4. Too Many Shoes
Packing pros can get away with just two pairs, and you can, too. Wear your bulkier shoes on the plane. They should be both practical and versatile: comfortable winter boots with a touch of style are great for sightseeing or a night out. Tennis shoes work well for running around on or off the court. It's best if these shoes are easy to remove at airport security, though, so think slip-ons or those with Velcro or zipper closures. Your second pair can be dressier, though you might want to skip those with sky-high heels or heavy soles.
5. Extraneous Gear
Hotels provide a lot of what you need to feel at home. Often this includes bathrobes, hair dryers and a selection of toiletries. Knowing what's available ahead of time will help you streamline your packing list. If you're staying at a resort in a sunny clime, beach towels, mats and other accessories will be readily available, either through the resort or beach vendors. Unless you're extremely attached to your personal golf clubs, skis, tennis rackets or other sports equipment, plan to rent it on arrival rather than haul it with you. Keep in mind you can always ship your luggage ahead of time (for less than you might think).
6. Bulky Reading Material
Your vacation might not be the best time to fulfill that lifelong goal of reading War and Peace. Magazines, journals, newspapers and cheap — even secondhand — paperbacks are great for plane and train rides. Not only are they affordable and lightweight, along the way you can trade them with other travelers, donate them to an English-language book exchange or simply leave them behind for others to enjoy. If you're a voracious reader, it might be time to go digital. E-reader devices weigh only a few ounces and can store thousands of digitized books and periodicals.
When you travel, sadly, mishaps involving lost luggage and skilled pickpockets are possibilities. When packing for a trip you can avoid tempting fate and streamline your bag by leaving valuable jewelry, clothing and accessories at home. If you have to bring lots of cash or expensive items, be sure to pack them in your carry-on instead of checked bags. And always travel with money in multiple forms: cash, debit cards and credit cards.
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