In April I challenged myself to travel abroad for a week with nothing but items that would fit into a regular sized college backpack. That’s 7 days, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 swimsuits, 2 pairs of shorts with tanks, 2 sundresses that doubled as pool-side cover-ups, 5 pairs of underwear, 2 bras and 1 minimal make-up/product bag. Oh-and lots and lots of travel snacks. AND I KILLED IT-props to travel sized laundry detergent and warm night air. I’m pretty sure I’d call it my greatest accomplishment of 2016 thus far. I never once felt the need to purchase additional clothing or souvenirs-stuff that would come home and sit on a shelf collecting dust. Even if I had-there was nowhere to shop in the remote Costa Rican surf town we visited. Locals in the area travel 5-6 hours by bus to San Jose in order to shop for clothing and supplies for school-ONCE A YEAR. And that’s enough.
I applaud anyone that can travel abroad for months at a time with a single pack. But then again, do we really need to pack up our entire bathroom and closet for a vacation that’s supposedly about getting AWAY from our home and daily life? Certainly not. Now that I’ve experienced the liberation and joy of packing lightly, I can’t go back to multiple suitcases and carry-ons.
My husband (who I’m slowly converting into a minimalist) and I are traveling to Dallas for an extended weekend in a few days; it’s quite the opposite of a remote surf town with absolutely zero shopping, but I’m still going to limit myself to the one pack rule. At 100 degrees +, minimal clothing will be welcomed. Below is the extent of what I’m bringing along (spoiler alert-it all fits in a shoebox).
I realize it might not be possible for colder climate destinations or business travel, but I’ll tackle that challenge when the time comes. Until then, these are a few of my tips for minimalist travel:
- Check airport guidelines: Ensure you have correctly sized liquid containers. The current rule of thumb is anything over 3 oz. will need to be checked or thrown away.
- Plan your wardrobe in advance: Just like eating healthy or working out; it requires time and effort. I’m a major procrastinator, but if I have a few key pieces coordinated, the rest is easy.
- Choose neutral colored clothing when possible to mix and match outfits: A few colorful accessories can seriously change up your style.
- Two pairs of shoes-max: Who’s really going to notice if you wear the same pair of shoes more than once? Flats take up little space, are easy to dress up and let’s be real-the older we get ladies, the fewer heels we need.
- Make-up and products: Why carry around our entire cosmetic bag- especially when we only use a few certain products at a time. Utilize those travel sized samples that we have too many of already! Transfer any liquids (shampoo, sunscreen, body wash, moisturizer, etc.) into appropriately sized containers.
- Limit bulky equipment like blow dryers and hair styling tools: Guys-lucky you. Ladies-thank goodness messy buns and beachy waves are in.
- Roll. I’ve found rolling your clothing saves space and prevents wrinkling. (see above phot0).
Anyone have packing suggestions to share; I’ll need them when I graduate to suitable luggage! Stay tuned for a post on healthy travel snacking!