Preparing for your annual cross-country jaunt, but the thought of packing that big suitcase is making you want to stay home? If so, it may be time for you to re-think the idea of packing altogether. As it turns out, focusing on what NOT to bring can make the whole process much less painful!

Here are 9 things that you should never bring with you on vacation.

  1. Compression Packing Cubes

    packing cubeAngryJulieMonday via Flickr

    If your BFF is a world traveler, then they have likely tried to convince you that the key to saving precious suitcase space is to invest in a set of pricey compression packing tubes. While we have nothing against these handy items, we know of a hack that works just as well and won’t cost you a dime; all you need is a pair of socks and some basic folding skills…

    Learn this brilliant packing trick for yourself here.

  2. Garment Bag

    suit garment bagJames Hallet via Flickr

    Do you often find yourself boarding a plane with your garment bag in-hand, on your way to an important meeting? While these suit carriers can certainly look professional, they end up lacking space, making it so that business travelers have to carry both this AND a suitcase. Luckily, even a full suit can be folded in a way so that it fits snuggly in your carry-on.

    Learn this clever business suit origami technique here.

  3. Full-Sized Suitcase

    big suitcaseJohn Wright via Flickr

    Unless you are planning a month-long trip, there’s no reason for you to bring along full-sized luggage. Not only can this be a killer on the back, it can also end up costing you a pretty penny, as many airlines charge for checked bags these days!

    Learn how to fit 100 items into your carry-on bag here.

  4. Toiletry Bag

    dopp kitRobert Sheie via Wikipedia Commons

    …or “Dopp Kit”, if you’re fancy! While these may be travel staples, it turns out that many don’t come in shapes that are optimal for packing. That’s why we think you should make your own completely customizable toiletry bag. Not only is this a super easy DIY to complete, the outside also serves as a handy towel.

    Learn how to make your own washcloth travel kit here.

  5. Snacks

    snacksGinny via Flickr

    Now, we aren’t talking about those requisite emergency granola bars—always bring those guys! What we are focused on is something more elusive—the “banned snack”. If you’re flying, there are quite a few surprising foods you can’t bring through security.

    Learn more about which common snacks have been banned by the TSA here.

  6. Big Winter Coat

    puffy coatsJames Loesch via Flickr

    While traveling to a chilly climate definitely calls for ultra-warm, durable clothing options, there’s no need to bring along your 10-pound winter jacket. These days, practically every major outdoor brand is making lightweight or light-down winter coats, some of which are rated for sub-zero conditions.

    These jackets are often completely waterproof and can be rolled up into a small ball for easy packing. It may be a bit of an investment, but we think the extra space will be well worth the extra cost!

  7. Car Seat

    car seatWiegand Family via Flickr

    You wouldn’t believe it, but there are quite a few airlines out there who provide complimentary baby cradles for passengers who have purchased an extra seat for their child. In addition, all major rental car companies have car seats available for daily or weekly rentals. It’s a great option, especially for families who have complex travel itineraries.

    Learn more about the special baby cradle airline program here.

  8. Daily Outfits

    Packing suitcaseAlexey Stiop

    With the exception of those who are visiting very hot or humid climates, there’s really no reason for travelers to bring along a new outfit for every day of the trip. For example, jeans, pants, and skirts can be worn at least twice, along with jackets, coats, and mixed-blend shirts. If you’re worried about your clothing not smelling fresh, pack along a homemade dryer bag!

    Learn how to make your very own dryer bag here.

  9. Entire Makeup Bag

    badhabit makeupManera via Deposit Photos

    Sure, everyone wants to look their best while on vacation, but it doesn’t mean that you need to bring every red lipstick you own with you either! Instead, pack only the makeup you use for “everyday” purposes, with an extra color here or there for a night out on the town. You won’t believe how much lighter your purse will feel!

Now that you know which items are better left at home, we’d like to hear from you! Have you ever been guilty of packing any of the things on the list? Are there any items that we forgot? What are your “must-have” belongings?