Tuesday, 7 July 2015

10 Things you DON’T need to pack!

You’ve probably read plenty of articles about what to pack before you take a trip but less often do professional travelers tell you what NOT to pack in your suitcase. Ready to pack smarter?

Here are 10 things you don’t need to pack and should leave at home to make your suitcase lighter and more manageable.

1. Expensive jewellery
Even if you’re going on a five-star cruise, leave your expensive jewellery, including watches, at home because travellers are just asking for it when they wear their flashy stuff. In fact, it is recommended that women turn their engagement rings around, when traveling through local markets and train stations, so that stones of the ring are facing their palm.

If you do insist on bringing expensive jewellery for a special occasion like a fancy wedding, then carry it on the plane with you; don’t check it! And don’t wear it out on the town every day. Leave your valuables in a safety deposit box at the front desk of a hotel or cruise ship or in a safe.

2. Travel iron
No one likes wrinkled clothes but chances are that wherever you’re going, they’ll have an iron. And if they don’t, like on a cruise ship, where irons are considered a fire hazard, there are other ways to get wrinkles out of your clothing. The best trick: Hang your clothes in the bathroom when you’re taking a hot shower. The heat will usually steam the wrinkles right out! Or, I’m also a fan of packing wrinkle-free clothing so I don’t even need to worry about ironing

3. All of your tech gadgets
These days, most people have a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, an e-reader…but do you really need all of them when you travel? Try to pare your tech collection down to the essentials and leave the others at home. For instance, if you can download the Kindle app on your iPad, you can leave your Kindle at home and just read your books on your iPad. That way, you can also leave their respective chargers at home, too.

4. Shampoo, conditioner and body lotion
We all like the products we like but when you travel, why take up all that space with your shampoo, conditioner and lotions? Unless you are going camping or staying in a hostel, wherever you go will have it all. If you don’t think you will like the hotel’s brand of amenities, then you can always go to a local pharmacy or grocery store and buy some. If you must have your favorite shampoo, then be sure it’s in the proper size container if you are doing carry-on only.

5. Hair dryer
Don’t even think about it. I’m always surprised when I hear women bringing their own hair dryer. Really? Do you not think the hotel, cruise ship or rental house will have it? Packing a hair dryer is just taking up valuable room in your suitcase unnecessarily and adds weight to your bags.

6. Paper guidebooks
Gone are the days when travellers have to stock their suitcases or carry-on bags with thick and heavy guidebooks. Don’t get me wrong – I love guidebooks but this is the 21st century and you can find all the information you need online or download it on to your smartphone or tablet.

7. Too many clothes
There’s an old saying: Pack half the clothes and twice the money. Those are words to live by. As you’re preparing for a trip, lay out all the clothes and money you plan to bring. Then only pack half the clothes and double the amount of money you had planned on. Like so many people, I used to over pack and then I got wise. And don’t use the excuse that you’re a girl who needs more stuff – the most girly —can travel with a suitcase the size of trunk, but once you see the light, you’ll start using a suitcase that’s smaller.

8. Designer luggage
Speaking of luggage, don’t bring expensive designer luggage as it only draws the attention of thieves. If you’re a thief, who are you going to rob: someone that has a designer bag or someone that’s got some generic suitcase? Case closed.

9. Shoes
When you travel, bring one comfortable pair of walking/running shoes and one pair of dressy shoes. Since women tend to have smaller feet, they can usually fit a few options.

10. Over-the-counter drugs
It is illegal to bring some over-the-counter medicines commonly used into some foreign countries, like Japan. These drugs include inhalers and some allergy and sinus medications. Specifically, products that contain stimulants or codeine are prohibited.

As you can see, most of the things I’ve listed will save you space in your suitcase but some can also save you jail time!

What things do YOU leave at home?

If you find find yourself in Cape Town, make sure to check in at 808 Cartwright for an affordable, reliable self-catering apartment with amazing views of the Mother City.

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