This guest post is brought to you by Michele Herrmann.
Packing for a trip is a daunting task, and traveling gals often put more items in their suitcase or carry-on than they really need. To avoid excess weight and agony over what to bring, here are some suggestions for stuff that might be better off left at home.
Why bring reading materials on your trip when the location can offer more stories to tell? Even a guidebook could be left out. True, having a well-named travel title along with you in a new place is helpful. However, a bulky one can take up extra space for souvenirs. Let technology can be your ally here. Smartphone apps and Wi-Fi access can provide access to answers and reviewer tips online, for everything from street maps to reader reviews on a restaurant or museum. With the exception of remote places, it would be assumed that a visitor’s center would be found in your destination. And the staff at your lodging may serve as a reliable, local resource.
Yes, the right pair of soles compliments every outfit. But spare your body some potential pain. Flats are a must if you plan to do a good bit of exploration by foot. Also, you’re in a place that requires you to remove your shoes (such as airport security checkpoints and even houses of worship), you don’t want to have to fuss with strapping footwear. Put your best foot forward. At minimum, bring along two separate sets (practical and dressy) that match most of your tops, pants, and skirts or dresses. Stay home stilettos!
>> Read more in Choosing the Right Shoes for Your RTW Trip
Yes, I would want my hair to look good too when going out. If your tresses need extra TLC, check first with your hotel or lodging to make sure your bathroom will have a working one. Though hostels or alternative stay places might not carry them, see what other options are available such as borrowing one from a fellow guest. Keep some hairbands handy. Here’s one unique tip: If you have the time, attitude and cash, see about getting your hair set in a nearby salon to sport the local style. Check to see if walk-ins are welcome first.
>> Read more in Should I… Pack My Blow Dryer?
Unless you really need music to sleep by and draw out constant street noise, skip the iPod. Even forget the alarm clock (especially if your room and cellphone have them). As much as a nightlight or pedometer can seem like a must-have, a traveler’s definition of need and want can vary from one person to the next. Good rule of thumb: any item that requires a charger or power convertor (which, ahem, also has to go in the bag) might be one that is debatable. Digital cameras can be exempt; photo taking is a strong pro-gadget argument. Just add batteries to the discussion.
>> Read more in Packing and Caring for a Netbook on the Road
Fake or genuine, no gal wants to cope with the possibility of her fave bling getting lost or stolen. Also, why draw unwanted attention from con artists who may have more interest in your rings or chains than your sparkling personality? You want to blend in with your surroundings. Gems might make you seem to natives that you’re carrying around extra weight in your wallet.
>> Read more in How to Care for Valuables on the Road
Michele Herrmann, a writer and editor, contributes advice-based pieces about travel to various websites. She has ventured throughout Europe and up, down and across the United States and Canada. When she’s home, she likes to go hiking and enjoys festivals and general exploring. Follow her on Twitter at @micheleherrmann or her WordPress blog, Beyondthe203.