Summer is upon us, which means that for many people, it is officially travel season! Packing for trips can be stressful, especially if you are a chronic over-packer. Minimalist packing may seem daunting, but even if you only incorporate a couple of minimalist travel habits, you will still notice an improvement! These tips will help you know what to pack, how much, and how to avoid all of the stress!
- Lighten up! Pare down what you really need vs. what you think you need. Don’t let yourself play the “what if” game! Focus on what you truly need to take, which will depend on where you are going and what you plan to do there. Connie Wang, Fashion Features Director at Refinery29, has a great equation for knowing how much to pack: Take the total number of days you will be gone on your trip and divide by five. That number, rounded up to the nearest whole number, is how many dresses you should take (if you’re a woman). Now take that number and multiply by 3. Bring that many shirts and bottoms. If you feel like you could get by on less, go for it! But these numbers should give you a good starting point.
- Bring items that are versatile. Maybe you already know that there is an event you will need to dress up for, or maybe you don’t. As many good adventures go, you will likely have an opportunity that you didn’t expect, like attending a local wedding last minute (true story)! It is usually a good idea to have at least one potential outfit that you could dress up, but you want to be able to wear those items at other times too. A good trick is to pack two items that look dressy together, but can be casual individually.
- Choose one color story. The key to minimalist packing is the ability to mix and match. To make this easier, pack clothes that follow a similar color scheme so that they can be interchanged easily. A good rule of thumb is that each item should be able to be paired with at least 2 other items. To liven up your travel wardrobe, consider adding a few smaller accessory items that can add that little pop of color.
- Pack less and buy things there. Remember that no matter where you go, you will probably be able to purchase items there. If you’re unsure about whether or not you will need something, leave it home and buy it if you need it. You can also use this trick for toiletry items that can be tricky to get through security anyway (think shampoo, mouthwash, etc).
- Utilize space. Unless you’re a die hard minimalist, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to zip up a suitcase that does NOT want to be zipped. You can avoid most of that problem by following some of the other tips here, but you can also fit items better by how you pack them. Instead of folding your clothes, roll them! This both saves you space and prevents wrinkles (win, win!). You can also pack things like socks or underwear in your shoes. The Grip6 Belt can also help with utilizing space as you can bring multiple buckles and one strap and have tons of options.
- Pack items you feel comfortable in. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident in it, you won’t wear it, plain and simple. Nobody knows your style and comfort like you, so be honest with yourself about what you will and won’t wear. For some people that may mean leaving the nice dress shoes at home, and for others it may mean ditching the practical (but ugly) walking shoes. Know and be honest with yourself!