What Not to Pack & What to Pack Instead

In Tips and Advice, Travel Resources by Jenny Cavcic17 Comments

Ladies, we’ve all been there and understand each other! You’ve booked your trip. you have less than a week to go and the packing must start… dun dun dun! What to bring?

We ladies have this urge to pack our entire lives with us. If we could, we’d pack our pets too! Just as you start packing, you get these thoughts telling you: “I’ll take that…I need it for just in case”, “oh but I love this, it has to come too”, “this shirt will make me look so cute”and “I definitely can’t go without this”. Sound familiar?


Meet Smoki, my wunderlusting cat who likes to think that he can come with me on my trips!

Packing like this is doing a huge disservice to yourself. Remember, when it comes to packing, less IS more! The less you bring, the more room you’ll have in your luggage to go shopping and bring some great new things back back home. The less you bring, the less effort you have to put into lugging it around while you move from one place to another.

This is my list of what not to pack and what you can pack instead to make your luggage lighter and your travels easier!

1. DON’T Pack Your Entire Make-Up Bag:

Are you really going to be waking up an hour before you leave your hotel room to put on your makeup? That’s an extra hour you could be catching
some zzzz’s to prepare for a long day of exploring! Say no to your heavy makeup bag.

DO PACK a few light things that make all the difference. For me it’s waterproof mascara, bronzer and a lipstick. I found that I look and feel better on my trips when I spend less time getting ready! You are glamorous without all the heavy makeup and you’ll see that when you try traveling without it.

2. DON’T Pack Your Jewelry: 

Sorry ladies but I would leave your heels behind… and wedges too. Your itinerary is jam packed and you’ll be walking around all day and every day. If your trip involves leisurely sightseeing,  you’re probably going to want to check out a few nice restaurants at night. However, your feet won’t thank you if you do it in stilettos.

DO PACK a pair of cute flats that you can pair up with your dinner outfits. You only need ONE versatile but comfortable pair, otherwise you’ll have to spend some time self medicating your poor feet and toes from blisters and sores.

3. DON’T Pack Your Jewelry: 

While accessorizing is an essential part of a woman’s style, you’re going to want to keep it simple when you’re packing. For one, it’s pretty heavy and two, wearing a lot of jewelry makes you an attractive target for thieves and scammers. I’m not saying go completely bare, but don’t overdo it and look flashy either.

beach bumDO PACK your sunnies and a panama hat! I always bring my RayBan aviators whenever I travel because they give my look a certain flair. Adding a great pair of sunglasses and a hat to your outfit will make you forget that you left your bling at home.

5. DON’T Pack Large Hair and Facial Products: 

You won’t need them, trust me on this! If your hotel doesn’t have a good selection, you can find quality conditioner and shampoos to purchase at the local market near you. The same goes for your face creams and products.

DO PACK a travel container of organic coconut oil. It’s versatile and can be used as a moisturizing face cream, makeup remover and hair conditioner. From experience, don’t apply it in the morning before going out in the sun. It could potentially cause you to catch a few more rays than you want and need. Instead, use it at night but rinse your face off in face in the morning before leaving your hotel.

4. DON’T Pack Your Straightening Iron: 

This includes your curling iron and your round brush too! Leave your high heat hair tools at home. Having perfect hair on your trip rarely works out. If you’re going somewhere humid, your beautiful hairdo will go sideways as soon as you walk out the door. Let your hair breathe during your trip and take its natural shape.


Me letting my hair do it’s thing 🙂

DO PACK a detangler brush to get the knots out in the morning and at night. Then let your locks flow in whatever way they choose to. For a long time I tried to control my hair styles while traveling, but I quickly gave up! I now just let my hair do it’s own thing, especially If I’m traveling to a place with a warmer climate. You’ll be surprised how great it will look and feel once you get back from your trip.

Hopefully these tips help every woman reading this pack lighter and smarter for her next trip or adventure. My list is not inclusive and if you would like to add to it, send me a message or comment below!

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    1. Author

      I was like that too! I think once you try to do this, you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature 🙂 Now I hate checking luggage and will do anything to make my carry on as light as possible!

  1. Great post, agree on all bar the toiletries. I am a firm believer in travel sized bottles as my coloured hair does not usually play ball with cheap hotel/cruise toiletries..and since going vegan I obv want to bring my own cruelty free versions (since all the big brands that sell in China have to test theirs). Rest of the advice is spot on and am gonna pin this to my board on cruise and travel packing tip 🙂

    1. Author

      I completely understand you 🙂 There are time when I have to take travel sized bottles as well, depending on where I’m going. Being a vegan definitely slims down your options, so I would be doing the same if I were in your shoes 🙂 Thank you for the feedback and for sharing!!

  2. I often take a couple of fine colourful scarves that work like jewelry to spice up an outfit and are less loseable.

    1. Author

      Love it! I’m totally with you on that one. I’ve done the same and the best part about it is that they are so light and easy to pack.

  3. I have to admit, I do pack all the toiletries I will need. The hotel gift shops are CRAZY expensive, and they don’t ever carry the brands I need. Totally agree with you on the shoes though. I go as comfy as I can, and maybe pack one nice pair of shoes.

    1. Author

      Thanks you! I know how you feel about toiletries, it’s hard to keep them at home. Here’s what I do when I absolutely NEED to bring something. I re-package in travel size bottles to lighten my load and that way I’m still avoiding checking in my luggage. Have you tried that? If not, try it and let me know how it goes 🙂

      1. I haven’t tried that! But I’ll have to give it a shot on my next trip…as long as I don’t pack too many clothes and still have to check a bag anyways 🙂

        1. Author

          Try it and you’ll see how free you’ll feel lol. And don’t overpack 🙂 make a point to go shopping wherever you’re going!!! 😊

  4. Good tips! I can be a bit picky about what kind of shampoo I like, so instead of a big bottle or using cheap hotel stuff I just use the little travel size bottles. Where are you off to next?

    1. Thank you! Great call, I’ve done that before. I have small reusable travel sized containers that I sometimes fill up with my product. My next exciting trip is Iceland, hubby and I are in the midst of planning and preparing for that. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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