Minimalist Packing Guide

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Are you getting ready to head out of town for the weekend? Maybe your trip is even longer – a week, possibly two. No matter the length of the vacation you’re going on, no matter if it is for business or pleasure, it’s possible to pack less and have the same great time.

Not only does it make traveling lighter and take less time to get ready on the trip, it actually adds time to your trip since you will never be stressing over what to wear or wondering where you put something in your suitcase. Here’s a short guide to getting that accomplished easily and quickly!

packing suitcase

First, consider the destination. It sounds like a no-brainer, right? It is, but all too often, we overcomplicate the trips we take with a mindset like we’re moving there.

The reality is, the apocalypse is not going to come mid flight, stranding you with only the two hundred items you packed in your suitcase, and even if it did, you likely didn’t carry all that on.

Take the time to consider where you’re going. What is the weather going to be like there? If it’s warm, do you really need three sweater options, two jackets and three pairs of pants? Likely, not. Pack one easy-to-throw-on sweater or coat and one pair of pants.

Focus the rest of your energy on just a couple of versatile warm-weather pieces that you can interchange with one another to create multiple outfits.

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This goes for remembering what the objective of the trip is. It’s likely sightseeing and activities, so you don’t need more than one, possibly two fine dining outfits. Instead of packing four different bathing suits to wow your Instagram followers, pack one of your favorite black bikinis that are not only classic but the most flattering on you. 

It’s also important to be realistic about what your morning and nighttime routines will look like on your trip. While we must continue our self-care and maintenance while traveling, be realistic.

If you’re just going away for the weekend, you likely don’t need to pack your entire skincare arsenal. You could easily get away with washing and styling your hair before the trip, eliminating the need to travel with a blowdryer, flat iron, and possibly five or more hair products. Try sporting some pretty messy buns during your trip instead!

While luck favors the prepared, stress favors the over-packers. If you’re a mother, you may want to pack an entire first aid kit for your trip. While this is understandable, levels of worry come with the job of parenthood. Unless you and your family are staying somewhere particularly remote, they likely have everything you need should an emergency arise. Pack some band-aids and ibuprofen instead and call it a day. 

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If your trip is long, you can still apply the above tips. If you’re going to be staying somewhere for several weeks, commit to doing laundry. Even if you’re surviving in the wilderness, National Parks are never far from some semblance of a town or city.

What’s in towns and cities? Laundromats. Better to spend an hour doing laundry and possibly meeting colorful locals than having to lug around a suitcase or backpack heavy with clothes and extras you didn’t even need. When you’re packing your toiletries, stick with items that serve multiple purposes.

There are Castile soaps that serve as body wash, shampoo, and laundry detergent – plus many, many more uses. Same with creams and lotions. Try to pack one that works for your face and your body. If you’re committed to multiples in the toiletries department, consider purchasing your favorite items in travel size as they take up less space. 

And when you’ve done the things mentioned above, it’s time to edit what you’ve packed. If you’re a seasoned minimalist (or at least a seasoned light packer), you can probably skip this step. If not, take a long, hard look at your suitcase and what you’ve put in.

Chances are, there are still a couple of items you can eliminate. Not only will this serve you well as far as ease of packing and stress levels once you get there, but you’ve also got the added bonus of having more room in your luggage to store any souvenirs or mementos you pick up. Unless you live as a minimalist at home, in which case you’ll probably pass on the souvenirs. 

Enjoy your trip!

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