Do you really need a clean pair of pants for each day of your holiday? Save on space, save lugging your luggage around, and even go hand baggage only to save the hassle and cost of putting your bag in the hold. Take our valuable advice on what not to pack in your suitcase .
Take two bottles into the shower? Not me, I like to wash my hair and go on holiday with only the appropriate amount of product - shampoo, conditioner, face wash, aftersun etc (decanted into 100ml plastic containers of course). Otherwise you're pointlessly lugging loads of weight around. Leave the big bottles behind. And remember – they do sell shampoo in Spain/Greece/Australia too!
2. Holiday reading
We’re not talking War and Peace - even a light and fluffy Katie Fforde paperback will weigh down your bag and take up valuable space. You could take just a single book and once you’ve reached ‘reader, I married him’, swap it with a fellow traveller in the hostel common room. Alternatively many hotels and hostels will have a 'library' where guests can take and leave their books. But the obvious answer is to forego your paper pleasures and take an e-book reader. Just don’t drop it in the swimming pool.
3. Clothes (you bought at the last minute)
Well of course you need to take at least some clothes, even if you’re off to Cap d’Agde, but be ruthless. Be sure to try on everything you are taking before you leave – there is the possibility that you lost your mind on that mad rush around town purchasing your holiday wardrobe and that on-trend peice of statement jewellery will be an utter waste of space if you decide it’s not right only when you get there. Go for tried and tested favourites – no one in Corfu will know if it’s the 236th time it’s been worn.
4. Salad cream
It’s hard to get a decent cup of tea in France. So, if you are self-catering on a budget, taking a measured number of teabags is judicious. Seriously though, come on, you’re going on holiday! Immerse yourself in new, unfamiliar cultures. Leave the home comforts of good old Blighty a distant dream. So, no secret stashes of Marmite, Irn Bru or HP sauce. Ditch the Typhoo and dip churros in your chocolate in the Spanish morning sun - you never know, you might find a new favourite.
5. Hair straighteners
Every girl knows that hair straighteners are as an essential as a liberal application of Maybelline for a night on the town. No! Leave them, ladies. Dry those kohl-smudged eyes and imagine the freedom in your heart when you embrace a policy of bed/beach hair. Think Rachel Zoe. An artfully dishevelled mane is as trendy as flowing flowery dresses this season. Look like you’ve just stepped out of the waves, not the salon.
Even if your hotel room has a safe and 24hr security, there is still plenty of opportunity for the loss of your most treasured possessions. Just because you’re vigilant in shady side streets in downtown Montevideo doesn’t mean you mightn’t mispace your iPad. Leave objects of economic or sentimental importance in the jewellery drawer at home, or in the company of your other teddy bears. It’s not worth it.
Most hotels of a certain standard provide towels, so leave yours hanging over a door at home. If you’re travelling really light, take a microscopic microfibre travel towel which absorbs amazingly and dries fast. Some come with a clip for attaching to your pack to dry on the move. A real dilemma is beach towels – do you snaffle the hotel’s fluffy white bath towels and get them all sandy? And worse, everyone on the beach will know what you’ve done.
Great reference material though it is, your coffee table tomb ‘Europe on a Shoestring’ or ‘The Photographic Guide to the Countries of the World’ should stay right there. Get them on your e-reader. Or, if you must have real paper, photocopy the relevant chapters or pages, and throw away each sheet once you’ve used it to lighten your load as you move on.
The last two days of travel have been a bit rough. Like anything this job has "those days". So how do I get back in my groove? I read. I read classics, graphic novels, movie scripts. Anything that helps me clear my head. Clarity is important and sometimes you need to clear the cache. #literature #books #travel #travelbooks #worldtravel #art #batman #classics #live #love #life #minoritynomad #eurail #eurotrip #europe #Barcelona #BarcelonaPride
9. Proper shirts
There might be an occasion on your holiday where collar and cuffs are required - dining under the stars on a rooftop terrace at a six-star hotel in Dubai perhaps - but its nigh-on impossible to keep the soup and fish in tip-top shape in transit. Stick to tees that can be neatly rolled or folded and wearable straight from the case. Or stay in that six-star hotel in Dubai, which will probably employ someone who’ll iron your shirts for you. If you really must bring a shirt, check with the hotel to make sure they have laundry facilities, otherwise you'll have brought that shirt for nothing.
...and other restricted items such as: quicklime, oiled paper, weedkiller, magnetrons, sporting bats, party poppers, household cultlery and wet car cell batteries.
For more packing tips...
Luggage scales, vacuum compression bags and disposable shower caps; 15 top tips that will make packing a breeze.
Why travel light? The pros of taking hand luggage only.