I think I was a minimalist before it was cool.
I know, I know. That sounds all pretentious, doesn’t it? Like…”Ooooh, look how cool I am! I’m a minimalist and you’re a junk magnet.”
I don’t mean to come off all self-righteous but what I mean is, I was doing the minimalist thang way before it had a name. I’ve always been attracted to less. Stuff doesn’t mean much to me. Even if there is a memory attached to it.
-I tossed my high school yearbooks.
-I’ve only got 2 pics of each kids’ ultrasound.
-I shred mail after I open it and then toss it.
-If I can’t wear it, it’s not in my closet.
-When my kids grow out of it, it gets donated.
-I don’t collect anything. Nothing. I mean….nothing.
-I own 2-3 makeup palettes.
So when it comes to traveling, minimalism is the name of the game.
Now look, don’t come at me trying to tell me how crazy you think this is. Minimalism ain’t for everyone. If you like stuff and feel the need to travel with a ton of options then hey, do you! But if you’re someone who wants to adopt the idea of taking only what you need in a compact and simple way, then traveling minimally may work for you.
At the same, I think these tips are pretty practical. I know “extreme” is relative but I’ve seen some minimalists who travel with 1 pair of underwear 1 shirt for a 3-week hike. Some depend on getting resources when they arrive. This isn’t me but I’m not judging if it’s you. I do think these tips are pretty usable for most people.
So here’s how I recommend doing it…
Decide you’re not going to pack a bunch of crap.
For some people, this is unfathomable. Okay, fine. If you like to change outfits 2-3 times a day and love having a ton of makeup options, do yo thang, girl. But to be successful at this, you need to wrap your mind around the idea of ONLY packing what you need. The best way to dive into this is to start packing days before your trip. Getting a head start on this ensures you’ve got enough time to make some sound decisions.
Travel with carry on luggage only.
Yeah, I said it. Doesn’t matter if you’re traveling by plane, bus or car or for 1 day or 5 days. Everything you need should be able to fit in your carry-on and a book bag or larger bag. I do the same thing with my kids. Nope, it’s not easy but there are 1,000 tips and tricks all over Pinterest that teach you how to pack small and compact. Study said trick and practice. Tumi is my FAVORITE brand and while they aren’t cheap, good luggage goes a looooong way.
Buy packing cubes.
These bad boys will save yo life. The idea is to maximize space and the best way to do this is by using packing cubes. These things were given to us by unicorns. I kid you not. How I’ve managed to get FIVE days worth of clothes, night clothes, undergarments and socks in 1 half of my carry on luggage is beyond me. These are so worth the investments and even the cheaper alternatives are just as good.
Buy essentials when you get there.
I never thought about this until mommy life rolled upon me. I don’t cloth diaper while traveling (because NOPE…who has time for that?) so instead of traveling with a ton of diapers, I’d buy them locally once I got to my destination. I’d do the same thing for snacks and bulkier pieces of clothes.
Get small containers for beauty/makeup products.
Look, you don’t need an entire bottle of shampoo or conditioner. You don’t need a massive jar of coconut oil. Downsize, my sister. Pour those liquids in smaller containers. Get your bottles, label them and then toss them in a cute bag like this. Thank me later.
If this is still all so foreign to you, I’ve put together a video to show off how I packed lightly on a trip.
Where are my fellow minimalist travelers?