Travel goes a bit like this: You pack up and ship out, you unpack and spread your belongings across your hotel room, you repack and ship out, and the cycle continues. In the process, things sometimes just go missing.
In addition to the chaos that can be simply unpacking and repacking, airlines lose bags. Items get stolen. Nice things get worn in places that aren’t so nice and eventually become lost to wear.
In light of these travel realities, the question you should be asking before packing up anything on your list is, “Would I be okay if this went missing?”
Because it’s the truth. If you can’t fathom the idea of an item getting lost, stolen, left behind in the sand or broken in transit, then it doesn’t belong on your packing list.
Or else it could be a hard lesson to learn- one accompanied with extreme disappointment.
So what items should you avoid packing?
- Expensive items, like jewelry and fancy shoes.
- Sentimental items, even if they’re not of expensive value.
- Unnecessary electronics, so if you don’t need it, don’t bring it.
Sometimes, however, it’s not easy to leave everything costly at home. For one, those expensive shoes and clothes might be technical gear that are vital to your trip. Those electronics might be necessary to do work on the road. For items like these, you might simply need to come to terms with the possibility of losing them.
In some situations, the need for precious belongings to be on the packing list is greater than the chance of them going missing.
For example, I typically always travel with my MacBook, which is not the cheapest computer on the market. But, I do so because I usually have to keep up with work while on the road, and keeping up with said work is more valuable than the chance of losing it and needing it replaced.
That said, that doesn’t mean I don’t take the risk lightly. I’ve simply come to terms with the risk so that I understand it’s not the end of the world if it were to go missing while traveling. It’s just a laptop.
Now if that laptop were a pair of earrings that my mother gave me on my 18th birthday… well, that would probably be a different story. I would not be okay if those went missing and therefore would not be putting them on my packing list.
I know that most of this post is common sense, but a little reminder can never hurt, right?