Summer is in full swing and for many of us that means some kind of vacation is just around the corner.  For Travis and I that meant our first week long family cruise. After overpacking for our ski trips this past winter (I probably wore about one third of what I brought with me) I knew that I wanted to make an effort to travel with less and pack minimally.  Traveling with less may seem impossible or daunting, but from what I have experienced it has so many benefits: you don’t have to carry around as much, it’s easier to pick out an outfit, you have less laundry to do when you get home, and packing & unpacking are a breeze.  

If you too want to start packing minimally, here are some things to consider that have helped me pare down my “To Pack” list:

  • What will the weather be? In addition to relying on the weather forecast, I also make sure to pack a light sweater and a small, packable rain jacket just in case.
  • What will you be doing?  Are you relaxing at the beach or exploring a new city?  If I know I am going to be doing a lot of walking I always make sure to bring comfortable shoes.  I bought these Adidas for our cruise excursions.  They are so comfortable and very lightweight- great for taking on trips! 
  • Will you have access to a washer and dryer? If the answer is yes, then definitely consider packing less!  You can also find these cute travel sized bottles of Castile soap, which I used to hand wash a few things on our cruise.
  • Versatile clothing is your friend! I always try to pack items that I know go with multiple outfits. For example, one pair of shoes that go with multiple outfits, one to two pairs of pants/shorts that go with all of your tops, and a jacket or sweater that works with most all of your outfits.
  • Wear heavier clothing items, or bulkier items, while traveling.  For example I try to wear my tennis shoes when traveling since they take up more space in my bag.
  • Do you actually need it? Sometimes we have the urge to pack things “just in case”.  For example I was debating taking my blow dryer with us on the cruise, just because I like it so much. However, I knew that the hotels and the ship would provide hair dryers, and using those worked just as well.  I also saved space in my suitcase! 
  • Use travel-size shampoos, conditioners, soaps, etc. when you can.  We usually use the small plastic bottles that can easily be washed out and reused.  

My challenge for you, and for myself, is to make packing with less a priority.  I will be sharing my progress with this on Instagram as I pack for a few trips in the coming weeks.  I hope to hear from you about how packing with less is going- whether you are making progress or struggling in a particular area.  Please feel free to post in the comments, email me, or reach out on social media!