5 Reasons to Stop Overpacking

Reason Number One: So You Don't Break Your Back

It's the biggest mistake you can make as a traveler: trying to pack for every eventuality and ending up with so much stuff in your backpack you can barely walk from your hostel to the bus station.

Let's face it: overpacking sucks. Here's why. 

  • 01 of 05

    It Hurts Your Back

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    If you're traveling with a backpack, you're going to start regretting packing 20 outfit changes within minutes of stepping outside the door -- not to mention the laptop, the hair straighteners, and the clunky high heels. Remember that you're going to have to carry everything you pack, often for up to an hour at a time. Not only can it be painful, it can be bad for your health, and strain your back muscles.

    Don't think that if you're traveling with a suitcase you won't be immune to physical pain. Dragging a 20 kilogram suitcase up and down steps and over cobbled pavements is a recipe for sore shoulders and aching arms.  

  • 02 of 05

    It Takes Longer to Pack and Unpack

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    When you're carrying far too much in your luggage, it's a struggle to unpack and repack. You'll have more things to sort through, it's harder to find what you're looking for, and you'll have to start packing hours before your flight. If you can half the number of things you're traveling with, you'll gain extra time to explore that exciting new city!

  • 03 of 05

    Climbing Flights of Stairs is Awful

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    Whether you're carrying a backpack or suitcase, walking up and down stairs is going to be tough. Especially if you find yourself in a guesthouse with no elevator, and are handed a key to a room on the 19th floor. Yes, it happened to me and yes, it caused me to start packing light.  

  • 04 of 05

    There Are More Things to Lose

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    It can be tougher to keep track of everything you're traveling with when you're traveling with more things. It's a lot easier to check you have everything when leaving a hotel if all you need to remember is: "laptop, camera, hard drive, money, passport, shoes, two pairs of shorts, five t-shirts, a toiletries bag, and a pair of pants."  

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    You Have to Pay Extra Fees for Luggage

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    I recently visited Boracay, in the Philippines, which has an airport with a short runway. Weight restrictions on luggage are extremely strict. If your checked bag weighs more than 10 kilograms you'll have to pay for every extra kilogram. If you're traveling with 30 kilograms worth of stuff you'll be looking at paying 10 times the cost of the flight, just to get your things on the plane!

    For less extreme scenarios, the case still stands. Budget airlines often don't include a luggage allowance in their fares, forcing you to purchase it based on weight. 

Packing light is one of the best things you can do to ensure your happiness on the road. You'll save money, you'll be more comfortable, and you'll be able to tackle stairs with ease. Remember that you can buy anything you miss from most cities around the world.