Have you ever travelled around with a luggage so heavy, it’s frustrating? Have you ever gotten so excited with your destination that you packed the entire wardrobe for a 7 day trip, only to come back with loads of clothes that went untouched?
Let us introduce you to minimalist travel! A minimalist traveller is someone who packs light, usually only the necessities, and uses technology to help manage the trip and expenditures.
Forget the suitcase and use a backpack instead. Suitcases can be very heavy and cumbersome, unlike a versatile and lightweight backpack. In addition, if your backpack is too heavy to carry, you know you have overpacked. To pack light, 35-50L backpacks are sufficient.
There is no need to bring your entire wardrobe along with you. You only need to pack the necessities. To start off, ask yourself what you really need. Do pack clothes made from lightweight cotton or dry-fit materials, as these will keep your body dry and comfortable. Your clothes should consist of basic simple colours, which can be mixed and matched to form a variety of different looks. Do avoid packing too many pairs of shoes, as they tend to be heavy and bulky. To lighten the load, we suggest that you wear one pair of good walking shoes (eg. sneakers), and pack one pair of sandals/slippers. Lastly, do not forget to pack your underwear and swimwear!
Remember that you are travelling light, so you would not be carrying a bulky laptop with you. Should you require any access to a computer, you can always rent time at your hostel or an internet cafe.
The only device that you need is your smartphone, which can be easily connected to the local WIFI. You can use the Skype app to connect with friends and family back home. Alternatively, you can get the recently launched WhatSim, a global SIM card to send Whatsapp messages. If you are afraid of getting lost in an unfamiliar land, you can purchase a data plan from your destination and use Google Maps to navigate around. Furthermore, your smartphone can double up as a camera, to take those social media-worthy photos that you can’t wait to share on Facebook or Instagram.
Before you leave, always check if the country you are travelling to requires a visa. You do not want to be denied entry to your destination and have the trip ended before it has even began. You may also consider getting travel insurance, if you have not done so. Travel insurance is important as it insures you from unexpected cancellation, additional medical expenses or stolen baggage. The amount of coverage depends on the type of travel insurance you purchase. You can visit GoBear.com to compare and find the travel insurance that is most suitable for your needs.
Digitize your world and use technology to your advantage! Your smartphone can also serve as a memory stick. Use your smartphone or email to save PDF copies of your passport, credit card details, and emergency contact list. By eliminating all the paper, you will not have to worry about losing or misplacing any important documents.
Lastly, you can forget about that bulky travel guide book or novel. Save a PDF version and store them in your smartphone instead.
Toiletries tend to be notorious for adding dead weight to the luggage, especially hair care products such as straightener, blow dryer, conditioner, shampoo and other styling products. Do away with all that clutter and pack only the items needed to keep you clean and fresh. We suggest using a multi-purpose soap that can be used for body, hair and even toothpaste (eg. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap).
Now, you can say goodbye to those heavy luggages and be a minimalist traveller! Pack light and fully enjoy your travels instead!