Travel Guides

Packing Light: How to Travel the World Like a Minimalist

12 months ago by matthew

In a society driven by consumerism and the constant need to buy and have more, minimalism has becoming an increasingly popular way of cutting back and reevaluating the things we actually need in our lives and the things that we can do without.

Often, minimalism isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when we think about travelling. We have a suitcase, we fill the suitcase, we go, right? But what if we applied this idea of need over want to the way that we travel?

Packing like a minimalist can bring a ton of benefits to our travel experiences.

Reducing the things that we travel with can speed up daily routines, letting us get out and explore a new city that much quicker, save money by avoiding pesky checked baggage fees when we travel carry-on only, and create a more conscious mindset while we’re abroad.

Getting started with a minimalist way of thinking takes work but with a little practice it can open up a whole new way of experiencing life and travel.

Here’s a few suggestions to help you get started with packing light and travelling like a minimalist!

5 Ways to Travel Like a Minimalist

1. Invest in Experiences Over Souvenirs

Investing in experiences rather than physical souvenirs is probably one of the easiest ways that we can practice minimalism while travelling. After all, isn’t it the experiences that travelling offers that make us want to travel in the first place?

Next time you’re reaching for that t-shirt souvenir, consider taking a guided city tour, trying a local class, an Airbnb Experience or trying a new local restaurant instead!

2. Pack a Versatile Wardrobe

A versatile wardrobe can seriously reduce the amount of clothes that you need to pack when you’re away.

Consider aiming for neutral colors and pieces that are easily mixed-and-matched to give yourself a bunch of different outfit options while keeping the actual amount of clothes you pack minimal!

3. The One In – One Out Rule

If shopping while you’re travelling is an absolute must or you come across a souvenir that you just have to have, the one in-one out rule can be a great way to make sure that you keep things minimal while you’re on the road.

With the one in-one out rule, you have the freedom to buy anything that you want, but knowing that it means getting rid of something already own can hold you more accountable when you’re shopping, forcing you to consider if a new item is worth the purging of an old one.

4. Use a Smaller Bag

The logic of this one speaks for itself really, but a smaller bag means less room to carry things which means putting more thought into the things that you’re packing. Do you need those five pairs of shoes? Are you going to be user your curler and your straightener?

A smaller bag can force you to reevaluate the things that you’re bringing on a trip and decide what the absolute essentials are.

5. Minimize Electronics

This goes along with the packing a smaller bag rule, but often we carry electronics with us on trips that we don’t need purely because we’re accustomed to being able to use them at home.

Sure you browse Pinterest on your iPad while you’re watching Netflix in bed but if you’re bringing your laptop, do you really need both?

Productivity apps like the Slack mobile app or Asana can also be a great way to reduce electronic clutter by putting your work needs right on your phone, especially if you’re someone who will need to be connected to remotely while you’re travelling!