It’s difficult to travel light, both in terms of money and time. Many airlines now charge fees for checked bags, and this beautiful world that we live in isn’t cheap. The good news? There are actually many things you can do to help you save space, money, and time on your travel.
Here’s How to Travel the Minimalist Way:
Choose a destination within reasonable driving distance from your home and give yourself plenty of time to get there and back in one day. If you’re traveling by car, plan to make several short trips over a few days rather than one long trip; that way, you’ll still have fun but won’t feel so exhausted and overwhelmed when you get home.
- Which 5 Things?
Focus on just your 5 most important to-dos and plan your trip accordingly. Too many things can distract you from enjoying your trip, and you might make unnecessary work for yourself.
- Leave your Extras.
Before you leave, map out all the items you’re taking with you. Make a list of everything, including clothing, toiletries, and electronics; then, carefully cut that list down to your 5 most important items. You’ll probably find that you can pare down your list even further.
- Pack Early.
Wait until the night before your trip to pack. Traveling light doesn’t have to be difficult, and it certainly needn’t take up your entire suitcase. Choosing to travel the minimalist way means packing only what you need and traveling light means packing only that. When it comes to packing light, there are three categories that should dominate your packing list: clothes, toiletries, and electronics—that’s it. Everything else is just filler and weighs you down.
- Make Use of Public Transit
Travel is notorious for being expensive. Between the cost of airfare, accommodations, and going out to eat, it’s no wonder that vacations can quickly add up. However, you don’t have to break the bank to experience the world. Many destinations are easily accessible by public transportation, and you could save money in the process.
- Go Natural
Use reusable, natural, eco-friendly, or biodegradable products. If reusable, make sure they are washable and don’t contain toxic substances.
For toiletries, pack travel-size bottles and refill them with shampoo, conditioner, or soap. When traveling, bring minimal toiletries. There’s no need to carry more than a single bottle of shampoo and conditioner, a tube of toothpaste, body wash, and a bar of soap or lotion. There is plenty of shampoo at your hotel or apartment rental. Carry a plastic water bottle with you and fill it as needed. If you’re concerned about weight, pack just the essentials.
- Avoid single-use plastics.
Use reusable water bottles, cloth bags, and straws. The number of plastic products we use a day is immense. Plastic bags pollute the environment, present health risks, and even find their way into wildlife, often with fatal consequences. Unfortunately, single-use plastics are everywhere, from shopping bags to one-time-use straws for drinks at the local store.
- Choose local foods.
Eating local is a great way to support the local economy, eat healthier food, and support the environment. When traveling, it can be overwhelming when you find out how much the local food costs, especially if it’s outside your budget. However, being mindful of where you are eating and using some local flavours is simpler than you think.
- Pack Snacks
Pack snacks so you won’t be tempted to eat junk food when hungry. Traveling can be a costly experience. Airfare, hotels, car rentals, and other necessities can quickly add up, so it’s important to take every possible measure to cut down on expenses. One of the easiest ways to do so is to pack snacks with you for plane rides and long car trips. Opt for healthy, protein-rich foods and steer clear of packaged, processed snacks you’ll find at the airport and gas stations.
Traveling with minimalists means lugging less stuff. It means leaving your cellphone at home, and it also means choosing not to bring sunscreen. But, as counterintuitive as it might seem, it can also lead to a more relaxing vacation. Less stuff means less stress, saving time and money.