Hey look! It’s my kitchen sink! I wouldn’t dream of taking it with me while traveling. I mean, the idea is just a little bit absurd, right? But sometimes people do indeed pack some crazy things when they travel — even when they don’t mean to. So here is a list of things to avoid. Do this and you’ll gain space in your bag and more freedom from stuff weighing you down.
1. Multiple paper travel guidebooks
They’re big, heavy, and you can buy or swap a book for your next destination along the way.
2. Fancy jewelry, watches, or clothing
They make you look like a target for theft, and you’ll be sad if you ruin or lose these things.
3. A lifetime supply of common toiletries
You really don’t need to pack enough to last the duration of your travels. You’ll be able to buy the basics like toothpaste, floss, eyedrops, or Ibuprofen almost anywhere.
4. Your whole hygiene regimen
If you’re using ten hair and beauty products in a day, you’re going to need to scale that back. Otherwise you’re going to lose a lot of space in your bag to toiletries.
5. Redundant clothing
If you’re used to thinking, “I’ll be gone for 10 days, so I need 10 pairs of underwear, 10 tops, and 10 pairs of socks,” you’re going to have some problems when you start to scale for longer travel. Are you really going to carry 30 pairs of underwear? Nope. You’re going to do laundry. So, plan for wearing your clothes more than once and washing them every few days. This reduces your need for underpants, socks, and tops down to about 3 of each. Wow your bag just got a lot lighter.
You’ll find this list along with lots of great insight from other world travelers in my ebook The Modern Nomad’s Backpack: A Guide to Packing Light for Round the World Travel.