wand. Goodness, no. This is just a guide to packing light. If you’re happy to bring a second suitcase filled with GHD’s latest line, you do you.
Again, if you’re happy to dedicate suitcase space to all your favourite cosmetic products, by all means, pile them in.
But if you find you’re not reaching for those false lashes or multiple eyeshadow pallets on your travels, only packing your Holy Grail products is a great way to free up space and keep your bag on the lighter side.
6. Money Belts
While money belts may be a good idea in some cities prone to pickpockets (e.g. Barcelona and Prague), most of the time they’re not a necessity. Instead, try carrying only what you need and locking up any other money or valuables in your hotel safe.
But hey, if they give you a sense of security and allow you to relax and have that second glass of sangria, go for it.
These are bulky and redundant thanks to a little thing called the internet.
Use your phone. That is all.
8. Multiple Reading Books
Again, these are bulky and heavy. Instead of packing your entire library, carefully consider how long you’re away for, how much downtime you’ll likely have, and choose a couple of titles from there. Or consider an e-reader with all your favourite titles in one compact device.
Keep in mind you may be able to buy books for cheap from second-hand stores once you get there, too.
Your accommodation will likely provide these.
If you’re going to a beach destination, consider packing a small swimmer’s towel or microfibre towel instead of that big fluffy bath sheet you normally wrap yourself in.
10. Travel Pillows
These may be light, but they do take up a bit of space. It’s likely you’ll only use it once or twice on your flight, and many airlines and trains provide free pillows, anyway.
Or you can roll up your jacket to rest your weary head comfortably instead.
“So what the heck should I pack then?” we hear you ask.
Our ultimate travel packing guide has all the answers to get you ready for your next trip.