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A minimalist’s guide to packing for a trip

Leisure and Travel By Vivianne Wandera and Audrey Masitsa
Minimalist packing entails packing only the essentials

Minimalism is all about getting rid of the excess baggage from your life so that you can focus on what you actually value. It is easy to see its appeal when it comes to packing where bringing less means saving money on baggage fees and feeling less encumbered lugging suitcases around.

ALSO READ: Eight ways to start living on the minimalistic side of life

Minimalist packing is not about paring down your belongings to five pieces of clothing and calling it a day. It is getting rid of things you do not need in your suitcase and making sure everything that remains has a purpose and is of value to you.

The following minimalist packing tips will help you lighten the load on your next vacation.

1. Get a smaller bag

When you have extra space in your bag you assume that you can fit in more things but by intentionally choosing a smaller suitcase you are forced to pack lighter. Once you get used to a smaller bag keep using an even smaller one until you master the art of minimalist packing.

2. Analyse your current packing list

There are a few questions you can ask yourself when you first start downsizing that will help you determine what you do and don't need.

Is there any item that you packed on your last trip that you didn’t use? Do you have a non-essential habit that you could temporarily cut from your routine? Do you have smaller or more versatile versions of toiletries or makeup that you can take with you? These questions will help you to identify the areas that will be easiest for you to simplify and unload.

3. Know your essentials

Minimalist packing is all about cutting down to the essentials. Among your essentials be sure to include your passport, credit cards and cash, your phone and charger. Also pack your secondary essentials include a jacket or sweater, comfortable shoes, a toothbrush, deodorant, water bottle and an extra outfit.

This will help you travel light and avoid excessive baggage fees

4. Reduce your toiletries and makeup

An essential step in becoming a true minimalist is reducing the number of toiletries and makeup you take on your trip and even own. Instead of carrying four different lipsticks, foundation, powders and eyeshadows, carry just those that you know you will use. Avoid saying ‘just in case’ when you pack since this will make you carry too many things that you won’t use.

5. Bring fabrics that don’t wrinkle

The key to being a pro minimalist is being versatile and making the most of every piece that you take with you. We all get very lazy when it's time to iron our clothes so when you carry clothes that wrinkle you may end up not wearing them at all. Carrying clothes that do not wrinkle will ensure that you actually get to wear everything you carried. 

6. Remember you can always buy

Unless you’re going to the middle of nowhere, you will most likely have shops around you when you travel. This means you can buy anything you don’t carry once you’re at your destination. This will help prevent over-packing and allow you to carry a smaller suitcase.

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