February 1, 2016

How I Travel: 6 Items I Won't Buy

Travelers and tourists are always swearing up and down about all the things we must buy before embarking on that long-awaited and forever-been-planning trip.

Most of the time, it's just a marketing ploy for our money.

I've talked before about what I pack for my trips. It would seem that it would then be obvious what I do not pack, but every traveler is bombarded with way too many ideas on what they should stuff into their bag. Plus, one of the reasons my travels are so affordable is because my budget doesn't include travel accessory purchases before, during, or after the journey.

Read: How I Travel: What to Pack?

Fact of the matter is, if I don't use some random accessory in my daily life, I probably won't need it on my vacation. The other truth to hold onto is I don't need new stuff every time I go on a trip; my "old" stuff (from just six months ago) will do just fine.

6 Travel Items I Won't Buy

1. Money belt
I'm a hardcore Rick Steves fan, but he was really just playing into American fears when he started insisting that a jazzy beige money belt was a necessary travel accessory. Does it work? Yes. But so do my free jacket zipper pockets, and they don't make me appear to have a lumpy midsection.

2. Selfie stick
I admit, some selfie stick photos are epic. However, I've got wonderfully long selfie stick arms. If I really can't pull off the photo I want with those, then maybe I'll just have to go out on another limb and ask a stranger to take the photo. Chances are, there will be some tourist families loitering around anyway, and a parent is unlikely to steal your phone in front of their children.

3. Smart touch gloves
I know that smart touch gloves work, but they are not for me. I prefer fingerless gloves, anyway. If you must be tapping your touch device the whole time you're on vacation, maybe you should re-evaluate why you've gone on vacation. Use the gloves you already have and deal with the two-second inconvenience of taking your glove off before engaging your electronics.

4. GoPro
Again, GoPro produces some incredible stuff. But I don't scuba dive, sky dive, ski, cliff jump, or anything else really extreme. If you are an extreme adventure junkie, GoPro is for your brand of crazy. Most travelers will tend to be like me, though, just wandering around cities, taking funky road trips, and enjoying delicious food. Regular cameras - even phone cameras - work just fine for documenting these low-risk experiences.

5. New shoes
If you love aching arches and blistered toes, take whatever new shoes you like! Travel already takes you out of your comfort zone, and, as my mom has always said, "You are only as good as your feet." We all have more than enough pairs of shoes to choose from, and go with a pair you trust instead of trying to impress the locals who you'll probably never see again.

Read: The Day I Pretended to be Parisian

6. Inside luggage organizers
There's been a huge kick on buying zippered containers for inside a suitcase. While the organize-obsessed me likes the idea of these, they are so unnecessary! Ever heard of plastic bags? They work exactly the same. Or just use several pouch or bag-like containers you already have to separate your essentials. I am a firm believer that, "Organizers do not make you more organized. YOU make you more organized." If you were a disorganized and messy traveler before, you will still be disorganized and messy with zippered containers. The only difference being you'll have less money.

What other travel accessories do you consider gimmicks? What have you bought to travel and never used? Can you add to this list?