This is my curated minimalist packing list. I love packing lists since like a shopping list it keeps one in check. But the best part of a packing list is that it seems to get better after each trip.
The goal is to strive for traveling light with one small bag.
- Any backpack between 16L – 20L- I use the Fjallraven 16L backpack
- Baggu- for shopping, I keep one with me everyday
- Collapsible backpack- 20L Sea-to-Summit
- Drawstring bag- I use this to keep my hands free while I am touring a new city
- Passport in zip-lock bag
- Financial- Credit Card, Debit Card, Cash
- Tickets- plane, etc
- ID- Driver’s License
- Medications- Rx
- Dental floss
- Nail clipper
- Go Tube filled with shampoo or Lush shampoo bars- I use these for shampoo, soap, shaving, laundry- that means for almost everything!
- Mosquito repellent
- Medical Kit
- Face masks
EDC (Everyday Carry)
- Phone with charger
- Extra battery pack for my phone
- Travel adaptor
- Buff headwear- this is versatile as a scarf, headband, face mask, towel, etc
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- Hand sanitizer
- Water bottle- Klean Kanteen insulated 473mL
- Chopsticks- collapsible
- Titanium spork
- Metal container for packing food
- Yoga tank with built in bra
- T-shirt x 2
- Long sleeve shirt
- Bed clothes
- Underwear x 3 pairs
- Socks x 2 pairs
- Extra Bra- must have a sports bra x 1
- Small rain jacket- Patagonia Houdini
- Midlayer jacket- Patagonia R3 Hoody
- Sneakers- NB Minimus
- Flip flops
- Fleece tops
- Fleece pants
- Patagonia Nanopuff Hoodie
- LBD (little black dress)
- Black flats
- Instant coffee/ tea bags
- Dried fruit
- Oatmeal packets
I love traveling light. There is such a joy with being able to leave all the encumbrances of daily life. It is wonderful to see how little anyone really needs.
Do laundry while traveling. You can definitely pack less if you can wash your clothes and allow them to dry in your hotel. Many people swear by wool clothing. Nowadays I simply bring what I have in my closet. I only bring my iPhone since I am not running an online business. That decreases pack weight a lot.
I am not a seasoned traveler. However I did spend two weeks each in Thailand and Russia with the same packing list during the past year. I was not lacking anything.
In fact, I had to delete certain items since I simply did not use them. I enjoy seeing new places but more than anything it gives me a chance to trial my packing list. I realize it should be the other way around but I am slightly obsessed with minimalist packing. I see this as representative of my overall approach to life. The question of how little do I really need is something I challenge myself with. Over the years I can say with conviction that it really is not as much as one would believe.
Being able to travel lightly is a simple gateway to experimenting with the concept of minimalist living. Many folks could probably be interested in doing this during their weeks on vacation. Few would want to lug heavy baggage during their travels.
We live in a society with too much. There is too much stuff, too much information, too many choices, too many activities. People are bombarded with too many distractions. Being able to carve out a small arena of your life that you can start to simplify ever so slightly would be a welcome reprieve. Minimalism may help one gain some clarity to what is important to you and your family. There is much information gleaned from what you choose to delete from your life.
Sometimes just with the lessening of possessions and obligations allows one to focus more on one’s health and dreams. Many state the process of decluttering more enlightening than therapy! It is a small victory to express free will in a society which prizes the construct that more is better. I firmly believe in the minimal effective dose for many areas in my life. There is often a point of diminishing returns when it comes to work, possessions, exercise, finances, etc. It is more meaningful to be able to come to terms with that level for yourself. Much healthier than having it imposed upon us by someone else.
May you give minimalist travel packing a try. Setting limits for yourself is a healthy approach to living. It just might inspire you to declutter other areas of your life as well.
I would provide links to various purchases but the aim of this site is for you NOT to buy more of things you do not need. There is freedom in NOT buying the best in everything and researching all items before buying. I read reviews simply to narrow my options down to a few choices and then I use my gut sense to make the final decision. I also do not bother to buy things at the cheapest price since I tend to buy so few items that it really is not worth the energy. If something is worth buying I wait for any sale and then I pull the trigger. I am the penultimate satisficer. I am NOT a maximizer when it comes to material goods since they are simply not as valuable to me.
This comes back to “know thyself” since some people must have the “best” in all things. That is fine as long as you are willing to put in the effort in terms of time, energy and money to fulfilling that end. Otherwise, welcome to regular frustration and a prison of your own design.
I believe the entire weight of my travel backpack was less than 10 lbs. It was a cinch to carry around with my all day. During plane rides I was able to board later as I did not need to worry about overhead storage for my backpack since it fit easily in the airplane seat in front of me. Now that was freeing since there was no line up for me before the flight.
I will include photos of my travel pack after my next trip. Until then curate your own minimalist travel list.