Travel Packing Un-Checklist

Travel Packing ChecklistBefore backpacking through Europe several years ago, instead of making the usual travel packing checklist, I made the following list of things not to pack:

  • Books: No. Am I really traveling halfway across the planet to read my Corporate Communications book? I hope I won’t even have time to sleep at night, let alone to read in the middle of the day.
  • Pre-packed food: No. Am I really traveling to Paris to eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches out of of my bookbag?
  • Blanket: No. If the beds are so sketchy that I need my own blanket, I might as well bring my own mattress as well.
  • Binoculars: No. I didn’t travel 8,000 miles to look at the Acropolis from afar. Get up close and personal.
  • Traveler’s Checks: Hell no. I’m more likely to find a store in another country to accept US food stamps than traveler’s checks. The exchange rates aren’t exact either. A bank or an ATM gives the best exchange rate at the lowest fee.
  • First Aid Kit: Not a fully decked-out one. The case alone eats up space, and I’m probably not going to get the chance to break out my pimped-out snake-bite kit at the Eiffel Tower. A few band aids, Icy Hot, Pepto Bismol pills (sometimes, 3 fl. ounces just aren’t enough), and Advil, preferably in a bag rather than a bottle to save space.
    It's called a backpack, not a full body pack

    It’s called a backpack, not a full-body pack

  • Sandals: No.
  • Dressy Shoes: Hell no. Seriously? B-A-C-K-P-A-C-K-I-N-G.
  • Guide Book: No: The ultimate 10-pound 500-page tourist label.
  • Road Maps: No again. Airports, train stations, tourist kiosks at every major city in Europe have free tourist maps. I print a sheet of paper with travel phrases on one side, and a basic city map from Lonely Planet on the other. Or using Google Maps on my iPhone works even without a WiFi connection.
  • Brimmed Hat/Visor: No. Might as well write “Tourist” on a welcome sticker and walk around with it on my forehead.
  • Travel Iron: No. Unless I’m traveling for business and need to wear a suit, why the hell am I wearing a suit to a youth hostel?
  • Dental Floss: No. If going without dental floss is your idea roughing it, backpacking may not be your thing.

2 Responses to Travel Packing Un-Checklist

  1. Terri says:

    Your gums will never forgive you.

  2. Gwen Grybauskas says:

    Except for the last one, it is a good uncheck list. Only floss the teeth you want to keep! I agree with Terri.

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