Completely useless stuff that you will never need oversees.
1. Filter Straws / Bottles
We went to the Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu last year. They sell bottled water there. Unless you go on a 2 month unguided trip through Africa chances are you’ll not need a filter straw. They sold water in every single place we’ve ever been to. In many you could even drink the water from the tap (including Singapore, Bogota, Mexico City…). Conditions are comparable to many regions of the US — you could theoretically drink the water from the tap. If you don’t like the taste, buy bottled water. Don’t buy a water bottle either. Just buy water and reuse the bottle.
99% of the places you stay at have towels. If not, use an old T-Shirt. Towels are bulky and don’t dry well. We hate wet towels in our backpacks.
3. Hiking Boots & High Heels
Unless you go on a 2 month hiking excursion to Nepal, your casual Nike sneakers will be just fine. We wore them to climb volcanoes in Mexico, the Pinnacles in Borneo’s Gunung Mulu National Park, took them on our trip to the Amazon and hiked up Machu Picchu in them. Shoes in general just take up too much space in your backpack. Take max. 3 pairs. That will be enough. Guaranteed. (If you go to South East Asia your flip flops might be the only item you need).
4. Fancy Clothes
Same thing. Do you think you’ll get invited to that spontaneous wedding somewhere in India? Buy a nice shirt at the destination in case that ever happens. Planning to go on a few business meetings? For girls: bring a pair of black pants and two nice shirts that you can also wear for a nice night out.
Bring your exercise clothes and wear them as Pyjamas. You’ll be fine.
6. Hair Straighteners
Nope. Just leave it at home.
7. Money Belt
First, they are a huge violation of universal fashion laws. Secondly, they make you look like the most obvious tourist in the world. Store your money in a wallet or handbag. Just like you would at home. Blend in with the locals and don’t attract attention by wearing designer stuff or money belts.
8. Valuables & Jewelry
Don’t bring anything you can’t afford losing. Do you really need that computer, kindle, tablet AND your phone? Or could you phone just do it all? The same with jewelry… chances are you might just lose it. Whoever you wanna impress on that beach somewhere in Cambodia — flip flops and a smile on your face are gonna be enough. Trust me, you’ll be happy if you even find a clean shirt in your backpack.
Just because you don’t pack it, it doesn’t mean you have to live without it. Even if you wouldn’t believe it: They do sell shampoo and conditioner in Thailand. So do they sell sunscreen and almost everything else you could ever need.
Leave that jar of Peanut Butter at home. First, they might just take it away from you at the airport. Second, you might come off weird if you don’t eat with friends. Third, you’ll be all busy trying new things at your destination. Submerge yourself in local culture — food is part of the adventure.
Co-Founder & Chief Travel Hacker NomadApp