Want to have more fun when you travel? Then you need to learn how to pack less. Being weighed down by stuff you don’t need makes traveling an exercise in frustration.
Instead, become a minimalist packing queen!
To be clear, we’re not saying you need to live out of a single backpack for a month. Instead, minimalist packing is all about being more mindful of your choices. Do you really need this sweater or that pair of heels?
As you pack, you should ask yourself whether each item is truly necessary for the trip. If possible, choose versatile items that can pull double duty. And, like Marie Kondo tells us, only choose pieces that “spark joy.”
For trips where you’ll be staying in one locale for most of the vacation, we’re fans of the classic hardshell suitcase made from a lightweight material.
Not only does it keep all your goodies safe, but it’s also more durable and less prone to over-packing than cloth bags. The downside is that you have to roll the case everywhere, which makes it ill-suited to trips with multiple destinations.
If you’re going to be changing hotels a lot and hopping on trains and buses, then you can’t go wrong with a hiking backpack. Although it’s a little more challenging to pack efficiently, a well-balanced backpack with padded straps will make carrying all your worldly goods a lot easier when you’re running for a train.
These items make up the bulk of what most of us cram in our suitcases. The easiest way to cut back is to pack only clothing items that can be worn in multiple outfits. Next, go for lightweight fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily. Jersey knits are great for travel. Finally, always ask yourself if you really need whatever it is that you’re tempted to bring.
Most women pack too many shoes when they travel. Bring a pair of sensible flats that you can walk in, plus another pair either sandals or tennis shoes. You truly don’t need to bring those heels!
You can also cut back on accessories and jewelry. It’s not a great idea to bring your best jewelry anyway since it’s too easy to lose—or mark you as a tempting pickpocketing target. A pair of simple stud earrings and a nice scarf will make you look chic without adding bulk to your suitcase.
This is a controversial piece of advice, but true minimalist packing queens know that stocking up on travel-sized toiletries is a waste of money and space. Unless you are deeply devoted to your personal brand of shampoo, just use whatever the hotel provides. Or, even better, head out to the nearest shopping center and buy local brands.
Minimalism is all about prioritizing experiences over possessions. Since travel is–or should be–a life-changing experience, do yourself a favor and pack light.