Travelwise

What not to pack

 

The New York Times

If you want to travel light, it’s not merely what you pack that matters — it’s what you don’t pack.

Yet you need not be a minimalist with featherweight shirts and quick-drying underwear to be a carry-on-only flier. The key is knowing what you can buy at or have delivered to your destination.

Below are 10 items to keep out of your bag.

• Beach toys, sporting goods and so on: Let’s say you’ve rented a beach house. If the owners don’t have gear you can borrow, consider free services like Pick Up Today from Wal-Mart. You can buy what you need on Walmart.com and select a store and a pickup time before leaving home.

Don’t want to waste vacation time at a big-box store? Outsource your shopping. Should you be visiting the San Francisco Bay Area; San Jose, California; Chicago; Dallas; or New York City, you can try eBay Now. Using Ebay.com/now or the eBay Now app, you can buy items from hundreds of retailers, and in about one to two hours a messenger will deliver your order to your door. The service is $5 an order, and you must shop one retailer at a time. Another option is to hire someone to shop for you through a site like TaskRabbit.com.

At the end of your vacation, you (or someone you hire on TaskRabbit) can send everything home via UPS or donate it to charity.

• Gym gear: Increasingly, chains — Westin Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and some Four Seasons hotels — are lending guests gym clothes and running shoes.

• Toiletries: If you enjoy experimenting with new grooming products, your trip is a perfect opportunity. Beauty industry veterans flock to drugstores in cities such as Tokyo, Berlin and Paris for elixirs, makeup and hair accessories. I travel with almost no products and an empty TSA-approved quart-size plastic bag to take home finds.

• Neck Pillow: Save space by using an inflatable version.

• Hair dryer: Plenty of hotels and home rentals offer hair dryers. If yours doesn’t, buy one at a local drugstore and, if you’re in a foreign country, you won’t have to use a converter.

• Underwear: Some swear by quick-drying undergarments like ExOfficio Give-N-Go travel underwear so that they can pack just one or two pairs and wash them again and again.

• Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Buy it when you arrive.

• Umbrella: Many hotels and home-swap owners will lend you one.

• Towels: If you’re renting a house and don’t want to shop for towels while on vacation, buy them online and ship them in advance of your trip. Afterward, leave them for the next guests or donate them.

• Gadgets: Bring only what you know you’ll use, like smartphones, tablets and chargers. Or better yet: put down your electronic devices and enjoy your vacation.

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