Packing Like a Minimalist

Throughout the last few years, I have come to understand the importance and happiness that comes with living with less, and truly needing less in your life (I highly recommend the Minimalist documentary on Netflix!) Living with less has inspired me to travel with less as well. As I begin to pack for a trip to Europe next month, I wanted to share with you my packing philosophy. Simply put: everything I pack fits into one carry-on and one shoulder bag. I pack this much for a trip that lasts several days or several weeks, it doesn’t mater to me. If you love to travel and want to see the world with a little less baggage, keep reading.

With these philosophies below in mind, I will be sharing with you my exact packed bags for trips in the future!

Packing Like a Minimalist Best Practices

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Create packing lists

Before your next trip, list everything you want to bring with you. I have these handy lists I’ve created that have helped me pack for many trips in the past. It includes things to check off weeks, days, and right before you go. I find packing lists helpful in ensuring you aren’t packing anything and everything that comes to mind. Be strategic in your packing from the get-go.

Pack for half of your trip

I love this idea, and have tried to implement it more and more each year. If you are going to be away for a week, ask yourself what you need for 3 or 4 days. Don’t be afraid to repeat outfits - this isn’t a fashion show people! People barely notice what you wear in your day-to-day life, so it’s unlikely anyone will notice or care while you travel (and if they do, who want’s to be friends with those people anyway?!) Sure pictures are important, but you can mix things up by adding a jacket or a hat. Packing for half will ensure you have plenty of space for your journal!

A go-to travel day uniform

Assign one outfit for your actual travel days. Then you don’t have to think about what to wear on the plane, train or however you are traveling. No matter where you are going, your travel uniform can be the same. I typically wear a black Lululemon wunder under leggings (as I know they won’t stretch out), a longer tank top, and some sort of jacket or sweater. If helpful and not too warm out, bring a scarf because it can double as a blanket or a pillow. A plane always is colder than the outside! Having this outfit picked out will ensure you’re comfy during those loooong sitting times.

How do you fold?  

I’ve tried rolling, stacking and folding my clothes for packing and find it convenient depending on your bag size. In a great article in Real Simple magazine about packing in a carry on, author Hitha Palepu explains, “I roll my bottoms and fold my tops—I find my clothes end up with fewer wrinkles and I can fit more in my bag.” I liked this idea and have been doing a version of this if I have a large enough bag. I plan to pack this way for a 10 day Europe trip in the near future.

Understand your laundry opportunities 

If you’re able to wash some clothe a long the way, this can be a game changer for you. Will you be staying somewhere with a washing machine? I’ll rent something from Airbnb specifically because it has a washing machine. I will do this about 1-2 weeks into my trip, so I know exactly how much I have to pack before that (underwear, shirts, etc) before I can wash it all and reuse. Some hotels have laundry rooms for guests. Worst case scenario, you’ll likely have access to your bathroom sink where you can wash and line dry certain items so bring bit of laundry detergent if you can so you know you’re prepared to do laundry.

Remember: just in case means never

If you are packing anything “just in case” the likelihood of you actually using it is pretty slim to none. So if you are feeling like a hat, swimsuit, jacket, or more is a “just in case” item, don’t pack it! You can use the room fro something else and you can always pick that item up when you are at your destination.

*I plan on doing a toiletry haul for you for packing in the next future!

What do you try to cut out when you are packing?

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