*This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Last Updated on by Noni May
Too much luggage or an overweight backpack; it makes everybody cry. Especially if you’re searching for your hotel in a sandy street, when you brought your suitcase. Or when your backpack is overweight, it’s 40 degrees and you need to walk at least 45 minutes to your next destinations. We all have been here, and we all wished we didn’t bring that extra pair of running shoes or the big bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
As a frequent traveler, I now know what to bring and what to leave at home. Of course, sometimes I do make the mistake of not bringing something with me that I need, but I’m always able to buy it if I REALLY need it. Much better than ditching stuff you really like at home but no longer can carry with you right? Become a packing master and leave these things at home!
ALL hotels, I repeat, ALL hotels provide towels. And if they’re close to the beach they provide beach towels too. Don’t bring this one bulky thing with you! It’s a waste of space. Get a pareo to lay on the beach on, or to dry up after a swim. Did you know that most hostels offer towels too these days? I always bring a small trek type travel towel too, because I’ve a little OCD but it’s not necessary.
Traveling backpackers style? Don’t forget to bring a lock! But don’t forget to bring a TSA approved combination lock instead of a key lock, because you might be one of the losers losing their keys. I’ve seen it happen.. A TSA approved lock is one that airport security can open with one key, if they want to have a look at your luggage, rather than breaking your lock open.
People tend to overpack and usually overpack their clothes section. So here’s the trick: pack what you think you need, and then cut everything in half, that’s what you bring. Go for the stuff you can wear in multiple outfits, rather than the cute stuff. Laundry is expensive in hotels and as a backpacker you want to save money on everything. Make sure everything fits in one wash!
Got a Lonely Planet and do you want to catch up while laying on the beach on what to do next? Don’t bring a travel guide book! I did this (more than once), but after realizing at the airport that the 4 extra kilos my backpack gained came from the Australian Lonely Planet, it was time for me to go digital. There are many great travel blogs and websites out there, and tons of travel bloggers offer travel guides, which are written by ‘real people’ – more fun! You’re supporting other travelers and you get inside information. Win-win! Get an e-reader and download everything to your e-reader! If you’ve booked your trip via Booking, they offer free downloadable city guides and travel guides you can download to read them offline. They provide a general one and one with things near your booked hostel or hotel. How awesome!
As a frequent traveler, you’ll look like the basic version of yourself after a few months of traveling, and that’s ok. One thing I learned is that it’s absolutely not necessary to bring a whole bag of jewelry if you travel less than 3 months. Wear 1 set when you travel, that’s it. No one cares if you have a different necklace or beach jewelry every day. I often leave everything at home. But after the magic 3 months of traveling, I always feel the need to feel like me again, instead of wearing the same 3 outfits over and over again. So now I prepare and instead of feeling the need of buying a whole new outfit, I can spice things up with the jewelry I brought from home. Just keep it simple and minimalistic and you’re good to go. And keep it cheap, to enjoy a carefree holiday!
These are the things I often regret the most, but I forgot to tell you about that one time I brought over 4 notebooks and a whole set of Stabilo pens AND the Stabilo highlighters with me.. on a world trip backpacking trip.. that didn’t go so well. I had to ship my super big large Moleskine diary and calendar back home and so did 80% of the pens.. turns out I didn’t have as much time as I thought I’d have to color and draw. Lol. We all have things we shouldn’t pack but still bring… after a while you’ll get to know your travel style and the things you’d like to bring anyways, against every frequent traveler’s advice (psstt.. that towel I always bring!).