Modern humans love a packing list. Maybe it’s down to our natural inclination to believe in the quest narrative: If we’re embarking on a long journey, we want to be prepared along the way—whether it’s with camels and blankets or wet wipes and an extra phone battery.
But I’m beginning to think we’ve been getting the packing lists all wrong. Maybe the trick is not to keep a list of things to pack, but rather, a list of things to never unpack. These are the things that may be easy to find at home, but if you’re caught without them, result in a far grimmer, less comfortable, or monumentally boring flying experience. Or even worse: They’ll mean you spend your first night in your destination trying to find a 24 hour chemist. Don’t be that traveler. Go forth and pack these things—and then never unpack them.