from The Discoverer Blog
- You pack every item of clothing you’ve ever owned (and wear precisely half of it)
A bit of self control at the packing stage will pay dividends later. Think about what goes together – the goal is to pack a capsule wardrobe where each piece is sufficiently versatile to work with several outfits. If it can only be worn once, it doesn’t go in.
- You’ve forgotten that they have shops where you’re going
Unless you’re headed to a remote island hideaway or mountain retreat, here’s absolutely no need to pack everything. Who’s guilty of prepping for a city break by carefully placing the entire contents of their bathroom shelf in their case? Don’t do it – you can always pop to the drugstore or supermarket when you arrive and buy it there.
- You think you’re going to die if you leave behind your blow dryer
There’s a balance between spending hours trying to emulate a Hollywood A-lister and looking like you got dragged through a hedge backwards in your Instagram shots. Talk to your hair stylist about a cut that’s easy to maintain, tie up long hair and go for a natural look with a slick of mascara and a smudge of lip balm. Use the time you save on your beauty regime to go and explore the place you’ve come to see.
- You don’t bag your shoes
Shoes, even clean shoes, are mucky. Plus, after a few wears, they start to smell and can permeate your whole bag. Pack a couple of canvas bags and tuck your shoes inside to stop the dirt from soiling your clean clothes. They’ll double as laundry bags on the return trip.
- You’ve mixed up your prohibited items
Most of us have figured out the 100ml rule when it comes to airports and hand luggage (except, maddeningly, the person in front of you in the security queue). But after that it gets a little more complicated. Should you pack your spare lithium battery in your carry on or your checked luggage? (That’s carry on, by the way, as there’s a risk they’ll catch fire, so they go in the part of the plane where someone’s more likely to notice the smoke.) Read the airline’s instructions carefully and make sure everything is in its proper place.
- You got sucked in by the travel gadget adverts
It seems there’s always a new travel gadget guaranteed to make your trip easier. But don’t get caught in the trap of buying every single item advertised in your in-flight magazine. Just spring for a travel adaptor, and a few of the items you use on a regular basis. Otherwise, your electronics will take up space and time as you attempt to charge them all.
- You think it’s a case of one-size-fits-all when it comes to luggage
Different types of luggage suit different types of trip. If you’re planning to take a wheelie on a rail trip, make sure it’s not too wide to roll down the aisle. Booked a light aircraft transfer to an offshore island or an inaccessible safari lodge? You’ll need something small and preferably soft-sided, like a holdall.
- You don’t check the weather
There’s nothing worse than arriving in a foreign country expecting flip-flops and t-shirt weather and instead getting hit by a storm. Weather predictions aren’t always reliable, but doing a little research before you pack could save you from getting caught off guard. Check seasonal averages as well as 10-day forecasts.
- You don’t prepare for souvenirs
Whether you plan on doing some shopping while abroad or not, it’s always smart to save a little space on the way home for that super cute dress you just had to have or a small bag of trinkets for your friends and family back home. You don’t want to pass on the experience of haggling in a Moroccan souk just because you can’t fit something in your bag. Here’s a tip: bring a small, compact duffel or tote bag that you can pull out on the way home. Throw it in your suitcase on the way there, and then pull it out for the extra items you acquire on your way home.
- You ignore local culture and customs
Some cultures are more conservative than others, and whether you agree with the local culture’s style, remember, you’re going into their home. You wouldn’t want someone bursting into your home and loudly disregarding your customs or beliefs. In addition, many of the world’s religious sites require shoulders and knees to be covered. Others ask that you remove your shoes before entering. So do your research on your destination and pack accordingly.
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