Packing for a vacation can be stressful. We’ve all heard people exclaim that getting away was ‘so exhausting I need another vacation to recover’, so here’s a few minimalist packing tips to help take the sting out of getting organised.
Make a list
We usually take the same things away with us each time so it makes sense to create a generic list – a kind of vacation mothership – and keep it somewhere safe. You could even make different lists for different types of vacation: camping, hotel, skiing, beach, walking. Save yourself all the energy it takes to remember the things you need, and simply glide around the house gathering up the items on your list.
Keep it simple
Select only the minimal number of clothes and accessories you will need. For a summer trip a few t-shirts, a smart blouse, two dresses, one pair of shorts, a warm pullover, a linen scarf (use as a wrap on the beach or around your shoulders in the evenings) and some lightweight trousers is all you will really need. Choose colours that work together and wear the bulkiest items whilst you are traveling to save on baggage weight. Take only two pairs of shoes – sandals and comfy shoes should be fine. Keep toiletries to a minimum and buy larger things like shampoo and sunscreen when you arrive. Take lightweight linen towels that are compact and quick-drying.
Roll your clothes
Fit way more into your bag by rolling your clothes rather than folding them. Begin by folding each item into a neat rectangle, then roll this tightly and stand on its end in your case (think sushi). The diagram below is from Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy and demonstrates a simple folding technique. This will also help prevent creasing, but choose linen if you want clothes that look great with a few crumples. Save space by buying a rollable hat and stylish packaway mac.
Take the smallest bag possible
Luggage, like Nature, abhors a vacuum. If you take a large bag you will fill it, so restrict your packing case to the smallest possible size. If you are traveling with kids, get them a small backpack each so they can carry their own things. Bring a pillow case to use as a dirty laundry bag.
Keep the kids occupied
If you are holidaying with kids take some carefully selected things to keep them amused. Cheap pipe-cleaners they can use to create incredible monsters, sheets of stickers, portable pen sets and i-spy books are all great non-bulky resources that will buy you some much needed peace on your journey. Planning ahead here will save you tantrums and traumas later on.
How many books will you actually read? Consider taking one long book rather than several short ones. Be realistic about the places you will get to visit too. Don’t overload your itinerary. Bring binoculars or walking boots if you are sure to need them, but try to limit the ‘just in case’ additional items. These extra bits of baggage can be a subconscious drain – remember you are on holiday, relax.
Make your vacation packing mantra ‘Keep it simple’ and you’ll be jetting away with everything you need and none of the stress. Happy traveling!