Six things you never need to pack

Obviously, you never need to pack a broomstick or a coffee pot in your carry-on, but I’m not talking about the obvious things that you wouldn’t pack.  I’m talking about the things I see people pack when they really don’t need to.  The things that you think you won’t be able to live without, or won’t be able to find wherever you’re going.  Or the things that you stuff in your bag last minute because “just in case.”  Yes, those things.  Here is a list of things you may be packing, that you actually never need to.

More than one pair of jeans. If you are packing more than one pair of jeans, you are doing something wrong.  All your shirt choices should be able to match the one pair you brought.  You shouldn’t need to bring an additional pair.  The only thing that it would provide is a a different style option, but you should pick one style that matches everything else.  If you can’t, then you need to rethink your shirts as well.

A hairdryer.  I’ve talked about this before, but you never need to pack a hairdryer.  No matter where you’re staying, there will be one for you to use.  Especially when you’re visiting other countries, your hairdryer most likely will need a converter anyways, so you might as well save the hassle and just use one when you get there.  Plus, they’re heavy and bulky and take up way too much of your valuable suitcase space.

Full size bottles of anything.  You shouldn’t have anything that’s full-sized.  Nothing.  Not make-up, not lotion, not shampoo, not medicine bottles… not anything.  There is no need for a full-size.  First of all, you won’t be able to use all of it if you’re going for 2 weeks or less.  Secondly, chances are you’re staying somewhere with shampoo, conditioner and lotion available if you get in a pinch.  For medicines, just bring the amount you need for the trip.  Don’t bring the full bottles with you.  Count out what you need and put in a baggy to save space.

Multiple electronics.  If you are traveling with a partner, you should not be bringing more than one laptop, tablet or camera.  Believe it or not, sharing is still possible, even when you’re on vacation.  If you are traveling solo, you should choose one larger item to bring and then you’ll also have your phone.  There is no need to bring a tablet, laptop, large camera and bag, cell phone, MP3 player, etc.  Think of ways to consolidate your activities into one electronic format.  If you can’t, maybe you shouldn’t be traveling at all; just stay home and use all your gadgets.  (If this sounds rude, don’t worry… this is exactly how I talk to myself when I’m packing.)

An umbrella.  I have never packed one, because I really have never needed it.  The one time I needed one, I purchased it for less than $5 from a street vendor.  You almost never need one of these.  If you do, you probably could pick one up for cheaply, as I’ve been able to do.  Chances are, you’re already packing a rain jacket anyways, so you don’t really need this additional item to weigh down your suitcase.

More than three pairs of shoes.  And this is coming from someone who has gone horseback riding, farm visiting, jungle hiking, swimming in hot springs, fine dining and sightseeing at churches all in one trip.  Really think about the shoes you need for the trip.  You should be able to use each pair for multiple things.  You shouldn’t need two pairs of sandals, two pairs of tennis shoes, and two pairs of boots.  You should be able to do more with that pair.  If not, you should look into getting a pair of shoes that are more versatile.  These will be a good investment if you plan on traveling often.

This is my list of things you never need to pack.  What about you?  Any things you think you never need to pack?

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