I have just arrived in the Netherlands and I was able to fit everything that I needed into a vans backpack. I really wanted to challenge myself for this trip. It was tough fitting everything that I needed in the bag and yes, I had to make sacrifices. It is hard, but it was definitely vital to making the rest of the trip much easier. On my homepage, there is a quote that says “He who would travel happily must travel light.” That quote perfectly represents what this blog post is about.
In my bag I was able to fit:
- 3 T-shirts
- 3 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of pajamas
- Lightweight jacket
- 2 Books
- Wacom Intuos Tablet
- Acer Swift 3 laptop
- MiiR Water Bottle
- 3 Bracelets
- Shark tooth necklace
- iPhone charger
- Portable charger
- 4 Larabars
- 60 euros in cash
- European plug
- Electric toothbrush
- Face wash
- Toiletry bag
I also had a few things that I wore on the airplane and put in my pockets:
- Pair of jeans
- Pair of socks
- Pair of underwear
That was almost too much information. I was just trying to show you that I was able to pack a good amount of stuff and the essentials either for living or work. What you need to understand is that it takes thinking about what is really important, not about what you might need but about what you know is essential for living and work. That means taking fewer clothes than you think you need, maybe one form of entertainment, and realizing that you can buy other essentials at your destination. Keep reading if you want to learn more about how to pack minimally.
1. Understand What is Important
Before you even start packing you need to think about what you really need on your trip. Ask yourself questions like; What do I need to survive? Will I be able to wash my clothes? What items do I need to get across borders? Those questions help separate the nonessential items with the truly essential. Hopefully, you will understand that you really don’t need much.
2. Look it over
After you ask yourself some of those important questions, you should set out everything you plan on bringing on your bed, the floor, or whatever. Then look at everything and think about its value. Is it an extra piece of clothing? is it an unnecessary tool? or is it something that you know you will need. This is where you have to eliminate all of the unnecessary items. By this point, you should have no more than a week’s worth of clothing, toiletries that you use every day, supplies that you need for work (if you have to work), maybe a book, and any small important gadgets like a charger. If you have much more than that you should think harder about the value of your items.
3. Try To Fit it All In
Now that you have everything that you think you need, try to fit it all in your bag. Be smart and organized about where you place things to use all of the available space. This will probably be tough for you trying to fit the final items. You likely won’t succeed. That’s okay, this is just the start of the next elimination round. Take out the least important items and see if you can fit everything. In my case, I took out a pair of jeans, cologne, a pair of pajamas, and maybe a bit more. But it’s okay, I realized that I didn’t need any of that. It will be rough pulling at the zippers trying to make them touch, but eventually, with elimination, it will work.
How to make it easier
I have some tips for you to make it easier;
- Bring jeans! jeans are a funny thing, you don’t really need to wash them (I think). I actually brought jeans as my only pair of bottoms for this trip. That might come back to bite me, but so far it’s been working.
- Use carry on travel bottles. They are less than 100ml and I’m using them for my moisturizer and facewash
- Buy important items at your destination
Often people don’t understand how much they don’t need. They haul big suitcases through airports and train stations because they brought way too much. That is not a good way to travel. Traveling with less is much easier and keeps you focused on your journey because you don’t have something slowing you down. I hope you take these ideas to heart.
Do you have any more tips for traveling light? Tell us in the comments. I’ll see you in the next post.
This post contains affiliate links
Right now I’m reading: Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too, I’m getting really inspired by it.