We’ve all had this feeling before. You set out to pack your back or a week or two away from home and you think this is the time when you’re not going to overpack. And yet by the time you’re finished, you’re still struggling to get the zipper on that suitcase closed.
How does this happen every single time? We always feel like we’re cutting back on how much we’ve been trying to stuff into our travel bag but somehow it’s never enough. Most people just aren’t thinking about it the right way.
It’s not necessarily just about bringing fewer clothes or planning to buy your toiletries when you arrive at your destination, there are several other things which are padding out your suitcase that you probably don’t need. You probably won’t be needing your usual foot spa or skincare routine on a trip. It can even be useful to get out of that routine for a few days and let your body just handle the stress on its own!
Here are five more things that you should leave behind next time your travel:
- Travel Iron
I know it seems like an essential because you would probably never go out at home in clothes that you haven’t ironed, but the truth is that a few wrinkles in your clothes really should be a sacrifice that you’re willing to make overtaking a clunky travel iron everywhere.
Unless of course you’re traveling on business and you need well-ironed formal clothes, I think you should embrace the idea that it’s okay for your clothes not to be completely smooth while you’re out exploring another country.
And even if you are on business, chances are you’ll be staying in a hotel anyway, and it’s pretty rare for their not to be an iron and ironing board available in your hotel room. And even if you’re staying in an Airbnb there’s a good chance they’ll have one available.
If it’s something that you are really concerned about, there are better, more space-saving alternatives to an iron. There are some very effective avenues around this one.
This isn’t something that everyone wants to hear. I know when I was younger I never wanted to go anywhere without the book I was reading and at least one more book in case I finished the first one.
It takes up too much space though. And if you are forcing a book in among your clothes in a suitcase, there’s a good chance that it’s going to get some wear and tear on it. Fading and creases are a common problem.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t bring any reading material at all, but you should be opting for the electronic option. Reading off a screen might seem like something you wouldn’t like, but you get used to it very quickly.
And a Kindle is so light and slim. You actually don’t even have to get a Kindle if you don’t want to, you can just download the Kindle app on your phone and read off that. You don’t need a subscription and books on Kindle are generally way cheaper than hard copies.
- Electric Razors
Again, we’ve got an essential here that you’re going to have to decide to leave behind. I would advise against bringing disposable razors, especially if you are traveling with just a carry-on, which is the preferred method here.
You won’t get that through security and rightfully so, but if you don’t have disposables then the only other option seems to be the electric razor. But that’s just awkward and takes up too much unnecessary space.
The wires are one thing but you’re probably going to need some kind of adaptors too if you’re traveling to other countries and not just the regular ones. You’ll need to find ones that are specific for electric razor outlets in bathrooms and they’re not as common.
The real solution is to get your hands on a razor that’s specifically designed for traveling. They all take into account things like size and adaptability so you don’t have to worry about any of that stuff.
- Numerous Pairs of Shoes
I think that at most, you should have one extra pair of shoes for a trip. But even just having one pair in your suitcase is going to take up quite a bit of space. Ideally, you would just have the ones that you wear on the journey.
You should get a pair that works for walking around a city like environment, that looks good if you’re going out to experience the nightlife and can cover you in some less urban terrain like in parks or the countryside.
Ecco tends to have some good choices, and the converse is always reliable when it comes to these kinds of shoes. If you are going to be spending a lot of time at the beach, you could pack yourself a pair of flip-flops.
They won’t take up a huge amount of space, but you could also almost certainly buy some when you get there. Shoes are a pain in the ass to pack, so if you can, don’t pack any. Just have the right pair on you when you leave.
- Too Many Gadgets
All you really need is your phone. These days, that should cover you for pretty much everything that you may have at some point needed a whole extra bag of electrical devices. Think about it for a minute:
You may want to take some pictures, you can do that on your phone. Unless you have an old, decrepit phone, in which case it’s probably time you switched up anyway. Maybe if you’re renting a car you might think you need to bring along a GPS?
Nope, you can Google Maps up on your phone and find your way around that way. And like we mentioned before, you don’t even necessarily need to bring a Kindle or an equivalent e-reader because you can bring your reading material up on your phone.
There is no additional gadget you can think of that your phone won’t serve the same purpose as, so don’t bother with any of them. Except, maybe, some gadgets that will help you get some sleep if things get noisy when you don’t want them to. I’ve experienced noise pollution in big cities and my soundproof earmuffs saved the holiday.
To pack as light as possible you need to think outside the box. Or outside the suitcase, which is where most of your stuff (and earmuffs) should be. The less you bring, the less stress you’ll have while packing and trying to carry everything around.