10 Things to Leave Behind When Travelling for the First Time
A few days after arriving in Bangkok for my six-month backpacking adventure, I realised how much extra stuff I brought with me for the ‘just in case’ scenarios. After shedding some weight and slim-lining my backpack, I saved not only time but had much more space to pick up little trinkets on my travels. Whether you’re going on a two-month adventure or a three-day weekend, these tips are sure to help save space, weight and time.
Here are the 10 things I would leave behind when travelling:
Top 10 Things to Leave Behind WHEN TRAVELLING
1. Full-size toiletries
Toiletries not only take up space but are also very heavy to carry and have the potential to lead to a liquid mess in your luggage. You will be able to pick up whatever item you need on the other side. By removing full-size toiletries, you no longer need to check-in your luggage and can fly with hand luggage only, making it cheaper and faster!
2. Extra socks and underwear
There’s no need to take extra socks and underwear unless you’re going somewhere particularly wet with no drying weather. Socks and underwear can be washed easily in sinks at hostels and hotels (be sure to take a plug with you as not all hostels have them). Hang them out on a radiator or chair and they will be dry in no time.
3. Half your clothes
Whatever you think you need to bring with you, half it. You don’t need an endless supply of clothes whilst travelling so try and be selective with pieces that can be layered up or down depending on the weather. It’s always useful to have quick-drying pieces that are comfortable and can be worn with anything.
4. Jewellery & valuables
If you’re not willing to lose it, don’t bring it or have it insured with a reliable company. You don’t need expensive jewellery or valuables and it’s best not to draw attention to yourself as the rich tourist. It’s really useful to have a watch for when your phones dies and you have a bus to catch but nothing too expensive or flashy. I always wear my Casio G-Shock when travelling, it’s waterproof, enduring and features an alarm.
5. Make-up kit
Really try and reduce your make-up kit, you don’t need to bring your entire bag with you. Putting on a full face every day before exploring will get boring quickly. If you can’t be without your makeup, maybe choose a concealer and a great foundation with some brows.
It’s great to read whilst on a train or bus journey or perhaps on a free evening but carrying around heavy books will weigh you down. If you’re able to, I would recommend trying a kindle and storing all your books digitally. If you really love having the paper in your hands, lots of hostels offer an exchange service where you can switch your book for someone else’s. I, personally, love this option as you might pick up something completely different to your usual choice.
7. Money Belt
I purchased an all singing and dancing RFID money belt and then never wore it once. Be aware and look after your money the way you would normally by putting in your purse and having a day bag. Make sure you don’t leave your bag unattended and pull your bag in front of you when walking through a busy area.
8. Silk sleeping bag liner
This is another one I spent a fair amount of money on then didn’t use much. The idea of hostels, to me, sounded like a bug-infested nightmare but turns out there pretty clean with fresh sheets. Just be sure to inspect any reviews on where you’re planning on staying and avoid any bed-bug reports. Hostelword or TripAdvisor are perfect for this.
9. Medicine cabinet
I am definitely guilty of this. By trying to make sure I’m ready for all eventualities I’ve all of a sudden run out room in my bag. You obviously need to take your medication with you and inhalers if your asthmatic but most places will have shops with pharmacies in. There’s no need to go overboard as long as you have the basics covered and see a medical professional if you need to.
10. Giant headphones
As much as I love giant, squishy headphones that engulf you, smaller headphones are far more convenient and packable. There’s always the chance the big guys might get squashed and break whereas smaller in-ear headphones just get knotted together.
I hope these top things to leave behind helps you lighten up your backpack and utilise space more efficiently. Is there anything else you would leave behind? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!