How to Pack Light & Smart – Essential Travel Packing Tips for Minimalist Traveling. Audible is offering our followers a free 30-day trial today. Sign up to check out their audio books using our special link:
Want more travel packing tips? Check out this NEW video we made for extra light minimalist travel:
After almost 5 years of travelling, we’ve come up with our 10 best travel packing tips to help you travel light, save money, and have an easy and comfortable trip.
1. Minimalist Travel Wardrobe
We choose clothes that are all in the same colour scheme and style so they can be layered to create different outfits for different situations and climates. In our experience, packing fewer clothes is always best and if you find that you’re missing something, like a warmer sweater, you can always pick it up along the way.
After buying and throwing out countless plastic water bottles on our travels, we finally said enough is enough. It was a waste of money and plastic. So we decided to get a portable water purifier (SteriPEN sent us one) and now we bring our own stainless steel water bottles with us and we purify tap water wherever we are.
3. Books and Guides
Books and guides are easily the heaviest things we carry on trips. To downsize the weight in our backpack or suitcase, we try to bring smaller travel journals, we don’t bring guide books (we use our iPod and free maps from airports and train stations to get around), and we’re starting to try eBooks (free from the library) and audio books from Audible (our video sponsor!).
4. Staying Clean
When travelling, there are many times (for us at least) when we don’t shower as often as we’d like, maybe a long 48 hour travel leg, or a nasty hostel shower that we don’t want to use. To stay fresh between showers, we use dry shampoo (the one in the video is from One Love Organics) and wet wipes (paraben-free). We also always travel with Dr Bronners soap because we can use it for everything: showering, dishes, and laundry.
We no longer buy souvenirs for our friends and family. Instead, we try to send postcards to show people we’re thinking of them. It’s cheaper, less wasteful, and we feel that it’s more meaningful overall.
We’ve had a passport stolen, and another damaged by water. We’re not messing around with our passports anymore so we carry them in ziplock bags, inside a hidden passport pouch.
7. Food and Snacks
Food and snacks at airports and in touristy areas is usually overpriced and not necessarily healthy. We try to pack our own food and snacks as much as possible (sandwiches, granola bars, hummus and crackers, oatmeal, roasted nuts, etc.) but it’s important to check the rules about what you can bring and where.
When we’re not travelling for work, we try to bring just our iPod touch. We travelled for almost one full year with just the iPod & free wifi, and we did all of our hotel and flight bookings, and even a couple of visa applications on the tiny screen. It’s not perfect, but it saves us from lugging around a couple of laptops like we do now.
We also always travel with a flashlight. We have a Foxelli headlamp that is USB rechargeable and the battery lasts forever (they sent us the headlamp a couple of years ago and we love it).
Travel has a pretty big environmental footprint and while we haven’t quite gotten to the point where we’re willing to stop just for environmental reasons, we do try to minimize flying and we travel with reusable containers to limit the amount of garbage waste we’re producing. We bring stainless steel food containers (by Onyx), water bottles, and coffee mugs, as well as cloth bags and cutlery.
10. Staying Healthy
We use natural remedies like oregano oil, garlic pills, activated charcoal, and essential oils to treat things like food poisoning, cold and flu, diarrhea, headaches, etc. We also bring strong anti-nausea pills because Danielle gets motion sick in cars, planes, buses — even a hammock once!
Thanks for watching!
Mat & Danielle
PS a very special thank you to our backbone supporters: The Burgess Family.
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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives
Mat of Exploring Alternatives