Summer Vacation

How to Pack Like a Minimalist for Your Summer Vacation

Summer vacation is the perfect time to de-stress and get away from it all, but being prepared and having a good packing strategy is a smart way to keep it simple from the start. By packing minimally, you’ll save time and be ready for the big trip without worry.

Getting Ready for Minimalist Packing

It’s easy to overpack when you’re getting ready for vacation because you’re worried you may need something. In reality, many of the essentials you have at home you won’t need on vacation, and if you do, you can often find them at a local store for a minimal cost. However, there are plenty of items you will need to make your vacation a success! While getting a bottle of aspirin from a local pharmacy might not pose much trouble while on vacation, finding the perfect swimsuit that fits and flatters might not be so easy when you’re away from home and in an unfamiliar location. Get prepared in advance by taking a mental look at the things you can’t live without during vacation and the things you can probably pick up if you need them.

Create a Pared-Down Packing Checklist

Once you’ve become more mentally comfortable with packing minimally, it’s time to create a basic packing checklist. All the “ultimate” checklists you’ve probably seen on popular websites don’t apply here. Instead of packing everything possible, you’re honing in the most important essentials and considering how to make items multitask for you to place less focus on your packing and items and more on having fun and relaxing during your vacation. Make a list with three columns that divide items into three categories: must-have, maybe need to have, and would be nice to have. You’ll likely pack most of the items on your must-have list, but the trick is to pack less without sacrificing your style, comfort, or peace of mind.

Evaluating Your List

Once you’ve divided items into your three categories, it’s time to look closely at what you can eliminate or make work better for you. Your list will vary depending on your vacation, the number of days (or weeks) you’ll be gone, what activities you have planned, and more. Keep your essentials in line with your needs. Good hiking shoes may not be necessary if you only plan short sightseeing forays, but they’ll be a necessity if you’re spending long days on the trails. Cross off anything you think you can go without, and circle those items you’ve deemed as necessities.

Smart Clothing Strategies

When it comes to minimal packing, clothing is one of the easiest ways to pare it down. Clothing can take up a lot of room, so smart clothing packing strategies can save space and stress. Consider the following tips when packing clothing:

  • Find out whether you’ll have access to laundry facilities on vacation. If so, you can make do with packing far fewer items.
  • Choose several clothing items that can be worn more than once and still look great—such as denim shorts, khaki women’s cropped pants, and lightweight cotton sundresses.
  • Pack portable stain wipes or baby wipes to help remove minor dirt, debris, or stains on clothing so you can wear it again during the trip.
  • Pack pretty beach cover-ups to wear to the beach instead of another outfit back and forth to the water.
  • Make creating outfits with minimal clothing easy by sticking to neutral color palettes and items that can easily be mixed and matched.
  • Create new looks with outfits through accessories, which take up less than complete outfits.
  • Pack dryer sheets between clothing pieces to keep them fresh-smelling for more than one wear.

Packing Shoes

Shoes are another essential item for vacation, but packing multiple pairs can make luggage get bulky in a hurry. Consider shoe options that can be stowed easily in small spaces, like simple flats and flip-flops. Also, consider shoes that are versatile and have multiple functions. A pair of classic canvas tennis shoes, for example, is comfortable for walking, but still looks cute with a casual skirt outfit or with a tank top and women’s shorts at the beach or park.

Packing Lightly With Toiletries

Packing toiletries is necessary, but these can also take up prime luggage real estate. To pare it down, keep these tips in mind:

  • Consider taking single-use toiletry items for some of your needs to keep it simple and save space—such as sample-size shampoo or conditioner packets that can be laid flat.
  • Consider going back to basics for vacation. For example, if you normally use an electric toothbrush, just pack a manual one for vacation so you don’t need to pack the accessories and charging station. Instead of packing your blow dryer, let your hair air dry naturally during the trip.
  • Save space on makeup by investing in an allover single face palette rather than multiple eye shadow, blush, and powder containers.
  • Request travel-size samples of items like sunscreen and lotion from your favorite retailers to pack instead of larger sizes.

Go Light on Electronics

The point of your vacation is to get away from it all, so consider going light on electronics. Skip the laptop, get a streamlined case for your phone, and organize chargers or cables neatly to save space.

Minimalist Vacation Packing Makes Life Easier

Packing without going overboard isn’t out of the question when you strategize and prioritize your needs. By being thoughtful about your clothing and other personal belongings, you can pack lightly and still have a successful, relaxing vacation.

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