People seem to be divided on this topic: do you pack light, or do you pack your entire home into your suitcase?
It seems like a real no-brainer that you would want to exercise restraint when packing for a trip. Why pack that one green patterned shirt in the back or your closet, or that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for three years when you would never wear or use them regularly? People, in their packing zeal, forget that day-to-day life doesn’t require all that much stuff. It’s pretty minimal.
Really, all you need to do in order to pack light is cut your clothing down, which you can accomplish by choosing clothes made of materials that stay fresh. For instance, for light travel you want merino wool socks and underwear, as well as shirts, because they wick away sweat and stay fresh for days; you can pack like two pairs of merino underwear and get away with a weeklong trip.
And there are benefits to packing light, which far outweigh the benefits you might experience packing a gigantic suitcase stuffed with stuff. In this article, let’s walk through a few of the reasons you should consider going minimalist on your next trip.
Packing Light Saves You Money
With airlines levying pricey checked baggage fees nowadays, you can save yourself a lot of money packing just a carry-on for a round trip. And you’ll also find, as you travel around your destination, that not having a big piece of luggage frees you up to save on transport. Whereas you might regularly take public transit or walk, with a big suitcase you often wind up shelling out for a cab.
A Light Load Allows for More Freedom
Want to be spontaneous when you travel, wake up and decide to go somewhere completely new? With luggage weighing you down, you’re less likely to make these beautiful, impromptu decisions. You tend to feel tied to a certain place. Packing less can be freeing that way.
Being Choosy Makes You More Considerate
One of the key tenets of minimalism is that, as you whittle down your possessions, you become more considerate of each item, more attuned to quality. With a clutter of clothing and every known toiletry under the sun stuffed into your bag, it can be hard to take pride in your possessions, to vouch for their value.
Bring Less And You’ll Have Less to Lose
Finally, a practical consideration: statistically speaking, the fewer things you bring, the fewer things you are likely to lose. If juggling 30 items of clothing, for instance, it’s pretty easy when you leave to forget the one that slipped underneath the hotel bed. With 8-10 articles of clothing, each can be easily accounted for. You don’t need all that jewellery, either; whatever small feeling of class is gained by packing it, the risk of losing it outweighs.
In short, when packing for a trip, don’t bring what you don’t need. Find clothing items that stay fresh for a long time, and pack just a few of them. Leave the jewellery and all but the essential toiletries. You’ll be glad you did.