Carpe Diem OUR Way Travel

I Just HAD to Pack it: Travel Bloggers Share the most Useless item they Packed

Travel Bloggers Share the most USELESS item they just HAD TO PACK with them!


travel blog just had to pack

** This is another post in our “What to Pack” Feature, To Read more packing lists and tips click here

Every day I come across things that we “just” might need on our trip.

Yesterday it was a poncho at the dollar store. You cant go wrong with a poncho right?? and YES i bought it. it was a dollar! I will let you know if it makes it in the suitcase!

There are so many decisions when you think about what needs to get done before you begin to travel long term. You can check out my post about what to do before leaving Canada to travel to read about some of them. Packing is a big thing on that list. While i am working on what i THINK i need, I decided to ask some bloggers what was their most useless item, that they just couldn’t seem to leave at home!

But before I tell you what they said, here was my most useless item that i just had to pack.

It was it was in 2011 on our first overseas trip with Matti. He was 10 months old. You defineitly need quite a bit of stuff with an infant, but I just made it a whole lot worse when when I INSISTED on brining my laptop. We had 4 days in London, then took the train to Paris where we spent another 4 day. We then went back to London and picked up a rental car for a week in Peterborough. I just HAD to have my laptop, exclusively to download my photos onto (this was before I was a blogger and my laptop was not very tiny). I had brought my Canon 7D which takes expensive CF cards, not cheap SD cards that I could go out and grab for $10. I was worried that I would take 100 photos of the Eiffel Tower in France and run out of space on my memory cards! Because of this decision, it meant I had to bring a rolling carry-on JUST for my laptop (we did also use the rolling suitcase to pack all of the baby stuff into. But that meant we had 6 rolling items: a stroller, 3 suitcases, one for myself, one for Raimo and one for my mother-in-law, a luggage rack for our car seat and the silly laptop case!

I would have much rather brought a backpack big enough for the laptop (mine was a small daypack and it did not fit in there with my camera, and enough warm clothes for Mattias for wet weather in the spring).

Arnt I CRAZY??? But at least I am not the only one who has brought something useless along on their travels. Here is what some fellow travel bloggers had to say about the most useless item they packed:


travl blog useless item packed

Christa from – My tripod. I always take it but NEVER use it and it’s so bulky! Even with my husband watching our toddler I just don’t have the time to be setting up a tripod anymore for photos. Besides, she never stays still anyway!

”ª Stefan and Sebastien of – Our useless purchase pre travelling was a whistle. We thought it could be useful if ever stuck in a train toilet or stranded at sea as you can whistle out for attention. We’ve since learnt (after travelling on numerous trains and taking many boat trips for snorkelling/scuba diving) that we could have just left this behind…but it does make quite a cool necklace no?

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Micki from – Back in 2003 we traveled to Thailand and Malaysia for the first time. We were worried we wouldn’t be able to find bottled water everywhere, so we took a bulky water filter with us. Turns out, there’s bottled water for sale everywhere. We didn’t use the filter once, but lugged it around in the bottom of our backpack for a full year!


Nicole from… -… I took a suitcase full of bulky ski gear to the Alps even though I knew I wouldn’t be skiing – my 3 year old wasn’t ready to be left on his own. I convinced myself that it was going to be freezing cold there and I’d need multiple layers including salopettes, ski jacket, thermals and fleeces. It was actually really warm in the resort and I spent the days we were there wandering around in my jeans with my heavy suitcase full of expensive gear untouched! (It’s still bagged up at the bottom of a cupboard somewhere)


Melissa from… – a blow up booster seat, a 4 year old’s violin, a microphone to record music…we dropped so much stuff along our way in SE Asia that we came home with two fewer suitcases than we left with.

i just had to pack it carpe diem blog copy

Chelsea from Wine. It’s like I’m worried I’ll get STRANDED somewhere that has no good vino.


Rebecca from I used to way over pack things for my kids to do while traveling – elaborate crafts, games, too many books, toys – so their poor little carry-ons were too heave for them to carry and I ended up carrying them all. It was finally with the 3rd kiddo that I learned they DON’T need a bunch of “things” to occupy their time while traveling – they enjoyed exploring new areas & simply looking out the window more!


Kimberly from – Too many shoes. I used to think that I would change shoes with outfits and occasions and while sometimes I do, the majority of the time I wear my one basic comfy pair.


Jessica from – Running shoes. I mean honestly…working out on vacation? I’m too exhausted from trying to not lose a kid.

Emma from – I took a hairdryer to Menorca… not only were there hairdryers provided in both bathrooms, but the weather was warm enough to dry my hair naturally very quickly anyway. It stayed in the suitcase,

Exploramum does not travel without her tea pot! Check our her post here!I just love it! (and secretly wish I had that set! )

ӻWhat is the most useless item you just HAD to pack and just did not need or really regretted taking along? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Waking Up Wild!

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Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.

29 thoughts on “I Just HAD to Pack it: Travel Bloggers Share the most Useless item they Packed

  1. jennifer

    I am currently in China and just threw out my poncho because when it has rained here, it has RAINED here and the poncho does not cover my suitcase so I had to spring for an umbrella.

    The most useless thing I packed on this trip specific was the wrong outlet converter. I also cannot throw it out because you know, I will need it in the future for the right country. Luckily most places here have US plugs.

    The most useless thing I packed in my past was a straightening iron that didn’t work in any plug in Europe, and the plug didn’t fit into any converter. Converters are clearly an issue with me…

  2. Carolann and Macrae - One Modern Couple

    Haha! great post!
    We’ve been on the rod for almost 10 month now, we brought a bulky head lamp with us and no need for it yet! we went home for 3 weeks for Christmas and left it behind. Also downsized our first aid kit (it was way too big).
    We do carry around a thermal blanket, you know those tinfoil ones? it came in handy once, but hopefully we wont have to use it again!

  3. Will

    There really were some unnecessary things but it doesn’t surprise me at all….less is best as a rule. My most stupid item is probably a 5 kilogram buddha head from Vietnam…My friends bought it as a xmas present and insisted I bring it home…it put ,e over the weight limit but now holds pride of place in my living room!

  4. Natasha Amar

    Hair dryer, extra pair of shades, my own multi-purpose poncho-cum-scarf and what have you, I have way too many things that I neither travel without nor use. Nice to know that I’m not the only one.

  5. Christa

    Love it! In hindsight it seems ridiculous to bring so much stuff but when you’re packing you can justify bringing the kitchen sink! It’s like all reason flies out the window when you’re packing for a vacation!

  6. Dana

    I laughed reading this. We purchased a bunch of maps for our tour of Europe. We used one of them once for teaching the kids and the rest weren’t touched. We use our iphone for everything!

  7. Jennifer

    Love this post!!! I always struggle with what to bring. Now that we travel full-time I constantly worry about how much stuff I have and if I can fit that one more thing. Funny that no matter how small my bags continues to get, there are always things I don’t use. Giving up stuff if a challenge.

  8. Laura Lynch

    I’ve learned to pack less than I think I’ll need after way too many travels where I’ve lugged heavy suitcases full of things I never even used. Packing light is sort of liberating anyway. Why do we need all that stuff!

  9. Inma

    this post is hilarious! A hairdryer? Seriously? hihihihi that could easily be me 10 years back. Thank god I learned how to pack just the essentials now and, although I am travelling with my snowboard, I NEVER EVER EVER check bags when flying again.

  10. Michele TravelwithMrsT

    I used to be extremely guilty of bringing “too many shoes”! I’ve worked on it over the years, and limit myself to two pairs max! (Flip flops don’t count if going to a warm climate–they’re essential for the beach or pool!)

  11. Alice Teacake

    Haha this is freaking hilarious! I’ve been pretty good so far. My house mate walked out with her big teddy bear in her hand luggage to go to Hong Kong yesterday (she’s 23). That’s cuddly toy dedication.

  12. travelling chingrita

    This is such a great post! I have to say that it’s good to know that I’m not the only one that overthinks my packing. My travels are to regions that are relatively warm but I have backup flipflops for my flipflops :I

    Thanks for this entertaining post!

  13. Lucy

    Great post! hanks for sharing not just your experience but other traveller’s as well…you made me laugh!
    well usually I’m good at packing just caring some shoes or running shoes I actually don’t wear ..
    But there is thi huge mistake we’ve made.. the most useless thing we took was the coffee machine for a car on a long roadtrip…to ‘save some time’…we didn’t know how it worked.. here’s the thing: you still need to stop to make coffee if you don’t want to get burned….nice way of saving time. and space.indeed.

  14. Keri

    Our last trip to the states from the UAE with a 20 hour layover in Doha, bubs got sick a few days before so we bought a ‘portable’ ventilator. I didn’t want him unwell during our journey – nothing worse than a stuffed up baby for a flight right?
    It got used precisely zero times during transit despite taking up half the room in a tiny wheelie bag to clothe 5 of us for 2 days. Then arriving in the states, I remembered a converter plug but forgot about different wattage… damn thing didn’t work but didn’t want to throw it out so lugged it all the way back too, never used again to date.

  15. Shelley

    The most incredibly useless (and stupidly expensive) thing(s) that we overpacked – – -snorkel/fin sets – two of them!! Wandered around downtown Sydney, AU the day before a cruise looking for a place to buy them because we were travelling to New Caledonia. We wanted to snorkel & could not determine anywhere on the cruise website if they had rental equipment. Finally found a place (after asking a local), bought two big net bags and packed them for the cruise. And then…………packed them to come home on the flight. My suitcase was overweight (of course!) so there we were in Sydney Airport unpacking our two suitcases and re-arranging things (and then weighing the suitcases 4 x’s) so we would not get charged the over-weight fee. In. Front. Of. Everyone. (facepalm) I stubbornly refused to get rid of them because of the cost. We managed to average the weight out and were only 1/2 over so they let us go. And now! They sit in their bags in our garage as we have not had another opportunity to snorkel. Yep, not my best moment. Oh, the piece de resistance! The cruiseship had rental equipment (argghhh!).

      1. Shelley

        Well, at least I’m a fanatic about putting the tighty-whities in ziplock bags in the suitcase so fortunately I wasn’t tossing those around or have them hanging half-in/half-out. We were great entertainment for the check-in line for about 20 minutes (sigh). Learned my lesson (hah! I think)

  16. Lara

    So true. Even if you make a list you will always end-up with some items you will never use on your trip, especially clothing.

    I also used to carry my 10 lbs pure rubber yoga mat with me in India only to realize that it was so bulky that I had to sacrifice on the amount of gifts I could bring back. Now it stays home 🙂


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