We asked travel bloggers specialising in different types of travel what are the things you absolutely need to pack and what you can best leave at home. Find out why jeans form the best travel outfit, why a foodie needs portable chopsticks, and why towels don’t deserve to take up valuable luggage space.

If you’re an adventurer…

Indispensable: GoPro
Sebastian Canaves of Off The Path says: “It is the only camera I can go climbing, rafting and even skydiving with – making it possible to capture my greatest moments when travelling and share them with others!”

Waste Of Space: Towels
“A lot of people pack at least one (microfibre) towel, sometimes even two, which take up a lot of space in their luggage. In most hotels, hostels and apartments – and even in campervans – you are provided with fresh towels, so there really is no need to carry a towel with you all the time.”

Sebastian Canaves is a full-time traveller and adventure addict who has lived in more than 10 countries and travelled to almost 100. On his blog, Off The Path, he shares his best tips and greatest stories to inspire others to leave their comfort zones and start travelling.

If you’re a foodie…

Essential: Portable Chopsticks
Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads says: “I always pack portable chopsticks with me when I travel. I eat a lot of street food, and occasionally what can get you sick is not the food itself, but the cutlery or dishes that are washed in contaminated water, or not washed enough. If the wooden chopsticks I see at a stall aren’t up to my standards, I’ll just pull out my own. It gets me some strange looks but it’s definitely worth it for my stomach.”

Forget About: Every Medicine Known To Man
“Of course, it’s important to bring prescription medicines that you need as a matter of course, but in most countries in the world, the general antibiotics and first-aid kit items are available cheaply and plentifully. Bring your basics – a Z-pak, antibiotic cream, Band-Aids, etc. – but you can buy most of what you need as you travel instead of bringing 4 backups of everything.”

Jodi Ettenberg worked as a lawyer in New York for 5 years before becoming a full-time world explorer since April 2008. Her website Legal Nomads tells the stories of places she visits, often through food.

If luxury travel is your thing…

Must-Pack: Jump Rope
Jean Carmela Lim of Holy Smithereens says: “I always take a jump rope and my gym gear with me. I need to counterbalance the indulgences I consume when I travel! Not to mention that frequent travelling can take a toll on your health. The jump rope is portable and can give you a good workout in your hotel room. No more excuses!”

No Need: Heavy-Duty Camera Gear
“Unless you are a professional photographer or blogger, you don’t really need DSLRs, especially when travelling. Point-and-shoot cameras take just as good photos nowadays. I often see travellers so bent on perfectly capturing moments on their cameras, that they completely miss out on the special moment itself.”

Based in Australia, Jean Carmela Lim is the voice behind the luxury travel blog Holy Smithereens. She has a passion for hotels, resorts, customer service and island destinations.

If you travel with kids…

Always: Ziplock Bags
Erin Bender of Travel with Bender says: “Never leave home without ziplock bags! They are great for bathroom products to avoid spilling, to carry around food snacks, to put in wet items or dirty clothes and so much more.”

Not Needed: Towels
“Bring a lightweight sarong. They have multiple uses, including drying your wee ones. Towels add weight and are rarely used.”

Erin has been travelling with her husband and two children since May 2012 on an open-ended, unplanned, round-the-world trip discovering amazing places for families. You can find unique family travel insights at her award-winning travel blog,

If you’re a weekend warrior…

Must-Have: Jeans
Monica Stott of The Travel Hack says: “I like to pack light for a weekend away, so I take just a small bag. I pack one pair of jeans and fill my luggage with different tops and accessories. Jeans are easy to dress up or dress down, they’re really comfy, and stylish enough to fit in during most travel situations. Also it’s one of those items people don’t really pay attention to – so no one will notice if you’re wearing them for three days in a row!”

No-No: More Than Two Pair Of Shoes
“Shoes are heavy and bulky, so I always avoid taking any more than two pairs. If I can get away with it, I’ll just take one pair. Leather ankle boots usually work well for city breaks, or flip flops or sandals for warmer climates.”

Monica Stott began The Travel Hack in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She’s now a professional blogger and has travelled the world in search of stylish adventure travel. As a young mum, she is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible.

If you’re a city traveller…

Always Bring: A Scarf
Pola Henderson of Jetting Around says: “I never travel without a large, lightweight scarf (or three). It doesn’t take up much luggage space, it keeps you warm on planes, and it’s is a stylish accessory when you’re out and about. At times it can be used as a blanket (for picnics in the park or outdoor concerts) or a towel if you get caught in the rain. So versatile!”

No Way: Leggings
“I’ve been ‘guilty’ before! But please leave your leggings at home: there are other items that are comfortable, from jeans to traveller pants, and you won’t feel underdressed if you happen upon a hip café or bar.”

Pola Henderson is the founder of Jetting Around, a blog dedicated to city travel. Pola grew up in Krakow, has lived in North Africa, and is currently splitting time between Chicago and Paris. In addition to writing, she hosts a weekly city travel discussion on Twitter called #JAchat and international networking events for travellers, JA Café: Travel Talk Over Coffee.

If you’re an eco-traveller…

Yes To: A Reusable Water Bottle
Linda McCormick of Eco Traveller Guide says: “Water is one thing we simply can’t do without, no matter what part of the world we’re exploring, yet it is incredibly difficult to find water available in anything but single-use plastic bottles, which are proving to be a real blight on the environment. Investing in a reusable bottle is an easy step to take towards being more sustainable – you just need to remember to not leave it behind. Note: If anyone is trekking the Larapinta trail soon, could you lookout for my steel Cheeki water bottle on the Finke River track? I really liked that one!”

Overrated: Solar Chargers
“This might be a controversial answer. While they are absolutely fantastic in some settings, if you’re travelling through destinations that will rarely see you far from a plug socket, carrying a solar backpack or charger is verging on useless. Even when you are in some far-flung place and a solar charger seems like a good idea, they take forever to charge and then only deliver a small burst of energy. I’d say you’d need to really shop around and test each charger to find one that works really well.”

Linda McCormick is an Northern Ireland-born, Australian-based freelance journalist and travel writer. Aware of the negative impacts of globetrotting and the importance of sustainable and responsible travel, she shares her passion for the natural world and eco travel in her writing.

If you’re on a budget…

Good Idea: Pop-Up Laundry Basket
Shereen Rayle of Shereen Travels Cheap says: “I’m always packing as light as possible to avoid baggage fees. Taking just a few clothing items, you probably have to do laundry a couple of times while you’re on the road. I always carry a mesh pop-up laundry basket that doubles as a hamper. It has pockets for quarters and laundry soap and has heavy-duty handles for heavy loads.”

Leave At Home: Umbrella
“An umbrella takes up way too much space! I’d suggest a lightweight packable jacket instead: it prevents you from getting wet and keeps you warm.”

Shereen Rayle is an avid budget traveller whose aim is to show people that they can travel the world for less without sacrificing comfort or fun.

Article by Irene de Vette

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