I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately for work and family and the one thing living out of suitcases teaches you is what you don’t need. After staying in a few hotels, friends houses and my folk’s place off and on over the past year I’ve got packing down to a science.The main thing I realized is that I was packing too much.
So this holiday season, if you’re headed out of town, here’s 10 things you don’t have to pack on unless you’re backpacking through the mountains. It’ll make your bags lighter, (and that’s money these days!), and your back straighter (the best part!)
- Toothpaste – Unless you’re staying at a dirty run-down motel, there isn’t a hotel or friend on the planet that won’t give/loan you some toothpaste.
- Toothbrush/Floss – Almost every hotel has these at the desk free of charge.
- Razor – Can’t fly with ‘em, don’t pack ‘em. Just ask the front desk.
- Shaving Cream – Use the shampoo or body wash instead.
- Body Wash – Use your shampoo. (If you’re afraid of putting your shampoo on your body, you probably shouldn’t be putting it on your head either). Castille soap is another good option.
- Crew socks – They’re bulky and take up space and can be purchased at any drugstore in the country.
- Magazines/Books – Catch up on the headlines at a magazine store, cafe or newstand in the city that you’re in. People leave books behind all the time in airports. Or if you have a specific reading list, download reading material onto your Kindle, Nook, Laptop or tablet. I read stuff all the time on my iPad, through iBooks and Zinio).
- Bottled Water – You do need to bring fresh water with you, but what I’m suggesting is that you not pay for it. If you’re staying at a 3 star or higher hotel with a gym, then the gym mostly likely has a filtered water dispenser. If you’re on the road and see a Starbucks, ask them to refill your water bottle while you’re waiting for your latte. (The only place this will not work is Mexico and other countries with a sketchy water supply and no access to filtered water). If that’s too much work for you bring a filtered water bottle with you like this one.
- Underwear – Don’t get me wrong. You need to bring underwear. But you don’t need to bring ALL the underwear. A small bottle of castille soap and a hotel sink are all you need to hand wash some delicates so you can pack less. The same with your Spanx, tights, bras and other items.
- Pajamas – It makes no sense to pack pajamas and work out gear. Wear your yoga pants to bed and be ready for that early morning workout!
Image credit: albln / 123RF Stock Photo
• What are your packing tips and tricks?