Minimalist Travel Packing List for 2022

By: Annabel Love

Minimalist travel is all about getting rid of the stuff that doesn't matter to us either because it's just taking up space or because it's too heavy. With a minimalist travel packing list you will be able to spend more time exploring the world and engaging with people instead of carrying around your possessions!

Here Our Minimalist Travel Packing List for 2022:

  • Mobile Phone    
  • iPad or small laptop    
  • Earbuds    
  • Glasses, Sunglasses & Case   
  • Wallet & Purse  
  • Water Bottle & Holder    
  • Microfiber Towel  
  • Waterproof Toiletries bag with personal items, "essentials" + medications and vitamins as needed.
  • Chargers for laptops and mobile phones
  • Camera / Or better yet, plan to use Phone
  • 3x shirts/blouses    
  • 1x pants/jeans, shorts, or skirt-not a dress!    
  • 2x underwear & bras 
  •  For cold weather climates: warm lightweight coat, gloves and hat, additional pairs of socks, and long underwear for winter conditions.
  • Shoes: 1x light-weight sandals, flats or closed-toe tan shoes, sneakers    
  • 1x rain boots (optional)   
  • Other important items to bring along are credit cards, cash, travel documents-passport, plane tickets, hotel reservations, Covid vaccination certificates, travel insurance, or photos of important documents and certificates on your phone. 
  • Nori Steam Iron - To look your best, the Nori Steam Travel Iron is small and lightweight and will easily fit in your backpack or carry-on. 

NOTE:  The clothing and shoe recommendations are very subjective, and this is the result of discussion and compromise. This packing list was created in a major metropolitan city and will be used for travel to outdoor destinations in the summer and indoor destinations in the winter. If you are traveling to a location with wet weather, consider bringing along an extra pair of shoes and a raincoat or waterproof jacket.

If you're only packing clothes and shoes, this minimalist travel list amounts to around 15-20 lbs (7-10 kg). 

We've only included the bare necessities that we really need to travel with. Anything else you may be able to purchase when you get there. Or, check out the bartering section of the subreddit for locals willing to trade their expertise and products in exchange for foreign currency or services.

Now that you have our minimalist travel checklist, let's get into the details about the benefits and how to plan for minimalist travel. 

What is Minimalist Travel

Minimalist travelers want a lighter load and a more comfortable trip, so they pack accordingly. When you travel with minimalism in mind, you can get rid of the unnecessary things that just take up space or weigh you down. You'll find that traveling light gives you more freedom to explore new things, visit with locals, friends or family, and just enjoy your own company. If you're a minimalist traveler, this packing list is for you.

Benefits of Minimalist Travel

When you travel with minimalism in mind, you can get rid of the unnecessary things that just take up space or weigh you down. You'll find that traveling light gives you more freedom to explore new things, visit with locals, and just enjoy. If you're a minimalist traveler, this packing list is for you.

Some benefits of minimalist travel include:

  • Less stress because you don't have to worry about carrying around your possessions
  • More money because you don't have to buy as many things
  • More space in your bag and less weight on your body
  • Easier to pack and unpack
  • You can go anywhere and do anything faster because you don't need a lot of time to pack 
  • More comfortable overall traveling because you're not weighed down with heavy gear

5 Steps to Minimalist Travel

To begin minimalist travel, you need to pack light. When it comes to packing, remember that the lighter you go, the better your experience will be. Here are some steps for how to do this:

  1. Set a Budget - Before you can budget, you have to figure out how much money you have to spend in the first place. Be honest with yourself when deciding what your budget is. Are there parts of your travel that you don't want to skimp on? If so, then allow yourself enough spending money for those experiences. You should also remember that some experiences will be more expensive than you think, so don't just use wanting new things as an excuse to buy.
  2. Look Into Exchange Rates - If your destination is not in your home country, then look into the exchange rate-how much one unit of your home currency is worth in the local currency (the money of the country you're going to). If you know this, then you can use it in your budgeting and bargain shopping. 
  3. Figure Out How Long You'll Be There - Knowing how long you're going to be in one place is an important part of knowing what to take with you. If you know that you're only going for a weekend, then pack accordingly-that means carry-on bags only and light clothing if weather p permits.. If you're going to be there for a week, then you may want to bring additional items but there's no harm in washing and wearing again.
  4. Check the Weather - Most of us are creatures of habit, so knowing how weather works where you're headed will help you decide what to take with you on your trip. Is it going to be hot where you're going? If so, then pack as light as possible and avoid bringing heavy or bulky items. Is it going to be cold there (and you're traveling in the winter)? Then bring long lightweight warm clothing and coats.
  5. Comparison Shop - When you know what to take with you, the only thing left to do is compare prices. Check out sites like eBay and Amazon for gear at a discount. You can also go to outlets or discount shops in your destination if they have the item that you're looking for this is especially helpful when it comes to lightweight warm clothing necessities.
  6. Go Minimalist With Electronics - You don't need an iPhone, an iPad, and a laptop to travel the world in fact, having those things means that you have more stuff to carry around with you! Only pack your smartphone, earbuds, and maybe a small tablet, if you need one.

For clothing, remember these three things: 1. The lighter the material, the better 2. The more neutral, the more mix and match options 3. You don't need much to look good!

For guys - if you're looking for something light that's also casual or dressy then consider investing in a few nicer-looking button-down shirts. These big sellers are great because they're lightweight and easy to wash, but you can also wear them out at night with a pair of jeans for a nice dinner date or party.

For gals - the same principles from the above description apply to you too, except that there are more ways of looking "dressy" for women. Bras and underwear made from soft materials that breathe well are best-you don't want heavy materials bunching up on you or restricting your movements while traveling. Invest in a few light but pretty tops if they'll be appropriate for your destination. Loose-fitting and neutral-colored items are also good options if they're also light and durable.

To look great consider taking a Nori Travel Steam Irion. It's one of the best inventions for travelers-you simply fill it with water, plug it into your electrical outlet (use a converter if you're traveling abroad), and it heats up to be ready in minutes. Your clothing will be pressed and refreshed in mere minutes, unplug it when you're done and go! No more wrinkles and a quick refresh with its unique fabric facial solution.

What's the Point of Minimalist Travel

Most people travel to see new things and have new experiences. However, there are also many other reasons why we travel - but most of them still boil down to seeing or experiencing something novel or exciting. We do it because we want a break from our same old, same old daily routines. We go to meet people who are different from us. We want to learn new skills and knowledge. Maybe we go because we are inspired by something or someone, or maybe it's just for fun! Whatever your reason for travel is, remember the objective is to have experiences that you wouldn't have if you stayed at home. It's not about your clothes.

What to Pack for a Minimalist Trip

When planning a minimalist trip, it's important to remember that packing light is the key to successfully traveling with less. Generally speaking, clothing takes up the most space in your luggage.. Some successful minimalist travelers swear by packing nothing but the bare minimum, while others like to be more prepared by packing some basic toiletries and other essentials. If you're an avid minimalist traveler, this list will help get you started with some clothing items that are totally travel-friendly for a trip of any length. If you are traveling for more than a month, it might be worthwhile to invest in some travel-friendly clothing items that will work well on this specific trip. There are several options on the market today and worth the investment for any length trip.

Note: What's listed below is just an example of what might work for a minimalist trip. You can replace or add items based on your needs,  preferences and destination!

How to Pack "Bare Minimum"

To pack the absolute bare minimum, consider taking a "4-day pack": one pair of pants or shorts, two shirts or blouses, underwear and socks for four days. You can usually find these packs at outdoor stores like REI - they're designed to give you everything you need to survive on your own in the wilderness. If your destination is more urban or rural, you might consider replacing the "pack" with a pair of jeans and two nice tops!

Don't get seduced by pretty colors...

If you're looking to take a minimalist trip but haven't been able to find clothing items that will work for your trip, then try taking a few colored t-shirts. When buying clothes specifically for travel, try sticking to dark colors like navy blue or black because these tend to be "easy-to-travel" colors that are harder to stain. The different colored t-shirts will give you some variety.

They're just clothes, you don't need 100s of them...

The most important thing is to pick clothing items that suit your destination and activities! When deciding how many clothes to pack, think about what you'll be doing for the most part of your day. For example, if you're going to be on a beach, then shorts a t-shirt and bathing suit or swim trunks will work fine. If you'll be hiking on a trail for most of the day, make sure your clothes are resistant to tears and rips from tree branches! Be prepared for anything by packing clothing items that can tackle any type of activity or situation that you might be faced with.

Keep it Simple, Stupid or KISS

For many people, the idea of packing the bare minimum is terrifying because they feel like every item counts - and it does! Remember to keep things simple and prioritize what's really important by removing anything that isn't necessary. Focus on getting rid of the stuff you don't need instead of filling up your luggage so it's completely full. This is where knowledge of packing light really counts- you'll be able to fit everything into one or two bags instead of needing three or four!

Tips for Getting Ready at Home, Before the Trip

Before you go on your trip, you may find that you will get rid of clothing that is taking up space in your closet. BONUS!  Not only will this make packing easier, but it'll also free up some much-needed closet space! Here are a few tips for getting rid of stuff, and getting ready for your trip.

  1. Sort through your belongings and get rid of anything that you don't wear or need.
  2. Hold a garage sale or donate any items that you don't want to keep.
  3. To get some extra cash for the trip, sell any valuable items that you don't need. There are plenty of online platforms like eBay or Craigslist that make it easy to sell your stuff! Or just have a garage sale.
  4. Throw away any broken or unused items They're just taking up space and can be a safety hazard, too!
  5. Don't forget to get rid of any excess food or perishables in your fridge or pantry. You don't need them and you certainly don't want to come home to them.
  6. Test your security system before leaving. It would be a shame to come back and find out that someone burglarized your house!
  7. Put away any valuables and leave a note for your house sitter with instructions on where to find them in case of an emergency.
  8. Unplug electrical appliances like the toaster, blender, decorative lighting.  
  9. Make sure that all of your luggage is free of rips or tears - and that it has a tag or other identifying information, just in case it gets separated from you! No worries if you pack only a carry-on.
  10. Choose one bag or roller suitcase and use it as your 'main' bag during the trip. If possible, pick a spacious piece of luggage that can be used for longer trips as well as shorter ones.
  11. Keep all of your important documents in your main carry-on luggage. You should have all of the documents that you need for international travel, including your passport, visa (if necessary), and airline tickets. Keep photocopies of all these documents in a separate area of your luggage.
  12. Keep track of extra money if possible-you'll want to make sure you have enough! This can be done with some extra cash in your carry-on luggage, or by taking out an amount on a credit card before you go.
  13. Pack clothes that are versatile depending on the weather. It's easy to overpack when you're trying to account for all possible types of weather and it's also unnecessary. Remember that you can always buy (or rent) warmer or sunnier clothing while you're out if necessary.
  14. Pack your clothes in a way that makes sense for the trip. If possible, put your underwear and socks together, then shirts, then pants or shorts, and finally outerwear. If you do this, it'll be easier to sort through what you have at any given time - and also make it easier to put things back where they belong.
  15. Take into consideration your activities for the trip - and don't pack items that you won't need. Don't take a fancy dress if you're not going anywhere fancy!
  16. Find out about laundry facilities wherever you'll be staying so that you can plan accordingly. If possible, do your laundry halfway through your trip and pack accordingly. 
  17. Pack a Nori Steam Iron to look your best throughout your trip.
  18. Don't forget your travel organizer-a document holder or binder will help keep you organized!
  19. Pet Plan  Pet boarding facilities can be expensive. Be sure to leave yourself some time to shop around well before you need to leave. 
  20. Plants and Watering - Be sure to give your housesitter a watering list for inside and outside. 

More Getting Ready Packing Tips

When you're packing for your trip, it's important to have a well-organized system that lets you see at a glance what you have. This will prevent you from forgetting anything! Here are some tips for basic preparation:

Make sure that all of your luggage is free of rips or tears - and that it has a tag or other identifying information, just in case it gets separated from you!

Choose one bag or roller suitcase and use it as your main bag during the trip. If possible, pick a spacious piece of luggage that can be used for longer trips as well as shorter ones.

Keep all of your important documents in your carry-on luggage. You should have all of the documents that you need for international travel, including your passport, visa, and airline tickets. Keep photocopies of all these documents in a separate area of your luggage.

Keep track of extra money if possible-you'll want to make sure you have enough! This can be done with some extra cash in your luggage, or by taking out an amount on a credit card before you go.

Pack clothes that are versatile depending on the weather. It's easy to overpack when you're trying to account for all possible types of weather and it's also unnecessary. Look at the weather for your destination and pack accordingly.

Pack your clothes in a way that makes sense for the trip. If possible, put your underwear and socks together, then shirts, then pants or shorts, and finally outerwear. Try to put like items together. If you do this, it'll be easier to sort through what you have at any given time - and also make it easier to put things back where they belong.

Take into consideration your activities for the trip - and don't pack items that you won't need. No need for a party outfit on a hiking trip.

Find out about laundry facilities wherever you'll be staying so that you can plan accordingly. If possible, do your laundry halfway through your trip and pack accordingly. 

Pack a Nori Steam Iron to look your best for your entire trip.  It's small and lightweight.

Don't forget your travel organizer-a document holder or binder will help keep you organized!

FAQs About Minimalist Travel

Should you travel with a suitcase or backpack?

If you're traveling long distances with outdoor sightseeing you might prefer a backpack. However, if you're planning on spending most of your time exploring cities, you may prefer a roller suitcase with a pull handle. You can probably find a lightweight backpack that you can put into your carry-on and solve this problem.  

How much weight should you carry in a backpack?

The average backpack weighs around 5 pounds. For short trips, you can probably get away with carrying less than 10 pounds, but for extended trips, you'll definitely want to bring more. Find a comfortable weight for you

Which bag is better: a suitcase or a backpack?

Both are great options, but there are pros and cons to both. Backpacks are generally more comfortable but can be heavy for your to travel with. Suitcases are usually sturdier and easier to maneuver, but they are larger.  It will depend on your length of trip and destination.  There are several backpacks and carry-on options today so you may be able to take both.

Where should I put my toiletries?

You can find a variety of storage solutions for toiletries. One option is to use a small Ziploc bag to hold your toothbrush and other essentials. Another option is to purchase a travel container such as those found here. REI, Amazon or The Container Store.

Can I take a laptop with me?

Yes, but if you think you can get away with just a tablet or your phone that would be a better option. 

Are there any tips for keeping my luggage light?

Good planning will do the trick.  Pieces of clothing that you can mix and match to create different outfits, lightweight clothing if possible.  If you're going to a colder climate there are lots of options for lightweight packable jackets and coats that will also keep you warm. Shoes can be heavy, so as much as possible pack shoes that you can wear with many different outfits. 

Do I really need an umbrella?

An umbrella is useful for protecting yourself from rain and sun. It's important to note that umbrellas aren't always necessary in tropical climates. You can find small travel umbrellas that a lightweight and small yet open up to full size.  

How should I pack my toiletry kit?

Toiletries should be packed separately from your clothing. Put them in a ziplock bag or plastic container. Consider taking a shampoo/conditioner combo product. To prevent leaks, place these containers inside a zip lock bag.

What kind of water bottle should I buy?

A refillable water bottle is ideal because you can reuse it over and over again. There are many different types available, including stainless steel, aluminum, BPA-free, and even ones made from bamboo.

How do I choose a good pair of walking shoes?

Walking shoes are essential for getting around while you're traveling. Choose sturdy shoes that offer support and comfort. Look for shoes with a thick sole and a cushioned heel.  A trip to a good shoe store will help you find the best walking pair of shoes or sneakers.

What are the best backpacking clothes?

Backpackers often wear lightweight cotton shirts and shorts. They also wear t-shirts under their shirts to protect against the elements. Shorts are easy to wash and dry quickly. If you plan on hiking, make sure to pack a pair of pants that have secure pockets.  Take a trip to a travel store to find new lightweight clothing that washes and dries easily.  You can even find disposable underwear!

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