As we are being battered here on the east coast of Nova Scotia by a fall wind and rain storm, my mind is definitely wandering to thoughts of travel.

I love exploring new places. The history, the culture, the museums and of course the beaches.

Being a person who has embraced living a minimalist lifestyle, I also believe in the benefits of minimalist travel.

Well what are the benefits anyway?

For me one of the benefits of minimalist travel is an obvious extension of minimalist living: Less stuff!

You are just not going to take as much crap as most people. Just like living, you don’t need it.

Even when I read other travel blogs, it is suggested that you need to go out and buy a special kind of backpack or special hiking shoes. Nonsense. Borrow from someone or use what you already have.

You should be able to make do with a carry on bag and that’s it.

Yes you read that correctly. One carry on bag. If you can’t, then you have too much stuff. Pare down by half. At least.

When I went to Europe for the summer of 2009 I went out and bought a 100.00$ backpack. And I bought some 60.00$ hiking shoes. When I got around to packing my stuff I realized that the pack I had was useless. It only opened from the top. How the hell was I going to get stuff in and out effectively?

I took it back(and the shoes) and picked up a 12.00$ school backpack that had more compartments than I knew what to do with. And it zippered completely open. This made it so much easier to access items and to repack when leaving a location. It was awesome.

Only having a carry on means that if traveling by air, you will be so much farther ahead in that there is no checking of bags. This of course will save time and money. I also knew where my stuff was at all times. Can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.

I needed a place for my cash and credit card as well. You read a lot about money belts. The thought of having a belt under my clothes at all times seemed asinine. The solution was to pick up a hard plastic container that divers use. My card fit perfectly and it had a lanyard that went around my neck. I had it with me(hidden under my shirt) at all times. Even when I went swimming.

I had some packing aides that kept my clothes contained, folded and organized. These were very worth it.

Eagle Creek Packing Folder

Other than that I just had some Zip-loc bags for toiletries and small items. This made it easy to see what I was looking for at a glance.

I can’t believe how many people I encountered in Europe that had 2 HUGE backpacks each. Stuff was jammed everywhere. How could they enjoy themselves? More chance of something going missing and you have to lug all that stuff around. No thanks. Minimalist travel means taking the least amount of stuff you can. You will make do just fine.

Next time: Getting around. How to actually travel from place to place.

Live Simply

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3 thoughts on “The Definitive Guide To Minimalist Travel Part 2

  1. First comment on your blog so I’ll start off by saying that I’m enjoying your posts 😉

    Anyways – the bag that you described as only opening from the top is designed primarily for hikers. I backpacked with one because it was narrower and easier to negotiate crowds with. But that was years ago. My recent overseas trips I only used a small backpack courtesy of the tips I learned from onebag.com

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