1. Start With a Versatile Travel Bag
A versatile travel bag is a must for minimalistic travel. Whether you go for a backpack, a duffle bag, a carry-on suitcase or a combo of all three, the style you pick should give you the flexibility to be spontaneous while abroad, and free up your hands and budget for other activities. Bags with pockets and compartments will make it easier to separate important items, while some hard carry-on suitcases come with additional sleeves that can separate your shoes and delicate items for better organisation.
2. Use a Packing List
A packing list is a great way to stay organised when packing for a getaway, especially an overseas trip or a long holiday. Itemising your essentials from top to low priority will help you identify which items are a must-have and which can remain at home. Listing off your essentials can also be a great way to justify their use; consider how many times you will actually wear or use an item, and if it will make your travelling adventure better or worse in the long run.
3. Mix and Match Clothing Items
Packing clothing that can be mixed and matched is essential to getting the most out of minimalist travel. Stick to comfortable basics that can be worn repeatedly without needing a wash, and pieces that can be styled up or down if you decide to try a fancy restaurant or want to enhance your look for an evening out. Also pick clothing in neutral colours that more easily disguise any dirts or marks.
4. Be Selective With Your Shoe Options
Shoes may be one of the bulkiest items to bring in a carry-on, so it’s best to choose styles most suitable for the type of travelling you intend on doing. For explorer or outdoor adventure trips, sneakers and hiking boots are a must, while more chic styles, like sandals, slides and heels, are best suited to more relaxed trips. For hygiene purposes, always bring a pair of old sandals, especially if you’re planning to stay in shared accommodation.
5. Always Weigh Your Bag Before Getting to the Airport
Some airlines will insist on a carry-on bag weight limit and will make you pay for your bag if it goes over the designated number. Before arriving at the airport, and especially if you’re taking internal flights in another country, ensure that you’ve weighed your bag (either with digital or travel scales) before getting to the airport. This will save you time and potentially money that could be better spent elsewhere.
6. Wear Your Heaviest and Bulkiest Items When Travelling
If you need to bring bulkier items on your trip – like hiking boots, a puffer jacket or essential accessories -, try and wear them on the plane to avoid paying for extra weight. Although you may need to remove some of your layers once you sit down on the plane, this way you’re avoiding any potential fees for an overweight bag. You can use any extra layers as a pillow or a blanket while mid-air.
7. Invest in Quality Tech Gear
If you’re planning on travelling to the cold on a budget, whether to ski or visit to a place during the winter, investing in quality tech gear, like Merino wool tops, waterproof jackets or a windbreaker, is a must. Stick with clothing that helps to insulate your body for prolonged warmth over clothing that might look nice, but will ultimately leave you freezing and require you to buy new things at your destination.
8. Don’t Pack ‘Just in Case’ Clothing
When it comes to minimalist travel, everything you bring should have a dedicated purpose. There’s no room in your carry-on luggage for ‘just in case’ clothing. Realistically, you probably won’t wear that fancy top or need that extra pair of jeans, and should save space for other essential clothing or toiletries. If you find you desperately need something you labelled ‘just in case’ clothing ’ when you get to your destination, the odds are you can find a similar item there.
9. Use Packing Cubes to Save Space
Packing cubes are a great way to save space when packing minimally. If you’re limited by space, especially if you’re taking a backpack or small duffle bag, packing cubes will help you condense your items, giving you the freedom to bring more. Rolling your clothing and storing it in packing cubes also keeps it wrinkle-free, and gives you the organisation you need when living out of a backpack or carry-on case.
10. Keep Toiletries in Travel-Size Bottles
Full-size toiletries take up a lot of room, so when travelling with limited space, it’s best to bring your toiletries in travel-size bottles. Many airlines require liquids to be under 100ml and in clear containers, especially for international flights. This will reduce the space required for toiletries, but; if you run out of a certain product, you’ll likely be able to purchase a similar item in transit or when you arrive..