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14 Minimalist Packing Tips for Your Next Travel Adventure

14 Minimalist Packing Tips for Your Next Travel Adventure


If you’re getting ready for a trip away and want to simplify your travel and pack more lightly and efficiently this article might help! In this guest post from Mia Barnes at Body+Mind magazine we explore 14 minimalist packing tips for your next travel adventure.


Planning a getaway is exciting, but the thought of packing can often dim that enthusiasm. Fortunately, packing can become a streamlined and even enjoyable part of your journey with the right approach. Follow a few minimalist packing principles and you’ll find yourself traveling lighter and freer.

1. Plan Ahead

Minimalism is all about simplicity and ease, so plan ahead to avoid stress on your travels. There’s no use packing for two weeks when you’re only staying for five days.

While it can be tempting to pack all your favourite pieces to show off on your journey, they’re only going to take up space and you’ll likely come home with most unworn anyway. Consider the duration of your stay, the climate and what activities you have planned before choosing which items to pack.

2. Write a List and Stick to It

Before you even touch your suitcase, sit down and make a thorough list of essentials. Be ruthless in your editing, only including absolutely necessary items. Stick to this list and resist the temptation to pack unnecessary extras for minimalist packing success.

14 Minimalist Packing Tips

3. If You’re Second Guessing It, You Don’t Need It

This mantra is your guiding principle when it comes to minimalist packing. If you’re second guessing that pair of shoes or your favourite evening dress, odds are you don’t need it. Hesitating or questioning its necessity could be a clear sign you can leave it behind.

4. Bring a Carry-On Only

Choosing only to bring a carry-on is a sure-fire way to pack less. Limiting yourself to a single compact bag streamlines the packing process and eliminates the need for checked baggage, saving time and money.

You’ll also be able to breeze through airports and crowded terminals, bypassing the hassle of waiting at baggage claim. Travelling with a carry-on guarantees thoughtful packing, forcing you to prioritise necessities and avoid unnecessary clutter.

5. Pack Neutral Clothing

When selecting clothing for your journey, choose a neutral colour palette. Think black, white, grey and beige. Not only do neutral tones effortlessly mix and match, but they also often form part of a capsule wardrobe. This isn’t to say that neutral is your only minimalist wardrobe or packing option. If you love colour and bold patterns and prints, go for it.

By sticking to a cohesive colour (whatever your favourite colour scheme might be), you can create plenty of outfits with just a few key pieces. As an example though, to give you some ideas, here’s a list of neutral staples to get you started:

  • White button-down shirt
  • Black or navy trousers
  • Beige or khaki shorts
  • Neutral sweater
  • White or grey t-shirts
  • Leather belt
  • Dark-wash jeans
  • Neutral cardigan
  • Little black dress
  • Black or brown flats, sandals or loafers
  • Lightweight neutral-coloured rain jacket or windbreaker

6. Use Packing Cubes

Professionals who travel frequently for work say their secret weapon for maximising space and staying organised is packing cubes. They shrink all your belongings to ensure they fit in perfectly.

Group similar items together — such as tops, bottoms and accessories — and assign each category its own container. Packing cubes are a fantastic way to keep your suitcase tidy and make looking for specific items without rummaging through your entire suitcase easier.

7. Roll, Roll, Roll

Gone are the days of traditional folding techniques — rolling is a great way to save space, and minimise wrinkles and creases. Start with bulkier items like jeans and sweaters, then roll smaller items like t-shirts and underwear to fill in the gaps. Stack your rolled garments neatly in your packing cubes or suitcase for maximum efficiency.

14 Minimalist Packing Tips

8. Choose Your Shoes Wisely

Shoes are often bulky and heavy, so choose wisely. Limit yourself to a maximum of two pairs if possible — one for everyday wear, and one for more formal occasions or physical activities.

9. Carry Digital Documents If You Can

Say goodbye to heavy travel books and paper maps. Embrace the digital age by storing travel documents, maps and guides on your phone or tablet. Not only does this save space and weight, but it also ensures easy access to information on the go.

Many destinations also only require electronic visas and other documents like proof of vaccinations. Digital documents are becoming more popular, making it easier for travellers to ensure they have everything they need for their journey.

10. Use Multi-Purpose Items

Choose items that have multiple functions to minimise the number of items you need to pack. For example, a lightweight sarong can double as a beach towel, a picnic blanket and even a dress. Look for versatile pieces that can adapt to various situations during your journey.

11. Downsize Your Toiletries

Pare down your toiletry kit to the essentials. Opt for travel-sized containers of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, or consider solid alternatives to eliminate liquid products altogether. Look for multi-purpose items like a tinted moisturiser with SPF to streamline your beauty routine, or 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to reduce the number of bottles you need to pack.

12. Share Items

Sharing items like hairdryers, hair straighteners or even toothpaste among travel companions is a smart strategy to lighten the collective load of your luggage. Rather than having each person pack their own item, cross-check packing lists so you bring just one to share.

13. If It’s Too Big, Wear It

If you’re struggling with items too bulky to fit in your luggage, consider wearing them on the journey. This tactic frees up valuable space in your suitcase and makes sure your beloved item comes with you on your trip.

Incorporate the bulkiest items — such as a chunky sweater or a sturdy pair of boots — into your travel outfit. Layering can ensure you stay cosy while still keeping your luggage streamlined.

14. Stuff Items In Your Shoes

When faced with limited space, consider using your empty shoes as a clever storage solution. This tactic is particularly effective for small, soft items such as socks, underwear or rolled-up belts.

You can optimise every inch of available space while helping your shoes keep shape during transit. Just be mindful of the weight and shape of the items you’re stuffing to ensure your shoes remain comfortable.


Take the stress out of your travels by mastering the art of minimalist packing. Embrace the mantra of “less is more” and prioritise experiences over possessions, allowing yourself to immerse yourself in the richness of each destination fully. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend getaway or a months-long expedition, minimalist packing empowers you to travel lighter, smarter and with a renewed sense of purpose.

14 Minimalist Packing Tips


Mia Barnes is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for mental wellness and healthy living. Mia Barnes is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online health publication, Body+Mind magazine.

Editor’s Note: I love a simplified, minimalist-style capsule wardrobe. It helps me get dressed quickly and easily in clothes that I love to wear and feel good in.

Packing for your travels is a great way to embrace a capsule wardrobe, even if it’s just for a few days, and discover the benefits of having less clothes but that serve you really well.

In this article, Mia has put together some great tips, many of which might be worth considering if you’re planning a capsule wardrobe of your own at home, and not just for packing for your travels! Less stress, less stuff, more fun and a wardrobe that really works hard for you, your body, your confidence and your lifestyle!


Here are some more articles to help you simplify your wardrobe and build a minimalist closet. I hope you find them helpful!