The Extreme Minimalist Traveler!

minimalist-travel

You don’t have to be a minimalist to be a “minimalist traveler”.

Being a minimalist traveler takes on the mindset of a minimalist but applies the principles to the travel scene.

Minimalist traveling is a form of traveling where you only pack the material possessions that are necessary. If you can fit your entire life into a backpack, you are on the right road.

The whole minimalist idea starts with your luggage.

Minimalism can seem out of reach when you are not sure you will be able to access all that you need from the locations you are visiting.

How do you know you will be able to buy your favorite breakfast cereal or hair shampoo?

Pack Your Bag Like A Minimalist

Think about your past holidays. How many times have you packed far more than you actually needed for your trip?

How many times have you sat at the airport and watched package flights to sunny places where young people have two or three suitcases bursting at the seams.

It looks more like they are going away for two years let alone two weeks.

Here are some simple steps to send you on your minimalist way.

1. Buy A Smaller Bag

This is a great first step, but you need to be strict with yourself.

By deciding to buy a smaller bag, you are limiting yourself on what you can take straightaway – you need to be strict with yourself too.

It will reduce the temptation to keep adding more things to your bag and will force you to prioritize.

Next, think about the type of bag.

The most popular bag that can accommodate more for less is the backpack, particularly if you are going to be traveling around a lot.

Many backpacks come with smart features you don’t find in conventional luggage that can do packing and organizing your stuff a lot easier.

The other benefit is that you will save on airline baggage fees.

2. Is A Backpack The Answer

There is no doubt the bag of choice for minimalist travel has to be the backpack.

A 40L version backpack will be allowed on the plane and is easy to organize all your items into.

One of the last things you want to be doing is queuing at the check-in desk for hours on end. With a backpack, you can wander the airspace freely.

With a backpack, the weight is also shifted off the shoulders, as they usually clip to the waist and chest.

Quite a few backpacks also come with a day bag that can be unzipped away from the main backpack. This means for site seeing you can leave your backpack at your air BNB and just take the day sack.

3. Analyze your packing

Here’s a good practice to start with

Gather all you travel things you are considering taking with you.

Lay them out on the floor or bed.

Take a mental inventory of everything there, then decide ruthlessly what you really need and what you don’t.

Then remove these items into three piles;

To Sell

To Recycle

To Donate

Then look at your duplicates. Do you really need 7 pairs of briefs, seven pairs of socks, ten bottles of water?

Pick out the one or two, then add the rest to your three piles as you see fit.

Finally, clear all the unwanted gear away and take a good hard look at what you have left.

Consider the quality of what is left, is anything ancient, doesn’t quite fit, not really sure if you will use it.

No sense in hanging onto these things, again allocate them to your three piles.

When packing there are various essential items that you are going to need regardless.

One tip for toiletries. Buy them at your destination as and when you will need them. There is no point taking a year’s worth of toothpaste when it is leaving no space in your backpack.

You are going to need your passport, your bank cards, and your phone and charger.

As far as electronics go these are the bare essentials along with some headphones.

Now ask yourself these questions;

What items did I not use the last time I went away?

Is there a non-essential habit I can cut out while I am away?

Are there smaller versions of what I am taking away with me?

Then we come to the secondary items you might need.

Things like;

Toothbrush

Deodorant

Water bottle

Jacket or sweater

Comfy shoes

Try to minimize the amounts of toiletries and makeup you take with you.

A simple rule for clothes is not to pack more than a week’s worth of clothing and pack predominantly mix and match outfits.

Also, plan to do laundry while you are away. There are usually laudramats in all places so plenty of opportunities to wash your smalls.

Once you have mastered the minimalist packing side of things, you will start to feel more comfortable and mobile.

Your Proposed Destination

You can take a minimalist approach to your travel plans regardless of where you are traveling to.

Obviously traveling to a hot destination makes it a bit easier to pack minimally but to go on the city break you can take the same approach.

One of the best approaches is to thoroughly research where you are going. Look specifically at the seasonal weather patterns for the areas you are traveling too.

If possible talk to locals, friends, and family that may have been to the same destination.

Don’t forget the reasons why you are on holiday in the first place. It is usually to get away from everyday stresses.

Try to digitally detox while you are away and not constantly scrolling through your social media accounts.

One final point, don’t forget that minimalism places a heavy emphasis on experiences over-consumption.

So step away from the usual tourist traps and souvenir shopping arcades, check out other venues that are more true to a minimalistic lifestyle.

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