“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It was 2015 and we just booked our three-week holiday to Peru. I didn’t see myself traveling with a trolley.
Flashbacks of dragging a wheeled bag to a bed and breakfast up a rocky hill in a recent trip to Tuscany was not one of my most graceful travel moments. So I wanted to change my luck in Peru.
That’s how we got into the minimalist travel bandwagon. We bought 30-liter backpacks, we traveled, we conquered. And we never looked back.
What is minimalist travel
Minimalist travel, also called ultralight travel, is when you explore with only one small bag wherever you go. Hardcore minimalists do this under 25 liters. For your own reference, a carry-on is 45 liters. For enough wiggle room and after getting some advice from ultralight travelers online, we bought 30-liter backpacks (I have an Osprey Tempest in magenta!). Below you will find my pack.
This is the only pack I carry with me while traveling, may it be three nights, three weeks or more and I’ve never missed a shirt.
The benefits of traveling light
Because you don’t have much in your pack, you benefit from:
- moving quickly because you’re light, think The Flash,
- not having to line up at airports to check-in your luggage (you don’t have to be at the airport 4 hours before your flight, isn’t that wonderful?),
- not losing checked-in luggage (it happens!),
- being able to watch your stuff easily because you only have one pack,
- not having loads of wash when you come back from your holiday, and
- focusing on what’s really important.
How to travel ultralight
Minimalist travel is about making the right choices. Here are some guidelines we follow when packing:
- Pack non-bulky clothes. Choose ones that are easy to fold or roll.
- Pick a color theme and only bring clothes that you can mix and match. Red doesn’t really match blue, only Superman gets away with that color combination.
- If you can’t use it for another occassion, don’t take it. Party clothes, really?
- Be aware of materials that dry easily and do not crease. Ever heard of merino wool? We swear by travel items on Icebreaker and Uniqlo.
- Do you really need 5 pairs of shoes for 5 days? The answer is no.
So what’s actually in our packs? I’m sure you’re curious! I’ll show that to you in my next post as I pack for the Philippines! Stay put!