Packing for your travels is a stressful activity, and the default answer is to pack too much. Not a good idea when you’ll be lugging your backpack around bus stations and hostels for months on end. I’ve covered what you should pack when you travel before, but let’s have a look at the common mistakes people make when they bring things they really shouldn’t!

Here’s a list of 5 things you shouldn’t bother wedging in that already-full backpack of yours…

1. Travelers cheques: The ultra cautious amongst us may get tempted by the safety of the traveler cheque – it’s safe because it’s not any bloody use! You’ll struggle to change these when you’re off the beaten track, and even when you do manage to change it you’ll get a horrible rate. Stick to a few $100 bills (USD) hidden in your bag, some local currency and a credit card. That will have you covered.


2. Expensive partying clothes: This is a habit I fall into a lot. I love to party when I visit new countries and it’s so tempting to throw in a few nice shirts, jeans maybe even shoes?! Don’t do it!!! Bring one pair of semi-nice jeans for day time use and night-time use. One shirt is fine for your whole trip too, the people who see you wearing it in a Beijing night club aren’t the same people who’ll see you in Bali rocking out in exactly the same outfit! (ladies, you’re on your own here – I don’t have the first clue about what you need/don’t need in this respect, but the hair straighteners certainly don’t make the cut :P)


3. Suitcase: You’d be surprised by the amount of times i see people lugging suitcases around the world on 3 month, 6 month and year long trips – unbelievable. I didn’t want to have to mention it but for anyone who is considering this instead of a backpack – just don’t!


4. A Hoody: Generally speaking the majority of people’s trips will be spent in warm countries, so lay off the warm clothes. They’re heavy, they take up so much room in your backpack and they’re unnecessary. I know you love your university hoody/favourite sweatshirt etc but it’s bulky and cumbersome. If you’re cold on the road you can pick one up for around $10, save the space and leave it at home.


5. Books to last your trip: Bring one book, and one book only. There are endless book shops and book swaps in hostels around the world so don’t bring 3 or 4 books, there’s no need. Also, in the day of the Kindle, maybe no book is a better option. But if you need to bring one, bring only one!


Ok guys, I hope that should lighten your load when you get packing – you have to make some tough decisions so it’s important you make the right ones! Happy Travels!

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