Minimalist travel – ultimate packing list

278 words. 3 minutes to read.

How often have you gone on holiday with suitcases stuffed full of belongings, and hauled them halfway around the world, only to return home having used barely any of it?

Being a minimalist when you travel can prevent stress and headaches, and make your holiday so much more enjoyable.

Here’s my ultimate minimalist packing list for those of you who want to spend your holidays NOT carrying vast amounts of stuff!


  • Prescription medicine and doctor’s letter (if required)
  • Glasses (if required), sunglasses
  • Basic pain medication, cortisone or antihistamines (if required)
  • Diva cup (if required)
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Hairbrush or comb, hairties
  • Sunscreen
  • Soap, conditioner
  • Loofah
  • Razor

Cosmetics – if required

  • BB cream with sunscreen
  • Cheek stick
  • Eyeshadow stick
  • Permanent / long-last lipstick


  • 7 x underwear
  • Slip on shoes
  • Flip flops (for communal showers and beaches)
  • Swimsuit and shorts (for workout), sunhat
  • Hooded jacket
  • 2 x tops plus 2 x bottoms OR 2 dresses (on or below the knee)
  • 2 x thermal tops (winter only)
  • Gloves, scarf and beanie (winter only)

Other items

  • Smartphone and charger
  • Beach towel
  • Sheet, pillowcase
  • Day bag
  • Water bottle
  • Wallet with drivers licence, passport and cash

All of this should easily fit into a small pack the size of a school bag, and can be brought in to a plane as carry-on, avoiding the need to checking in items, and making transfers quicker and easier.

Remember, unless you’re going to Antarctica, you can buy anything you need when you arrive, if you find you’ve missed something. Travel is supposed to be fun, not a shopping death sentence!

Next time you travel, I hope you have a great time bringing less. šŸ™‚

Ultimate minimalist travel list

Minimalist travel packing list


7 thoughts on “Minimalist travel – ultimate packing list

  1. Ms. L says:

    I fully aim for carry on only when I go to Tanzania for 3 weeks. I intend to be brutal when I pack -bare minimum-and am so excited to see how it all works out!


    • You won’t regret it! I managed carry-on only for a month in Europe and Asia a couple of years ago, and it made life so much easier…and no lost bags! Have a wonderful trip! šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ms. L says:

        Thank you so much!
        I’m impressed, carry on only for a month, wow! I managed carry on only to Peru with stuff for the Inca trail, but ruined it when I brought back an extra bag of treasures. I shall prevail, ha ha.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Timely since I’m about to pack for a trip in just a few hours! My problem is always SHOES. I end up packing athletic shoes, dress shoes, pool shoes…and maybe that fun pair of boots … Then, like you say, I don’t use half of them. I’m getting better. Thanks for the reminders.


      • Shoes used to be a hard one for me too. These day I take two pair – sketchers and a pair of flip flops (for beaches and communal showers). I find that’s all I need.

        Likewise with clothes. I used to take heaps. But I just got back from a two week trip up in sunny northern New Zealand (warm and middle of summer). All I brought and wore were two casual mid-length dresses, a hoodie, a nightie, a beach towel and a swimsuit. That’s all I needed too!

        The only thing I ever bring lots of is underwear. I always bring lace underwear because it washes and dries so quickly, even overnight when I need it to.

        I rotated the dresses (washed one while wearing the other) and the hoodie was worn over the top when it got chilly. It was lovely to be able to just enjoy myself and not worry about fashion.

        The one mistake I made was bringing hair straighteners and a hair dryer. Next time I won’t bother – I’ll just tie my hair up and let it go to its natural curl, which is pretty curly! šŸ˜‰

        For makeup, all I wore the whole time was sunblock, BB cream and a permanent lipstick. I’m a fan of those Clinique chubby sticks for cheeks and lips, and brought mine, but only used it a couple of times and really didn’t need it at all.

        Holidays should be abut relaxation and enjoyment, not fashion and straightening hair. It seems that no matter how much I pack – and these days it’s very little – it’s always too much. But I haven’t had to check in baggage for years, and packing light has saved me a LOT of money in that time.

        Enjoy your trip! šŸ™‚


  2. It was summer, which made things a lot easier! But I’ve learned from experience that even when I used to pack a lot (and I mean a LOT) more stuff years and years ago, I barely wore it all. So these days I keep things to a bare minimum, and find travel a lot more freeing šŸ™‚

    I’ll put up a post about travel tips – there are some clever ideas I’ve been taught by friends over the years and that I’ve picked up as well that have made travelling much easier with fewer belongings. You might find it useful.

    Happy travels! šŸ™‚


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