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The Perks Of Packing Like A Minimalist

You maderpacker, you
by Viella Galvez | Jan 24, 2017
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Here’s a scenario: You gave in to the lure of a recent seat sale, and now you’ve got that ticket to ride. Good on ya, buddy.

There’s nothing quite like the rush you get from knowing that you’ll be bidding this stinkin’ city an emphatic sayonara in X number of days.

One caveat: your promo fare came with practically negligible baggage allowance.

Seven kilos is enough for a weekend trip, but a week-long trip could be enough to cause panic, especially if you’re headed somewhere foreign.

The solution? Go minimalist: adopt a “less is more” philosophy and apply it to your packing methods a la Rex Navarette.

Rex Navarette’s SBC Packers tells you how to puck dat sheet

1) Pack only what you can efficiently carry

Bring less to enjoy more. The key? Invest in luggage that’s worth your dime.

Heavy luggage can cause wrist/shoulder/back injuries. Not the best pasalubong.

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So if you’re headed for paved roads and hotel lobbies, then a small, light roller suitcase will do.

Think George Clooney in Up In The Air

But if you’ll be spending a lot of time on public transport, or on dirt/cobblestone roads, then a sturdy front-loading backpack (with enough compartments) will suit your itinerary better.

Don’t get anything heavier than 15KG. Get something too large, and you’ll find ways to fill it up.

If you must check-in, then divide your luggage between a small carry-on and a small backpack. Two lighter luggages are easier to carry around than one large baggage.

2) Pack enough clothes for a week-long stay

...regardless of how long you’re travelling. Fortunately enough for guys, the fewer clothing options you have also make it easier to pack light, yet still look presentable.

When deciding what clothes to bring, make sure it:

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-Keeps you cool
-Doesn't stink
-Doesn't wrinkle

For warm weather, stick with cotton. If you’re headed for cooler climes, you might want to think about investing in Merino wool.

Wool helps regulate body temperature, yet dries faster than cotton in wet weather. Synthetic fibers may dry quicker than either, but they can trap bacteria which means you’ll smell, or worse, reek.

Just ask Theon Greyjoy

There are all kinds of men’s clothing made with Merino wool (even underwear!), and minimalist frequent flyers swear by it for keeping them cool, comfy, AND stink-free.

Admittedly, it can get expensive, which is why UNIQLO’s HEATTECH Collection is an option as well.


3) Use packing cubes or vacuum bags (for travelling to cold areas)

Rolling up your clothes saves you luggage real estate, compared to the fold-then-stack technique.

Vacuum bags and packing cubes are useful for when you need to bring bulkier fabric, and for organizing the contents of your luggage (to prevent you from unpacking everything, if your trip includes many stops).

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Even teddy bears

Compressible packing cubes allow you to pack thick jackets and pants alongside your other gear.

4) Bring reusable containers for water and toiletries

Don’t bring what you can buy; save that precious space for something you really need to bring.

Not happy with the soap and shampoo at your hotel/Airbnb? Invest in refillable tubes and tubs in dimensions that pass most airport security standards.

A refillable water bottle that fits in a backpack side pocket will help you refrain from buying plastic disposables that cause pollution.

5) Practice 'non-attachment'

In other words, be prepared to lose everything you have with you, and still function without them.

Conversely, there are things that you ABSOLUTELY MUST BRING (in case you lose the originals). Bring photocopies of:

-your passport (and visa)
-credit & ATM cards
-government-issued IDs
-plane tickets, and a
-printed list of your itinerary, accommodation addresses and contact phone numbers

Frequent flyers advise against checking-in luggage due to the risk of losing it in transit. The hassle of arriving ahead of your luggage after a long-haul journey is the WORST and it can happen to anyone.

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Like being pick-pocketed. All the travel apps in the world won’t bring your phone back if you lose it.

To be safe: pack a day’s worth of clothes in your carry-on, never check-in valuables, sew an internal pocket in your pants to keep your cash and cards in a safe place, and KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU. (And leave that Lonely Planet guidebook at home.)

To quote The Minimalists,

“What is minimalism? If we had to sum it up, we would say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

If we take pains to de-clutter our home, workplace, and even our FB friends’ list (admit it, it’s pretty fun), then surely we can take the same philosophy with us when we travel, in favor of gaining experiences over possessions.

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