I like to think I am very thorough when it comes to the planning and packing of a trip. I spend countless hours researching my destinations and what to pack and what not to pack. Despite all this I have still made mistakes and honestly I feel that packing is just one of those things that takes a bit of trial and error. So here are my 7 packing mistakes:
Just don’t pack them because unless you have a particular event to wear them to, like a wedding. When I first went to Europe I packed a pair of wedges because I felt like I needed something nice for the evenings, after all I was going to be in one of the most glamorous cities in the world, Paris! But I never took them out of my suitcase. They just took up space and added weight as I wore a pair of patent black ballet flats instead. They were much more comfortable and also much easier to navigate European cobblestone streets in.
- Snow gear
I was getting a bit ahead of myself with this one. Part of my European trip involved going up a mountain in Switzerland in Winter for a day. Turns out that due to bad weather the trip up the mountain was cancelled and also it was one of the mildest winters the country has seen in years. I just sent the jacket home to free up some room in my suitcase.
- Strapless clothing in Asia
A heavy backpack and bare skin do not go together well unless you like that red pack strap look on your skin. Also, some of the places I travelled to I didn’t feel comfortable showing that much skin especially in sacred areas and out of respect for the locals I kept my dress packed away. I didn’t feel comfortable wearing my strapless dress until I reached Bali where it was a bit more of a tourist area.
- Buying every travel contraption possible
Sometimes the items designed to make travel more ‘efficient’ just make it more difficult. To save room in my bag I invested in some travel soap sheets where you grab a couple of thin sheets then just add water and you have got yourself some soap. Sounds good in theory until you stupidly do what I do and attempt to grab a sheet with wet hands. The result? All the sheets got stuck together. I went out to the local supermarket bought a small bottle of body wash and that was much better. If I was worried about leaking I just wrapped the bottle in the plastic bag it came in. It is my opinion that this product creates more problems travelling than what it is supposed to solve.
- Not packing enough
On my New Zealand trip I packed the least amount of clothing possible so I could enjoy buying a few things while I was over there. After all that’s what I did in Europe and the shopping was fantastic. However, New Zealand isn’t a big shopping destination and there wasn’t as much on offer as I thought there would be. Best to be prepared with your clothing and save your money for the endless amount of adventure activities they have on offer.
- Not packing the right/or any medicines
When it comes to staying healthy when you travel, especially if it’s for a long period of time, its better have and not need then need and not have. I fell sick in Germany and playing charades at the pharmacy in front of a lot of very confused locals wasn’t exactly the highlight of my trip.
- Having a day bag that’s too big
If you want a large bag for your carry on that’s fine but I suggest have a smaller bag packed for day trips out and about your destination. Large day bags can get heavy when you carry them around all day and you risk filling any empty space with unnecessary things you don’t need to be carrying around. Small bags, especially those that wrap around your body, are easier to conceal under clothing and hold onto when walking through busy streets.
As I mentioned earlier packing is one of those things that only gets better the more time you do it. Do you have any packing no-no’s for when you travel?