Travel is supposed to be fun and liberating for the mind as well as the body and soul. So how are you supposed to experience the freedom and bliss of travel if you’re encumbered by three suitcases and two backpacks filled with stuff you’re probably not going to use? You can’t, really. Instead, you need to drop some weight off of your shoulders by embracing a minimalist packing mindset that will help organize a vacation of a lifetime

Whether you’re getting ready for a road trip to a neighboring state, or if you’re traveling across the globe to an exotic destination, there are many ways a minimalist approach to globetrotting can help you get the most bang for your buck. Here are the packing essentials every minimalist sticks to in order to make travel easy and fun.

Start with the basics

As obvious as it may seem, you would be surprised how many people actually pack their clothes and toiletries first without thinking about the things that are most important when traveling. This is a great way to overpack and bring a lot of useless stuff with you that will do nothing more but slow you down. So start with the basics, and think carefully about the things you actually need

These include your passport, your credit cards plus cash (always have cash on you), your carry-on backpack with TSA-approved zip-lock bag for liquids, and a fresh change of socks and underwear. Don’t forget your driver’s license if you plan to rent a car when you land. 

Bring the essential travel gadgets

Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

It’s a digital world out there, and there is absolutely no shame for being a part of it. In fact, technology can have a profound influence on your travel habits, and it can help you organize and live out some amazing moments on the road. So, don’t ditch it while traveling, but bring it with you instead.

There’s no need to bring your entire home office, though, just a few essentials. Make sure you have your smartphone and its charger, and bring an external battery just in case. If you’re going to be working on the road, bring your laptop, and if not, leave it at home – your phone can handle emails and video calls. Don’t forget your headphones and a power adapter, and bring a location-specific SIM card too so that you can use the mobile data safely if you’re travelling internationally.

Select clothing and accessories

Clothes and accessories tend to take up most of the space in your suitcase and backpack, so there is a need to eliminate everything from your list that you’re not going to use. You need to be realistic here, and you need to be merciless no matter how much you like that chunky-knit sweater. If it’s not the dead of winter, you don’t need it.

Aside from carefully curating your clothing selection, you also want to accessorize in a smart way. Firstly, combine form and function with a set of personalised keyrings on your suitcase and your carry-on in order to make them easy to discern in a sea of luggage at the airport and the hotel – don’t allow yourself to lose sight of your bags. Next, pack the essential accessories you’ll definitely use, including a pair of sunglasses, a scarf and a hat to protect you from the sun. Leave the wristwatch, you phone can tell time.

The toiletries you’ll need

A true minimalist knows how to pack their toiletries in a single vanity case, although the quantity of these items will vary depending on if you’re road tripping over the weekend or traveling around the world. All you need is to stick to your hygiene essentials, similar to the way you would back home. These should include a new toothbrush and toothpaste, a razor, sanitary products, deodorant, nail clippers, and your makeup essentials. Throw in your favorite perfume if there’s some room left.

Emergency and survival kits

And finally, you shouldn’t even think about getting into your car or boarding a plane to an exotic destination if you haven’t packed your emergency and survival essentials, as well as any medical products you might need. Bring at least one first-aid kit with you, and store your medication in an easy-to-reach place. If you’ll be exploring the great outdoors as well, then make sure you bring all of your survival essentials as well.

Parting words

To travel the world means to explore and have fun, not drag around a bunch of suitcases filled with the things you don’t even use back home. So make sure to embrace these minimalist packing essentials and you will have no problem organizing a stress-free voyage.


  • Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.