7 "Necessities" You Can Really Live Without When You're Tight On Packing Space

by Kristin Corpuz
Danil Nevsky, Stocksy

Whenever I'm heading on a trip, packing light is a struggle. I always feel the need to bring along that extra set of clothes, shoes, and even sunglasses. Every little extra thing I decide to bring just takes up more space in my bag, making it heavier to lug around and leaving less room for souvenirs. Even though filtering out the things you don't really need seems like it's close to impossible, there are definitely some "necessities" you can live without when you're tight on packing space.

I'm definitely not saying that you should leave your toothbrush and underwear at home — those are actual necessities. But things like shower toiletries and a blow dryer are probably best left behind. They take up too much space, and make your bag heavier than it needs to be. Traveling light is always the way to go — especially when you're heading abroad — because some airlines even restrict the weight of your carry-on.

If you're prone to overpacking like me (I promise I don't judge.), there are ways to minimize how much stuff you bring with you. The next time you're heading out on a big trip, try leaving these things at home so you can make space for other things — like souvenirs and a ton of Polaroid pics to document the memories from your trip.

Shower Toiletries
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Though you might think you absolutely must use the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that you use at home, they aren't really necessities. You can probably get away with using whatever's supplied at your hotel, and worst case scenario, you can always buy travel-sized toiletries at your destination.

A Blow Dryer
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This one might be a given, but you definitely don't need to be lugging your blow dryer around on your travels, even if you own a travel-sized one. Most hotels supply them, and if you're going abroad, chances are that your blow dryer won't be compatible with that country's voltage.

A Fabric Steamer Or Travel-Size Iron
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I'm totally guilty of "needing" my fabric steamer whenever I'm traveling, because my clothes always end up wrinkled in my suitcase, and I want them to look perfect in my travel pics. But there are a few ways to get creative so you can get wrinkle-free clothes without having to lug around your steamer. Leave your clothes hanging in the bathroom while you shower so the steam can work its magic, or use the iron that's provided in most hotel rooms.

Another Pair Of Shoes
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Shoes are without question the one thing that I can't seem to pack less of, no matter how hard I try. (I always need that extra pair, you know?)

The next time you're traveling, try to keep it to the basics. A pair of sandals or flip flops, sneakers, and heels are usually enough to get through any trip. If you're hitting a tropical vacay, you can probably even skip out on the heels and sneaks and just take some sandals (and they're flat so they're easier to pack).

An Extra Jacket
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If you're headed someplace chilly, chances are, you don't really need more than one jacket. Jackets are heavy, and they're way too bulky to have more than one. Instead, opt to just bring one jacket and switch up your look with a couple of fun-colored scarves. And if you wear it on the plane, you don't even have to pack it.


As tempting as it can be to bring a ton of cute PJs on your travels, they take up a lot of space that can be occupied by other clothes that you can wear out. I always recommend bringing one set of sleeping clothes, especially if your trip is pretty short. Worst case scenario, you can wear your travel leggings to bed, and buy a comfy T-shirt from a gift shop.

More Clothes
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For pretty much any traveler, clothes take up the most room in a suitcase. While it's definitely important to bring the clothes you'll absolutely need, don't feel the need to overpack for those "just in case" situations. If you end up needing more clothes toward the end of your trip, or happen to forget a sweater or something, try using Trvl Porter, which is a service that sends chic outfits directly to your hotel or Airbnb.