Minimalism, championed by the millennial generation, is in the spotlight at the moment. Millennials are reported to rather have experiences than possessions, and this affects every aspect of their lives.; instead of buying a bike, they hire them out and instead of building up their worth in physical assets, they are more ken fill their Instagram feeds with genuine, unforgettable experiences, be they thrilling, joyful or beauty filled.
Thanks to inexpensive flights and increasingly tourist-friendly destinations around the globe, millennials are traveling more than ever as well. Not only are they going for longer, but trips are more and more becoming multi-location vacations, hitting several cities and countries across entire continents.
Minimalism becomes more than a trend for these trips; it actually becomes a practical necessity. Taking heavy suitcases packed with things for every conceivable outcome is not viable when you end up moving every two days.
If you’re planning out an unforgettable voyage for this summer, here are 5 travel tips that are sure to help you reduce your packing weight and add real value to your trip abroad.
Only Pack Things Which You Can’t Find Easily
Here are rules minimalists swear by, sometimes even outside of travel: if you can find something for less than $20 in under 20 minutes, then don’t pack it. It’s devilishly simple, but a tip that you should repeat as a mantra for every item you consider packing.
So there will be some exceptions, of course – a well-kitted toilet bag contains all sorts of small items that you would be wise to have for immediate use, for example, medicines, a toothbrush, and some toothpaste. Other than that, and you really need to think to yourself whether or not you could easily find it where you are abroad.
A great example is with t-shirts. Take one or two really good quality t-shirts, that breathe and fit nicely yes, but other than that leave them at home – you want more space for things that, if they get wet or damaged, you’d really want another – think sweatshirts and shoes. You can get a t-shirt for $5 almost anywhere so leave them at home!
Rent Activity Gear from Locals
If you’re into your activities on holiday, then you’ll be used to packing the equipment needed to make them happen. Here’s our tip: rent the gear from the locals instead.
In 2018 you have plenty of options for doing this thanks to the peer-to-peer based sharing economy. You’ll probably already be using Airbnb to rent out the occasional spare bed from locals on your travels – you can also do this with renting out equipment as well.
Generalist gear share websites like Fat Lama offer a huge community of users lending out their equipment to let you embark on whatever activity you want to do. The types of equipment on them spans literally ‘almost anything’, from DSLR cameras to bikes, and the prices will be a lot cheaper than the standard tourist trap equipment rentals you normally find abroad. If you’re looking to get active on your trip, don’t pack bulky gear with you – definitely, check renting from locals instead.
Everything Should Be Multi-Purpose
If you’re a savvy packer you probably already do this, but it’s worth it to repeat to yourself again and again – only take things which have more than one use.
With clothes, this can be especially tricky, but there are some core principles to help you take the clothes with the best value for your trip. Go for versatile clothes with neutral colors that pair up well with other things. Take loose trousers that roll up, shirts that can be tied in the middle and shoes that can handle many types of terrain – trainers are a good bet here.
With other items, you only need a few things to get you through almost any situation – a penknife and a washing up line with hooks at either end will genuinely be the most useful tech you can bring, other than, of course, your mobile phone.
Ask yourself: ‘can I imagine using this more than once?’. If the answer is no, put it back in the cupboard.
Pack Like You’re Going Away for a Week – Always
Like the $20-20 minute rule, this is another golden rule for your packing on any trip. To pack minimally, imagine you’re only going away for a week, and then bring your stuff accordingly. Remember, people going on a weeks holiday do not take much at all, maybe a small suitcase and a rucksack, and you should be thinking along these lines as well. You can wash your clothes in almost every location, so don’t weigh yourself down by bringing too much.
Here’s a packing list to work with, although do feel free to modify specific to your vacation needs:
- 2 x Decent Breathable Shirts
- 1 x Good Quality Trainers
- 1 x Sandals
- 2 x Loose, durable Pants
- 1 x Bathing Suit
- 7 x Underpants
- 7 x Socks
- 2 x Decent Quality Long sleeved T-shirts
- 1 x Toilet Bag with Essentials
- 1 x Penknife
- 1 x Washing line
- 1 x Small Sewing Kit (Bonus Tip: Sewing is a great travel skill, learn it – especially for long journeys)
- 1 x Mobile Phone
- Travel Papers
This should have you covered for absolutely any vacation, but generally, be clever and take what you need and leave what you don’t – it’s not rocket science!
Improve Your Packing Gear
The final tip is to up your packing gear itself. There are two really useful devices to help with this. First invest in a Hard-Shell suitcase – they will act as a physical limit for you to pack and help get you to reduce what you take – no more soft fabric bags bursting at the seams!
Second, take a look at Packing Cubes – these are nifty little pouches that you can use to help you organize your items a little better. They also have limited capacity in their own right and will help you limit the number of things you take in each category of clothing so that you don’t end up with something like 10 shirts and 1 pair of underwear.
Another benefit of these pieces of kit? The suitcase doubles as a hard chair and the packing cubes can be used as a convenient cushion – you can’t lose.
So to recap: reduce what you take by filtering for convenience, upgrading your packing gear and thinking of packing as if you’re heading off for a week. Additionally, rent stuff from neighbors instead of packing it, and make sure everything you take has extra-purpose to it. You’ll be a pro-packer in no time!