What (Not) To Pack On Vacation

Determining what to take and what not to take on vacation can be quite a challenge for some. With a little pre-planning and focusing your thoughts around how to go about the process of packing for any type of vacation, travelers can save big dollars when it comes travel time.

I'm a staunch advocate of traveling light and only ever take carry-on or hand luggage when traveling, not only does it allow me to move around a country more independently, it also means I don't have to spend 20 minutes with my fellow passengers crowded around a luggage carousel.

Consequently I can avoid the long lines into the airport customs and immigration areas allowing me to clear the terminal building and jump into a taxi avoiding the long queues. Another benefit is in terms of cost as many airlines now charge passengers for the privilege of bringing along a suitcase or two.

If you have a willingness to trim down your 'baggage' then read on to find out some of the ways in which this can be achieved before heading away on your next vacation interstate, or overseas.

Reading Material

Many of us love the feel of a book in our hands, flicking through the pages and listening to the sound of folding the next page over. However when it comes to travel an e-reader or tablet is the only way to go.


An e-reader can be loaded up with plenty of material providing bookworms with an almost inexhaustible source for many hours of reading. Many hotels and hostels also have a 'library' where guests can borrow books to read if you are seeking out a more tactile reading experience.


Depending upon the climate in which you are traveling to, clothing can be one of the biggest causes of over packing for many, another of which is shoes. The best way to manage a 'clothing allowance' is to firstly check on expected weather conditions for the destination. No need to take that long woolen jacket if you are heading to a warm climate.


Layering of clothing is always a great idea, so in the event you do feel a chill in the air simply add another layer. Another alternative is to take the minimal amount of clothing with you, and purchase it once you've arrived. Many times, particularly in Asia, clothing is so much cheaper to purchase than it is at home.


Travel with only the holiday essentials from the bathroom. Be sure to transfer the products into clear 100ml plastic containers for inspection at the airport. Better yet, why bother carrying it in the first place. It's easy to purchase toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner and soap at your destination. In many cases, the hotel will supply all the product you will ever need anyway, so don't even consider taking the hair dryer with you.


Most hotels of a certain standard provide towels, so leave yours at home. A real dilemma can be beach towels though, so one great solution is to take a microscopic microfiber travel towel with you which absorbs amazingly, and dries fast. Some come with a clip for attaching to your backpack so it can be dried on the go.

Guidebooks And Phrase Books

Great reference material though it can be, it's really no longer required to take that guide book with you on vacation. There are some great apps which can be downloaded prior to travel providing all the information you will ever need on your destination.

Once such product that I personally find very useful is Google Trips, which makes it easier than ever to plan and organize any trip. It automatically maps out a half day or a full day with suggestions for things to see and do. If you don't like what you see, then tap the 'magic wand' to see more nearby sights.

Each tap of the wand gives you a fresh set of nearby attractions. Want to know what museums are within walking distance? Or find the best tapas in Barcelona? Done. From cafes to parks to beaches, Google Trips shows you tons of attractions near and far, so you can find your next destination faster.


The app allows you to find travel details like reservations and confirmation numbers in one easy app as Google Trips simply gathers your travel information from your Gmail and Inbox, then organizes it automatically. Plus, the entire app is available offline, so you can see your info wherever you are.


Google Translate is a free multilingual machine translation service developed by Goggle which allows you to translate text, speech, images, sites, or real-time video from one language into another. Google Translate supports over 100 languages at various levels, making it a great tool when you get lost in translation.

Sandra Hawkins

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