Ten things you should never pack

Your list of necessities for your next holiday is in reality quite small, especially if travelling to a warmer climate. Bathers, cash, or perhaps an extra pair of reading glasses for that novel you are going to be reading while sipping cocktails beside the pool. The list of what you don’t need to bring is slightly longer and here is our list of the top ten things you don’t need to pack in your suitcase.

1. A really big bag
If you can reduce your packing list and take all you will need for your holiday in a carry-on bag rather than a really large suitcase, you will:

  • save money: no excess bag or overweight fees
  • save time: no long waits at the baggage carousel
  • save your sanity: no stressing over your bag making it on your connecting flight with you.


2. Your valuables
Avoid taking any valuable jewellery or any expensive clothing such as a leather jacket or handbag you can’t replace. When you travel things can get lost, bags can be stolen or even riffled through when you are sleeping on planes or trains, so leave your valuable stuff at home. Travel instead with costume jewellery, as it will be less likely to entice thieves.

3. Bulky books and travel guides
Download any books you want to read onto your iPad or phone – whichever you are planning to take with you. Travel guides and maps are really not necessary to pack these days, so use Google Maps or download apps such as Time Out to your devices.

4. A third pair of shoes
A good rule for shoes is to wear one, pack one and if you really feel the need to take a third pair, make it a very lightweight pair like sandals or thongs. Even better, buy a pair at your destination. One other point is not to pack shoes that pinch and hurt your feet. You want comfortable shoes that you can wear all day as you will probably be doing more walking on your holiday than you would normally do at home.

5. Hair products
There really is no point in packing large bottles of shampoo and conditioner when most accommodations supply them for you. If you are very particular and require your own special hair products, pack them in travel size containers, especially if only travelling for a week or so.

6. Hairdryers
You can pretty much guarantee every place you stay will supply a hairdryer. You can always call or email to double check.

7. Too many outfits or an outfit for each day
For a trip of one to two weeks, or even longer if you can manage to do some laundry along the way, you should be able to mix and match three comfortable, practical tops and three bottoms. Make sure to pack clothes you like that look good on you, and, above all, are comfortable. Easy to clean and wrinkle-free materials work best.

8. Too much denim
While we think denim is the ultimate piece of travel clothing due to its versatility and low maintenance appeal when it comes to washing, it’s also heavy and even when folded tightly can take up a lot of space. Just take your favourite one or two pairs, and mix and match them with your tops.

9. Bed linen and towels
The only time you will need to pack your own sheets and towels is if you are going camping. Most accommodations will supply them, with the possible exception of campervan and motorhome rentals. In most cases you will be able to pay an additional cost to rent linen from them, and for the convenience of not having to take dirty washing home in your luggage, it really is a small price to pay.

10. Just-in-case gear
Why pack an umbrella if you’re going on a beach holiday? Is it really necessary to take a swimsuit on a skiing holiday? Avoid packing for situations that are not likely to happen.

Do you tend to overpack? What items have you discovered could and should be left out of your luggage when packing for your next holiday?

Related articles:
Packing secrets to save you money
Packing tricks for simpler travel
A definitive guide to travel packing

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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