Are you an overpacker? Does your luggage often bulge with all of your earthly possessions, making it a two-man job to even zip up your suitcase?
Plenty of us overpack for a trip, but it’s easier than you think to get your packing habits under control. To get you started, here are four things you can leave behind.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a hotel that doesn’t provide travel-sized shampoos, conditioners, body washes and soaps; even hostels tend to have communal toiletries in the shared bathrooms. With this in mind, why would you waste valuable luggage space lugging around your own toiletries? Not only do you lose the spill factor (because no one likes getting to their hotel room to discover their body wash leaked all over their suitcase), but you lighten your load considerably. Unless you absolutely need a product like a medicated shampoo or body lotion for your ultra-sensitive skin, stop packing toiletries.
Books can be a great way to make the most of a layover or spend a sunny day on a local beach. However, books are also heavy and bulky, making them one of the top things you’ll want to ditch when it comes time to pack for your next vacation. Try going digital: a single tablet or e-reader can hold thousands of books while taking up next to no luggage space. If you can’t get past the feel of a good old-fashioned book, pick one – two at most – to bring along for your trip.
An outfit for every day
If there’s one thing you should stop packing right now, it’s a different outfit for every day of your vacation. In fact, add the “what if” outfits to this list, too. You don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe along, nor do you need a backup wardrobe “just in case.” Bring clothes you’ll actually wear, not pieces that have hung in your closet for years, and make sure they can be easily mixed and matched. Go easy on the shoes, too.
Your finest jewelry and most prized valuables shouldn’t make their way into your suitcase for a weekend getaway. From airlines losing luggage to the misfortune of muggings or simple carelessness after a night of drinking, there are just too many opportunities to lose your valuables while traveling. Leave the real stuff at home and pack your costume jewelry instead.
(Main image: einalem used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)