A guide of what NOT to pack!

Through the history of my luggage post I talked about the journey I went through with my travel packs along with the struggles and changes I faced. Throughout that journey I was confronted with many and I mean many of those ‘why did I pack this’ moments. So after too many overly priced parcels sent back to the other side of the world and multiple stops to near-by charity shops, I finally managed to downsize to a perfect (or shall I say close-to-perfect) amount of luggage, right about near the end of my trip…How convenient!

Fast track many years of trial and error when it came to my packing I have now managed to compile a list of what not to pack that relates perfectly to me and may help others too so it would be silly not to share because I tell you now overpacking SUCKS! Avoid it as much as you can, you will very quickly learn you were better off without those extra 5 party dresses!

First and foremost begin to ask yourself these few questions,

  1. Did you make a packing list? No? Make one!
  2. Is it on your packing list? No? Then do you really need it?
  3. Can you buy it at your destination? If so they do it that way!
  4. Is it bulky? Try to minimize the bulk as much as you can!
  5. Have you found this item to be useful on other trips? No? Don’t take it then!
  6. Is your bag light enough for you and able to be lifted with ease?
  7. Do you still have room for things you might buy overseas? No, make room cause you’ll wanna buy stuff!
  8. Is it valuable or expensive? Would it be safer to stay at home?
  9. Could you live without this item? Yes, then leave it behind
  10. Can’t make your mind up about bringing an item, then don’t bring it! (must not be that important if you are not sure about it)

So as you see, to begin with, there is a lot you need to ask yourself, but be sure to not spend too much time ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’, be stern with yourself and it will pay off in the end! Plus whatever you leave behind will always be there waiting for you when you return so don’t stress!


Now if you have made it that far I congratulate you! Going through those questions with yourself can be a daunting task but just remember, you are not your belongings! Downsizing for me ended up teaching me a lot and became its own little journey to self-discovery!

I learnt to let go of unhealthy attachments to materialistic things and turned to quality over quantity, I stopped mindless shopping to fill voids and only opted to make purchases on things that truly brought me purpose I also stopped consuming to fast fashion and started supporting smaller companies but that is a whole other story in itself and you most probably came here for tips so I’ll leave it at that for now, and lets get to it!

So let’s get to my list of things I wish I never took traveling with me but was stuck with till the end anyway! Just bear in mind things will vary for you and everyone, what might not be a priority for me could be for you so just take from this what you can.


1. Hair Straightener!!! Oh boy, do I regret taking that bulky thing! To be fair it was a gift given to me before my travels but I probably only used it about three times on my 6 months of travel and I wasn’t gonna leave that overpriced contraption behind so I was forced to carry it in my bag the whole time!

2. Too many dressy clothes! As the traveling went on I opted for comfort over looks, all those party dresses, crop tops and pencil skirts creased up in the bottom of my bag, most nights out my go-to was jeans and a nice top anyway!

3. Excessive makeup. Basically what I’m getting at here is that getting glammed up when traveling is a rarity or at least it was for me anyway! All I needed was a few simple products, BB Cream, Mascara, and brow powder, not all the excess pallets and lipsticks and whatever else, it’s just too much!

4. Too many shoes. Shoes take up soooo much room so make sure to take only what you need! Shoes I take are my Docs (which I wear in transit), sneakers, sandals and if I have room I take my converse but again it’s up to you to decide what is a priority.

5. Books. Books are super bulky and heavy! My go-to is taking my kindle instead or doing book swaps! Once I’ve finished I’ll drop it off at the nearest charity shop, leave it on the hostel’s bookshelf or whatever other option arises.

6. An excessive amount of toiletries. Now this one can get tricky but you really must work out your most minimal toiletry bag for you and opt for 100ml carry on size bottles instead of the whole bottle if you can it will save you so much room and weight! (plus you can always buy toiletries once you arrive at your destination and pass them on before you go).

7. Towels. Instead, try to go for a microfiber or Turkish towel which are lighter and easier to pack and limit yourself to only two MAX.

To be fair the list could go on and on and on but I’ll leave it at that for today to give you some time to take it all in!

Travel comes with a lot of pros and cons and packing can sometimes be one of those cons but once you get to your ideal packing list you travel life will be much easier! And if your journey is anything like mine you will become a pro at packing (not to toot my own horn or anything). You could always include some hacks including ones I have listed in my packing tips post to ensure your packing journey runs a whole lot more smoothly, it will save you a great deal of hassle and then you’ll have more time to enjoy the ever-so-many pros of travel!

What are some things on your what NOT to pack, packing list? Comment down below and let’s get chatting! 

-Tayla Maree


2 thoughts on “A guide of what NOT to pack!”

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