If you're new or akin to the age old art of traveling, then you may or may not have an idea of what or what not to pack. If you are of the former (a newbie), then this list may serve you well and good for your first trip abroad. If you are the latter (a seasoned traveler), then perhaps I can help make your next holiday less cluttered. Either way, it's best not to take this list too seriously as I've been known to spice things up with sprinkles of sarcasm.
LapBrick Computer: Unless you've got that Air notebook or a crazy 3-inch netbook, it's probably best to leave the laptop at home. With all the accessories these daysÃ¢ÂÂfrom exterior CD/DVD players, drop cords, wireless mouse and firewiresÃ¢ÂÂwhat was five or six pounds suddenly turns into twenty. With all the Internet cafÃÂ©s around the corner these days, you really don't need to lug a lapbrick on your back just for emails or Facebook. "But I've got to download my photos," from the winy voice in the back. "No you don't. Cameras come with like 500 gig of memory. Save them for later." Ah, this brings me to my next traveler faux pas.
BBC Camera: Unless you do, in fact, work for BBC, you DO NOT need a twelve pound, $4,000 dollar camera. Let's face it, making money is near impossible: The Internet Stock Photography sites on the web are now overrun with photographer wannabes: How many angles of the pyramids do we need anyway? That twelve pounder is best left at home. Rather, buy a hundred dollar 10-megapixel snap&shoot and save your family and friends the burden of you setting up shop for every single little alleyway or landscape. Plus, you'll have more room for all those cool souvenirs (and $3,900 dollars to spare).
Guidebook Library: Unless you've got a year to spare for the RTW trip, most of us have some idea of what country (even what region and cities) we will visit when going overseas. Repeat after me: "I do not need five different copies of the same country guidebook." Here's an idea: Rather than even bring one guidebook, photocopy the pages you'll need and bring this "packet" rather than that "book" with you. Most guidebooks cover an entire country. Why bring this when all you need is one county? If you're on a whim, however, it may be wise to bring the whole book. This tremors from my lips: "What's a little extra weight anyway, right?"
Blackberry/iPhone: You know what I'm getting at here. Nuff said.
Blowdryer: You're either staying in a hotel that has these or not. This means your either a traveler that can afford the "nicer" hotels, so your hair may matter. Or, it means you're the traveler who can't, where looks may be secondary to other matters. Some blow dry, others air dryÃ¢ÂÂaccept it! Don't try to be a yuppie traveler and bring your blowdryer to the econo-hostelÃ¢ÂÂair dry and fit in!
Titillating Toys: You never know where you or someone else will open up your luggage. Plus, you never know what may fall out. Keep the gizmos in the dresser or nightstand back home.
Bulky Towel: Again, What kind of traveler are you? Your hotels with either have towels or it won't. If not, bring a sarong or one of those Qwik-Dri chamois things.