Somehow, no matter how much I travel and how light I pack, I always end up with something I never ended up using.
Often, the item that’s indispensable on one trip ends up being totally unnecessary on another. Other times it’s a product of hope — the adventure that didn’t materialize or the unexpected weather.
To help us avoid lugging around things we don’t need, I polled a group of women travelers and got well over 100 responses. Here are the takeaways:
Things people packed and never used
A go pro for the vlogging I didn’t do.
A fancy camera because I just took pictures on my phone.
Books because why read on a flight when you can watch movies?
A notebook for the journal I was totally going to keep.
A she-wee just in case the toilet was too horrifying to hover or squat.
Clothes & accessories
Workout clothes and a yoga mat because I had good intentions.
Makeup and nail polish because who cares?
High heels and a formal dress for the fancy night out that never happened.
Sneakers when it ended up raining and snowing the whole time.
Rain pants because it never rained.
Clothes I’d never worn before at home but was totally going to wear on vacation.
Either indispensable or dead weight, depending on your luck
Earplugs because airplanes and hostels.
Condoms because you never know.
My laptop and ipad because I didn’t work the whole time and can do everything I need on my phone.
An ethernet adapter in case the wifi sucks and I have work to do.
A neck pillow for the flight.
A silk sleep sack in case the sheets weren’t clean or I got cold on the flight.
A portable charger for my cell phone.
A first aid kit I never ended up needing, luckily.