Beginner’s Guide to Minimalist Traveling

By Jason Rittle 10/1/2019

Whether you are a full time traveler or someone who enjoy going on alot of short-but-sweet trips, one of the best things you can do to make your trip more convenient is to pack light. Packing light has a lot of benefits from avoiding pricey baggage fees to less time waiting to claim your bags to minimizing losing your bags altogether. Most of us don’t have the luxury of taking off for a month and going on a long paid vacation where we can pack our entire bedroom with us so here are some tips for you short-term travelers that want to make the most out of your 1-2 week paid vacations.

Don’t check your bags

If you are only going away for a week or two, there is no reason you absolutely must check a huge suitcase. Check with your airline on the weight, height, and width restriction of your carry-on bags and purchase a suitcase that is at or slightly below those dimensions. Many department stores will sell luggage that specifically state “carry-on friendly,” however you should still double check with your particular Airline’s limits beforehand. If you are about to board and your carry-on happens to be too large to fit in the overhead compartment, Airlines will generally check them to your destination for free.

Pack only travel-friendly toiletries

Soap, Shampoo, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, and Lotion: these are all available in travel-friendly sizes (Below TSA approved restrictions) and will be able to last you plenty of time. These can all fit inside one TSA approved toiletry bag. Toiletry bags that are TSA approved can be purchased as Target, Wal-Mart, or any other retail store. If you would rather use your own bag at home, you can use a quart-sized zip lock bag.

Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes can be purchased at any travel store or retailer with a travel section. Packing cubes are small compression bags that can be zipped up. They can fit most essentials such as socks, underwear, shorts, or even loose items such as electronic chargers, jewelry, and watches. Compressing these items into a packing cube will provide the rest of your luggage with room for larger items. You can also use larger sized packing cubes and separate your items according to size, making it easier to organize and fit all of your items into your carry-on.

Don’t pack a whole new outfit for each day

Worst thing you can do is to pack a separate pair of pants or shoes for each day you will be traveling. Try to see what can be re worn a few times before needing to wash it and just pack less of that. Learn to mix and match your outfits. Pants and shoes are heavy and take up the most room in your carry-on clothes-wise. Two to three pairs of pants can suffice for a week trip — if you are traveling for two to three weeks, determine if the place you are staying at will have laundry facilities. Three pairs of pants can easily last you a week. As for shoes, two pairs of shoes — one stylish and one for comfortably walking in — will be enough. Make sure to wear your comfy shoes to the airport. Depending on the weather, pack one jacket and try to wear it to the airport as well — planes get pretty chilly so you’ll need it. Things such as shirts, socks, and underwear can of course be packed to the number of days you will be out. When you pack less overall outfits and just mix and match them, you can make it seem as if you have more clothes than you actually do.


Overall, traveling minimally makes it easier to go on your quick weekend or week long getaways abroad without having to haul around bulky luggage or paying avoidable fees just to bring a few items that you can live without. Remember, most Airlines have a free Carry-on + Personal item allowance. Use this to your advantage and it will save you time, money, and a lot of potential headaches. Happy Travels!

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