What NOT to Pack – A List to Help You Be Decisive

Not Interested In What To Pack But What NOT To Pack?

There are plenty of lists out there telling us what to pack. But, that’s the last thing we need as we have no problems coming up with things, necessary or not, to put in the bag. What we need is a decisive voice to convince us what NOT to put in the bag. So, if you are contemplating any of the below items, just put them away! 

What not to pack is not about doing without but about being better at it. Consider alternatives and reasonable compromises.

Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones are fashion accessories and potentially shouts tourist! They may be perfect for shutting out the noisy environment but when travelling, noise-cancelling earphones are good enough. If you are an iPhone user, the earphone that comes with it is a very good example. Unless you are a sound engineer, there are many ear-buds out in the market that are so small and have pretty good sound quality. Even if you are a sound engineer, the minute compromise on sound quality for the size and ease of packing trumps it. 

Too Many Devices and Gadgets

Handphone, tablet, e-reader, laptop, camera, sat. nav., alarm clocks, speakers, external hard-drives, video games etc...x 2 if you are travelling in pairs, times a few more when travelling as a family! Cannot decide which combination to bring, so bring them all? They all have their own uses at various occasions naturally but how many devices and gadgets are too many when travelling? 

In order to help decide which and how many devices and gadgets to pack:

  • Ask yourselves, from past experience, which tends to get neglected? Like favourite undies or trousers and dresses, you tend to favour one or two more than the others. Or which device or are there any gadgets that you have used only once but could have used your favourite as an alternative?
  • Research and planning is invaluable. Investigating internet access (country/hotel), entertainment, charging, charges etc. can help avoid dragging needless technology halfway round the world. For example, it may be good to ditch the ipad mini if it does not have cellular function.
  • It has been suggested by many, which device/s to bring comes down to size. Hence, two at most; one for the pocket and one for the desk. If your extra large mobile or tablet fits in your pocket (portability) and works good enough like a laptop, then one is the magic number. 
  • Which one of your devices does the most for you with minimal compromises? They should feature all that you need for the trip e.g. alarm clock, have off-line maps, music with good enough sound quality, skyping capability, eBooks, good photo/video manipulating capabilities able to fulfil your needs working as a digital nomad or as an avid social media poster etc. 
  • How much does the devices and gadgets cost? Are they too expensive to bring? Which are insured, which are not? This simple exercise helps whittle down the list 

Hiking Boots and Heels

Unless you are hiking Kilimanjaro, hiking boots have no place in your bag. They are bulky, heavy and take up way too much space in your bag. Even if you do take on board smart packing tips and wear the heaviest pair of shoes as recommended, will you want to be wearing your hiking boots onto the plane? And, the likelihood of you wearing your hiking boots for more than a grand total of once is minimal.

Trainers and sandals are usually just as sufficient across varying terrain from pavements of the urban jungle to nature reserves. For the fashion conscious, there are plentiful of hybrid smart casual trainers and shoes out there to render a decisive person indecisive. For the same reasons, you don’t need heels. If you need to have a bit of height, go for platform flats. They give comfortable support for long shopping hikes and at the same time can be transformed into an elegant look with the appropriate LBD.

Physical Guides/Maps/Books/Magazines

If you’re a voracious reader or you are an impatient person, like most of us nowadays, and need distraction while waiting for the train or in queues. A book here, a magazine there; a map here, a guidebook there, no matter how you try to pare things down, the weight of your reading material can add up quickly. 

PDFs, full-length eBooks, audio versions, spread sheet to-do list, reading apps etc. Welcome to the digital world, this is the way to roll now...