When you've decided to get a world trip you know a bit about what you definitely want to pack in your backpack. But what is really useless? That's why I thought that a list of 10x useless luggage in your backpack will probably help you more. After the necessary travel experience, I can say with certainty that you really don't have to pack the list below. Save you the hassle, money and extra space!
Also read: These 6 tips will make your next flight more comfortable
Table of contents
1. Mosquito net
I see this question quite often in backpacking groups: 'Is it necessary to bring a mosquito net when backpacking?' The answer is: NO. Absolutely not. You will find air conditioning in most accommodations these days & even the cheapest hostels have it. Then a mosquito net of course grease is unnecessary. In situations where you do need a mosquito net, for example when you are in a cabin in nature is sleeping, that mosquito net is in 9 out of 10 cases ready for you.
2. Sleeping bag / sheet bag
I've seen quite a few backpackers travel with a sheet bag, to 'protect' themselves against bed bugs and especially to be able to crawl under their own blanket. That first one is really a myth among backpackers. A sheet bag is not resistant to bed bugs. Bed bugs are so tiny that they can just crawl through a sheet. Unfortunately, there's really no way to avoid these pesky critters and it's just something you have to deal with when it happens to you. You can also have the idea to take a sleeping bag or sheet bag with you if you ever lie in a less clean bed. What I especially think is a shame is when this only occurs once a month. After all, you carry that sleeping bag with you every day. And I'm mainly talking about the space that that thing takes up.
Also read: Saving for a World Trip in 12 Steps | Full manual + tips
An alternative is to bring a hammam towel. A hammam towel is multifunctional and sometimes served as a 'pillowcase' (because dirty pillow) and sometimes as a blanket. Another option is to just bring a hooded cardigan that you can use as a blanket in such situations. You will probably already take it with you. Oh and of course all this does not apply when you plan to camp. Then take it with you!
3. Compression Bags
There are 2 types of organized backpackers: those who travel with their luggage divided into compression bags (vacuum bags) and those who travel with their luggage divided into packing cubes† I personally don't find those compression bags useful and they certainly belong on the list of useless luggage in your backpack. During travel, it often happens that you have to quickly grab something from your luggage and how annoying is it that you have to remove a plastic bag from your backpack that you then also have to vacuum because it no longer fits. . The entire packing process of your luggage is greatly delayed and all that plastic looks chic. Rather go for a plastic-free luggage!
4. Bath towel
Do you remember to bring a bath towel in case there is no towel in a hostel? Definitely don't. If your reservation does not include a towel, there is always a possibility to rent a towel for a small amount. That small amount is not worth cramming a towel in your luggage every day and taking it to the laundry. A good alternative is to take a small microfibre towel with you, in practice you almost never use it, but it is indispensable when you go on adventurous excursions. You can also use a hammam towel if you need a towel to spend a day on the beach, for example.
Jewelry is useless luggage in your backpack for a few reasons:
- You don't want to risk losing your beloved jewelry.
- When you go to less developed countries, I don't think it's done to walk around with jewelry.
- It's too hot for jewelry.
- They are probably more in your backpack anyway.
- A watch is certainly useless because how nice it is not to have a sense of time during your trip. And the most important:
- You will probably score a handmade bracelet in every country. Don't be surprised that at the end of your trip you have more bracelets on your wrist than you have in total at home. Only then are you a real backpacker
6. White clothes
White clothing definitely belongs on the list of useless luggage in your backpack. Every time I still packed white clothes because it is so airy and just nice, but every time I also had to throw it away after 1x wash.
White clothes just get really dirty from backpacking, sweating, the sunscreen and bug spray. And those stains are in most cases simply impossible to get out. Here in the Netherlands maybe, but the laundry's where you drop off your clothes while backpacking, they don't work. The result is that you quickly have to say goodbye to your white clothing. Which can also be fun because you can then replace the item of clothing with a new one!
7. Cable Lock
During my first backpacking trip I thought I was very smart by taking a cable lock with me. I did have regular locks (which are indispensable in hostels!), but decided to expand it with a cable lock. The thinking behind this was that I was going to use this when sleeping on an overnight bus. In this way I could secure my luggage to significantly reduce the risk of theft. After sleeping on different night buses for 4 months, I still hadn't used the cable lock and decided to 'dump' it early.
It is useful to know that you can leave stuff that you no longer want to take with you in most hostels, so that you can perhaps make another backpacker happy with it.
Make-up is something I never took with me and never regretted it. This really belongs with useless luggage in your backpack! You may think it's nice to wear make-up on a night out, but nothing could be further from the truth. You will find that it is really not necessary to wear makeup and that you may even be looked at strangely if you do wear it. It's too hot and that just doesn't make it pleasant. If you do want to take something with you, choose a waterproof mascara and a labello. You can leave that foundation at home anyway, because after a few days you will automatically get a brown face!
In my opinion, perfume also belongs in this list of useless luggage in your backpack because you probably won't use it much. It takes up space in your toiletry bag and more importantly, the enormous scent dispersion attracts countless insects and that's probably the last thing you want in warm, jungle-like countries!
10. Neck Pillow
I traveled around with a neck pillow for a while, especially for long bus journeys. But I also quickly gave this item away. I have to admit that a neck pillow is very nice during a flight, waiting or during a bus trip. That way you can get some sleep. But outside of these situations, a neck pillow is super annoying. A pillow like this probably won't fit in your backpack anymore.
The majority of backpackers therefore also walk with such a pillow dangling from their backpack. I did that myself, until I realized how filthy that really was. You throw your backpack everywhere and then you don't take that cushion off every time. If you hold it loose then you walk with a backpack, a daypack and a cushion. Too much if you ask me. Swap such a neck pillow for a cardigan or sweater that you already have in your backpack and use it as a pillow. If you really don't think you can do without it, opt for an inflatable. Less comfortable, but much more practical. And in the end, as a backpacker, you always go for practicality!
What else do you pack for a world trip? Read the blog about what to bring and what not to bring.
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