I over-pack every time I travel. “I need options” is my rationale. However, those options also weigh me down. That is why, this time, after 5 week trip, I decided to analyze what it is that I really need when traveling because in the end, I used only 10% of what I packed. Of course, depending on the travel goals and season my packing would vary, but traveling for sight-seeing and perhaps couple of semi-formal outings to dinner or theater during the summer, these 10 things for suitcase, purse and make-up bag should have been sufficient.
First of all, I maximize utility and function of the clothes for the airport. Therefore, a semi-formal, wrinkle free dress topped with fitted jacket, bottomed with ballet shoes is a perfect outfit. The only accessories are stud earrings, wedding ring (and perhaps a watch). It is comfortable but sophisticated enough to even get an occasional upgrade to a better class (happened this time from Atlanta to Paris).
10 essential things in my minimalistic travel suitcase:
1. Another casual (that can be dressed up with jacket), wrinkle free but comfortable dress.
2. Oxford wrinkle resistant shirt (can dress up jeans nicely).
3. Rain jacket.
4. Jeans (I would take one skinny and one boot-cut pair).
5. Workout clothes: bra top and bottom.
6. Socks (3 pairs).
7. Running shoes (double up for working out and comfortable walking shoes for long distances when exploring wherever I might go).
8. T-shirt (one long sleeved and one short sleeved).
9. 2 pairs of underwear.
10. Something comfortable to sleep in. (I like Victoria Secret cotton sleep tee).
10 essential things in my minimalistic carry-on purse:
1. Documents: wallet and passport.
2. Moisturizer that can double up for hands and face.
3. Raw almonds for healthy snacking.
4. Rose water. I like having rose water on hand for keeping my face feeling fresh and hydrated.
5. Sunglasses. Make sure you wear polarized sunglasses–these are only the kind that protect your eyes. My favorite brand for quality and health benefit for your eyes is Maui Jim.
6. Hat. (Europe had a heat wave this year and I am so glad I took the hat! Also, it protected me from ticks when walking in the forest in Russia.)
7. Notebook with a pen.
8. Small pack of antibacterial wet wipes (is a must!). It comes very handy when decontaminating the airplane seat and table.
9. Good book. Time flies when you have something interesting to read.
10. Cotton/cashmere wrap. It triples up as a scurf, blanket and head covering (essential when visiting Russian churches).
10 essential things in my minimalistic make up bag:
1. Obagi Acne Wash.
3. Eye cream.
5. Lip balm.
7. Bronzer with brush.
8. Brow pencil with brow brush.
10. Hair brush.
Next time, these are the only things that are coming with me. And I will have to remind myself, that any item I might start missing can be added as needed. I really look forward to future minimalistic packing trips and bringing only essential travel gear.