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Best Travel Packing Tips: What Not to Pack Exploring World

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Light And Right – Travel Packing Tips

When I embarked on my journey, I thought I needed to bring everything with me, but boy, was I mistaken! Two of these, four of those, and a whopping 15 of those over there. Yep, I’ve been there and done that. After four trips to the post office to ship items back home and over $100 in airline fees, I’ve officially declared my packing mistakes a closed chapter. so here you’ll find best travel packing tips.

No more post office visits for me unless it’s for sending gifts. If necessary, I’m ready to bid farewell to some belongings. Today, I share my hard-earned wisdom on what not to pack, and I hope it helps you avoid similar pitfalls.

Now, let’s talk about those budget airlines that make exploring new countries a breeze. You can get from one destination to another for a mere \$40-\$80 USD, making world travel packing tips surprisingly affordable. However, here’s the kicker: these airlines tend to hit you with outrageous baggage fees. 

It wasn’t until my recent trip from Bangkok to Phuket, where my luggage cost me an additional $60 USD at the gate, that I had an epiphany. Lesson learned: Don’t try to cram your entire life into your suitcase.

I’ve always considered myself good at detachment, but the allure of extra clothes and possessions for comfort during my travels got to me. Well, I’m here to say, “Forget that!” I don’t need four pairs of shoes or ten pairs of socks when I’m living in sandals 90% of the time. 

Three pairs of jeans? Not necessary because the tropical heat will make you sweat through anything you wear. And as for a hair straightener – ladies, let it go; embrace the beachy look with some gel.

For the gentlemen, the same advice applies – leave the dresses at home (unless, of course, you have a particular fashion statement to make).

Here are some essential tips:

When shipping items from a local post office, always carry your passport or a photo of it; they won’t ship your items without one.

Many post offices only accept cash, so ditch your credit and debit cards.

Be prepared for inspections, as some post offices may scrutinize your packed items.

Here’s what not to pack (especially in a place like Thailand):

  • Electronics
  • Battery-powered gadgets
  • Liquids of any kind
  • Explosives (because, well, who knew?)

Now, let me provide you with a concise list of what you should bring. With this, you’re all set for an extended tropical adventure. Leave your attachments behind!


  • Dresses: 3 (You can buy affordable ones for $3-$6 in Asia)
  • Shorts: Max 5 pairs (including workout shorts)
  • Shirts/Tank-Tops: Max 5 versatile shirts
  • Jeans: 1 pair max (wear them on the plane)
  • Jacket/Sweater: Choose one, you won’t need it often
  • Socks: 3 pairs max (flip-flops are the go-to footwear)
  • Underwear: best travel Packing tips is pack as many as you want (it’s hot, you’ll sweat)
  • Bras: 1 strapless, 2 normal, 1 sports bra
  • Minimal Jewelry (buy more when you get there)
  • Shoes: Gym shoes and 1 pair of versatile sandals
  • 2 Purses: One big for beach days, one small for outings


  • Bring essentials in small containers, buy the rest locally
  • Minimal makeup (it melts off in the heat)
  • Inflatable Travel Pillow (a lifesaver on long flights)
  • Electrical Travel Adapter
  • Charging devices including a Portable phone charger
  • Portable Iron


  • Keep most of your cash in the bank
  • Have some on hand for convenience; use ATMs in the country for local currency


  • Passport
  • 3 Copies of your Birth Certificate
  • 3 Copies of your passport
  • 10 additional passport-sized photos (for visa extensions)
  • Listerine strips (humidity can be unforgiving)
  • Cough drops (again, consider the humidity)
  • Wet wipes (always handy)
  • Camelbak (for long hikes)
  • Sunglasses (protect those eyes!)

That’s the perfect travel packing tips list – not too much, not too little. Now that you know what not to pack and what you should pack, you’re all set to embrace a comfortable life on the road.

General Packing Tips For Any Long Term Trips

What to Pack: Because You Can’t Travel Naked, Unfortunately



Seasonal clothing: Duh, consider the climate of your destination or risk freezing your ass off or melting like a popsicle.

Basics: Underwear, socks, t-shirts, and other essentials. You know, the stuff you wear every day but somehow always forget when you’re packing.

Formal wear: Unless you plan on crashing a red carpet event or attending a fancy gala, leave the ball gown at home. But if you do, make sure to take lots of pictures and tag me on Instagram!

Outerwear: Jackets, coats, and sweaters to keep you warm and stylish. Because hypothermia is not a good look.

Athletic wear: For all you active adventure junkies out there. Because hiking a mountain in heels is not advised. Trust me on this one.


Toothbrush and toothpaste: Dental hygiene is important, my friend. No one wants to smell your morning breath or see your food stuck in your teeth.

Shampoo, conditioner, and soap: Personal care items because you’re not an animal. Unless you are, in which case you do you.

Deodorant: In case you don’t want to smell like a sweaty armpit. We’re aiming for “fresh and fabulous” here.

Razors and shaving cream: Unless you’re going for the “au naturel” look, take these to keep yourself groomed and smooth. No judgment if you rock the bush, though.

Medications: Bring a sufficient supply. No one wants to end up in a foreign hospital with a questionable doctor prescribing you mystery pills.


Passport/ID: Essential for identification. Otherwise, you might end up as an international spy with multiple identities. Actually, that sounds kinda cool.

Visas and permits: Don’t risk getting kicked out of a country by forgetting these important documents. Unless being forcefully deported is on your bucket list.

Travel insurance: Always a good idea. You never know when a stray coconut might come flying at your head.

Health insurance card: In case of medical emergencies. Because getting stuck with a massive hospital bill is not exactly the souvenir you want to bring home.

Important contacts: Emergency contacts and essential numbers, like the pizza delivery guy back home.


Laptop and charger: For work or entertainment. Because who needs a vacation when you can work remotely from a tropical paradise? sigh

Phone and charger: Essential for communication. Also, how else are you going to document every moment of your amazing journey and make everyone jealous on social media?

Adapters and converters: Because electricity can be a fickle friend. Don’t let it ruin your selfies.

Camera or Decent Mobile Phone for Pics: Capture memories. Or blackmail material. Either way, it’s good to have.

Travel Gear

Backpack or suitcase: Choose based on your travel style. Backp acking through the wilderness or rolling your suitcase through airport terminals? You do you, girl.

Travel pillow: For comfort during long journeys. Because sleeping in a cramped airplane seat is pure torture without it.

Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated and save the planet one sip at a time. Plus, it doubles as a weapon against creepy strangers. Safety first!

Power bank: Keep your devices charged. Because taking selfies and posting on Instagram is more important than food or water. Priorities, right?

Travel-sized laundry detergent: Wash clothes on the go. No judgment if you’re not into the whole “sweating through your clothes for weeks on end” thing. Fresh laundry is a beautiful thing.

Kitchen Essentials

Reusable utensils: Because eating with your hands gets old real fast. Plus, you’re not auditioning for a role in “Game of Thrones.”

Tupperware: Useful for storing leftovers. Even solo travelers can experience food comas.

Travel mug: For hot or cold beverages. Because we all need our caffeine fix, even on the go.


Notepad and pen: Take notes or jot down important information. Also great for doodling during long bus rides or boring museum tours.

Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun. And they make you look cool. Trust me, I’m an expert in coolness.

First aid kit: Basic medical supplies. Because you never know when you’ll slip, fall, or spontaneously combust. Safety is sexy.

Flashlight: Handy in case of power outages. Also great for impromptu games of flashlight tag or daring midnight adventures.

Hobbies and Entertainment

Books or e-reader: For leisure reading. Time to catch up on all those books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t because life got in the way. cough

Sketchbook or journal: Express your creativity or document your journey. Because sometimes words just aren’t enough to capture the beauty of your boundless adventures.


Musical instrument: If you play and it’s portable. Ready to serenade strangers on park benches or annoy your hostel mates? Go for it, rockstar!

Travel Documents:

  • Passport: Essential for international travel.

  • Copies of Passport: At least three, in case of loss or theft.

  • Birth Certificate Copies: Useful for identification or in emergencies.

  • Visa Photos: At least ten passport-sized photos for visa applications or extensions.

Cash and Cards:

  • Local Currency: Some cash on hand for immediate expenses.

  • ATM/Debit/Credit Cards: For withdrawing money and making payments.

Health and Hygiene:

  • Listerine Strips: Freshen breath in humid climates.

  • Cough Drops: Useful in high humidity areas.

  • Wet Wipes: For quick clean-ups and hygiene on the go.

  • First Aid Kit: Basic medical supplies for minor injuries or illnesses.

Hydration and Comfort:

  • Camelbak or Water Bottle: Stay hydrated, especially during hikes.

  • Travel Pillow: Inflatable pillow for comfort on long flights or bus rides.

Protection and Convenience:

  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun.

  • Reusable Utensils: For meals on the go or reducing plastic waste.

  • Tupperware: Store leftovers or snacks.


  • Portable Phone Charger: Ensure your phone stays charged on the go.

  • Electrical Travel Adapter: Necessary for different plug types in various countries.

  • Power Bank: Keep devices charged during long outings.


  • Notepad and Pen: Jot down important information, notes, or diary entries.


  • Emergency Contacts List: Include essential numbers like family, friends, and local emergency services.

  • Flashlight: Handy during power outages or night-time excursions.

Travel Gear:

  • Reusable Shopping Bag: For groceries or carrying items around.

  • Small Sewing Kit: For quick clothing repairs.

  • Laundry Bag: To separate dirty clothes from clean ones.

Travel packing tips for a year may not be so easy, but by mastering the art of packing, you can focus on more exciting challenges, like deciding which rum to sip on your tropical adventures. Check out our travel shop for exciting offers on travel products

Thanks for visiting, and remember: Travel Till You Drop

FAQ for “Light And Right – Travel Packing Tips”

  1. What are the most common packing mistakes for long-term travel?

    • Overpacking clothing, especially items you rarely wear.

    • Bringing too many shoes.

    • Carrying unnecessary electronics or gadgets.

    • Forgetting essential documents or travel adapters.

  2. How can I avoid extra baggage fees on budget airlines?

    • Pack only essentials and use a carry-on bag.

    • Weigh your luggage before leaving for the airport.

    • Wear heavier items, like jeans and jackets, during travel.

    • Check the airline’s baggage policy beforehand.

  3. What are some tips for packing clothes for tropical destinations?

    • Limit to 3 dresses, 5 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts/tank-tops, and 1 pair of jeans.

    • Bring minimal socks as you’ll mostly wear sandals.

    • Pack light and breathable fabrics.

    • Avoid packing too many accessories; buy them locally if needed.

  4. What are essential toiletries to pack?

    • Small containers of shampoo, conditioner, and soap.

    • Toothbrush and toothpaste.

    • Minimal makeup and personal care items that withstand heat.

    • Deodorant and wet wipes.

  5. How should I handle packing and shipping items home from abroad?

    • Always carry your passport or a photo of it for identification at the post office.

    • Bring cash, as many post offices don’t accept cards.

    • Prepare for possible inspections of your packages.

  6. What documents are crucial for international travel?

    • Passport and several copies of it.

    • Visas and necessary permits.

    • Travel and health insurance cards.

    • Emergency contacts and important numbers.

  7. What electronics should I pack?

    • Phone and charger.

    • Laptop and charger if needed.

    • Electrical travel adapter.

    • Portable phone charger.

  8. What miscellaneous items are handy for long-term travel?

    • Inflatable travel pillow.

    • Reusable water bottle and utensils.

    • Small first aid kit.

    • Travel-sized laundry detergent.

    • Notepad and pen for notes.

  9. What should I consider for money management abroad?

    • Keep most of your cash in the bank; withdraw local currency from ATMs as needed.

    • Carry some cash for immediate expenses and places that don’t accept cards.

  10. What are the benefits of packing light?

    • Avoiding baggage fees and hassle at airports.

    • Easier mobility and less strain carrying luggage.

    • More room for souvenirs and purchases made during the trip.

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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