How many bags did you carry on your last trip? One or two? How many hours did you spend deciding what to pack and what not to? The excitement of going on a trip can leave anyone packing too much stuff and ending up with at least two bags. Trust me; this is really not required! Dragging heavy travel luggage can be a killjoy.
When you’re traveling for fun and adventure, the best idea is to pack light. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of traveling with a heavy bag. Don’t worry. I am, too. I often find my travel bags filled with useless things.
From huge handbags to unnecessary clothes and other stuff, irrelevant items often make it into our travel bags. Moreover, multiple pouches to accommodate makeup and sanitary items usually occupy the most space. Traveling with so many things means you must take extra care and carry a heavy suitcase wherever you go.
However, you can choose to travel light by opting for minimalist travel accessories. To help you pack efficiently, we have created a list of essential but minimalist travel accessories. Let’s continue reading for details.
Table of Contents
- What Does it Mean to Travel with Minimalist Gear?
- Benefits of Traveling with a Minimalist Travel Kit
- 1. Smooth Airport Experience
- 2. Saves Money
- 3. Improves Mobility
- 4. Enables Hands-Free Experience
- 5. Reduces Stress
- 15 Minimalist Travel Accessories For Your Next Trip
- 1. Travel Backpack
- 2. Travel Daypack
- 3. Travel Toiletry Bag
- 4. Slim Travel Suitcase
- 5. Spacious Travel Wallet
- 6. Spacious Baby Bag
- 7. Travel Clothing
- 8. Universal Power Adapter
- 9. Comfortable Footwear
- 10. Packing Cubes
- 11. Foldable Rain Jacket
- 12. Reusable Water Bottle
- 13. Smartphone
- 14. A Good Book
- 15. Minimalist Travel Medicine and First Aid Kit
- Pack Your Bag for the Next Trip
- Why should you encourage the minimalist travel mindset?
- What are some tips for minimalist packing?
What Does it Mean to Travel with Minimalist Gear?
Besides all the must-have items like passports, credit cards, and cash, you should always have a minimalist travel packing list. Traveling with minimalist gear means one should pack only absolutely essential stuff, nothing else. Though your travel gear list might be extensive, you must keep your travel destination in mind to have the right stuff.
For instance, it doesn’t make sense to pack an umbrella if you’re traveling to a non-rainy place. Remember that not every item in your bag needs to go with you. Lighten your burden by casting off unnecessary stuff.
Minimalism also relates to a relaxed mindset and lifestyle. Apart from carrying only usable things, the idea of minimalism is decisiveness and freedom. In this minimalist travel guide, I have listed 15 essential minimalist travel accessories that can make it to your next trip. Let’s find out the answer on how to travel minimalist in detail.
Benefits of Traveling with a Minimalist Travel Kit
Does your heavy luggage make it hard for you to trek? Do you hate paying for the extra baggage weight at the airport? When you travel with minimalist accessories, none of these problems hit you. In fact, there are a bunch of benefits of traveling with minimalist travel essentials. Some of the top ones are as follows:
1. Smooth Airport Experience
Minimalism saves you from the excess time at baggage claims, waiting in lines, and losing a bag on the way. Moreover, taking only carry-on luggage decreases your departure time. With no extra bags for you to check in, you can save yourself some time and money.
Moreover, after landing, instead of waiting for your bags at the baggage carousel, you can walk straight toward the exit. I have experienced it and loved how quickly I was free from all the formalities.
2. Saves Money
A minimalist travel kit saves you money. How? As mentioned above, you can protect yourself from paying extra for excess baggage with one suitcase. Moreover, with multiple bags, you may have to book more taxis than expected. But with a small suitcase, you can travel to your hotel room or destination easily and freely.
3. Improves Mobility
Unless you are Hulk, overloaded backpacks make it hard to travel comfortably. Moreover, it becomes almost impossible to catch a train or a bus. Besides, you may not waste time fretting about what to wear with less stuff in your bag. You can quickly get ready and spend more time sightseeing.
4. Enables Hands-Free Experience
Imagine carrying three heavy bags and finding your way through a crowded city. Doesn’t that sound painful? While traveling with minimalist travel accessories in a comfortable backpack, you can have your hands free! This way, you can easily make your way through the crowd and walk safely on busy sidewalks. Overall, hands-free travel eliminates the need to carry around heavy bags, ensuring an enjoyable journey.
5. Reduces Stress
Have you ever worried about losing a bag on a train while traveling? Or stressed about losing your wallet while carrying your heavy luggage? I have had a stressful journey from Paris to Switzerland once. I had to look after three bags all by myself on a jam-packed train. On that trip, I realized this is not how traveling should be done.
When you travel light, there are fewer chances of somebody stealing your things. You can keep your precious valuables safe by keeping them close to you in one bag. These are some quick benefits of traveling with minimalist accessories. Now that you know how helpful minimalist traveling is let’s find out what to pack to travel light.
15 Minimalist Travel Accessories For Your Next Trip
Besides all the must-have travel items, such as passports, credit cards, and money, there are a few things that should always be on your minimalist travel packing list. With these travel accessories, you don’t have to worry about carrying extra luggage. Here’s the minimalist packing list.
1. Travel Backpack
A perfect travel backpack is one of the most essential minimalist travel accessories. It is durable, lightweight, and has multiple pockets to keep all your belongings together. However, it should be compact to fit a small space, for instance, a plane cabin. Nomatic Backpack is a multifunctional backpack. You can use it as an everyday bag or as a carry-on for your travels.
It has a durable exterior with a single zipper that opens to all compartments. The bag can also expand from 20 liters to 24 liters with the expansion zipper and compresses when empty. Moreover, it comes with both backpack straps and briefcase straps. You can conveniently switch the carrying style according to your convenience. I loved it on my trip around Europe. With both elastic and zipper pockets, you can organize all your things. Additionally, this bag is completely waterproof, making it an excellent option for a tropical destination.
- It comes with lots of space to accommodate all your essential belongings.
- It is waterproof and durable.
- With an accessible zipper, you can get your hands on even the innermost pockets.
- It is lightweight, and the comfy straps make it easy to carry around.
- The bag is sleek and slim.
- The surface coating may scratch off and create permanent marks.
See Related: How to Plan a Month-Long Vacation
2. Travel Daypack
A compact travel daypack is another great contributor to your minimalist travel gear. You can either use it as a purse or a laptop bag. Herschel Retreat Daypack can make a suitable daypack for all kinds of travels and adventures. It comes in different sizes and has lots of space.
I have always used a daypack as a side bag for long travels. This bag has always been a good companion for my things, like medicines, books, a water bottle, and other necessities. The Herschel Retreat Daypack opens to an enormous compartment to keep your daily essentials. The padded and lined laptop sleeve protects your device from any harm.
This bag comes with magnetic closures. You can conveniently open and close it without ruining its surface. Apart from the internal pockets, this travel bag also has a front pocket for extra storage. You can use it to keep your car keys, sunglasses, or other stuff, allowing you to keep certain items easily accessible.
The design of the daypack makes it ideal for both genders. The black body with leather straps makes the bag quite a stylish travel accessory. Moreover, the padded shoulder straps help you to wear this bag comfortably.
Herschel Retreat Daypack may be durable, but it isn’t entirely waterproof. However, it doesn’t soak water and keeps all the belongings dry. Like what you are hearing? Check out these best Herschel bags for travel.
- Herschel Retreat Daypack is both stylish and spacious.
- The padded sleeve pockets make it a safe option to carry all your belongings.
- The front pocket is great for storing keys or sunglasses.
- The bag is durable and lightweight.
- It isn’t waterproof and may not work that well for locations with rainy weather.
See Related: Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid
3. Travel Toiletry Bag
A toiletry bag can help you keep all your toiletry items in place and well-organized. You can use it to pack smaller-sized minimalist travel toiletries, such as jewelry, makeup, hair accessories, skin and shaving products, and more. You may come across many different toiletry pouches. However, nothing works as effectively as this hanging toiletry bag.
The Amazon Basics Toiletry Bag is a beautiful accessory to own. It is black with a basic design. Nothing too fancy; however, it has an inner lining to make it easy to wipe down leaks and spills. This toiletry bag features a hook at the top, allowing you to hang it in your hotel washroom when not in use.
When it comes to space, this toiletry bag doesn’t disappoint. Trust me, the large compartment divided into a mesh pocket and storage pockets offers enough space to store all your things. There are also two external compartments for things that you may require regularly.
However, this well-designed, compact Amazon Basics hanging toiletry bag does have one minor flaw. The external pockets get closed by pulling down their respective zippers. It may cause things to fall when the bag is hanging on a wall if you’re not careful. Like what you are hearing? Check out these other travel toiletry bags to own.
- The toiletry bag from The Amazon Basics is spacious to accommodate all essentials.
- It can easily hang within your bag without taking up much space.
- The polyester body makes it entirely waterproof and durable.
- The external pockets close by zipping down, possibly leading to your things falling out.
See Related: Best Beach Bags With Cooler
4. Slim Travel Suitcase
It can be a challenge to find a lightweight, spacious, and stylish suitcase. However, this sleek carry-on suitcase with zipper compartments and expandable features, the Samsonite Freeform Spinner, is a great choice to keep all of your belongings in one space.
All the compartments expand to increase the overall packing capacity. Moreover, the combination locks provide top-class security. This suitcase comes with oversized wheels to support effortless mobility.
It also has an inner cross-ribbon to organize your clothes for more space. The only problem it has is that it scratches easily, but that’s expected with any luggage that you use for a long period of time. Take your travel experience to the next level with this ultra-light luggage.
- Samsonite Freeform is a spacious and lightweight option for long journeys.
- It has expandable compartments for an increased capacity.
- The mobile wheels support easy traveling even on the worst constructed pathways.
- Security locks keep your belongings safe and secure.
- The exterior surface can scratch easily, giving the suitcase a flawed outer appearance.
See Related: Polypropylene vs ABS vs Polycarbonate Luggage
5. Spacious Travel Wallet
Putting money and your essential travel documents in separate bags may not be a practical storage tip when on holiday. However, keeping them together in a spacious wallet may work well. A minimalist travel wallet makes an ideal pick to store your money, credit cards, and other travel documents in one accessory. The Lewis N. Clark Stash Wallet is a great travel pouch that can work as a wallet or even as a handy bag.
This minimalist wallet comes with exciting RFID block technology. The RFID lining ensures maximum protection for your credit cards and personal information. It comes with an ultra-thin design and can fit in any pocket of your trouser or shirt. I have always kept this wallet in my front pocket and have never experienced any unfortunate accidents. Lewis N. Clark Stash wallet has a sturdy nylon body with self-repairing zippers. Also, it comes with multiple compartments to keep your belongings well-organized.
- Lewis N. Clark’s Stash wallet comes with RFID technology to provide a secure space for your credit cards and personal information.
- The thin design makes this wallet perfect to fit in all pocket sizes.
- With a nylon body and strong zippers, this wallet is pretty durable.
- It has lots of compartments to carry as many essentials as you want.
- You may find the design a little old-school and less trendy.
See Related: Best Travel Drones That Are Portable
6. Spacious Baby Bag
When traveling with toddlers, you need to be extra prepared. Since most things are unpredictable with a baby, you can’t risk keeping limited clothes or feeding essentials. Though minimalist family travel with a baby is always a challenge, you can always get a baby bag to prevent baby items from taking up all the baggage space.
Zuzuro Diaper Backpack comes with a large capacity and multiple pockets. The main compartment and five separate pockets can hold at least four or five bottles with diapers and a milk tin. Moreover, you can also add in some teethers and soft toys for long journeys.
The tote diaper bag is durable with soft zippers and a firm oxford fabric surface. The interior lining is water-resistant, ensuring easy cleaning against spills. This bag is also designed with an insulated pocket for bottles and food and a dedicated external pocket to keep wipes and tissues. You can either carry this bag as a backpack or use the handle clips to attach it to your other luggage or stroller.
- Zuzuro’s diaper bag has a spacious design with pockets to keep everything organized.
- The tote bag is highly durable, with strong zippers.
- Irrespective of its design, it is very lightweight.
- The inner lining makes it super easy to clean.
- It comes with a handle clips to attach it to other luggage.
- Backpack straps are short, so they may be difficult to wear if you’re wearing a heavy coat.
See Related: Best Portable Car Seats for Travel
7. Travel Clothing
Most of us fill our travel bags with unnecessary clothing items. The last time I carried a bunch of clothes with me was when I wanted to take a ton of pictures for my Instagram account. But then I realized that it wasn’t worth it. You need to pick a few essential clothing pieces to have the best versatile clothing for your trip. Washable and multi-purpose clothes make a great minimalist travel wardrobe.
For instance, instead of carrying a bundle of sweaters, this Amazon Puffer Coat may save you from the cold. The coat is warm and super lightweight. With a smooth zipper, you can conveniently put it on and take it off. Also, it is easily washable.
Another thing I love about this coat is that it is perfect for mild weather. I wore the same coat on my Europe trip in April and a USA trip in November. It worked fine on both continents and in different months. Moreover, it is made with polyester, making it relatively water-resistant. In case of heavy rain, use an umbrella.
This jacket is available in a range of colors; you can choose the one that meets your style. If you’re planning a high-altitude winter trek, you can go for a down jacket. Filled with under-feathers, it can keep you warm even at -30°.
- This Amazon puffer coat is a perfect alternative to unnecessary sweaters and warm clothing.
- The puffer is washable and reusable throughout your trip.
- The zipper makes it easy to put on and take off.
- It is lightweight and won’t add very much to your luggage weight.
- It isn’t completely water-resistant and may soak in water quickly.
- It may be a little expensive.
8. Universal Power Adapter
Electrical outlets can differ from one country to another. A universal power adapter comes with different electrical plug types that are found around the world. It eliminates the need to pack a bunch of individual travel adapters. Buying a universal travel plug is an excellent investment for minimalist travelers. I recommend this SublimeWare Power Plug Adapter.
This all-in-one charger will work in 150+ countries. It comes in one piece, whereas many other adapters come in many parts. This adapter will not only eliminate the headache of buying a new power adapter for every place you visit, but the four USB ports allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Overall, all minimalist travelers should include this device in their packing list.
- This all-in-one charger comes in one piece, making it easy to carry.
- Four Smart USB Ports allow you to charge up to four devices at once.
- The pin locking mechanism ensures a secure plugin.
- It is more expensive than simple adapters.
9. Comfortable Footwear
Traveling sometimes means walking non-stop until you are tired and completely worn out. For that purpose, you need perfect travel shoes. When talking about minimalist travel shoes, the idea is to pack footwear that can work well for all occasions. For instance, comfortable sneakers and a pair of flip-flops may be enough to support your long walks and beach days.
Havaianas flip-flop sandals are stylish yet highly comfortable. They come with cushioned soles and a sturdy rubber body to withstand the pressure. These flip-flops are lightweight, water-resistant, and heat-resistant. I have worn these flip-flops on my beach trips and also on my long walks in Germany.
Additionally, one common problem with travel flip-flops is that they aren’t slip-resistant. But, Havaianas flip-flops have a firm grip. Available in different sizes and colors, these sandals may prove beneficial on your future trips.
- Havaianas flip-flops come with a comfortable and firm grip.
- The padded sole prevents your feet from getting tired.
- These flip-flops are heat and water-resistant to accompany you on all travel adventures.
- The flip-flops may feel thin to support the surface of your feet.
- These flip-flops make a flapping sound when used for a long time, which might be irritating at times.
See Related: Best Vacations for a Group of Friends
10. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a must-have for a minimalist traveler. The versatility and organizational benefits make them one of the best minimalist travel accessories. Packing cubes make it easy for you to keep your clothing or other essentials compact, offering more space in the luggage. BAGAIL Packing Cubes can help you organize all your clothes and suitcase. Made of quality nylon fabric, the set has six packing cubes in three sizes.
Since the cubes are different in size, you can fit a cube in any size backpack, daypack, and suitcase. You can use these cubes for different packing purposes while saving space and making your suitcase clean and tidy. The lined interior increases durability.
The mesh top ensures ventilation and easy identification of your belongings. These Bagail Packing Cubes can be your reliable and valued travel buddy. You can also use one of these cubes as your laundry bag. Once you start using packing cubes to organize your travel luggage, you will never step out without them. Additionally, don’t forget to keep a quart-sized bag in your suitcase. It can help you transport spillable liquids and wet clothes.
- These cubes can help you keep your suitcase tidy.
- You can take one cube as a carry-on suitcase to reduce weight in check-in baggage (if required).
- They can help you pack smart and light.
- The webbing handle ensures convenience while carrying.
- The set is a little costly.
11. Foldable Rain Jacket
Regardless of where you’re going, a rain jacket is another indispensable item on your minimalist packing list. This is where a foldable rain jacket comes into play. This Columbia Switchback III Jacket is a stylish piece that combines quality with elegance. This lightweight, water-resistant raincoat can keep you perfectly dry.
Features like adjustable cuffs, two zippered hand pockets, and drawcord adjustable hem make it an ideal option for everyone. This packable jacket was made with a mix of polyester and nylon and can fit in almost any bag easily. It is perfect for trips and casual outings. Overall, a rain jacket is one of the best travel items you must have on the trip.
- Columbia Switchback III Rain Jacket is lightweight and waterproof.
- It is comfortable to wear.
- Front open zip allows you to put it on and take it off easily.
- The slim fit doesn’t allow for bulky layers underneath of the jacket.
- This rain jacket is not double-lined to its lightweight materials.
See Related: How to Pack for a Month-Long Trip
12. Reusable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle is one of the best minimalist travel essentials. Carrying your own bottle while traveling is a smart idea to save money. You can refill it at your hotel or from the tap while strolling around. With a reusable bottle, you can reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfills or the ocean.
The Takeya Stainless-Steel Water Bottle makes a great choice to take with you while traveling. This vacuum-insulated reusable bottle comes in various sizes ranging in capacity from 18 oz. up to 40 oz. The leak-proof spout lid enables easy one-handed pouring or drinking. The hinge lock keeps the cap on one side while drinking water.
This stainless steel bottle can also help you keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. Also, the double powder coat makes the bottle easy to grip and protects your hands against heat from the sun.
- The Takeya Stainless-Steel Water Bottle is leak-proof.
- The water bottle is sturdy with rigid construction.
- It is easy to clean and hold.
- Scuff marks can happen over time.
- It might seem a little expensive to some people.
A smartphone is another accessory that must be on your minimalist list. No matter your destination, you need a good smartphone by your side. It makes it easy for travelers to stay in touch with their family, friends, or the world. Smartphones can also help you search for local attractions and make the best of your visit. I love my Samsung Galaxy A73 because of its incredible features.
The 108 MP camera allows you to take gorgeous pictures. The big screen is perfect for photo editing. You can edit and enhance any image on the go using this phone.
Also, this multi-purpose device eliminates the need to carry your heavy DSLR camera and laptop. Though the device is not cheap, it makes an excellent choice if you want to capture your trips fully. Additionally, you can also carry a nifty little tripod to keep your phone steady to take group photographs and make videos.
- Samsung Galaxy A73 is a multifunctional device.
- The phone has sufficient storage.
- The camera quality is superb.
- Super smooth scrolling.
- The phone is a little costly.
See Related: Cell Phones That Can be Used in Canada
14. A Good Book
Hours of waiting time at the airport and long flights make your travel the best time for reading. If you love reading, you must carry at least one book. Since we’re talking about the minimalist travel list, I recommend carrying audiobooks over physical books. This way, you will not add to your baggage weight. Also, audiobooks are much more convenient.
If you love reading, you must prepare a list of audiobooks you can listen to while traveling. All you need is a smartphone. Download your favorite ones and enjoy having a book read to you anywhere.
- Audiobooks are the best way to spend time.
- They are portable and more convenient.
- Audiobooks can be more expensive than paper books.
15. Minimalist Travel Medicine and First Aid Kit
Accessing instant medical care while traveling can be challenging in some countries. Therefore, it is essential to carry essential medicines and a first aid kit. But, it doesn’t mean packing everything. Instead of packing every medication, you might need, it is better to bring only appropriate items.
A good first aid kit can help you manage your health problems and lower the risk of infection from an injury. You can prepare your own kit or buy a pre-made one online. The First Aid Only Emergency Kit includes antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic ointments, bandages, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other multi-use items. Two separate compartments with storage space make retrieval quick and easy. The zippered case makes it ideal for travel and on-the-go use.
- First Aid Only kit can prepare you to tackle immediate minor injuries.
- It is lightweight and easy to carry.
- Separate compartments ensure organization and quick access to supplies.
- Items like aspirin may expire over time. Check the date before putting it in your bag.
See Related: How to Pack for a Month-Long Trip
Pack Your Bag for the Next Trip
If you want to explore new places like a minimalist traveler, you can follow this minimalist packing list or create a customized one. I think the best minimalist packing list is the one that suits the style and particular needs of a traveler.
On the whole, minimalist travel does not mean carrying a smaller bag; you also need to pack less and leave unnecessary items at home. Hopefully, this list of minimalist travel accessories will help you pack light for your next trip. Let me know in the comments below if you think I’ve missed something important.
Why should you encourage the minimalist travel mindset?
Well, there are several benefits of minimalist travel, and some are as follows:
The fewer bags you carry, the less you have to spend on extra baggage.
You will have less stuff to worry about.
A small bag allows you to move quickly.
What are some tips for minimalist packing?
Several tips can help you start packing and exploring places as a minimalist traveler. Some top tips are as follows:
Pack versatile travel clothes depending on your destination.
Choose multi-use versatile shoes.
Avoid carrying backup foods. Instead, buy local snacks.
Limit your electronics.
Keep a minimalist mindset to maximize your travel experience.
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