I’m a firm believer in minimalism travel and follow the one-bag rule. Not only do you save on baggage fees, but you don’t have to worry about the airline losing your luggage.
Additionally, it’s easier to navigate around a new place if you only have a carry-on bag — no long queues at baggage claim and no heavy luggage to lug around.
My bag of choice is a 33L duffle backpack: Carry it as a duffle bag over your shoulder or flip it sideways and it’s a backpack. Depending on how you carry it, either the sling or the backpack straps can be tucked away when not in use.
It has a laptop sleeve on the inside and there’s enough space for two packing cubes, a 15″ laptop, toiletry bag and the maroon gadget bag you seen in the image above.
However, the bag is a bit heavy with the 15″ laptop. I’ve now invested in a 10″ tablet for travelling. The tablet is also nice for this load shedding dilemma we find ourself in, because it can be charged with a powerbank.
Fitting everything you need into one small bag sounds daunting, I know, but it’s really not that hard. Sure, I get that minimalism travel isn’t for everyone. Not everyone wants to live out of a bag and handwash their clothes every second day.
I had this very discussion with my best friend while we were wandering around Swaziland for nine glorious days. It was before I bought my duffle backpack, and I took two bags on that trip: a sports bag and a backpack, mainly because we rented a car and didn’t fly.
My friend, who had taken a nice sturdy suitcase, told me while unpacking her gown that she prefers comfort. I didn’t have space to pack a gown, you see. I, who took only three t-shirts, a pair of jeans and two track pants, had to wash my clothes frequently.
The point is that minimalist travel might not be for you and that is okay. But if you think it could be and are looking for some pointers on how to actually go about it, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll look at a generic minimalistic travel list.
You’ll need a sturdy bag
Oh, there are so many options, and we’ll go into detail about this at a later stage. Before you go out and buy a bag that is way too big (or small), you need first to assess what you want to take.
I’ve managed to get my travelling items down to nine clothing items. Disclaimer, I get to save extra space because I only travel with one pair of shoes, my trusty Salomons. Other sites out there will advise you to take one pair for walking and one “fancy” pair.
Yeah, if my Salomon’s aren’t good enough for a fancy establishment, the establishment is not good enough for me. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
It also helps that I pretty much wear the same type of clothes and I’m not really bothered about fashion. Personally I go for a cross between Jessica Jones and Dean Winchester.
Therefore, my list includes:
- Three black t-shirts
- One pair of jeans
- Two pairs of track pants
- Two long sleeve check shirts (actually, exactly like the image above)
- One jacket
- Pyjama top and bottoms
- One pair of shoes
That’s it. The t-shirts are polyester, so they dry out overnight. I love cotton, but it’s not really ideal for travelling. Unless you plan to take one shirt for every day, you’ll need to scale down on the clothes to save space.
I bought a microfibre towel – it’s quick-drying too and folds into a little ball smaller than my fist. Look, you won’t be able to wrap it around your body like a floofy big towel, but it gets the job done.
My toiletry bag is pretty much minimalist too.
- Toothbrush and tiny toothpaste
- Strange handglove thingy for washing
- Shampoo sheets (50 small sheets in a tiny container, just add water)
- Liquid soap sheets
- Laundry wash sheets
- Mitchum roll on
- First aid kit
- Mosquito repellent.
That’s it. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be able to cope with just that, but I have no complaints so far. It also helps that I’m not a make-up wearing person.
On occasions that I do need to take makeup, I get by with one black eyeliner, and an eyeshadow compact in shades of black, grey and green. And it’s easy enough to squeeze those two items in anywhere.
If you need more space, try packing smaller items in bulky shoes – think socks, power cables, toiletries – and wear your heaviest clothes, like jackets, jeans, etc, while in transit.
A waist belt or under-the-shoulder bag is ideal for holding passports, cash, your phone, etc. while on the move. If you’re still not convinced, try a 65L bag and see how that works out. You can always downscale later.
TOP IMAGE: Via Pixabay.com