Are you one of those people who, when they go away for the weekend, packs enough to last for a month? Have you ever put your back out lifting your case into the car? Many of us pack far too much when we travel, and never use half of the things we take. When you’re flying, it pays to keep your packing as light as possible (because with some airlines you will definitely pay if you go over your baggage allowance). Here are some of the things you don’t need to pack in your suitcase.
1. Your Entire Wardrobe
Somehow I doubt that most of us ever master the art of the capsule wardrobe. What we need to remember, though, is that we don’t need to pack every item of clothing we own. When choosing what to pack in your suitcase, it’s necessary to be ruthless – and relaxed. The holiday won’t be ruined if we want to wear something that we haven’t packed. Just make do with what you do have.
2. Toothpaste and Toiletries
If I am going to stay with family, then I don’t bother packing toothpaste – it’s one less thing to take. How many toiletries do we really need for a 2-week trip? Yes to sunscreen, makeup remover, moisturiser … no to face mask, a mass of hair products and every item of makeup you own. There are plenty of products available in miniature sizes or that are multi-purpose.
3. A Library
As a very keen reader I have often packed lots of books when I go away, for fear of running out of reading material. The fact is that I end up not opening half of them. Too many books take up a lot of space (and you can’t vacuum pack them like clothes), so try swapping with other travellers or buying second-hand books if you find them.
4. Shoes for Every Occasion
Shoes are another item where it’s tempting to take every pair you own, so that you have some to match every outfit. Again, they take up too much space, so take versatile footwear. Sandals can be worn on evenings out, so there’s really no need to pack heels (which are no good for walking anyway).
This is something the British are particularly guilty of when they go abroad. A lot of them appear not to trust that funny foreign food, or be aware of the existence of supermarkets in other countries. You do NOT need to pack food. Other countries have shops too. Be a little adventurous and try wandering round them – it’s usually fairly easy to figure out what most things are.
A hairdryer is one thing that you don’t need to pack in your suitcase unless you are travelling in winter or have hair that goes crazy when dried naturally. Even a travel dryer takes up space. It’s also kinder on your hair for it to dry without the heat of a dryer.
Some people pack every gadget they own, as if they can’t cope for a week without their Blackberry or whatever. Come on! You’re supposed to be on holiday! Leave everything except the camera at home, and get away from it all. Besides, it’s safer not to take gadgets, which are at high risk of being stolen.
Are you one of those travellers who likes to pack everything in your suitcase – how many things have you taken and wished you hadn’t? The beauty of leaving empty space on the outward journey is that there is plenty of room to fit all your holiday purchases!
Top Photo Credit: londonmockingbird