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What things should you not take on holiday?

Are you guilty of these packing mistakes?

Holiday packing is a fine art, much like calligraphy or maintaining a diet for that beach body, which is why we shared our top airline baggage tips. Yet it can often be harder to know what you don’t need to take on holiday than what you do.

But worry not, dear travellers! We’ve put together a list of the things you don’t need to take on holiday to help you pack like a pro.

Make sure to read on to the end to take our quiz to find out what sort of packer are you.

Do I need to bring my hairdryer on holiday?


Looking like a sci-fi ray gun with a power lead, hairdryers are one of the clunkiest gadgets you could take on holiday. Although you can fork out for smaller ‘travel’ models (that blow with all the vigour of a geriatric cough), over our many years of travel, we’ve found that most hotels will have hairdryers available on request, or might even be in your room already. A much more convenient and cheaper option, freeing up space to splurge on souvenirs in duty free!

Hair straighteners on the other hand, are a must!

PRO TIP: Brushing wet hair with a microfibre brush will help soak up excess moisture.

Do I need to bring a choice of shoes on holiday?


We always recommend being prepared, and packing a pair of shoes for every occasion is good idea when considering what to take on holiday. Packing problems only arise when that pair of shoes becomes two pairs for every occasion, or three, or four.

Chances are, most travellers will only need shoes for the beach, town and nights out. Of course, if you’re planning more adventurous activities then an extra pair of walking boots might be required. Pick neutral colours such as white and black that will go with any outfit and your shoes will go a lot further!

PRO TIP: Remember to wear your bulkiest footwear whilst travelling to save on suitcase space.

Do I need to bring my work on holiday?

Beach Office

Most of us only get one proper getaway a year, and in that short time it can be hard to switch out of work mode. But don’t be tempted to bring half your desk with you to the poolside; holidays are a chance to step away from work and unwind, you can’t do that with one eye on your inbox.

At most, turn your phone on once a day to upload your photos to Facebook and just in case of a critical meltdown in the office, but aside from that the real world can wait for a few days at least.

Treat yo’self!

PRO TIP: If you have to check your phone, if possible use free WIFI instead of burning through your data.

Do I need to bring my best jewellery on holiday?


If holidays are a chance to switch off, then it’s no good worrying that you’ll lose or damage your Tiffany bracelet. For complete peace of mind, think more Claire’s Accessories than Coco Chanel and pick up some cheap costume jewellery.

PRO TIP: Hide jewellery in discrete containers; tuck your earrings in pill boxes and nestle you necklaces in a Kinder Egg capsule!

Do I need to bring all my camera equipment on holiday?

Squirrel Camera

Gone are the days where it took a shoulder-mounted beast to make grainy home movies. Unless you’re a very keen photographer, most smartphones have more than capable cameras and are small enough to catch the perfect holiday snaps in most situations.

PRO TIP: To get an authentic vintage look, splash out on a cheap disposable camera and rock that 90s vibe!

Do I need to bring my entire skincare arsenal on holiday?


If you can help it, leave the cleansing, moisturising and toning for a week or two. As tempting as it is to show off your MAC foundation on holiday, perhaps some facial wipes and suncream will keep you clean and radiant just as well. We think you’re gorgeous au naturale.

If you have to take skincare products for medical reasons, remember that they must be under 100ml and in a clear plastic bag to get through airport security. Read our Airport Tips to find out how to get through security as quickly as possible.

PRO TIP: Opt for healthier meal options and avoid greasy food to keep a clear complexion for longer.

Do I need to bring all my creature comforts on holiday?

Cat Suitcase

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle to get through the day without a strong Earl Grey and a fondant fancy, but there’s no need to bring all your favourites from home on holiday. We think the best way to travel is to fully immerse yourself in the local culture - it’s much better to be a traveller than a tourist.

Travel, much like life, is all about trying new things, so leave the Irn Bru and Marmite at home; they’ll be waiting for you when you get back.

PRO TIP: Keep a notebook to jot down recipes you find, so you can make them at home.

Do I need to bring guidebooks on holiday?

Big Map

We think it’s important to be clued up on your destination, however bringing a library of full sized guidebooks might be a bit much. Most information is readily available online and can be easily accessed on a phone or tablet, very handy if you were planning on taking either anyway.

PRO TIP: Download the HEHA app to help you plan trips together.

Do I need to bring an iron on holiday?


Tightly packed clothes always run the risk of creasing before you’ve even reached your destination. Fortunately, you can leave your cumbersome iron at home as any hotel worth its salt will come with an iron in every room (or even a Corby trouser press if you’re really lucky).

If you’re camping or on a road trip, the best bet is to pack clothes that aren’t prone to creasing. Maybe leaving the dress shirts at home.

PRO TIP: Roll instead of fold - it’s space-saving and prevents creasing.

Do I need to pack a Winter coat on holiday?

winter coat

As much as British weather might make pessimists out of the best of us, you probably won’t need a parka in Athens during August. If you’re planning a ski holiday on an excursion to the Arctic, a bulky coat is a must, but if rain is your biggest worry on your holiday, you’re much better off with a lightweight pac-a-mac that’ll fit in a backpack or handbag.

PRO TIP: If you’re prone to catching a chill on holiday, a thermal underlayer will keep you just as warm and fold up nicely into your luggage.

Now you know what NOT to take on holiday, know how to pack what you SHOULD take by watching our How to Pack Like a Pro guide.

One thing you definitely shouldn’t travel without is insurance. Travel better with Holiday Extras and find out how to get travel insurance from as little as £12.25 for a single trip.

What type of packer are you?

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