Becoming a minimal packer is key to embracing sustainable travel. One of the major principles of minimalist travel packing is being able to separate what you “want” from what you “need”. Simplicity helps banish clutter while packing, encouraging you to pack only what you really ‘need’ on your journey. Heavy luggage with too many items is bound to severely limit your mobility on your trip. When you take on minimalist travel packing, you aren’t just making things convenient for yourself, you’re also becoming a more responsible tourist.
It’s not easy to completely shift to a minimalist lifestyle (which includes being a minimalist, ethical packer), but it helps to start with small steps, and understand how important it is to keep what you usually carry with you to a minimum. Don’t carry things that are not useful, select items you can use multiple times, especially when it comes to clothes. It’s also good to optimise the items you carry for comfort and design. Using eco-friendly, reusable items also prevents you from generating excess waste when you travel.
Here’s A Minimalist Travel Packing List For Everyone Trying To Declutter
Choose A Small, Lightweight Backpack/Suitcase
The first thing you should focus on in your minimalist travel packing list is a compact piece of luggage. Whether its a backpack or a suitcase, ensure that it’s small and has multiple compartments to fit all your essentials. Sticking to carry-on sized luggage is always a practical idea that makes travelling easy and stress-free. Look out for ethically-made materials while selecting your piece of luggage. Along with being durable, your luggage should also be made with responsibly-sourced clothing.
Know Your Essentials
Both short term and long term trips have certain essentials in common. While essentials may vary from person to person, some stay constant. These include:
- Your passport/ID
- Credit cards and cash
- A light jacket
- Your toothbrush
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A reusable water bottle
- Any prescription medications you use
- Gadget essentials like phones, chargers, and laptops
You can always purchase shampoo, soap, and toothpaste at your destination. It’s a good idea to carry reusable coffee mugs and shopping bags, so you can avoid using plastic bags and cups.
If you’re confused about categorising your essentials, ask yourself these questions to guide you:
- What habits do I have that can be cut out from my routine temporarily?
- Is this item too heavy?
- Are there any travel-sized versions of this item that I could carry?
- Will I be using this item frequently while travelling?
A Capsule Wardrobe Always Helps With Minimalist Travel Packing
When choosing your outfits for a trip, going the capsule wardrobe way maximises space in your bag. A capsule wardrobe essentially includes selecting only a few pieces of clothing that you can mix and match throughout your trip. It prevents you from carrying too many clothes that you don’t even end up wearing. While designing your capsule wardrobe for a trip, ensure it includes clothing from categories like:
- Formal clothes
With these in mind, choose clothing from each category, and start to eliminate until you have clothes that are comfortable, easily matched with each other, and fit you perfectly.
When it comes to selecting shoes, choose basics like a pair of flip flops, comfortable walking shoes, and something fancy for a night out. Again, these choices naturally depend on what kind of trip you’re taking. So, with that in mind, select shoes and accessories that are most convenient.
Keep Your Toiletries To A Minimum
Though this is up to personal preference, if you really want to incorporate minimalism into your travel lifestyle, you have to be conscious of your toiletries. As a rule of thumb, know that you don’t really need every balm, cleanser and toner that you normally use in your daily routine. Work towards eliminating all non-essentials in your toiletries. Reusable travel-sized containers are great, you can refill them whenever required. Keep a small travel pouch handy that can accommodate all your toiletries and ensure they are accessible whenever you need them.
Remember To Pack Efficiently And Neatly
Once you’ve selected all that you need for your next trip, fitting it into your carry-on can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some space-saving tips for packing:
- Roll your clothes instead of folding them.
- Pack your shoes at the bottom of the bag and stuff them with socks and underwear.
- Always wear your bulkiest item so it doesn’t add to the weight of your luggage.
- Use pill cases to store jewellery so it doesn’t get tangled.
- Packing cubes always help.
Minimalist Travel Packing Is The Way To Go
Minimalism is always a good way to go when packing for any trip you take. You don’t just make your luggage light, you also ensure that you don’t participate in generating waste and being indulgent. Minimalist packing makes you an ethical traveller who cares about the destination you travel to. This kind of packing doesn’t mean you’re missing out on stuff or depriving yourself of something; it simply means that you’re willing to shave off excess and focus on essentials.