The key to a great vacation is all in the packing and one should remember to always pack smarter, not harder. Although there might be temptation to pack for the unexpected, stuffing your suitcases and carry on bags with unnecessary items will only weigh you down. There’s nothing worse than unpacking your stuff after a long trip, only to realize you didn't even use half the items you brought along. Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening to you.
- JEWELLERY AND VALUABLES
A good rule of thumb-if it’s super valuable, sentimental or even irreplaceable to you, it’s best to leave it at home. Tourists are often easy targets for thieves so it’s best to keep a low profile when traveling. If there’s no getting around it and you absolutely must take a few pieces of jewelry or any other valuables, make sure to organize and put it in something small like a packing cube. Keep it in a safe compartment or pocket in your carry on bag so it stays close to you at all times.
You may be tempted to take a few books with you when you travel but keep in mind that books take up a lot of space and weight, especially if you’re using a travel backpack. Instead of carrying around heavy travel guides and books to help you translate, make good use of your smartphone, tablet or Kindle. Google has a pretty cool app that translates extremely well and is easy to use.
- BEAUTY PRODUCTS AND ACCESSORIES
There is no need to pack a ton of beauty and hair products. You don’t need the whole kit and caboodle of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, detanglers, gels and hairsprays. These items might seem small when you’re packing them, but will collectively end up weighing more than they are worth. Most hotels typically offer complimentary soap, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner. Sure, they may not leave your hair feeling as silky smooth as you’re used to, but they will definitely get the job done.
- UNNECESSARY GADGETS
It’s easy to get carried away while packing and before you even know it, you’re set on taking your GPS device, video camera, iPod, laptop, tablet and still camera. The reality is, all you really need is your smartphone as it does all of these things and more!
- TOO MANY CLOTHES
Clothing is often the most difficult thing to pack because there’s always that nagging question in your head “What if I go here?” or “What if I need to wear this…?”. This uncertainty usually leads to over packing and stuffing clothes. Not at all fun if you plan to be using a travel backpack or carry on bag. Check the local weather before you leave and pack accordingly. A helpful tip is to pack neutral colored clothing and only take one or two pairs of shoes that match well with everything.