The goal is simple: to visit your destination without running out of clean socks and without a suitcase so stuffed that you emit strange animal sounds trying to heave it into the overhead compartment. But if only it were that easy! If you’ve struggled over whether you need a raincoat for your trip to Cairo (just in case!) or wondered how many guidebooks is too many, you’re certainly not alone. Packing for a trip is often a struggle to distinguish what we want to bring from what we need to bring.
When we’re forced to choose between our favorite things, we’re sometimes tempted to just bring it all and to hell with it — but overpacking can cost more than just extra suitcase space and a free hand. Checking more than one bag, exceeding your airline’s weight limit or even checking a bag at all can cost you. Spirit Airlines, for example, charges passengers a $10 fee each way for checking a piece of luggage, and many other airlines charge $25 for a second checked bag. And bringing home souvenirs is impossible when you can’t even remember how you managed to pack your bag so tightly in the first place.
This article provides a list of what most travelers shouldn’t pack, along with tips and ideas on how to pack better. Everyone’s packing style is different and we all have our own travel needs, so before you turn red at the idea of leaving behind your beloved toothbrush sanitizer, please remember that these are only suggestions. Leave out a few of these items on your next trip — you’ll enjoy traveling with a lighter load, and we promise you won’t miss a thing!