In addition to the few books I brought I left some other things in Costa Rica. I always bring a few things to leave behind. When I’ve got some stuff that I know it’s near time to get rid of it, I’ll take it on vacation and leave it there. This includes books, an old pair of shoes, the jeans I wore to get there, a few old shirts (etc.), a few wash cloths (the hotels don’t always supply them here), a pair of beach shoes, and a pair of sandals if they don’t hold up. The clothes are stuff where when you pull it out of the dryer you can see it’s only god for a few more washes and are starting to fray and you think it won’t last many more washes. I even brought an old pillow that I almost got rid of last time I was cleaning (I’m kinda fussy about my pillows, if I travel by car I always bring one of my own). It lightens the load as the trip goes on :)
As I get close to emptying things out at home I’ll save them for a trip. Toothpaste, shaving creme (not as empty as I’d like so if I have room, I’ll bring it back), shampoo, etc. Why carry down all that stuff full and bring it back 1/4 empty? I just take it 3/4 empty, which is a heck of a lot lighter and leave it when it’s more empty.
I travel heavy, I blame my mother for this, I was an only child and we usually traveled by car so I could bring anything I wanted as long as it kept me entertained (quiet). I think that’s when I probably started bringing my own pillow too (that might be something I got from Grandma).