Traveling Tips

How to Travel as a Minimalist

Typically, my husband and I like to travel for two weeks at a time and sometimes even longer. If your travel involves hopping from city to city, it becomes very challenging to drag your luggage and all the items you brought along for the trip.

I am not a fan of hopping from city to city, but it became necessary so that we could cover as many cities as possible while in the country we were visiting.

Reducing the amount of luggage will make a trip like this more enjoyable and less stressful. Here are a few strategies I have learned over the years that might help you, too!

Minimalist travel starts with a change of mindset. In order to actually accomplish this goal, I had to separate my travel items and garments into “want” and “need” piles. To keep my suitcase size small and light, I had to rethink my wardrobe, toiletries, accessories, electronics and camera equipment.  

Where to start: Analyze Your Typical Packing List

  • Go through your normal packing list for a trip and determine how often you wore or used such an item on the last trip.
  • Ask yourself if you have a non-essential item you could cut out such as jewelry.
  • See if you can find items that could be more versatile or smaller in size.

Essentials: Never leave home without them.

These will be items that you must bring with you:

  • Passport/ID
  • Credit cards and cash
  • Cell Phone
  • Chargers & Power Packs
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Medications
  • Universal adaptors

Toiletries

  • Shampoo/conditioner combine product
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Minimal light makeup
  • Lotion

Try to find a hair product that is a combination of shampoo and conditioner. You can find many toiletries in travel size at your local supermarket or dollar store such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lotion, and other hygiene products.  

Ways to Simplify Your Outfits

No matter the temperature, keeping colors simple and neutral is the key to packing travel outfits. My packing list is:

  • 2 pair comfy versatile shoes (wear one the day of travel). This can be sandals and tennis shoes or whatever you feel will be most comfortable.  

Stick to a single-color scheme and commit to washing clothes while traveling. Just make sure the garments you bring on the trip can be easily washed either in the sink or a washing machine. Be sure to include a travel-size bottle of liquid detergent or pods.

Depending on the number of days you’re traveling, the number of garments to take should be half the number of travel days. For example, if I am traveling for six days, I will only pack three shirts. Depending on the season of your travels, additional items become necessary such as bathing suit, a light sweater or coat, etc.

Best Ways to Pack

When placing these items in your suitcase, I have a few suggestions that have worked well for me on my last few trips. First, I like to use cubes, which are smaller compartment bags that keep things organized and compressed. I roll all my clothes such as shirts and pants into one compartment bag. I do the same thing with undergarments. These cubes are very inexpensive and truly help you manage your suitcase better. I place socks and other small items inside the shoes I’m taking with me. I pack shoes like they are packaged in a shoe box so that they take up the least amount of space in the suitcase.

 

Electronics and Camera: How much of it do you really need?

This is the area that always causes me most headache because I do love my electronics. Because I am a photographer, the hardest decision is to decide on what to pack. The minimalist version for me includes the following items:

As a photographer, it can be a challenge to travel light because camera equipment takes up a lot of space and needs to be packed carefully. It can be quite heavy, too. I used to pack many different lenses and other accessories, but over the years I have learned that I really don’t need all that. Therefore I streamlined my equipment. Currently, I am trying to convince myself to only shoot images with a compact digital camera so that I don’t have to tote around my heavy camera, lenses, and other accessories.

What’s Your Focus?

Being a minimalist traveler frees you up from the headache of dealing with heavy luggage and will certainly make your travel much easier, hence enabling you to enjoy your trip a whole lot more.

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