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By now, we all know what we should be packing for travel. But what about what not to pack?
Today we’re talking about 10 items that should remain all secure and snuggly in your home, while your travel heavy-hitters do the heavy lifting… erm, hitting. (Awkward.)
Anyway, these items cause you more grief than pleasure on the road, and nobody needs extra stress when dealing with doll-sized airplane seats and an airport full of commuters vying to be the next “Oscar the Grouch.”
Do yourself a favor and leave these things behind. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of suggestions for things you should be packing instead.
You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, now did you?
Liquid nail polish remover
Let’s start with the most volatile of travel no-no’s. First of all, nail polish remover is highly flammable, secondly, it’s just another liquid you have to deal with, and we all know how that goes. Third, that liquid is highly prone to spillage, and trust me, it is tragic when it does.
When shampoo spills, at least there is a chance your clothes will come through unscathed. But with nail polish remover, not so much. Your clothes will look like you tie-dyed them with bleach. And that’s not as cute as it sounds.
Instead, try individually wrapped nail polish remover pads. No spillage, plus you don’t have to remember the cotton pads. So much easier.
Cutex Nail Polish Remover Pads >> [Amazon]
Lip balms in a tub
The world is a dirty place, and no, a quick dollop of hand sanitizer will not negate that.
I don’t know about you, but when my lips are chapped, I need to apply lip balm now. If all I have is a tub of lip balm, then I’ll be sticking my germ-covered finger into the product, placing the cover back on for those germs to make themselves at home, and placing the grossness on my mouth. Ew.
Your hands will be dirty much more often then they are clean. So do yourself a favor and pack a lip balm that you don’t need your finger to apply.
Aquaphor Lip Repair >> [Amazon]
Full sized toiletries
Another item to leave behind when you’re working with a small suitcase? Full-sized toiletries.
Even if you plan on checking said bag (so TSA liquids rules for carry-ons don’t apply,) why take up precious space and weight with excess product you don’t need?
Don’t be lazy and transfer all of your toiletries into travel sized containers. These reusable GoToobs are my favorite because they’re squishy, which makes getting all the product out a breeze.
humangear GoToob Travel Bottles >> [Amazon]
Same thing with perfumes. And not to mention perfumes often come in glass bottles. You know what that means– Breakage.
Transfer a small amount of your current perfume into a Travelo for easy traveling. It takes up basically no space in your bag, is leak-proof, TSA friendly, and basically indestructible. Basically everything you want in a travel item.
Travelo Excel Refillable Fragrance Atomizer >> [Amazon]
I get it, sometimes you just want to hold a big, beefy book in your hands and sniff the musky paper and aged ink. But traveling is not the time.
Like a giant bottle of shampoo that you’ll use 1/8 of, you’re also unlikely to read an entire book during the course of your trip. That is, if you’re like me and you’d rather spend time out adventuring than doing something you can do at home. Why take up so much space with so many words?
Books are lovely, but digital and audio books are the way to go when you’re on the go with a small suitcase. Bring along whatever you like, as much as you like and incur no extra weight.
On long flights, I especially like audiobooks because I get to relax and close my eyes to the dry cabin air, but still have my entertainment going.
Or lulling me to sleep. That works too.
Sign up for Audible >> [Audible]
Perhaps it has happened to you, or perhaps you’ve cringed when it happened to somebody you know. Expensive or irreplaceable jewelry– gone.
Whether it’s lost on the street, stolen from a hotel room, or dropped to the ocean floor, losing precious jewelry is devastating. The only way to prevent these unavoidable accidents is to leave any jewelry you wouldn’t want to lose at home.
But we still want to look cute, right? I always pack non-precious jewelry when I’m traveling. I’m talking rhinestone earrings and silver-plated bracelets from Claire’s just to give me my “shiny fix” without the risk.
Even my cheap jewelry needs a home, though. And for that, I love this little organizer I picked up from Amazon! It’s super compact, but has just enough space for a few pieces to spice up any outfit. Plus it comes with a built in mirror, and who couldn’t use an extra mirror?
Vlando Small Portable Jewelry Box >> [Amazon]
Super high heels
Unless you have a specific event where you know you need to wear them, just don’t do it.
I have packed my gorgeous (but horrifically uncomfortable) patent pumps many a time, believing I’d wear them for a special dinner. What happens? I forgo wearing them because I know we will be walking around afterward, and I can’t walk more than 100 steps wearing the little foot-torturers. And so I head to dinner in my comfy sneakers.
If you must pack heels, go for platform sandals with moderate heels, wedges, or my favorite, 3 inch heeled ankle booties. You’ll still look chic, and you’ll enjoy your experience infinitely more. Isn’t that what travel is all about anyway?
I know, it’s cold. I hate the cold too. But packing your heaviest sweaters is never the best option. They take up so much space, and there are only so many ways you can dress up a sweater.
When it’s cold, layering is your best friend. I like packing an assortment of shirts, cardigans and pullovers that I can layer to keep me warm and not feeling like a walking marshmallow.
Just some cardigan inspiration >> [Amazon]
An actual pillow
I have witnessed people schlepping through airports with full-size bed pillows.
Though packing your own pillow may seem like a great way to make your seat feel more like home, why would you want to take up any more of your precious space than you have to? You’re cramped enough as it is!
I have to admit, I’ve given this theory a go, (when I was 10,) and even when I was that little, the pillow made me feel claustrophobic, not cozy.
Plenty of other items exist to make you comfortable on an airplane without taking away your ability to breathe. I go for a large scarf and a good quality neck pillow. They keep me warm, supported, and still leave me enough room to wiggle around in my seat. (Well, as much room as you can have in coach.)
SUNIN Large Cashmere Blend Shawl Scarf >> [Amazon]
Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow >> [Amazon]
Speaking of scarves, want to know more crafty ways you can use a single scarf when traveling? Check out this post >> 18 Nifty Ways To Use A Scarf When Traveling
Every ID you have
Ignore me all you want with all the others, but don’t tune me out on this one.
Do not pack every official form of ID you own. Travel with your passport and drivers license, yes, but leave any other identification cards safely tucked away at home. Same goes for your social security card, if you have one. (Memorize that number if you haven’t already, it’s good to know.)
Losing your ID’s is a huge pain when you’re away from home. Now imagine how much more miserable it could be if you are completely ID-less while you navigate the quicksand-like process of obtaining a new government ID.
You know what they say: it takes ID to get ID. Ok, nobody says that. But it’s true.
Bonus What Not To Pack’s
Sharp objects. Weapons. Flammable things. Plants & produce.
You know, the usuals. Pack with common sense and you trip will be hugely improved.
That’s all for today!
Like this post? You’ll definitely want to check this one out >> 10 Impressive Travel Accessories You Need This Summer!
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below! And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.