Travel Like A Minimalist

How To Travel Like A Minimalist

Minimalist travel is about packing light and traveling smart; making it is as easy and care-free as possible. There are three areas to focus on when simplifying your travel plans: how you pack, what you do, and where you stay. This is how anyone, including you, can travel like a minimalist.

How To Travel Like A Minimalist

Pack Light

The cornerstone to minimalist travel is the motto: "pack light and travel smart." We've all been there, we've all over-packed. It's easy to do and just as easy to prevent. When packing for your travels be practical and level-headed; consider where you're going, how long you'll be there, what you'll be doing, and if the weather will affect your clothing.

If you have a tendency to over-pack, it's useful to plan outfits so you know how each piece combines with others and how many outfits that creates. Depending on how long you're traveling for you can create a capsule wardrobe based on time, place, and weather with very little effort. A travel wardrobe is practical and functional, style comes last. Think about fabrics and whether it's easy to wash an item if it gets dirty or stained. Leave at home any delicate pieces or items that distort after wear. It's important to get comfortable repeating outfits or wearing the same pair of shoes every day. Versatility is the aim of any travel capsule and adding jewellery or lightweight accessories will keep your outfits interesting without taking up much space so you don't need to worry about getting bored with what you wear.

Opt for minimal make-up and streamline your skincare routine so you don't need to check any bags. Share toiletries or simply purchase them when you get to your destination. If you're taking jewellery, wear it or follow these tips for keeping jewellery safe while traveling. When it comes to packing everything else, there are three simple rules that make the decision making process of what to pack a whole lot easier:

· Don't pack multiples. Share toiletries and personal grooming items, limit the amount of clothes and shoes you pack.
· Don't pack items "just in case." You won't need them and, if you find you do, see point three.
· Don't pack items you can buy for cheap if you need them.

The biggest cause of over-packing is the worry we'll leave something important behind. We try to cover ourselves for any eventualities and all we achieve by doing this is weighing down our suitcase. How many times have you taken something "just in case" and never used it? Most of these items will either be at your destination (hair dryer, iron, toiletries, etc.) or can be purchased cheap at your destination; if they can't then that's grounds to take it with you. Most "just in case" items will never be required so leave them at home. Pack light; pack only what's essential.

When I travel I pack a capsule wardrobe by planning outfits based around what I'll be doing. I make certain everything can be worn together and avoid duplicating items. For a week long trip I'll typically pack 10-items that can be combined into at least 7 outfits. For two weeks, I duplicate those outfits and for any longer vacations I double the items I take. I never take more than 2-3 pairs of shoes (flats, sandals, and walking shoes) and one day-to-night bag (although I often use my Kanken for most trips.) I completely reduce my skincare until I'm left with a simple cleanser and moisturiser, and pack a very limited amount of make-up. I've taken to buying all other toiletries as and when I need them once I arrive at my destination, in most cases they're provided for so it costs me nothing extra and saves space in my carry-on.

How To Travel Like A Minimalist

Create An Itinerary

You don't need to plan every second of every day but having a rough itinerary with places of interest and things to do will help you prepare for travel, pack your bags, and make the most of your time. Do a little research before you travel and make note of anything that catches your eye; you can use this to create a Google Map, which you can save offline and access on your phone to help navigate. Saving maps and directions to places, including where you're staying and local transport, is invaluable when traveling. It's especially useful if you have dietary requirements as saving places to grab food will avoid the eternal struggle of finding somewhere suitable to eat. Taking the time to plan ahead like this makes travel a breeze; if you have all your important information, maps, and directions saved and easy to locate, traveling around at your destination will be stress-free.

If you like to pack a lot of activities into your days spent traveling, creating a detailed itinerary might be the best option. If you desperately want to visit certain places or do specific things and you're worried you might not fit it all in, a schedule is the ideal solution. Plan the most efficient use of your time by working out travel arrangements, how long it takes to get to and from your destinations and what locations are nearby so you can group visits together. It will avoid repeat journeys and save you time.

I create a new Google Map and make layers including food, places of interest, and important locations such as the address we're staying. The first resource I use when planning a trip is Atlas Obscura to hunt for curious places to visit and Trip Advisor for more general travel suggestions. It's important to save several dining options since I follow a plant-based diet and although that's never been a problem while traveling, having places saved means I avoid food rage! I'll make up a rough itinerary of what to do on what days while I'm at my destination especially if the weather isn't stable; although generally I like to be quite free and easy with my travel plans and I always reserve a little time to wander without a map.

How To Travel Like A Minimalist

Live Like A Local

The best way to travel, in my opinion, is to live like a local. Staying at a hotel seems like the simple option and in many ways it is; everything is done for you and nothing is a surprise. Traveling like a minimalist isn't just about making travel as decision-free as possible especially not when it robs you from an immersive experience. Traveling like a minimalist means traveling smart and making conscious decisions to better your experience.

Opting to rent an apartment instead of staying at a hotel and visiting lesser-known places instead of tourist hot-spots is a surefire way to get the most out of your traveling experience. Using AirBnB is often cheaper and it allows you to feel as though you're living in the place you're staying as opposed to visiting it. Renting has the benefit of providing you with facilities that make traveling simpler and easier; a place to cook, wash your clothes, and live with the locals. If you travel out of season you'll gain a more authentic experience, with less tourists on the streets making it easier for you to get a real feel of the atmosphere. If you did want to visit some of the tourist spots, they'll be much quieter and more enjoyable out of season.

A huge part of travel is doing it the way you want to. If you want to be a "typical tourist" and visit all the well-known spots, go for it! But don't feel pressured into visiting certain places because "that's the thing to do." There are well-known things to see and do in every country and city, and some people might find it odd you didn't want to visit them. Not visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris or eating sushi in Tokyo, for instance, doesn't mean you missed out; if something doesn't appeal to you, don't feel pressured into doing it. One thing I recommend everyone does when they travel is ditch the map for once and give yourself some time to explore without knowing where you're going just let your feet guide you, nothing is simpler than that.

The first time someone asked me if I had visited a famous landmark and I said I hadn't I felt awkward and wondered if I should have. It made me feel like I had somehow missed out even though I wasn't interested in visiting it. What travel has made me realise is everyone's adventure is different and it's OK to do it however you want to. For me, I enjoy traveling the most when I'm free to explore and immerse myself in the culture. Simplified travel is about doing something that excites you, visiting places you never dreamed of, and gaining an experience that's unique to you.

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How To Travel Like A Minimalist