7 things NOT to pack when backpacking abroad | Real Gap Experience Blog

7 things NOT to pack when backpacking abroad

It’s time. You know that trip you booked ages ago, the one you’ve been counting the months, days, and hours down to? Well, it’s happening. Like. Really. SOON. So, in the hope you’ve sorted flights, travel insurance, up to date passport, money, visas, vaccinations and the like, you should probably now focus on what you’re going to be lugging around with you while you’re off on your adventures.

 

Firstly, make sure you’re kitted out with a decent backpack. The trick is to go for something that’s just the right size for your frame – you don’t want anything that looks as though you could fit a body or two in it, but equally you don’t want to scrimp on space and end up not being able to bring the essentials with you. Once you’re sorted with a sensible backpack (go to an outdoor specialist shop to find the perfect one for you), you can start thinking about what you’ll need with you. Here, we’re going to look at some of the usual suspects that inevitably sneak their way into backpacks, only to be repeatedly cursed and often discarded halfway through travels.

 

1 Hair Straighteners. Because they’re just unnecessary. Guys, gals, embrace the ‘traveller’ look and let your hair do its own thing, straighteners are simply a pain to pack. They take up valuable space, can’t be put away until they’ve cooled down, and more often than not end up getting broken before you’ve got a third of the way through your trip anyway. Not leaving home without them? Fine, but go for a small, cordless pair instead.

 

2 Fancy Shoes. Unless you’re staying at the Four Seasons, you probably won’t need those fancy shoes. ‘But there’ll be nights out on the town’, I hear you cry, ‘I’ll want to look my best in the evening after a long day hiking through mountains’. No, you won’t. You’ll want to slip on a comfy pair of flipflops and grab a beer with your friends before climbing into bed. If you really must bring a pair of ‘going out’ shoes with you, try to choose lightweight sandals or deck shoes that look smart but can also be worn during the day, and that you won’t be fretting over if they get wrecked.  

 

3 Books. Time to join the 21st century, guys – you know you can carry a whole library of books on your phone or tablet, right? And seriously, there’s not much heavier than a stack of paper (unless you’re planning on throwing a couple of dumbbells in there as well) to weigh you down and make your travels between destinations more miserable than necessary.   

 

4 Jewellery. Not that we’re saying not to wear any at all, but just try not to overdo it on the jewellery front. Firstly, you’ll never find time to wear 11 pairs of earrings, 34 necklaces, 17 rings, and a gold medallion unless you wear it all once (hey, we’re not judging), in which case you’ll probably attract the wrong sort of attention, which could end up with more than just a few shiny things being stolen.

 

5 Excessive Cosmetics & Toiletries. Because you can buy everything you need wherever you are in the world. Simple. Bring a few small items with you, like travel shampoo and toothpaste, and the bare basics when it comes to makeup. You’ll want to be able to wash properly, we get that, but other than a bit of concealer, lippy, and mascara, you shouldn’t really need anything else – you’ll be sporting that gorgeous ‘holiday glow’ after a couple of days anyway.

 

6 Umbrella. Agreed, you can’t count on the weather, even if you’re travelling to sunny climes, but there’s no need to pack an umbrella. For starters, they cause all sorts of havoc at airports, but they’re also cumbersome, tend to hit other people in the face, and are completely useless when exposed to even the slightest breeze. Pack a lightweight raincoat instead and get a rain cover for your backpack – sorted.

 

7 Gadgets. Do you really need to bring your laptop, DSLR, iPad, phone, Xbox, etc. with you on your travels? I mean, unless your phone is more than ten years old, you should be able to take photos, watch movies, play games, listen to music and, wait for it, call home once in a while using one, yes one, device. Plus, aren’t you supposed to be travelling? Leave the gadgets at home and go and see the world!

For general travel advice and guidance or ideas on where to take your backpack on holiday, give us a call on 01892 277040, ping us a message at [email protected], or chat to us live online.

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