Save Bag Space: 8 Things You Can Leave At Home

28 April 2016
Read Time: 3.2 mins

Words by Ben Stower

Are you a serial over-packer? If the answer is yes, we can help. If it's no, you might still be in the thralls of denial. So take a look at this list of unnecessary travel items and see if any of them are currently sitting in your suitcase.

Don't fret, we've all done it. The first step is acceptance and the second step is putting that third pair of shoes back in your wardrobe.

Hands trying to close a full bag

Is this you? (Image: Getty)

1. Full-Size Toiletries

The fact that you are allowed full-size toiletries in your checked baggage doesn't mean you should actually pack them. An average full-size bottle of shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and body wash will usually add about two kilograms to your luggage weight.

You can find everything you need in most countries and almost all hotels offer the basics – shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion – for free. So only pack small versions in your carry-on for use on the plane and immediately after the flight.

If you have a dermatological condition that requires a certain soap or moisturiser, buy an empty travel-size bottle and pour some in for the trip.

2. Excess Clothes

Packing more clothes than necessary is a rookie mistake. However, you don't have to be a frequent traveller to know how many clothes you'll need for each day; we've been doing it ever since sleepovers at friends' houses were allowed.

Outline your itinerary and determine how many shirts, underpants, dresses etc. will get you through the trip. Configure your daily and nightly outfits (these can often be the same or a combination) and pack accordingly. You might want to throw in one or two spares (at the most) in case of emergencies.

A collection of toiletries

Leavve your bigger toiletries at home (Image: Getty)

3. Jewellery & Accessories

We're not saying leave all your jewellery and ties at home. However, you should certainly pack these items in moderation and business travellers shouldn't expect to use more while travelling than they would being at the office.

There's no need to pack extravagant necklaces, leather wrist cuffs or a collection of ties. These will only take up space and weight, and the more expensive items are liable to be stolen or lost.

4. Books

With e-book readers and smartphone technology improving the reading experience there's very little reason to take a heavy and bulky book while travelling.

It's a lot more travel-friendly to store multiple books on the one lightweight device or download more while on the road than lugging around a library.

Two bags on a conveyor belt

No one needs this many books while travelling (Image: Getty)


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5. Multiple Chargers

We've reached a point where packing a different charger for your phone, laptop, camera and other devices isn't just inefficient, it's downright amateurish.

Numerous companies around the world are bringing out affordable and reliable universal chargers that can fuel multiple devices at once. The best part is a lot of them can fit in your palm.

6. Camera Accessories

Unless you're a professional photographer, you probably don't need all of those lenses for your camera. You certainly don't need the attachments for your smartphone (forget about that fish eye lens).

Instead, keep it simple and you'll still be able to capture all the memories you need without overloading your bag. If you're not satisfied, do some post-shoot editing or use a filter.

An extensive camera collection

Pack the essentials (Image: Getty)

7. Money Belt

It's hard to remember when money belts were a legitimate travel accessory. It's even harder to believe people are still using them.

Not only are they unnecessary, they actually highlight you as a traveller and an easy target for thieves. Sure, a money belt won't take up much space, but it's an extra item when a wallet will do.

If you're really concerned about being robbed, leave your valuables in the hotel and use a cash passport or foreign currency card instead of carrying around notes.  

8. Electric Toothbrush

We know, good dental hygiene shouldn't be sacrificed, but even a dentist would take a plastic manual toothbrush if it meant not paying for excess baggage.

Consider the amount of space that your electric toothbrush and stand will consume. Plus, if you're travelling to a different country, you also have to pack another power adaptor.

It's so much easier to settle for a manual toothbrush while travelling. Don't worry, it will also clean your teeth.

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