The minimalism lifestyle is becoming a trend today. The philosophy behind it is about getting rid of excess and unnecessary stuff so you can focus on what you truly value. While a lot has been pursuing of becoming a minimalist, not everyone succeeds because it carries a lot of weight and more discipline is needed. Ironic, right?
Now when it comes to minimalist travel, it’s not just about packing less and smart but more about adopting the mindset “less is more” and sticking to it.
For starters, the questions like “Do you need it all? Will you be able to use it all? Will those fit in one bag?” help to pack light.
But seriously, limiting ourselves to just one carry-on bag is so hard. That’s why, we’ve rounded up a list of experts who will help us to travel like a pro minimalist. Get to know them and check out what they do on their trips.
1. Ingrid Cudia – The minimalist poshpacker
She is a writer and researcher covering travel, food and fashion. A backpacker who travels around the world, proud to carry a carefully curated capsule wardrobe of designer goods and described herself as a poshpacker—backpacker with more money and better clothes.
Pro tip: “I underpack. If I run out of outfits, I can always head to the nearest laundry shop or even hand wash some of my silk tops in the hotel sink. Silk dries very fast and can be washed with shampoo,” Ingrid shares in her interview with travelfashiongirl.com.
2. Amanda Burger – The 5kg-carry-on traveler
Amanda is a solo full-time traveler, vegan and house-sitter who runs the Burger Abroad blog. She has lived in 30 cities in 12 states in the US, and in 60+ more countries, but has no base or home. Before becoming a full-time traveler, Amanda was a vet tech for a decade, an artist, and ran a pet-sitting business.
Pro tip: “The best tip for packing light is to always bring less than you think you’ll need. The most useful item that I recommend is a buff headband. It’s light, small, easy to pack and can be used in so many different ways – headband, hoodie, eye mask, neck scarf, wristband, pillowcase, towel, and more,” Amanda says in her interview with neverendingvoyage.com.
3. Frank Brown – The one-bag traveler
Frank has been traveling the world with only one bag for more than 20 years. He has worked as a TV journalist, talk show host, entertainment industry publicist, restaurant manager, sightseeing tour director and now travels the world promoting One Bag Travel.
Pro tip: “We don’t like to check in luggage. The ultimate goal is to travel utilizing one carry-on-sized bag without wheels. Not everyone can do this due to the nature of their travels, health issues or the items they have to take. At most, we suggest nothing more than an additional personal item/laptop bag or you’ll start getting into difficulty managing the load and being forced to check in luggage,” Frank tells to carryology.com.
4. Jacqui New – A full-time minimalist traveler with her family
Jacqui New is a full-time minimalist traveler. Unlike other minimalist travelers, Jacqui explores the world with her family! Jacqui and her husband decided to sell almost all of their belongings and travel the world after leaving their 9 to 5 jobs.
Pro tip: Jacqui told theoffbeatlife.com that when traveling with family, it is better to travel slower to have the balance of work, schooling children, lower cost and to have a different experience, too.
5. Noéme and Fabien – Semi-nomadic housesitting travelers
They spend half of their time in Quebec working and half of their time traveling. They only work 25 hours a week but managed to meet the travel expenses through housesitting. Housesitting is taking care of the house and pets while the owners are traveling in exchange for free accommodation.
Pro tip: Noéme and Fabien share to nomadnumbers.com that when housesitting, it is very important to define your needs (type of animal, duration, location, requirements, etc.) before applying to housesitting platforms and remember that the most important thing is the care for the animals, so insist on this point when you apply. Choose less popular places for first timers to gain some reviews.
6. Debora – A vegan psychologist and a minimalist traveler
Debora loves to create plant-based recipes, take pictures, and live sustainably. She only travels with a carry-on backpack and always sticks to it.
Pro tip: When traveling, Debora would rather spend money on activities than in shopping for things she doesn’t really need like souvenirs that might make her bag heavier.
7. Alex Jimenez – The one-bag fashion traveler
Alex started the popular website Travel Fashion Girl in 2012 to help other travelers learn the art of ‘carry-on only’ packing. She firmly believes that traveling with only a carry-on is the way to travel and her blog is full of tips to help other travelers no matter where in the world they are exploiting to.
Pro tip: For Alex, the secret to packing light is bringing versatile items or pieces you can mix and match and is easy to be paired with.
8. Richard Meadows – A 10-country traveler with only a 7kg-bag
Richard is a journalist and author of the ‘Budget Buster’ money column for Fairfax Media and documents his experiments in finance, health and simple living on thedeepdish.org.
Pro tip: Like Alex, Richard likes to bring only the necessary things and have multi-purpose use. If in doubt, he says, leave it out.
9. Paul Ryken and Sandra Rosenau – Sustainable and minimalist full-time travelers
Paul and Sandra quit their jobs, sold and gave away most of their possessions in 2016 and now earn a living from their investments and from their website.
Pro tip: “In pursuing a life of minimalism, set some time aside and think about your personal values before you start decluttering. Many people start and end decluttering their physical environment but the same principle can be applied across all aspects of your life such as your finances, health and fitness, business or career, relationship and etc.,” the couple shared in their interview with theplankingtraveler.com.
10. Sheoak – The guy who travels without a bag
Sheoak is a web developer, a coach in minimalism and a musician who spent a few months traveling without a bag. He only packed as much as his pockets allowed him including his passport. It’s hard to believe, but he made it possible!
Pro tip: Sheoak shares, “it is challenging to travel without a bag but it’s an amazing experience which taught me a lot about myself. I believe that one shall follow what he feels is right, that this is how happiness and synchronicity arise.” He is also an advocate of living sustainably to protect the environment, thus, he avoids using things that harm the environment. He only brings an extra small linen towel and a foldable bag when necessary.
There you have it. We hope you got some helpful tips for your future travels. When it comes to accommodation, ZEN Rooms is the best choice of all kinds of traveler, whether you’re a posh traveler, budget, or minimalist traveler! Check out www.zenrooms.com for a wide range of great budget hotels in Southeast Asia.