Traveling is a way to tap into our curiosity and frees us from traditional routines. When we travel, we get to experience a new place, new sights, new foods, and more! But let's be honest, sometimes our luggage can hinder our travels. We pack too much or sometimes not enough.


A few weeks ago, my sister headed to the east coast and was shocked when she was charged $40 to check her bag at the airport check-in. I have been on several trips this year, and airlines seem to be adding extra charges left and right. To help us save money, give ourselves more flexibility and free ourselves from heavy, bulky luggage, here are six minimalist packing hacks:

1. Make a plan.

Choosing a location, booking flights, a rental car, and a hotel is a lot to plan. I'm not much of a planner, so by the time I start packing, the last thing I want to do is plan some more. The night before a trip, I throw my suitcase on my bed, toss in whatever I think I might need, zip it up, and hope it all works out! But upon arrival, I quickly realize I didn't need most of the items packed. Make extra time to check the weather, create a packing checklist, and do some research on what would be the best items to take for your specific trip.

2. Choose versatile clothing.

Pick out clothes that go together to form a wide variety of outfit options. Choose basics that you can dress up with accessories. Some minimal travelers like to recommend the 5-4-3-2-1 rule: five accessories, four tops, three bottoms, two shoes, and one coat or swimsuit. All items should coordinate by sharing the same color scheme and work together when layered. Although you will only have a few tops and bottoms, combined they should give you 12 outfit options. Visit for great advice on how to plan your outfits for travel!

3. Use accessories wisely.

Pack scarves, necklaces, hats, sunglasses, and handbags to add style to your basic clothing options. Let your accessories be your primary focus to change the look of an outfit. Use them to dress your clothes up or dress them down. The more accessories you bring, the less clothing items you will need.

4. Only miniature toiletry items allowed.

Although it's good to think small, don't spend your money on grocery store toiletry items. Invest in reusable travel tubes so you can pour in your own shampoo/conditioner, body wash, and sunscreen.

Think about what makeup items you use every day and limit what you bring. You don't need ten eyeshadow colors when one will do the trick! Another tip: try to combine your shampoo and conditioner by purchasing a 2-in-1. Some can even be used on the body giving you a 3-in-1 option. Think simple and all-purpose.

5. Combine entertainment options.

Tablets have a way to access most of your entertainment needs. Leave the books and magazines behind. They are heavy, bulky, and need to be carried around even after they have been read. Download movies, music, and books beforehand so it's easy to access when you get onto the plane. If you like the idea of holding actual books, consider checking one out at the library upon arrival.

6. Give yourself extra time.

Planning and packing both take time. If you invest time upfront, you will give yourself flexibility and a lighter load to carry so you can guarantee a positive traveling experience.

Which of these tips do you plan to try? 



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