What NOT to Bring While Travelling Abroad

I am the type of person who loves to over pack and is prepared for any situation that should arise. Sadly, my friends can attest to this. But while studying abroad, everyone knew where to go if any situation occurred.

Hand sanitizer… no problem. Bandaids…. of course. Extra umbrella…. you know it! Food poisoning and in need of gravol….. you bet your ass!

Along the way, I have found what works best for my many travel styles and what doesn’t work for young adventure seekers. So here is my list of the Worst Travel Mistakes for Long Trips to Multiple Destinations.

What NOT to Bring While Travelling Abroad

Worst Travel Mistakes

  1. Luggage with spinning wheels!
    Wheeled luggage doesn’t work well on rough surfaces (cobble stones in Europe) and costs you precious overhead bin space either on the airplane or travelling by trains. It also adds extra weight. Every professional traveller can agree to this one. A great replacement would be a travel backpack that can open up like a suitcase.
    Another option if you can’t carry luggage for long periods of time is a Detachable Trolley Luggage Handle that you can pack inside your bag and take out when needed. They can fold down to fit in compact spaces but keep in mind and ask yourself if your willing to give up that space. Is it worth it? Again, it all depends on what kind of traveller you are or want to be.
  2. Books!
    I am an avid book reader and lover of immersing myself within the crisp pages of a new book. But while travelling they can become quite the nuisance. So, I invested in an e-reader. In my mind this was sacrilege. However, while travelling, this little device has made my bad a million times lighter while carrying 100x more books.
  3. Extra Shoes for all occasions.
    What girl doesn’t love a variety of shoes to pair with multiple outfits? Not just the ladies, men are also bad at this one….. yeah, I’m talking about you, Mitch. While travelling, remember that more shoes = more weight! So sadly you have to leave your designer Gucci’s at home. I usually travel with a pair of runners, nice black flats and a pair of sandals. I even think this is too many but I found this to work best for my travel style. Recently, I had to purchase a pair of active water shoes for the areas I will be visiting in the up coming month.
  4. Extra Clothes.
    A lot of people love to over pack on clothes. I was one of these people but I found that the less I had, the quicker I got ready to start my full day of exploring. Try to bring more neutral colours to mix and match for more outfit possibilities.
    A trick is to bring some laundry detergent packs and clean your clothes in the sink. Another option is to go to a local laundry mat, bring some change, a book and spend some down time relaxing before your next big day. This option also allows you to meet new people. You never know who you’ll encounter…. a fellow world traveller or a local who knows the best-kept secrets. Just remember to please take out all important belongings out of your pockets. You don’t want to unload the wash into the dryer to find a soggy passport, then have to take a train for 3 hours to get to the nearest embassy…..
  5. Beauty Products.
    Common guys and gals… we all have our specific beauty routines that we go through to look incredible for spur of the moment selfies. While travelling, just keep in mind that all those products create less space and more weight in your bag. If you opt-out of checking your bag as well, you can only bring so much liquid. I try to take as minimal products as I can. Don’t get me wrong….. I still look fantastic, I just put my creams, liquids and face wash in smaller bottles. For makeup, I usually go for a more natural look and bring eye liner, mascara and a variety of lipsticks to make my looks more fun.
  6. Hair products.
    This one follows the beauty product rules. Chances are if you are staying in a hotel, they will have a blow-dryer waiting for you in your room. If not you can ask the front desk. It also depends on where you’re going. If you’re going somewhere with very humid heat, your hair is going to go crazy anyway. If you absolutely need to bring a flat iron, there are great travel size versions available now that get just as hot as the regular ones.
  7. Jewelry and valuables!
    This one should be common sense. Please don’t take expensive jewellery if you’re planning on touring the country’s local culture. Depends on where you go, you could be targeted and be taken advantage of by what you wear. Not only that but how would you feel if you lost it while on a guided tour? I usually just bring cheap jewellery so if it gets lost or damaged, I’m not heart broken about it.
    If you really want to bring certain items, you can keep it in the Hotel safe and bring it out for those nice dinners. Make sure you buy insurance for the item while travelling and always pack it in carry-on luggage.
  8. DSLR camera.
    This one is very controversial. I myself love my DSLR camera because it can take incredible photos. However, it is a pain in the ass to travel with…..especially while carrying multiple lenses. It really depends on what type of traveller you want to be. Now in days, smartphones can take fantastic quality photos and Gopros can capture your experience. These options are also lighter, smaller and more discrete.

In closing, my biggest piece of advice would be trial and error. Travel more and make mistakes. This will show you what kind of traveller you want to be and what you can live without. I find my style changes on the destinations. I’m always finding new accessories and gadgets to make travelling more convenient. In the end, I try to take as little as possible to make room for souvenirs.

Happy Travelling!


Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

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