In the months leading up to quitting my job and moving to Australia, I visited countless travel websites and perused multiple travel product catalogs. In the excitement of travel planning, I wanted to purchase a few goodies to help make the move feel closer, especially while I was still keeping my plans a secret from my colleagues and most of my friends.
Between the items I bought for myself and the ones that were given to me, there are a few that never made it into my suitcase or carry-on bag.
Wrinkle free fabric relaxant
I knew I was going to pack relatively little when I left for Australia. I knew I was going to roll my clothes to fit a few extra items in my small suitcase. I knew I didn’t want my limited wardrobe to look like a wrinkled mess whenever I stepped out of the hostel door. A 3oz bottle of fabric relaxant (Amazon link) seemed like the perfect solution!
Even though I could pack it in my carry-on pack, I already had items I wanted to include in my one quart plastic bag. When I realized I was asking myself how often I would use it compared to the other items on my packing list, I decided to ditch it.
And now? It sits in a box of unused items under my bed.
Travelon hand soap
You’ve been there – you’ve finally found a public restroom only to find there’s no soap. Sure, there’s antibacterial products you can use without water, but sometimes it’s nice to wash your hands with soap and warm water.
When I saw the Travelon hand soap sheets, I was curious to see if these could be my soap-on-the-go solution. A pack of 50 hand soap sheets comes in a container the size of a floss container – easy to pack!
Unfortunately, I never packed or even tried it. Why? When the product came in the mail, I flipped it over to read the details and found this disclaimer: “This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Thanks, but no thanks.
>> Brooke’s note: Try Sea to Summit Pocket Soaps
Inflatable travel pillow
I’ve never been a fan of around-the-neck travel pillows for flights. I know many people love them, but I actually feel awkward and can’t get comfortable!
I received one that’s folded and packed in a pouch that you can inflate before your flight. Easier to pack than one that won’t deflate? Yes. But it’s still never made the list because even folded it takes up too much room – and I suppose that’s because it’s not truly a priority on my packing list. If it was, I’m sure I would take something else out to make room for it, like I do for my luxury items.
Shoes that roll
I’m not quite sure why I needed a pair of shoes that I could roll like a sleeping bag and pack into a little pouch. Several travelers raved about using them on airplanes, but I’ve never been a gal who takes her shoes off on flights.
For whatever reason, I convinced myself that I needed a pair of a particular brand of roll-up shoes, and my parents bought me a pair for Christmas. Unfortunately they were a half size too big, so we returned them for a smaller size. Months later, on the day I began packing my bag for Australia, I realized that the rolled shoes were still too bulky to pack. So I left them at home and never regretted not having them on the plane or on the road.
>> Brooke’s note: Try Spare Soles as they roll up very small.
I’ve mentioned the Gelco G-Seat before- a cushioned seat that improves posture and alleviate tailbone and back pain. It differs from the items above in that I actually did pack it once – but only once.
It’s a product I would use again. In fact, I plan to take it to the office and use it for extra lumbar support now that I’ve returned to working four days a week at a desk. But for air travel? Like many of you, I travel with relatively small bags, and the G-Seat takes up precious room in my carry-on bag that I can’t afford to lose. If it had provided exceptional comfort on long-haul flights, that would have been a different story!
Have you purchased travel products only to leave them sitting at home – on every trip? What did you think would make your packing list that simply hasn’t made the cut?