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The ’do not pack’ list for your next vacation

No matter how good of a packer you are, they always take up more space than you have to spare. Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels.

No matter how good of a packer you are, they always take up more space than you have to spare. Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels.

Published Mar 10, 2022


From hairdryers to books, these are all the things you’ll probably regret packing on your next trip.

What not to pack on your next vacation:

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Multiple pairs of shoes

Snowy weather, hiking and climate changes are the only acceptable reasons to pack multiple pairs of shoes. Footwear of all kinds can be very bulky and immediately takes up a ton of valuable suitcase space.

Not to mention, having your favourite pair of heels squashed under the weight of your clothes and toiletries is always dismal (they never quite look the same afterwards). Use practicality to guide you on this packing venture rather than the desire to not repeat outfits for Instagram.

Sneakers, boots and sandals are the three main categories. Try not to pack double of each. Go for neutral tones so they can be paired with multiple outfits. Lastly, if you’re staying in a hotel, slippers will likely be provided so give them a miss.


Denim jackets, skinny jeans, wide-legged pants - if it’s made from denim, it’s probably going to take up a lot of space in your luggage. While denim items are very comfy and versatile (and can be worn a few times before needing a wash), you don’t need more than one of each item (jacket and jeans).

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No matter how good of a packer you are, they always take up more space than you have to spare. Plus, since they’re so durable and can match with pretty much anything, you really don’t need the excess items - one pair of denim jeans is probably more than enough depending on the climate and how long you’re planning on staying. If it’s somewhere with good weather, cotton and linen is your new best friend.


While the holiday of your dreams may entail lounging on white-sand beaches with a book in one hand and cocktail in the other, that image is more than likely not going to come true. With so much to see and do, you’ll probably have very little time to read that hardcover book you nursed on the flight (but still haven’t made it past the acknowledgements section).

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After buying souvenirs and splurging in the airport on all the duty-free imported products, it’ll be a huge pain in the neck to carry that book on the flight home. If you’re really itching to read something, download something onto your phone or tablet before the flight or, at the very least, go for a soft cover book.

Multiples of the same toiletries

If you’re travelling with family, friends or a significant other, plan who packs what. Having double, triples of each item will just get your hotel room looking messy faster and, of course, take up room in your suitcase.

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Personal items like special face products, make-up, toothbrushes and deodorant can (and should) be packed by each individual but other items like shampoo, conditioner and hairbrushes can definitely be shared.

Irreplaceable items

Heirloom jewellery, your favourite vintage leather jacket, that discontinued bottle of very expensive perfume that you got from your late grandmother are all wonderful items to have on holiday but ultimately are not worth the risk of losing once you check in your luggage, it is totally out of your care and anything can happen to it.

Even with baggage insurance policies, those items have sentimental value and cannot be replaced. Err on the side of caution and leave those things at home.

Your own hairdryer

Hairdryers are super bulky, require their own special plug point and will only likely be used every other day (unless you’re swimming often).

Although you may prefer the one you have at home for specific reasons, there will likely be one in your hotel room or Airbnb (check with the host) so don’t stress over it.

Additionally, if you’re going somewhere hot and beachy, air drying is the best way to go, plus you’ll have more time seeing all the amazing sights if you aren’t spending so much time drying your hair each day.

That formal outfit

Unless you have a very specific reason for packing a formal outfit - perhaps you have a wedding to attend - give it a miss.

Suit jackets and gowns take up a huge amount of luggage space and will likely come out of your bag looking crumpled and misshapen so you probably won’t even want to wear them when rushing about a new destination.

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