Are you planning on traveling soon and curious about how to pack like a minimalist? Traveling with as little as possible is an art, as it requires a good plan and lots of preparation before you head out.
Most travelers find themselves overpacking and see minimalist travel as a challenge. Although it's a steep learning curve, it isn't impossible!
In this handy guide, I'll go over what it means to travel with a minimalist mindset and provide the best minimalist packing list to use on your next vacation.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is the concept of living with intention and only owning or buying things you need or that add beauty and value to your life. Minimalists enjoy and thrive in a world where they own less!
People who turn to minimalism often feel calm and peaceful in a less distracting environment. Still, it can be challenging to let go of your stuff, which is where minimalist living loses the interest of a lot of folks.
Minimalism can be useful in different areas of your life, like travel! It doesn't mean you have to throw out everything you own, but rather apply minimalist ideas to certain areas of your life. When it comes to travel, it can help you spend less money and travel more. Sounds great, doesn't it?
What does it mean to travel like a minimalist?
Traveling as a minimalist entails packing as little as possible. Minimalist travelers often carry a backpack and carry-on, and some bring almost nothing!
Everyone should consider what's important to them and where they're traveling when aiming to pack light. What you choose to bring depends on your comfort level, but the goal is to use everything you bring, and bring only what you'll use.
Benefits of Traveling Minimally
4. Traveling is easy!
Running to catch a train in Mumbai has never been easier when you only have a backpack on your back! When you pack only the essentials, travel becomes so much simpler.
Image no more dragging around overweight suitcases on cobblestone streets or painful backaches when your backpack becomes overwhelmingly heavy. That sounds like the true definition of freedom!
3. Less gets lost
It's inevitable that when you unpack your suitcase, items may fall out and get lost. When you pack like a minimalist, you have fewer items to keep track of, meaning less stuff will get lost along the way.
2. You'll worry less
When you only have one bag to look after, you can feel less anxious about crowded trains or buses. Becoming a minimalist traveler also means you'll be able to move around and find space for yourself and your belongings more easily.
No more worrying about where you're going to put your second bag or who will look after your large luggage when you need to go to the bathroom!
1. Kiss checked bags goodbye
If you manage to get your packing list down to one carry-on suitcase, you'll never have to wait at the carousel for your bag ever again! Not only will you save money, you'll also be saving more time.
Minimalist Packing Tips
Know what you like
Most of the complications from overpacking come from wanting to have options. An excellent place to start traveling as a minimalist is your wardrobe.
When deciding about clothing and accessories, know what pieces you like to wear and what goes well together. That way, you can pack outfits you'll love instead of a bag full of random elements.
Buy with intention
Before you even set foot on a plane, it helps to shop for wardrobe pieces that are durable and comfortable and that you genuinely love. Buying long-lasting pieces will ensure you get lots of wear out of the item and eliminate confusion when thinking about what to pack.
Plan for activities
The second complication of overpacking is not knowing what you'll be doing. Minimalist traveling requires you to know what you'll be doing and plan ahead to some degree.
Are you going to relax at the beach? Will you be hiking in the mountains? If you know what activities you want to try on your trip, you can more easily weed out the clothes and items you won't need.
Try packing solutions
Some great packing solutions out there allow you to bring more stuff and use less space, which is excellent for beginner minimalist travelers. Packing cubes, Vacuum pack bags, or a sleeping bag stuff sack can help you save space.
Rethink the shoes
Decide what shoes are essential for your trip, and try to pack lighter-weight shoes. Picking a stylish, multifunctional shoe is vital! That way, it can go with every outfit!
One of my favorite pairs of shoes to bring is a waterproof sneaker. Sneakers are a go-to for most outfits and situations, and by grabbing a pair that will keep you dry during the rain, you'll eliminate the need for an extra pair of waterproof shoes.
A great option for affordable waterproof shoes that are popular right now, and for a good reason, are Vessi shoes. With a range of stylish shoes for multiple situations and options for men and women, this 100% waterproof shoe is taking the world by storm.
Sold on a pair of Vessi sneakers already? I don't blame you, so remember to use PILOTPLANS at checkout if you want to get $15 off your purchase!
Pro Tip: Wear your heaviest pair of shoes on the plane to make your bag lighter.
Allow yourself plenty of time to pack before your trip to avoid rushing. Rushing will cloud your judgment and cause you to pack things you probably don't need.
Do your laundry
A great way to avoid overpacking is to do laundry while on your trip. They make a lightweight laundry detergent strip that is easy to carry in your bag. Ensure your destination has a laundry mat or that your hostel has laundry services before you go.
Use a packing app
Packing apps are a great way to track what you need to pack and ensure everything is organized. You can try some of the most popular packing apps and see which suits you best.
You can turn any packing list into a minimalist packing list when you apply these tips. Whether you're a digital nomad, taking a beach vacation, or going backpacking, I've compiled the ultimate minimalist packing list for you.
Minimalist Packing List
Clothing and Footwear
- 1 Pair of lightweight shoes
- Multi-Use shirts (think casual shirts that can double as PJs)
- Casual pants suited for location's climate
- 1 Waterproof jacket
- Travel-size shampoo & conditioner
- Travel-size soap or body wash
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hairbrush and elastics
- Makeup essentials
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Over-the-counter medication (e.g., ibuprofen, allergy medicines)
- Passport and passport holder
- Currency, credit cards, and ID
- Copies of documents
- Travel Insurance
How do you pack minimally for a week?
Your next vacation is a week long? It's easy to be a minimal traveler on a week-long trip. Here are some quick questions to ask yourself before you start packing:
- Is my destination in a hot or cold climate?
- Does my travel spot have a laundromat or laundry service?
- What activities will I be doing on this trip?
Once you've answered those questions, you'll better understand what you need to pack. It's advisable to bring 4 shirts, pants, or shorts; 5 sets of undergarments, including socks; and one extra pair of shoes.
Plan to do laundry along the way, and if you can't do laundry, pack 7 of each clothing item and use a sleeping bag stuff sack to keep everything compact.
Get ready for your next adventure with Pilot
Be free and travel the world without lugging around a heavy suitcase! Packing like a minimalist can be easy using this handy packing guide. To make your life even simpler, plan your next adventure with Pilot.