Quick Guide: What NOT to Pack

what not to pack

5 Items to Leave out of Your Suitcase

If you’re a regular through the TSA queue, you’re probably up-to-date on the list of items you can’t carry onboard with you. Lighters, liquids more than 3.4 oz., and your trusty pocket knife all get a red “X.” But how about what not to pack in your checked suitcase? Are you familiar with what you can’t – or shouldn’t – pack in your luggage?

To help you prep for your next flight, here are the top 5 items not to stow in your suitcase.

  • Medicine

    One of the biggest rules of travel is to expect the unexpected. That includes flight delays, missed connections, or missing luggage – all of which can keep you from the contents of your suitcases for a few extra hours. And if your medicines are checked in your luggage, you won’t have access to them.

    Maintaining your health is crucial if you want to enjoy your vacay, so make sure you have any essential medication in your carry-on. At the very least, bring a 2-3 day supply with you.

    Your allergies will thank you!

  • All your clothes

    So you finally made it to the beach… but all your swimsuits are still in St. Louis. Yikes! Missing luggage is no fun, especially when you’re ready to change into clean clothes and hit the sights. Try to bring at least one extra outfit in your fave carry-on, just in case.

    If you can’t fit a full change of clothes, at least bring a fresh shirt, socks, and undergarments with you. If nothing else, it might stop you from buying an “I Heart NY” tee from the hotel gift shop (although we kinda secretly crush on those!).

  • Electronics

    Hmmm… we figure most of you will bring your tech gear on board with you, but just in case, this is your official notice. No electronics in checked bags, please.

    Regardless of how “indestructible” the case is, accidents can (and do) happen. Suitcases get dropped, and screens get cracked…. Or worse.

    And while you’re loading your laptop and tablet into your carry-on, go ahead and pack the chargers with them. That way if there’s a delay or you need to be rerouted, you can always juice up at the airport lounge.

  • Important documents

    Sure, you can have mobile versions of pretty much everything you need stored on your phone. But what if there’s zero coverage or your phone reboots at exactly the wrong time?

    A good rule of thumb: if you need it the day you land, bring it with you. That includes itineraries, hard copies of reservations, maps, guidebooks, and anything else you might need that first day or two. This also includes confidential papers and anything with your personal data: social security number and bank or credit card info.

    And if you’re on a work trip, we’ll also include work docs. If you need it for tomorrow’s super-important presentation, keep it with you.

  • Valuables

    Only you know what you consider to be valuable. But in general, if you can’t replace it financially or emotionally, it shouldn’t be packed. Really, it probably shouldn’t be on the trip, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

    Although the chances of your suitcase being lost are incredibly low, you’ll be heartbroken if a family heirloom was packed in a bag that goes missing. So anything you consider valuable should snag a spot on your personal list of what not to pack.

  • Bonus: Anything too heavy or too bulky

    Paying for overweight luggage? No, thank you! Unless you need specialty gear for your vacay, leave the heavy and bulky items at home. Multiple thick books (bring an e-reader instead) are tops on the list of what not to pack.

    Pro Tip: Wear your bulkiest shoes (usually boots or sneakers) on your flight to save room and weight in your suitcase.

When you put together your next packing list, say good-bye to suitcase worries by shipping your luggage to your final destination with LugLess. For less than the average cost of a checked bag, we’ll make sure your suitcase is waiting for you at your Airbnb or hotel.

Ready to get packing? Happy travels!