Not needed



David Whitley takes a look at the commonly-packed things you really don’t need to take with you on a round the world trip


Most packing advice concentrates on the things you do need to pack, but just as important is what you leave out. If you’re planning to travel the world for a few months, then a bit of expediency on the packing front is going to save you a fair bit of back pain and stress in the long run. So here are a few things that should definitely stay at home…


The thick woolly jumper

Unless you’re planning to go somewhere really, really cold, a thick jumper is always going to be a burden on the backpack. It’s one of those things you pack “just in case” and, as with most “just in case” items it’ll be used infrequently if not at all. If you end up going somewhere cold, you can just buy a cheap jumper or fleece while there and ditch it later.


Beach towels

One towel can take up a bit too much room, but taking two – an extra, large one for the beach as well – is just madness. Again, beach towels are far better bought whilst on the ground if you need one. If you’re travelling around beachy areas for a while, you’ll probably want one. Fine – buy a cheap one locally and keep it in a plastic bag whilst travelling around by local transport. But the moment you have to get on a plane, it’s probably time to ditch it.


Travel pillows

There is some merit in having an inflatable travel pillow that you can blow up each time you’re on a flight or a coach, but only if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on planes and coaches. As for the fluffy pillows that aren’t inflatable? Well, they’re going to be nothing but a complete nuisance. You’ll be sick of the sight – and shape – of it within a fortnight, as they’re incredible difficult to pack around.


Soft toys

So you’ve brought a stuffed tiger or a teddy along so you can take photos of it in a series of weird and wonderful locations around the world. Brilliant! There’s absolutely no way that joke is going to wear thin after weeks of trying to shoehorn it into your bag, and lumbering up mountains with it in your hand, just for that photo op. Alas, the gag has been done many, many times before – the toy is best left at home.


Your guitar

No-one, and I mean no-one, wants to hear your version of Wonderwall. Got it?