Taking a Minimalist Approach to Packing

girl with suitcase

When we travel, I don’t usually focus too much on creating a capsule wardrobe, that is a collection of clothes that work well together and can be worn in a number of different ways. The reason for this is because I usually:

1. Wait till the last minute to pack and then just shove lots of clothes in my bag; and

2. Pack old clothes with the idea that our luggage might get lost in transit, our bags might get stolen or that they might get ruined while traveling around.

Either way, the goal is that I will throw away the old clothes making more room in my bag for new ones or, if I don’t buy new clothes, room for souvenirs and other items we purchase. Occasionally, it does happen that clothes get destroyed by a laundry service or sitting on something that stains and damages them however, I usually end up taking home most of the clothes and spending a week or so afterwards washing, folding and ironing everything. Not to mention the innumerable amount of clothes that none of us actually wear but we carry everywhere with us.

minimalist packing pic.1
So much washing after the holiday!

With this in mind, I decided this year would be different. After all, we will be traveling across numerous time-zones and continents and I don’t have time for clothes that are not going to pull their weight on this holiday. I decided to take a minimalist approach to my wardrobe and pack as if we were only taking cabin baggage. We have booked our flights to take a cabin bag for each member of the family and two larger 20kg bags and my goal is to have the larger bags virtually empty when we leave, giving us room for overseas purchases and souvenirs. In Italy, the summer sales start on the 7 July 2019 and run for 60 days which is an annual event and fixed by the Italian government, so the discounts are genuine and very good. Happily, this gives me incentive to keep the packing minimal.

minimalist packing pic.2
I am ready baby

So, after careful review, these are the following essentials I will pack in each of our cabin bags in chart form:

Michelle: SHOES = sandals, summer heels, thongs. TOPS = 5 singlets or t-shirts. BOTTOMS = skirt, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts. WARM = 1 jacket, 1 sweater. FANCY = 3 dresses. SWIM = 2 swimsuits.

Fanuel: SHOES = formal shoes, trainers, thongs for the beach. TOPS = 4 or 5 t-shirts or polos. BOTTOMS = 3 pairs of shorts. WARM = 1 wind jacket. FANCY = 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants. SWIM = board shorts.

Ethan: SHOES = formal shoes, thongs. TOPS = 4 or 5 t-shirts or polos. BOTTOMS = 4 pairs of shorts. WARM = 1 wind jacket. FANCY = 2 shirts, 1 pair of pants. SWIM = rash west.

Stefy: SHOES = Sandals, thongs. TOPS = 5 singlets or t-shirts. BOTTOMS = 1 pair of jeans, 4 pairs of shorts. WARM = 1 jacket, 1 sweater. FANCY = 3 dresses. SWIM = rash west, swimsuit.

In addition to this, I will pack 3 or 4 bras for myself and 5 or 6 undies for everyone. On the plane we all wear our active or lounge items which usually include a top, leggings or tracksuit pants, socks and sneakers. The plane is usually the worst for extreme air-conditioning so even though we will be traveling across summer, we all wear our warmest clothes on the plane which also saves space in our bags.

To keep space to a premium I bought my jacket from Uniqlo which packs down into a small bag, so if the weather is hot the whole time we are away I won’t have a jacket taking up too much space.

minimalist packing pic.3
Planning to use this jacket on the plane ad on possible cold nights
minimalist packing pic.4

Lovely sweater that’s perfect on the plane and comes in many different colours
minimalist packing pic.5
Yellow tracksuit pants which are ideal for travelling
minimalist packing pic.6
Leopard tracksuit pants which are just as comfy
minimalist packing pic.7

Sperry Women’s Sneakers
minimalist packing pic.8

Adidas Superstar Runners

Extras I will take: 2 rain ponchos per person – invaluable in the city, 1 micro towel each – if we stop at a beach for a swim, 1 family medical and travel kit (Band-Aids, pain medicine, disinfectant, herbal sleeping medicine, fiber and diarrhea stop – believe me this can be a lifesaver on plane trips, sunscreen and copies of important paperwork (passports)).

I haven’t included toiletries on the list because I want to check the space we will have. Our first stop will be an apartment (it’s an Airbnb) and to be honest, we are all super excited to go visit a Walmart store that is nearby. As we will stay here for just over a week, we might purchase some groceries when we arrive for the week ahead.

minimalist packing pic.9

These rain ponchos are great for colour coding
minimalist packing pic.10
Handy Microfibre towel

Have I missed anything? Please comment here below if you can think of items to add to this list. Also feel free to share this article if you have found it useful!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that will allow me to keep this blog going. Thank you for your support!

10 thoughts on “Taking a Minimalist Approach to Packing

  1. I also try to take this approach to packing but it never works, I always get to the point where I have to site n my suitcase to shut it. But I never end up wearing half the clothes I do take. Think I need to follow these guidelines next time.


  2. I used to pack EVERYTHING for travel. Now I do the same, packing a few tops and pants. As I know I’ll want to take a lot back for when I return!

  3. Yeah I’m the same and that’s why I’m really going to try to stick to this guide and be tough on myself.

  4. Holy moly! You packed less to travel abroad then we did for a Disney vacation! Good for you!


  5. Loved reading this! You have inspired me to pack less on my next trip. I usually try to pack my entire closet and end up regretting it afterwards. So, I def have to stop doing that! Thanks for inspiring me, ha!

    Much love always,
    GABBY | http://www.gabbyabigaill.com

  6. Thanks for your comment. I can assure you it’s not always been like this! LOL

  7. I’m not too bad on the clothes front when I pack, but I like to take double the amount of underwear and socks with me for some strange reason! My problem is the number of home comforts that I like to pack to take with me >.<


  8. I usually do the same but this time I must resist! LOL
    Thanks for visiting our blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *