What's in a minimalist travel's bag? Here is what I own and travel with.
I'm a longtime minimalist. The beauty of minimalism is to simply own only that what adds value to your life and to cut out what doesn't. I once heard a great saying about stuff that said only keep what you use every single day, what you absolutely love, or what makes you money.
I don't believe there's a formula or a certain number of items to have, but it can be a fun experiment to see how low you can go, like taking the 100 things challenge, so I've joined the fun, counted my belongings and, give or take, it's 40 things.
“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
I travel and live ultralight, carry-on only, with a monochromatic capsule wardrobe, and one bag. I only own my favorite things that I need. Everything totals about 11 pounds (5 kgs) so I can always stay under any airlines' carry-on allowance, never check my bag, never use overhead bins, and my bag is never out of my sight or reach.
Traveling light is easier on your body and your mind. You're free to walk around, to explore, to get immersed in your surroundings, without a suitcase ball and chain. Traveling light gives you freedom.
“I travel light; as light, that is, as a man can travel who will still carry his body around because of its sentimental value.”
I've since swapped out some clothes and changed bags. I now carry a cabin zero bag because it opens up flat so everything in it can stay organized and accessible without ever having to unpack!
This is a straight-up list of what I currently own that I have tried and tested, that have proved their value, space and weight many times over, and have ultimately allowed me to easily and comfortably dress, travel, work and live in any climate, season or country, year round.
things i own:
- cabin zero 28L bag
- retina macbook
- unlocked iphone with global sim
- unlocked ipad mini with global sim
- silk wallet iphone case
- 2 chargers, laptop and usb
- international adaptor
- cable lock
- drivers licenses, us and international
- bank cards
- vegetarian shoes fleur boots
- will's waterproof hiking shoes
- flip flops
- bomber jacket
- grey t-shirt
- black t-shirt
- black t-shirt
- black travel dress
- black travel pants
- travel scarf
- nail clippers
- bamboo chopsticks
- stainless steel water bottle
- stainless steel straw
things i don't own:
Since I housesit internationally full-time, there are several things I don't need to carry:
- I don't carry toiletries because I travel carry-on only, liquid-free and zero waste, plus I can find my favorite products anywhere or make my own products.
- I don't carry cooking or camping gear because I love dining out and always have a full kitchen in any house I'm in.
- I don't carry physical (or store digital) media since it can all be streamed online, and homes always have lots of entertainment, pets to love, and nature to be in.
- Lastly, I don't carry workout gear because I walk instead and for that I only need my body, which I usually have on me.
“Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free.”
bonus capsule wardrobe math
With a formula of ((tops*bottoms)+dresses)*(jackets+1)*(shoes+1), then 12 items plus 3 pairs of shoes combine into a whopping 63 different clothing combinations and 252 total combinations with shoes. That's a helluva lot of outfits.