”This is your only luggage?” , a question that I get all over the world! People are often surprised that my simple North Face rug sack is the only luggage I’ve got with me. It may seem unpractical, however it’s actually a lot more practical than carrying a big backpack or suitcase with you.
That’s why I’ve created this minimalist packing list, to help you on your own minimalistic travel adventures.
There are loads of benefits to having a minimalistic way of packing. For instance, it saves you lots of time, as you don’t have to wait for your luggage after your flight. You also don’t have to check in any cabin luggage.
So, what should be included in your minimalist packing list? Read on to find out!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
What to include in your minimalist packing list: in short
So, what should you include in your minimalistic luggage? Well, here are the necessary things to include in your minimalist packing list.
Necessary to include in your minimalist packing list
- Your toiletries
- A medical kit
- Your passport and necessary documents
- A powerbank
- A universal travel adapter
- Your phone charger
- An extra wallet (I personally always bring an extra ”fake” wallet with me with a few coins inside for pickpockets)
- Your clothing (pretty essential, but don’t over pack)
- Ziplock bags
- Microfiber towel – it doesn’t take up much space and comes in handy, as it dries very quickly.
Optional things to take with you
- Your laptop with its cables (I personally bring my Macbook and this fits in my rugsack)
- Your camera (I always bring a lightweight DSLR camera with me with a pancake lens to minimize the weight)
- Packing cubes (this makes packing a lot more efficient and organized)
- Your lenses / a pair of glasses
- A notebook and pen (to write down your thoughts while traveling)
What kind of toiletries to take with you?
Well, if you’re following this minimalist packing list and you’re only traveling with carry-on luggage, then make sure that all toiletries don’t exceed 100 ml. That’s in case you’re traveling by plane. Everything that exceeds this will be tossed away at security at the airport.
Take with you what you see as necessary. I assume that this includes your tooth brush and tooth paste for you. For some this will also include their make-up or their moisturizers. For me basic toiletries include the following:
- Toothbrush and tooth paste
- Small deodorant
- Make-up & cotton pads
- Face moisturizer
- Small hairbrush
- Shampoo bar (from the brand Ethique is my favorite, not having to take big shampoo bottles with you already saves you a lot of space)
Why bring a medical kit with you?
Wherever I go, I’ll always bring my own created medical kit with me. And you should do so too! It’s essential to have necessary medicines with you. Especially if you’re traveling to a country where your body is not completely adapted to.
When you eat different foods in a country where you’ve never been before, it’s not odd that you will eventually fall ill sometime. Your body is not used to it, so it needs some time to adapt to different foods, and perhaps to a different climate.
It could also be possible that you’re traveling and need to go to a hospital, but there’s no hospital nearby. Or maybe you need to go to a pharmacy, but you can’t find one and you don’t speak the language.
Therefore, it’s important that you always at least have your own medical kit with you. This of course does not substitute a hospital or pharmacy visit, but it at least gives you a bit of support.
Especially if you’re traveling alone in a foreign country, you’ll be happy that you brought this with you. When I was studying in Shanghai and didn’t speak a lot of Mandarin, I was really grateful that I had my own small medical kit with me.
What to include in your medical kit?
I will admit that I’ve partly curated what my dad puts in his medical kit when he’s traveling. He’s worked in hospitals all over the world and has traveled all over this globe, so I trust his knowledge about what to bring with you when you’re abroad.
So, what should you include in this medical kit? You can adjust your own medical kit according to your needs.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. This is what I find helpful according to my own travel experiences.
Personally, I always include the following in my own basic medical kit:
- Ibuprofens (because of its anti-inflammatory properties)
- Oral Rehydration Solution packets (these are really important, for example in case of dehydration)
- Betadine (you may not have heard of this, this comes in handy to treat skin that’s gotten damaged or burned, read the information flyer that comes with it for medical information)
- Loperamide (you don’t want to be traveling with diarrhea, so this can be a life saver when you need it)
- Plasters (also include blister plasters)
- A thermometer (this will help you know how bad your fever is)
- Surgical tape (always handy, also for scraped ankles)
This medical kit is still pretty basic and minimalistic, yet for me it’s sufficient enough to always bring with me. Again, adjust this according to your own needs.
How to not over pack
Maybe you’re reading this and you’re thinking to yourself: yeah right, this seems impossible, how can you travel to the other side of the world with just a rug sack? Well, okay, if this seems like mission impossible for you, then read on.
If you’re still over packing, then do the following: get everything out of the bag / suitcase that you just packed. Lay it all out and decide what can go. What is not necessary to bring with you? What clothing have you never worn before and will you probably not be wearing on your travels?
If you’re going to a warm climate and you have several jumpers packed, then throw most of them out. You only need one or maximum two jumpers with you if you’re traveling to a warm country.
After doing this, do it again one more time. You’ll suddenly realize that you don’t need as much as you think you do.
Packing lightly has so many benefits. It saves you time and money. And it makes you feel more free in a way. Hopefully this minimalist packing list has helped you to pack lighter for your travels.
Remember to adjust it to your own needs, but don’t over pack. Especially when it comes to clothing, it’s easy to pack way too much.
Lay everything out and decide what isn’t really necessary to bring with you. And don’t forget to bring your own medical kit with you. Safe travels and have fun!
Away with Danae