I get asked all the time for my minimalist packing tips. After two years of full time travel, I’ve come to consider myself somewhat of an expert on packing light. Want to know how I manage to fit my life into a 28 liter daypack? These are my best minimalist packing tips.
Minimalist Packing Tips
When I first started traveling, I carried so much more than I needed. I had a 44 liter backpack then, and I would stuff it to the brim. Two months into my trip, I realized that I hadn’t even worn some of the clothes I’d packed.
You Don’t Need As Much As You Think
Now, I usually pack about a weeks worth of clothes and toiletries – even for a trip that will last over a year. As long as you’re in a similar climate the whole time, you won’t really need more than that. The average traveller does at least one load of laundry a week; this way you can keep your backpack minimal but still have enough clothes to wear. I will use the weeks worth of toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc) until I’m in a place where I am settling down for a bit and can buy full size products.
Layers Are Crucial
If you’re going to a colder climate, or if you’ll be in multiple seasons, bring clothes that can layer. I like to have one light sweater, and one puffy, packable jacket. I don’t bring scarves or multiple jackets, as this is enough for me. I also bring one pair of jeans and one pair of leggings. I don’t normally travel to snowy areas; if you are, take that into account while packing.
>>Check out my minimalist packing checklist if you’re in need of inspiration!
Solid, neutral colored clothing is your best bet when traveling minimally. If you have a top or dress that really stands out, it will be obvious that you are wearing it regularly. In my case, it’s more likely that I’ll get bored of a statement piece and stop wearing it. Choosing solid and neutral colors is one of my best minimalist packing tips.
Aside from solid colored clothing, try swapping out some of your liquids for solids. You can purchase solid shampoo, and solid bar soap (for body & face). This will help if you’re going carry-on only, as you can only take that tiny bag full of liquids.
P.S. A reusable liquid pouch will hold up much better than a ziploc – and it’s a lifesaver going through security!
Even though I travel carry-on only with just a week’s worth of clothing, I still like to keep my bag and belongings organized. Using packing cubes and toiletry bags saves the day – this way it’s super easy to find my stuff, unpack, and know when something is missing. A pack it clean/dirty cube is even more helpful if you won’t have time to do laundry before switching destinations.
Hot Tip: Rolling your clothes into your packing cube will maximize space.
Pack Your Makeup… And Then Take Half Out
I used to carry an entire full makeup bag with me. I wanted to make sure I had enough to cover any just in case scenarios. What if I went on a date? What if I wanted to do a smokey eye for a night out? After a few months of travel, I realized I hadn’t touched most of my makeup. I had a simple, basic makeup routine that I used every day, and that eye shadow palette didn’t make the cut. By taking out the excess, I had room to fit all of my face products into my makeup bag. This made my backpack more organized and easier to pack.
These are a few of my best minimalist packing tips – for more packing tips, plus tips for solo travel, safety on the road, saving money for travel (and during travel), and finding the best accomodation for cheap, check out my ebook!
And let me know in the comments – what are your best packing tips??