I recently read an article telling people what not to pack when they travel. The problem is, I listened to an article like this and it cost me big time (in terms of both money and time) so I would like to share my response to this article by going through and telling you whether or not I agree with this post
15. Shampoo. Yes it can be bulky and take up important space and weight in your luggage. But if you are going away for an extended period of time, and you love your locks, then just take the shampoo (and conditioner). I took a travel size shampoo and conditioner and they lasted quite some time with me only washing my hair once a week. Only large scale chain hotels seem to offer shampoo and conditioner, and it's even harder to get it at hostels. I eventually had to go buy some more shampoo and conditioner and it was a struggle to (a) read the labels in another language and (b) find what stores actually stocked it! I did come across what appeared to be shampoo and conditioner 2 pack but later realised it was a 2 pack of combined shampoo and conditioner in each bottle. Not what I wanted, and my hair has never been the same since.
Verdict: Pack shampoo and conditioner
14. Clothes for every occasion. I am guilty of this but I am getting better. It's part of being a woman with a shopping addiction! When I pack I will try to make it so my clothes can work for every occasion. And something to remember is that a lot of clothes can be bought at most destinations.
Verdict: make sure your clothes can mix and match for different occasions
13. Gadgets. I took my smartphone, camera and ipad with me when I travelled. This post says just take your smartphone. I think it would be down to personal preferemce, but I am extremely glad I took all three. Mainly because my camera got stolen in the first few days and my iphone was stolen later in the trip. Even without those unfortunate instances, I would have used all if my gadgets throughout the trip, because I constantly use them at home.
Verdict: if you use your gadgets at home, you'll want them on your trip.
12. Guidebooks. The post says use the internet or talk to hotel staff. Well news flash: the internet has a lot of useless crap on it and hotel staff don't always know the answer. A guidebook author has researched every little detail of the place of interest, so they know what they are talking about. I took one with me around Europe and I loved it. I read it when travelling on planes and trains. I've also got an electronic copy of the Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring guide. Both were extremely helpful, and I would recommend getting at least one kind of guidebook to help you with your travels. But there is the downside: they do take up a lot of space and add to the weight in your bag. You can definitely get amazing advice and tips from people who live at your destination, but it also helps to be prepared and avoid the lost in translation situation.
Verdict: An electronic copy will save space and weight in your suitcase.
11. Medical kit. The post says that you can get bandaids and other things from your hotel… But this is not always the case. When I got to Greece, i needed bandaids for the blisters on my feet. It was extremely difficult trying to explain what a bandaid is – I didn't realise that it was the brand name for them, not the actual item itself! I think everyone should pack a simple medical kit for any extended travel with things like bandaids, pain killers, cold and flu tablets, sanitiser, throat losenges, and electrolyte drinks. This covers the basics. This also avoids the problem of trying to explain to someone what is wrong with you when they can't understand what you are trying to say.
Verdict: pack a basic medical kit for any extended travel
10. Sports Equipment. I do kinda agree with this one. I took snorkling gear with me to Vanuatu, but I only used it for about 30mins (because it was the first time I had ever snorkelled). It was a waste of money buying the snorkelling gear and a waste of precious suitcase space bringing them on the plane. As far as I'm aware, most places where you go for certain sports activities also offer sports equipment hire. I would definitely stick with hiring when you get there if you only have a small part of your trip based around the sporting activity.
Verdict: leave the sports gear at home
9. Workout Gear. Also another one I agree with. Unless you are a hardcore fitness fanatic, or you have scheduled in your workouts, there's no point taking the gear that you're not going to use. However, if the gear can also be worn during the day for things like walks and exploring, then definitely pack it. Comfortable walking shoes and comfy breathable clothes are definitely important for exploring sights.
Verdict: only bring if you can't go without a workout or if it has multiple uses.
8. Sunscreen. Yes, other places may sell sunscreen, but do you realise how much it would cost? I didn't pack sunscreen on my epic europe adventure because I thought I could just “buy it when I get there”. When I did get to Greece, it took me ages but eventually I found sunscreen… For €27! I'm not joking! It was actually that much. Then it cost me a further €17 when I fly in to Croatia. Essentially I spent $60aud on goey, gross sunscreen, when I could have just paid $15 in Australia for the sunscreen I like. Any tropical destination requires sunscreen, so they will definitely jack up the price for silly tourists who don't pack it.
Verdict: pack the sunscreen is going to a tropical or beach location
7. Towel. Whilst a lot of 4-5 star hotels provide towels, and some modern hostels, it is not guaranteed. Then you have to pay for hiring a towel or buying a towel. Towels may take up lots of space,but there's plenty of smaller, microfibres towels that are specifically designed for travel. Plus what if you go to the beach? Pretty sure you're not allowed to take the hotel towel with you…
Verdict: pack a lightweight, small, microfibres travel towel.
6. Anything valueable. Definitely agree with this one. For this reason, I didn't take my GHD hair straightener or my DSLR camera with my on my Europe trip. I knew that I would be staying in hostels and I didn't want anyone swiping my pretty (and expensive) straightener. I was also worried about my DSLR being damaged or stolen whilst overseas, and I didn't want to risk anything happening to it.
Verdict: valueables should be left at home.
5. Hiking boots. Yeah, I don't know why you would bring them along if you're not going hiking… But at the same time, if you love them, wear them often, they are comfy, they go with all your items and they are appropriate for the trip, then go ahead and pack them. It just means you won't be able to pack another pair of shoes…
Verdict: only pack if they're appropriate or they're a staple in your wardrobe.
4. A second jacket. This really depends in the situation. And depends on the jacket. I think it's ok to pack a second jacket if this jacket is completely different to the other one. For example you might pack a trench coat and a blazer. The blazer instantly dresses up jeans and a dress, and the trench coat can be layered over many different items, including the blazer. So you can wear them for varying temperatures.
Verdict: only pack if they are very different in style, occasion and purpose.
3. More than one book. Once again, this is situational. Are you spending lots of time sitting by the pool or lounging around? Are you spending a lot of time travelling on planes, trains, buses and boats? Will you have long flights or long layovers? Do you enjoy reading? Are you a fast reader? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the. It's likely you will pack more than one book. But be careful with your choices as heavy books can equal going over your luggage weight allowance.
Verdict: if you're a bookworm or need to pass the time, two books might be acceptable.
2. A pillow. Some airline companies provide travel pillows for long domestic flights, but not all airline companies are equal. I definitely would not recommend a regular size pillow for travle, but an inflatable travel pillow is an excellent alternative. I was so happy that I had my travel pillow with me on long flights and bus rides. The best part was that it can be rolled up neatly into a small roll and placed in my carry on bag when I'm not using it.
Verdict: take an inflatable travel pillow to save space
1. What if items. I do agree about the what if items. This mainly is for clothes though. If you plan your packing list and what you are going to wear then you will figure out how to make your items mix and match with one another. You should have versatile items that can be used for a variety of occasions.
Verdict: pack items with multiple purposes and forget about the what if items.