Finally! Your long-await trip to Europe is finally happening, and it’s time to get your travel packing list together! Where do you start?
Well, if you’re planning to stay for quite a while, you can definitely check a bag and stuff it full of all your favorite items and then some. But we know from experience that pulling heavy luggage on the Metro and around the streets of Europe is no fun.
That’s why we created this minimalist packing list for you! Whether you’re new to minimalist travel or want a few extra guidelines on packing extra light, this list is for you. We’ve got you covered with a customizable packing list that you can adjust based on personal preference to create your own minimalist packing list.
Ready? Let’s go!
Minimalist Packing 101: always have packing cubes! Packing light is much easier when you can organize your items into a packing cube. We love this fun set from BAGAIL that includes several versatile pieces for your carry-on luggage, checked bag, or personal item. In addition to 3 packing cubes, it includes a shoe bag, cosmetic bag, sock bag, and underwear bag. There’s even a bag for dirty laundry! Not only will these help you pack minimally, but they will also keep your clothing items organized.
Minimalist Travel Wardrobe
Before you start packing, it’s essential to figure out your wardrobe. A minimalist travel wardrobe (or a capsule wardrobe) involves just a few items you can mix and match to wear in many different ways! The key is to choose a neutral color palette for all your pieces and stick with it. So you may only bring ten pieces of clothing, but you’ll have many different outfits as you combine the items in different ways. (Don’t forget that you can wash items in Europe, too!)
Depending on the weather and your activities, this minimalist packing list will change, but here are a few of our go-to items for a week away.
- 1 pair of Flip flops
- Light jacket (or coat)
- 1 Pair of active/walking shoes
- Bathing suit
- 2 tops
- 2 t-shirts
- 3 bottoms (including 1 pair of pants)
- 3 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of socks
This list of obviously for warm weather. But if you’re going into cold weather, you can easily switch the bathing suit and flip-flops for a coat and boots instead. And as mentioned earlier, you can do laundry, so leave all the unnecessary items behind and pack light!
As you get used to minimalist travel, your minimalist packing list will evolve and change until you have the perfect formula.
Good Carry-On Bag
One of the keys to the perfect minimalist packing list is having the right carry-on to put everything in! After all, you need a bag that works with your items and a minimalist lifestyle.
An easy place to start is with a duffel bag. Duffel bags are carry-on friendly and work well when trying to pack light but not too light. For the beginner minimalist packer, we recommend this YSHFOX carry-on duffel bag. It gets the job done with quality canvas construction, an extra-large capacity, a waterproof shoe compartment, and several organizational pockets. It also includes a detachable shoulder strap so you can carry it multiple ways.
If your go-to packing process usually includes a different kind of carry-on, try this hybrid backpack from KNOWVAN instead! We love that it packs like a mini-suitcase and expands for extra space. It has many pockets, multiple carrying options, and a divider to keep your clean clothes separate from your dirty ones. And when you’re outside your hotel room, it can even double as a day bag. It’s a fantastic choice for minimalist travelers!
First Aid Kit
Even when you’re packing light, safety is essential! At the bare minimum, you should have a small kit with bandaids, antiseptic, tweezers, etc. If you have a bit more space, upgrade to one with other necessities, like a cold pack, emergency blanket, etc.
One of the most critical items on your minimalist packing list is the right toiletries! Thankfully, you can get travel-sized versions of pretty much everything you’ll need. And if there is something you can’t find (or can’t fit), you’ll probably be able to find it when you land.
We’re big fans of convenience kits, or hygiene kits because they’re super easy on your packing list. These are also perfect for minimalist travel because they come fully stocked with most (if not all) of the toiletries you’ll need, ready to go in a TSA-approved bag.
We recommend this one for women. You can mix and match other travel-sized necessities in there as needed as long as they fit in the one bag.
Depending on where you’ll be traveling, a packable towel may be a good addition to your packing list. These are perfect for the beach, warm climates, and cases where your accommodations don’t supply towels.
For those cases, we love the OlimpiaFit 3-towel set. They condense into a smaller bag, dry fast, and have separate towels for your face, hair, and body without taking up unnecessary space.
Multi-Purpose Personal Item
Another thing to add to your travel packing list is a bag for exploring. If you don’t want to use your carry-on as a daypack, make sure your personal bag meets the need instead.
In some cases, you can add a packable backpack to your packing list, but why waste the space if you’re in a pinch? Ditch bad habits of adding all the “just in case items” and choose things with more than one purpose instead.
That’s why we like using small bags as your personal item that also work as your day pack while you’re out on the town. In addition to keeping your necessities easily accessible, you’ll want something durable with a few anti-theft features.
We recommend this canvas messenger bag from TOPWOLF, thanks to its roomy capacity, anti-theft cover, waterproof fabric, and top-quality construction. It’s something you’ll want to bring on every single trip for convenience!
These are our top recommendations to start your minimal packing list. But remember, this isn’t a hard-set list. Quite the opposite, actually! We encourage you to customize it to your personal needs, trip, and evolving minimalist traveling style.
It may seem hard at first, but over time, you’ll become a pro at only packing what you need and leaving the rest behind. Happy packing!