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How to be a Minimalist Packing Pro on Your Next Trip

How to be a Minimalist Packing Pro on Your Next Trip

How to be a Minimalist Packing Pro on Your Next Trip

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Do you know what experienced travelers know that you don’t?

Less is more.  When traveling, you don’t want to carry around bulky heavy bags.  Seasoned travelers understand that no matter the length of your stay abroad you should only bring one bag.  Moreover, make that bag the size of a carry-on bag.  You heard me right, that little suitcase that fits in the overhead compartment of commercial airlines.

Here are some great reasons you should be a minimalist packer on your next trip:

1  Safety

This one seems obvious, it’s easier to keep tabs on only one bag.

Additionally, if you are traveling with a carry-on, the airline can’t lose or misplace your luggage.

2  Efficiency

It’s less to carry overall.  Which means that you can breeze through the airport without having to juggle all of your bags, or having to push a Smart Cart.

You can head right to your destination once you pass through customs. If you don’t have to check your luggage at the gate, once you arrive at your destination, you can start your journey without having to wait around for your luggage to be returned.

I know what you are thinking.  Yes, it would be *great* to travel with only one bag, but how are all your necessities going to fit into a single carry-on bag?

3  Budget

Many airlines are now charging for checked bags.  You can save the extra fees, and use the funds to purchase a souvenir or a nice meal at a restaurant.

If you plan carefully, it can be done.  Here are some tips and tricks from experienced travelers:

Make a List

Make a list of all the things you “need” for your next destination.  Then start to pare down the list by questioning want vs. need.  Two weeks of clothing can be packed into a carry-on, you just have to carefully curate what you will need.

If you have to ask yourself whether you will use/need the item, you probably won’t need it.  If you are thinking to yourself that you can’t live without a particular item, then it goes into the bag.

When determining which clothing to pack, take clothes you can easily mix and match into different outfit combinations. This way you won’t feel as though you are wearing the same thing every day.

Laundry

Depending on the length of your stay, consider doing laundry at your destination.  Many hotels offer laundry services for a fee, alternatively, you can always consider doing laundry in the bathroom sink.  (Add laundry detergent to your packing list).  This will allow you to pack less clothing.

Organize

To utilize your limited space effectively, use packing cubes to arrange anything you need to pack.  Not only do they separate your clothing, they compress your items so that you can optimize the space.  Alternatively, you can achieve a similar result using large freezer bags.

Pack any smaller items such as undergarments, and socks inside larger items such as shoes to maximize available space.

Before you go, check the weather of your destination, so that you can plan your wardrobe as needed.  For example, if you know it’s going to be sunny, you can avoid packing a raincoat.

If you can’t resist buying a souvenir, consider taking an item or two of clothing that is mostly worn out. This way, you can toss it at the end of your stay and fill up space with that item you can’t live without.

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Toiletries

You will also need to curate which toiletries you are going to need on your trip. Consider whether where you are staying will have any toiletries for you to use, eliminating the need to bring them with you.  Before you go, purchase travel-size products.

If you can’t find the items you need in travel-sized containers, you can purchase empty travel size containers to take only the amount you will need, and reuse on future trips.

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Enjoy

Of course, the most important travel tip is to have fun and stay safe wherever you go, and however you get there.

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34 Comments

  1. Kalyani

    Thank you for these tips! Traveling light is something I really need to work on. I always end up packing way too much, and am going to refer back to this next time 😀

    Reply
    • Karrie

      Glad to help! It isn’t easy, but boy does it make things easier.

      Reply
  2. Sampson levingston

    I always feel like I over pack on vacations lol, my biggest problem is shoes! I have to start using some of these methods before I head to Atlanta lol

    Reply
    • Karrie

      As a fellow shoe addict, I understand! It isn’t easy to pack light. But it sure does make a difference.

      Reply
  3. Alice

    Great tips! I’m so prone to overpacking.

    Reply
    • Karrie

      Glad you enjoyed them. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of bringing too many things.

      Reply
    • Karrie

      Glad you enjoyed it. Hope it helps you on your next holiday.

      Reply
  4. Eric Gamble

    first of all I need Darcee to read this cause she always overpacks. I love that you put up the info about Laundry. Just cause you go on a longer trip like 7-10 days (or longer) doesnt mean you need 7-10 seperate outfits. You can always wash your clothes.

    Reply
    • Karrie

      It’s true. It’s a hard habit to break. I know I have been guilty of this a few times.

      Reply
  5. poorna banerjee

    I am a light packer, so these tips really come in handy!

    Reply
    • Karrie

      I am still learning the art of light packing. But it is becoming much easier.

      Reply
  6. Aly Hester

    Wow, I really need to take some notes from you. I am a chronic over-packer. I usually have a whole bag just for my shoes. I am so indecisive when it comes to packing outfits for a trip, especially a long one. I am really needing to invest in those packing cubes! GREAT POST!

    Reply
    • Karrie

      I know what you mean! I used to pack 5-6 pairs of shoes for a one week trip. A girl’s gotta have her shoes. It’s hard to choose.
      Honestly, the packing cubes are life savers! They make packing light so much easier.

      Reply
  7. Shellie

    Great tips! I had no idea about the laundry services.

    Reply
    • Karrie

      They can be a lifesaver if you are cooped up in a hotel room.

      Reply
  8. Katie

    We put our toiletries in the travel-size containers that can be used again, and find that it saves us quite a bit of money on all of our travel! Great advice!

    Reply
    • Karrie

      Yes – it’s a great way to not have to buy smaller sizes of the things you already have.

      Reply
  9. Anissa

    Perfect advice for ! I always go overboard on stuff that I certainly don’t need ! I’m trying to minimize at home! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Karrie

      Glad you liked it!

      Reply
  10. crisly

    These are very helpful tips for travel. I love travelling light asnd this just helped me on my next travel 🙂

    Reply
    • Karrie

      I’m glad I could help.

      Reply
  11. anshul

    Really helpful post. My rucksack often gives me trouble because of unorganized packing but this will help me pack wisely.

    Reply
    • Karrie

      Glad to help.

      Reply
  12. Danielle Settgast

    I have five kids and packing light is something I have to learn! Thank you for these tips!!

    Reply
    • Karrie

      It would certainly be a challenge, but it can be done!

      Reply
  13. Rachael

    Yes!! These are amazing tips! And knowing that you can do it with two kids makes me feel more confident I could probably do it for myself and my toddler!

    Reply
  14. Aitza b

    I didn’t become a minimalistic packer until I started doing weekend domestic trips. Being forced to pack carryon only really helped me sort between my wants and needs.

    Reply
  15. Kim@Team-Cartwright

    Oh my, if I didn’t make lists I would leave so many things behind. I like the laundry tip. With three little ones, it is so worthwhile to check if I can just wash things while we are away. I love being able to pack less!

    Reply
  16. Tara

    Packing light is something I do not do well! This post has so many amazing tips! Thank you for sharing.
    I will be pinning this one for sure!

    Reply
    • Karrie

      It is a skill that has to be learned – but so worth it.

      Reply
  17. Rachel

    I have gotten very good at packing light. I am way too cheap to pay for luggage fees. Plus I have had my luggage lost before.

    Reply
  18. Miranda

    I am guilty of over packing. Every. Single. Trip. These are awesome tips. Maybe my fiance won’t hate me next trip. Haha.

    Reply
  19. Sophie

    Um I needed this! I am anything but a minimalist packing pro! I tend to pack wayyyyy too much and still forget something I really needed. It’s so hard with little kids. It can feel like you have to pack the whole world lol.

    Reply

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