Minimalist Traveling Tips for Light Packers

Minimalism is about want versus need. People who live this intentional lifestyle are in the habit of asking themselves one question: Do I want it or do I need it? If they don’t need it, they don’t get it. Period.

For this reason, experienced minimalists are probably the last people who need tips on packing or light travel. Able to work with what they have and fully aware of how to prioritize items and clothing, this savvy group already knows how to travel light. But we aren’t all this intentional, or even experienced, and practice makes perfect with minimalist travel. Even the most experienced, can use a review once in awhile. If you’re a minimalist thinking of taking a trip here are some travel tips to help you click off that digital light packing checklist and more. The key to it all is packing with intention.

Pack versatile clothing.


Because you aren’t likely one to bring ten suitcases on a month-long trip, it’s important that what you put into that backpack or duffle bag can be used again and again. Wrinkle-free clothing, layers for all types of weather, travelers pants, and collapsible items will be key for a successful minimalist trip. When double-checking your packing lists, think about neutral colors and different types of fabrics you can layer. By sticking with neutral colors, you’ll be able to create outfits for a variety of occasions, climates, and even events. For example, a t-shirt dress will also make a perfect pajama without taking up extra room. While packing, be sure to leave space for items you’ll undoubtedly find yourself needing along the way.

What’s considered versatile?

If you aren’t sure what clothing items will work or not, ask yourself the following:

  • Can I layer it?
  • Will I really wear it? When and what for?
  • Is it right for the weather?
  • How much room is it taking in my bag and would there be a smaller substitute for it?
  • Can it be worn for more than one purpose?
  • Is it easily washable?
  • What facilities will I have available for washing clothes?

The answers to these questions will help dictate what gets to come in your suitcase and what gets left at home.

Consider travel plans while packing.


Whether your next adventure is trying out Vilamoura boat trips to see the gorgeous caves and water off the coast of Portugal, with adventures around every corner, or hitting Acadia National Park for some challenging hiking in the forests of northern Maine, be sure that whatever you pack will work best for the occasion or event. You’ll want items that dry quickly if they get wet, for example. If this is business or even digital nomad travel, your packing priorities should revolve around tech.

Where you’re staying and the type of amenities you’ll have access to will play a key role in final decisions of what to pack. If you’re staying in luxury hotels, for example, they’ll have towels for you. But if you plan on roughing it, consider packing a Turkish towel set that’s highly versatile, compact, and can air dry. If you will need internet access but aren’t sure about it, boosters and extra battery packs will be things to make room for.

How long will you be on the road?

For travelers in it for the long haul, there are questions to ask again and again before putting anything in your travel bag. Remember, you can always pick essential items up when you arrive but will also want to ask the following:

  • Do I absolutely need it?
  • Will it hold my travel up?
  • Is it heavy?
  • Does it fit in my bag? If not, what could I give up instead to make it fit?
  • How often will I use it?
  • Are there travel versions of this product?
  • Are there things I could substitute for this item?
  • How will the item work with what’s available at my destination?

Things like medications, contact lenses, passports, credit cards and basic garments are essential but for those planning longer trips who don’t want the hassle of bigger bags, the answers to these questions will help with final packing decisions. Practice packing your bag. If you don’t find yourself with extra space, pull everything out and ask yourself the questions again until you have the perfect amount you’re happy with. Remember, minimalism is about being intentional.

Use packing cubes and backpacks.


Packing cubes are great ways to organize even the lightest of packs. By giving you compartments for various items you’ll want to quickly access, they will afford you the ability to carry less but find things in a pinch. The same goes with backpacks. Unlike suitcases or bulky travel bags, you may even be able to get away without checking any luggage. This will free you up for moving quickly through airports and avoiding long waits at baggage claims.

If you’re using packing cubes, be sure to pack smart. Put things you won’t need during travel at the bottom of your bag. At the top, put extra chargers, battery packs and travel snacks. Another benefit of lightweight cubes is that you can move items quickly depending on where you are in your adventure. A cube of camera equipment, for example, could be moved to the top at the bottom of a mountain as you begin a hike or out to get a perfect sunset shot.

Leave extras at home.


Every minimalist knows what to leave at home. But the risk to this is not packing enough. While it’s great to travel light and smart, be sure to give that list a final check before locking up. Leaving behind items like extra battery packs and a second pair of shoes could cost you money down the road. Some things you definitely don’t want to leave at home are important documents, a waterproof coat or poncho, medications and prescriptions, undergarments for at least three days, and hygiene products that aren’t easily available.

With your lightweight bags packed for a trip that means freedom and adventure, you’re well on your way to intentional travel. As you make your journey with only the things you need, be sure to collect memories that take up no physical space but will stay with you forever. Don’t forget to do your research ahead of time to plot out how to best use your items and what you have with you. Internet cafes, laundromats and more will make the difference and your travel all that much more successful.