When you are deciding what to pack for your bag you might browse around online or go into a travel gear store and find some interesting travel specific items. Some of these items are quite useful while some of them will just take up weight and room in your bag. This is a list of 5 travel items you probably dont need and should try to avoid when deciding what to pack.
1. Travel Clothesline
One of the first things that you might find is something called a ‘travel clothesline’. I have the item shown on the left, its called the gruntline. As the name may or may not suggest this is a wilderness backpacking specific clothes line. I bought it thinking that I would surely need something like this while travelling around. Especially since I wash my clothes regularly while I’m on the road. Unfortunately though, unless you are actually in the wilderness, you’ll find it hard to find a place to attach this to anything. Maybe the ends of a hostel bed, but who wants wet clothes dripping on their bed? Maybe in the bathroom but the tension is quite strong in the cord, you might pull that pipe out.
2. Sleeping Bag Liner
The next item you dont specifically need is the sleeping bag liner. These are generally marketed towards people in hostels. They say some hostels wont let you stay in the beds unless you have a sleeping bag liner. This maybe true of some hostels but I have never come across this. Even in those hostels, they will often waiver the need for one if you pay a bit extra. I carried one of these around with me and used it a few times as a light blanked when I was sleeping in an air-conditioned room. A better alternative is to use your pocket or travel towel instead of buying this.
3. Money Belt
Money belts are something I will talk about a bit more in another post but they aren’t completely necessary. In fact I have one and now use it as a way to sort money and coins in my backpack rather than wearing it around. Wearing a money belt might seem like a good idea and a good way to keep money safe while travelling but in reality it puts all your valuables and money in one place and is easy to spot under shirts. It also makes you stand out as a tourist and is difficult to discreetly access.
4. Eye Mask
I bought this eye mask thinking I would need it. Its marketed as super light weight and surely that would be a great addition to my bag I though. Well in the past couple of trips that I’ve taken I found that I wasn’t using it. I more often went for an alternative approach. When I was sleeping in an airport recently, rather than dig into my bag and grab the eye mask I simply used the sleeve of my jacket to cover my eyes. I now suggest using a merino wool buff to cover your eyes.
5. Neck Pillow
This is probably the most common travel item you’ll see. While some people need this and cant travel without it, I have personally travelled a lot without ever using one. They are quite bulky and certainly not one bag friendly. Sure there are inflatable options out there but if you’re trying to pack lighter and more multipurpose then I suggest using a dry bag. A dry bag can catch air and be sealed shut and used as a makeshift pillow.