How to Be a Minimalist Packer

“Less is more” may sound like an old, worn out saying, but the truth is, when it comes to traveling, minimalist packing can really help improve your experience. If you aren’t sure why, you probably won’t be motivated to pack fewer things on your next trip. There are many reasons, but just a few include:

Portability. Traveling, especially across several time zones can be exhausting. Add heavy luggage or a massively-sized backpack and trying to squeeze through crowds or even climb a set of stairs is enough to put anyone over the edge.

By packing light you’ll be able to move around with ease, endure less stress, and it won’t overtax the energy you have left. It will also be easier to take public transportation, especially on a bus or train that is jam-packed with people.

Bypassing airport check-in. A small bag can easily fit under the seat on a plane so you won’t have to worry about going through the hassle of checking it and waiting for it to come through on the luggage carousel.

Freedom. Traveling light not only means less weight on your back and shoulders, but less on your mind. You’ll enjoy a much better sense of freedom as it allows you to quickly pick up and go whenever you’d like.

How do you become a minimalist packer, especially if you’re used to packing everything you can squeeze into a large suitcase?

Get one perfect bag. The first step in becoming a minimalist packer is to have a perfect bag or suitcase that will allow you to easily carry all you need. Look for something that has lots of pockets to help keep things well-organized as well as sturdy zippers. A TSA-approved lock adds extra security at the airport and is also important if you plan to stay somewhere with shared sleeping areas like a hostel.

Make the most of each item. Keep in mind that you won’t need as many clothes as you might think. How often have you packed everything you might possibly wear on vacation only to find it wasn’t all necessary? Try to make each piece of clothing work in a number of different outfits to get the most use out of each one.

One pair of jeans can be put together with a nice top to create a dressier outfit, or a t-shirt for a more casual look. While traveling you can even wear the same shirt several times as the new people you meet will have no idea that’s what you wore yesterday or the day before. Cut down on your high-tech gadgets too.

If your smartphone works in the place you’re traveling to it can be used as your alarm clock, camera and for entertainment. By bringing a travel-sized container of laundry detergent you can wash your dirty laundry in a sink or even the shower when necessary.

Packing properly. It’s important to pack your items as efficiently as possible to make the most out of the space you have. Don’t fold your clothing, roll it instead. This will allow you to fit in much more and the items will come out less wrinkled, too.

suitcaseYou can also stuff small items into your shoes, like socks or t-shirts. Keep your important items easily accessible, such as at the top or in the front pockets of your suitcase. Anything you might need to grab while traveling, like your passport or other ID, cell phone, itinerary or snacks.

Once you’ve traveled light, you’ll never want to go back to dragging that heavy suitcase around again!

-The Alternative Daily

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