Wait! Don’t Pack That! 6 Things You Really Don’t Need on Vacation

published Sep 22, 2016
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As a travel lover (and chronic over-packer), I’ve researched and prepared for many trips—from weekend getaways to months abroad—only to get so frustrated with myself when I realize (usually mid-trip) that I definitely didn’t need to bring that third pair of heels. Here are six things to ditch while packing for your trip. Think of it as the Kon-Mari method for your suitcase.

Your Book Collection

Vacations are the perfect time to get a headstart on your reading list, or catch up on your book club— and nothing helps pass a long plane ride like a good read. Don’t fall into the trap of lugging multiple heavy books when you travel! Choose one book you’re really excited about (opt for paperbacks!), load up your portable e-reader, or research ahead to see if you can borrow any reading material from your accommodations (like the home library at your Airbnb).

Full-Sized Toiletries

Aside from risking a shampoo suitcase explosion, toting big bottles of beauty products is a packing no-no. If you really must bring special products, decant some into small containers. Most hotels and many Airbnbs provide toiletries, and in a pinch, you can always buy a couple of travel-sized bottles once you get there, and use the opportunity to explore your new destination.

Single-Use Wardrobe Pieces

Packing light is all about multi-use, especially when it comes to clothing. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t repurpose the the item for at least three different outfits, give it a miss. This covers everything from those sky-high wedges to an evening gown.

Hair Tools

This one is a bit controversial, but when you compare the size and weight of your hair dryer, flat iron, and curling wand to how often you’ll use them, they aren’t worth the space in your suitcase. Use your trip as a chance to let your hair breathe, embrace your natural hair texture, or throw your locks into a cute braid. If au naturel isn’t an option, remember that most accommodations have a hair dryer available and narrow it down to one hot tool.

Expensive Jewelry

Aside from everyday pieces, expensive or irreplaceable jewelry shouldn’t be on your packing list. If you aren’t planning to wear it regularly during your time away, it’s just taking up space— not to mention the risk factor of leaving it at your hotel.


It may seem like a great idea to pack your favorite comfort foods when embarking on a trip, but with today’s strict travel rules regarding what snacks can leave and enter a country, you may want to re-think packing those Thin Mints. Aside from taking up precious space in your luggage, having a stash of edible goodies will deter you from indulging in local cuisine.

Now that you’ve curated your packing list, make sure to get the most out of your suitcase space.

→ Apartment Therapy Video: How to Pack Your Suitcase Like a Pro