Although we all eventually get to our destinations, unless you’re a veteran jet-setter, packing for your next trip can be a bit overwhelming. Everyone (including us) is guilty of forgetting that key travel accessory or packing way too much for the trip.
Learn from our mistakes and discover the top five travel accessories everyone gets wrong below.
Is this bag too big for carry-on luggage?
1. Wrong-Sized Luggage
While it may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how often we choose the wrong-sized luggage for our trip. Many of us just grab our biggest suitcase, jam it full of clothes and head off on our trip, typically overpacking in the process.
It’s like cutting a birthday cake with a samurai sword – you could do it, but there are far more appropriate sized tools to use instead. The same applies to luggage. If you’re only having a weekend getaway, bringing a huge suitcase is just going to take up precious space in the car.
Domestic carry-on sizes
Luggage size becomes even more important when travelling on a plane. Typically, the maximum carry-on luggage size for a domestic Australian flight is 56cm (height) x 36cm (width) x 23cm (depth), with a maximum weight of 7kg, although it does differ slightly between airlines.
If you bring a bag larger than these dimensions, you’ll have to pay excess baggage or checked baggage fee – not the best way to start your holiday.
Always check with your airline before selecting your carry-on luggage.
Note: International flights have further size and weight regulations for luggage. For more information, contact your airline.
Travel books offer a wealth of knowledge without needing to scour the internet for answers...
2. Going in Blind to Your Destination
As much as we love a surprise, arriving without a clue in the world about your destination could waste precious holidaying time.
Some attractions, for example, Great Barrier Reef tours, book out days to weeks in advance in peak tourist season. If you were to arrive and not book an activity like this before you left home, you likely wouldn’t be able to do it – potentially spoiling the whole reason for the holiday.
That being said, planning your holiday down to the minute is a bit extreme. Having a general plan for each day is more than enough.
Travel books are your friend
One of the most underrated travel accessories, travel books, are perfect for planning your trip. They have everything from popular things to do, secret spots from locals and even some language lessons for those travelling to foreign countries.
Another bonus is that they are completely offline, meaning that if you don’t have WiFi access where you are, you still have a wealth of information at your fingertips.
No charger means you’ll have to survive off that device's battery for your whole trip…
3. Not Bringing the Right Chargers & Electronics Accessories
Typically, for every electronic device you take on holiday with you, you’ll need to bring a charger for it, for example:
Digital camera battery charger
Other personal electronic devices (watches, handheld games, fitness trackers,etc.)
Most people believe the more devices you bring, the more cords and plugs you have to deal with. Ideally, you’ll want to bring as little electronic devices in the first place, therefore reducing the number of chargers and other gizmos you need.
Reducing the number of accessories you need
If you need to bring all your electronics with you, now is when you have to get smart with your chargers.
Wall chargers that feature multiple outlets or USB points are great when you need to charge multiple devices from the same socket
Travel chargers that come with multiple foreign sockets are perfect for travelling overseas, as it means you don’t have to bring a travel adaptor for every countries you visit
2-in-1 charger cables that come with interchangeable charging adaptors help you cut down on the cords as well
Although wireless chargers are great at home, they are only useful if multiple devices can be charged like this. Best to stick with less bulky cables if your deciding between taking it or not.
If you’re going camping, you’ll need a sleeping bag.
4. Knowing When to Take a Sleeping Bag
Often, the average camper will just grab whatever sleeping bag they have at home and use that. There are big differences between sleeping bags, with the most important one being their temperature rating.
Some sleeping bags are designed for hot summer nights, while others have extra insulation that is meant to keep you warm when camping in the cooler months.
To find which one is right for you, first find the average night temperature for where you are staying at that time of year. Then match that average temperature to a sleeping bag’s temperature range.
If you’re an all-seasons camper, then it’s best to have multiple sleeping bags suited to each season, rather than a ‘universal’ sleeping bag that may be good in spring and autumn, but be not so good in summer and winter.
When don’t you need a sleeping bag
Typically, when staying in more ‘civilised’ accommodation that features a real bed, sleeping bags are not needed. Some accommodation providers such as hotels and hostels even ban sleeping bags, due to the risk of bed bugs that come with less hygienic travellers and their sleeping bags.
Get rid of a plane’s loud, droning engine noise with a pair of headphones.
5. Not Bringing Headphones
There’s a reason why every person who has ever done a long-distance road trip or travelled on a plane suggests taking headphones with you.
They are great at blocking out irritable sounds, such as crying babies, jet engine noise or awful car playlists. It also means that you can listen to your own music, podcasts or audio books without disturbing those around you.
Is noise-cancelling worth it?
We won’t go into the tech-side of noise-cancelling headphones but they are designed to create an inverse soundwave to block out incoming sound. For example, if you were wearing these in a car, the noise-cancelling technology would work to block out the droning engine and road noise.
Typically, noise-cancelling headphones don’t offer as good sound clarity as similarly-priced normal headphones and they aren’t able to block out all noise, such as high-pitched sounds like a baby screaming.
That being said, they excel at low-frequency noise, such as plane engines and road noise, making them ideal for people who need peace and quiet to relax while on a plane or on a road trip.
What Else Does Everyone Forget?
There are a million things we forget to take on our trips, from basic necessities like a water bottle to ruining your international travel plans by forgetting your passport.
When packing, don’t leave it until four hours before your road trip leaves to start packing – try and pack a few days beforehand.
Even better, write down a list of exactly what you need (and not forgetting the items on our list). That way, you’ve got a clear plan of what you own already, and what else you might need to buy before leaving.
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