Updated: Jan 26
Minimalist travel isn't for everyone - you're sacrificing comfort and convenience for freedom and flexibility, and it may take a shift in how you think in order to see the benefits, but that's what this site is all about.
Note: If you haven't yet, you may want to read The True Minimalist to get a glimpse into why I built this site and felt compelled to share this approach to travel.
Minimalist travel will be different for everyone (see What IS Minimalist Travel?).. but in my opinion, minimalist travel is having little-to-zero attachment to things, and simplifying your life so you can get by on just a few sets of clothes and a few bare essentials.
I travel with a small hiking backpack, three sets of clothes, two portable wash bags and just a few personal "must-haves" - you can see the full list here.
I also (usually) travel with my laptop, and if you're careful with your selection, it shouldn't make a huge impact on your bag selection or size.
This extremely limited approach to packing comes with a few limitations..
A willingness to wash and dry your clothes every day (either hand-washing or using a wash-bag)
A willingness to wear those same clothes every day (you won't get points for style)
The ability/flexibility to choose warm or moderate climates, or the willingness to purchase climate-appropriate clothing wherever you go, and..
The ability to plan ahead, both before you start traveling and on a day-to-day basis.
In exchange for wearing generic, multi-use clothes and making time for washing those clothes, you gain the ultimate freedom in terms of where you go and when you go, in additional to the mental freedom of being unattached to your personal items.. (check out Why Minimalist Travel for more details).
Most people tend to get hung up on packing fewer clothes - they are, after all, the biggest ticket items - whether your packing for short or long, domestic or international travel; so I've put together a few short articles addressing each, in case you're not sold on the possibility.
The Minimalist Method - How to compress your pack into the smallest footprint possible
Travel Clothes (What To Look For) - Multi-function, quick-drying clothes for every use
Oh My God, Shoes! - Why you only need one pair (bonus points if you get the reference)
The second thing people get hung up on is the pure insanity of having to wash and dry your clothes every day, and for that, I've put together a few articles addressing the reality, inconvenience and benefits.
Laundry on the Road Part I (Washing)
Washing Clothes in the Shower (don't judge until you read)
The third thing people get hung up on, is vanity - and I fully admit, I fall into this trap as well, I want to look my best, or at least normal, no matter where I am - which is why it's so important to select your travel-wear carefully; but it's equally important to remember that you're likely going to stick out no matter where you are or what you're wearing, when you're in another country.
No One Cares (Except Maybe You) - Same as above only better
Bars and Nightclubs - Why it doesn't matter what you're wearing