Uncomfortable shoes

Even if you love the design, if a pair of shoes make your feet ache or make it difficult to walk on uneven surfaces, then leave them at home.

Those shoes may look fabulous, but if you have to hobble down cobbled streets then they simply aren’t practical enough.

And from a safety point of view, they can make you look vulnerable and cause difficulties in leaving a potentially dodgy situation quickly and unobtrusively.

I’d also recommend leaving behind any footwear that’s brand new – pounding the streets of New York is not the place to break in new shoes!

And if you need to take hiking boots, wear them on the plane rather than have them take up half your carry-on.

Full-size toiletries

Unless you have a skin condition or sensory issues which mean you have to use particular products, don’t fill up your case with full-size bottles.

Especially on a city break, it will be easy to pick up your usual brand or a similar product at your destination – and if you are going to the middle of nowhere, then consider taking bars rather than bottles to save space and avoid possible spillages.

You don’t even need to buy special travel-size items either.  I bought a set of refillable tiny bottles from a cheap shop to decant shampoo and shower gel into – one of those containers will last me through a short break.

The one product I do take with me is sun cream, because I tend to burn easily and it can be difficult to find during a winter break.

Anything you can’t bear to lose

However careful you are, sometimes things do get lost if you are travelling around.

It’s sensible not to take anything which you couldn’t bear to lose, whether because of monetary or sentimental value.

Too much cash

Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t have a decent budget – but carrying too much currency around can make you a target for theft, and if it gets lost then you could have problems.

Use local ATMs to top up your cash when you need to – just make sure that you tell your bank before you travel so they don’t think it’s fraud, and remember your pin number.

Or look into currency cards which you can pre-load with a set amount instead of carrying your usual credit card around.

Too much of everything

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be prepared, but it can mean that you spend time, energy (and money if it means you have to check-in a case) on carrying around things you never use.

Be honest about what you are actually likely to do, and pack accordingly.

When I started travelling abroad, I filled a huge suitcase that I could hardly lift with everything I could think might come in handy.

Today I travel with just what I know I’ll need – this was my luggage for a two night ferry trip to Amsterdam –

So while other people were looking for somewhere to leave heavy cases, I was straight off the boat and into the city.

And if you realise that you really do need an additional item of clothing when you’re away, then that’s a good excuse to go shopping for something which will look unique when you return home with it.