I wrote a post called “Six things you never need to pack” back in 2016.  I still stand behind the information, but I’ve changed my tune slightly on a few of them. So, here are six things you might not need to pack.

I’ve included my original statements with the updates.   Enjoy!

Six things you might not need to pack

More than one pair of jeans. If you are packing more than one pair of jeans, you are doing something wrong.  All your shirt choices should be able to match the one pair you brought.  You shouldn’t need to bring an additional pair.  The only thing that it would provide is a a different style option, but you should pick one style that matches everything else.  If you can’t, then you need to rethink your shirts as well.

UPDATE: This makes me laugh because my mom read this right before a family trip.  She spilled coffee on her jeans and then proceeded to yell at me because she followed my rules of “not packing more than one pair of jeans.”  I would like to update this suggestion with one caveat: you don’t need more than one pair of jeans IF you’re bringing other pants.  Now, if you’re going to wear jeans the entire trip, of course, bring more than one pair.  This is if you’re bringing multiple kinds of pants.

A hairdryer.  I’ve talked about this before, but you never need to pack a hairdryer.  No matter where you’re staying, there will be one for you to use.  Especially when you’re visiting other countries, your hairdryer most likely will need a converter anyways, so you might as well save the hassle and just use one when you get there.  Plus, they’re heavy and bulky and take up way too much of your valuable suitcase space.

UPDATE: OK, so this was before I actually bought a quality hair-dryer.  I had no idea what I was missing, and also how TERRIBLE travel hairdryers are.  Seriously, drying my hair takes half the time, and it’s smooth, not frizzy.  I still think you should avoid bringing a hairdryer if at all possible, but once I bought a nice one, I have a real hard time leaving it at home.

Full size bottles of anything.  You shouldn’t have anything that’s full-sized.  Nothing.  Not make-up, not lotion, not shampoo, not medicine bottles… not anything.  There is no need for a full-size.  First of all, you won’t be able to use all of it if you’re going for 2 weeks or less.  Secondly, chances are you’re staying somewhere with shampoo, conditioner and lotion available if you get in a pinch.  For medicines, just bring the amount you need for the trip.  Don’t bring the full bottles with you.  Count out what you need and put in a baggy to save space.

No update.  You should never bring full-size anything.

Multiple electronics.  If you are traveling with a partner, you should not be bringing more than one laptop, tablet or camera.  Believe it or not, sharing is still possible, even when you’re on vacation.  If you are traveling solo, you should choose one larger item to bring and then you’ll also have your phone.  There is no need to bring a tablet, laptop, large camera and bag, cell phone, MP3 player, etc.  Think of ways to consolidate your activities into one electronic format.  If you can’t, maybe you shouldn’t be traveling at all; just stay home and use all your gadgets.  (If this sounds rude, don’t worry… this is exactly how I talk to myself when I’m packing.)

UPDATE:  The only time in the last few years we’ve had to bring multiple electronics was when I was in grad school.  I had school work to do and needed certain electronics to do that.  Maybe you have to work when you’re traveling, and the same thing applies to you.

An umbrella.  I have never packed one, because I really have never needed it.  The one time I needed one, I purchased it for less than $5 from a street vendor.  You almost never need one of these.  If you do, you probably could pick one up for cheaply, as I’ve been able to do.  Chances are, you’re already packing a rain jacket anyways, so you don’t really need this additional item to weigh down your suitcase.

No update.  Don’t bring an umbrella.

More than three pairs of shoes.  And this is coming from someone who has gone horseback riding, farm visiting, jungle hiking, swimming in hot springs, fine dining and sightseeing at churches all in one trip.  Really think about the shoes you need for the trip.  You should be able to use each pair for multiple things.  You shouldn’t need two pairs of sandals, two pairs of tennis shoes, and two pairs of boots.  You should be able to do more with that pair.  If not, you should look into getting a pair of shoes that are more versatile.  These will be a good investment if you plan on traveling often.

UPDATE: I almost always stick to this rule.  The one time I wished I hadn’t was when we were car camping in California in January.  My boots got too close to the fire and melted.  They were basically ruined, but all my outfits were chosen for this.  I still had another pair to wear, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but still.  I’ve also had a few trips where the activities called for completely different shoes that made it difficult to stick to this.  For example, one trip we went swimming, hiking, out to a five-star restaurant and then walking in the city.  Basically, I needed flip flops, hiking boots, heels and regular shoes.  So, one extra pair.  It still seems excessive, but sometimes it can’t be avoided.  I can’t wear hiking boots to the pool, and I can’t wear flip-flops to a five-star restaurant.  Well, technically I can, but you know what I mean.

Nina Thomas

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