3 things you can leave at home

USA Today picked up a clip from a Cleveland news station about three things you can leave at home on your next trip. Their quad chargersuggestions? A speaker pod, chargers, and toiletries. Really? Out of all of the options one can leave behind, those were their suggestions?

First off, a speaker pod. I can see how on vacation it might be nice to have speakers, but it’s hardly a requirement. For business travel, I can’t imagine when I would have time to need more sound than what I get from my iPhone. That being said, he is correct that most if not all hotels have some sort of speaker dock.

Next on the list: chargers. The guy’s thoughts are that you can just get a quad USB charger, which will save space and free you from tangled cords. Except that you still have to bring the cords to plug your devices into the charger, so you could still have tangled cords. And the charger itself takes up about the same amount of room as my Kindle and iPhone charger together. The biggest offender as far as bulk goes is my laptop charger, and a quad charger won’t fix that. A better choice would be a surge protector like the Belkin mini, which will give you three outlets instead of one plus two USB charging ports.

Finally, the last item that you can “leave at home” is…toiletries. I’m not kidding. The thinking is that hotels, especially the higher end ones, have so many items available for free that you can just leave your shampoo, toothbrush, and curling iron at home. This is probably true for a lot of people (probably mostly guys) who don’t have a preference about brands. But there is NO POSSIBLE WAY I will wash my face with a hotel bar of soap, then follow it up with a nice hotel brand of lotion. My skin is so dry—it took years to figure out which brand of cleanser works the best. Not to mention that a business trip is the last place I will want to use a random product brand for either my hair or face.

I can’t just disagree with the USA Today clip without offering my own. So here are three items you can leave at home during your next business trip:

  1. Hair dryer. Unless you are on an extended trip and blow dry your hair every day, the hotel hair dryer will likely work for the few times needed.
  2. Bulky books. Use an eReader or tablet to read your books—no need for several large volumes. I used to always bring something small to read during takeoff and landing, but now that you can have your electronic devices on throughout your flight they are especially unnecessary.
  3. Full size toiletries. No need to bring your giant 20 oz bottle of shampoo! Decant all of your normal brands into 3 oz or smaller containers. Even if your hair and skin care routines are extensive you should be able to fit everything you need into a bag small enough for the TSA.

Readers, do you agree with me? Are there any other items you think can be left at home during business travel?

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  1. I agree with your post on this. While true it doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. It’s like every hotel and it’s brother has installed clock radios with iPod/iPhone docks but now that I have a newer iPhone with the lightning port those don’t work so easy. I’m a guy with nearly no hair and I can’t use just anything on my body. I’m not picky but I do break out into a rash with some products.
    I think I would prefer to leave things at home that aren’t needed like neck pillows, slippers and usually hair dryers.

  2. I’ve never come across a hotel with an ipod speaker dock in the room. However, my phone speakers are good enough that I don’t need an additional speaker. Some sort of charging device is essential (although you can use a laptop to charge other devices) and, of course, you must have leads. I don’t carry shampoo as I find hotel shampoo is always good enough but it’s rare to find conditioner supplied in hotel bathroom and moisturisers are variable so I always carry those. Also, hotels never supply toothbrushes or toothpaste in the room although you can often get them from the reception desk.

  3. I NEED a book or magazines. While I can read from my phone (I disliked the Kindle) I need something real.

  4. I leave most of my toiletries at home (and yes, I am female). I rely on hotel shampoo, conditioner, and lotion; I bring face wash and facial moisturizer, plus of course makeup. And I bring one hair styling product (argan oil), which fixes whatever the hotel shampoo/conditioner does.

  5. I will bring a hair dryer for trips of more than three nights. Most of the hair dryers make it smell like my hair is burning which can’t be good! I can deal with the hotel shampoo most of the time, but “news flash” hotels – conditioning shampoo does not equal shampoo + conditioner. That’s pretty standard in most three star hotels I stay in for work. I suppose most of these mid range hotels in business districts cater mostly to business men who probably don’t care as much about having conditioner.

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