April 14, 2021

10 Minimalist Packing Tips For Your Next Trip & How To Pack Better For Travel

– 10 tips on how to packbetter for travel right now.

I'm Tom, the founder ofPack Hacker, and we love helping people optimizetheir travel experience with reviews, guides andvideo content just like this.

So if you're new to thechannel, consider subscribing.

I've even spent two yearsliving out of one singular 40 liter backpack, so I definitely have a lot of experience in this arena.

Let's jump into the video.

[upbeat music playing] Before we get going I wantto mention that this video is sponsored by onlywhatmatters.

com, an online community foraspiring minimalists.

Mac, the founder, isall about teaching folks to live better with less stuff.

He's big on closet audits, which enable you to declutter your wardrobeand add more simplicity to your everyday life.

Feel free to join me in the community.

I've got a link in the description below.

Let's get into tip number one.

One of the best ways todecide what you want to take with you on a trip, and whatyou want to leave at home, is to just lay everythingout in front of you – either on the table or even the floor.

Maybe even your bed.

With this you have abig picture view on what you want to take with you, what you can leave behind, and maybe what you needa little bit more of.

So when you have it alllaid out, it's a lot easier to see all that and noticethe patterns you have going on in your selections.

Pro tip – look at everythingin front of you and try to cut it in half.

Just take out one item, after item, after item andpretty soon you'll notice that you make it a lot more minimal.

Last thing you want to do isto have an overweight pack and be that person in theairport rummaging through everything trying to save space – to either fit your bag in as acarry-on, or trying to take even more things out so thatyou can properly check your bag based on the airline regulation.

With everything in front ofyou it becomes easier to pick an organization stylethat's going to work for you.

So here are a couplethat have worked for us.

First – frequency of use.

Something that you usevery often – say your phone.

Makes sense to have thatin a quick-access pocket on your bag or luggage, maybe even your pocket.

Or, like a fanny pack or a sling.

You don't want to havethat thing, you know, in your bag in a packingcube in another pouch.

It just doesn't make sense, so really think through your items.

If there's a jacket that's going to be warm for the most part, the secondleg of your trip is maybe a little bit colder – putthat jacket way at the bottom of your bag, stuff it out of the way.

Out of sight, out of mind.

You save a lot more room for things that you want quicker access to.

Secondly – you can sort by item type.

It's good to keep lightproducts with one another.

So if you keep your sockswith your underwear, it just makes sense.

You keep your long sleeveshirt with your sweatshirt with your jacket, keep thatwarm stuff compartmentalized in itself, maybe even a scarfor some gloves in there too.

That'll help you thinkthrough the organization if you think in themes of item types.

And next – outfit packages.

Consider putting items that are used in conjunction together with each other.

For instance, if you'reheading to a nicer dinner maybe there's a separatecube or compartment where you keep all your nicer clothing.

Whereas if you're goingto the gym, there's a spot in your pack for all of that as well.

This is kind of likethe item-based approach, however it's different in thefact that it's contextual.

So it's more about theactivity that you're going to be doing with that gear versus holding like things with one another.

So again, those are threeways that have worked for us in how to organize things, your mileage may vary.

Compartmentalize your gear.

Think about storingeverything in your bag within packing cubes or pouches, that keeps things a lot more organized overall.

Even a plastic grocery bag ora Ziploc bag can work wonders if you have it laying around your house; you don't even have to buy anything new.

This helps with the previoustip and keeps things neat and very easy to access.

We recommend strong andlightweight packing cubes, especially if there iscompression technology.

Packing cubes and pouchescome in many different sizes and allow you to caterspecific items to put inside.

Grab a smaller packing cubefor socks and underwear.

A larger cube for pants, jackets, and sweaters.

Or medium-size cubes tocompartmentalize complete outfits.

We've typically found thatrolling clothing saves the most space withina cube.

And the cube can take care of the rest, and really hold its shape and make it a lot easier topack and organize in your bag.

It's kind of like Tetris, it's fun.

Small pouches are also goodfor organizing your tech gear, your toiletries, and any smallmedicines or small things that you need to carry withyou when you're on the road.

For a quick pro tip – usepacking cubes and organizers of different colors.

This will help you create mental models in your headso you know where things are within your pack just by remembering those couple of colors in your head.

Consider multi-functional items.

Take an inventory of whatyou've packed and really look for things that canserve multiple purposes.

For instance a coat, especially a lighter weight compressible one candouble as a pillow when you're on the road if you're in a pinch.

Take inventory of your cables.

The less you bring with you, overall, the better it's going to be.

So look for small, tiny little conversion pieces.

For instance if you have asmall USBC to USBA adapter, it's a lot better than takingtwo giant cords with you.

Better to pack lighter weight overall.

If you're a photographer, consider bringing zoom lenses instead of lenses witha fixed focal length.

And that's going to save a lot of space and add versatility, especially if you're trying to travel lightweight and minimally.

Also, pick up a buff.

It's one of our favoritelightweight and multi-functional items that you can bringwith you on the road.

You can use it as ascarf like I have here, you can also use it as a hat.

You take this, you twistit, you fold it over itself, and boom! You've got a little skull cap.

Look at that.

I'm not going to put it on 'cause it's going to ruin my amazing hair.

Also, you can use it as aface mask to block the light if you want to take anap.

So .



I'm just gonna.

[lullaby] And then you do not have tohave a dedicated sleeping mask.

And that's a plus – two for one.

Pro tip – despite all theparing down and minimizing, sometimes it's good to havesome redundancy if an item or a piece of clothing isreally important to you.

And that's a very personalchoice.

But if you're in more of a remote areaand it's for a long duration, you might want to thinkabout that a little bit more.

If you're in a city centerwhere you have easy access to things, that's not as big of a deal.

Get some Merino wool.

It is the optimal clothing for travel.

I personally wear it everyday.

So my buff right here is wool, my shirt iswool, my socks are wool, my underwear is wool aswell – so I definitely love it and I've integrated it into my everyday life even when I'm not traveling.

It's nature's magicfabric – soft, comfortable, and antimicrobial – whichmeans it doesn't stink as much when you're on the road.

Plus, when you bring a Merinotee instead of a couple cotton tees, you can save spaceand weight in your pack and potentially avoid overages inyour baggage fees if you have to check bags or carry themon and they weigh too much.

When I was on the road for twoyears I had one Merino wool button up and four Merinowool t-shirts, four pairs of Merino wool boxers andfour pairs of Merino socks.

If I was going to do this again I would probably cut that in half.

With two of everything itis simple to wear one thing and one wash another, andleave it to dry while you're out for the day from yourhostel, hotel, Airbnb, whatever.

You can wear Merino many daysbefore it requires a wash, especially if it's from aquality brand.

And from a cost per wear perspective, if it's from a quality brand, it can be up there as wellbecause Merino is a tad expensive.

But it's justifiable ifyou want to carry less, wear things for longerbetween washes, and seriously, we love this stuff.

That'swhy we created an entire guide on Merino wool over at packhacker.


So be sure to check that out as well.

Pro tip – nobody cares ifyou're wearing the same thing day after day, especiallywhen you're traveling.

And even if they do notice, it's likely that they won't care as long as you don't smellsuper bad.

And that's what's great about Merino – itstays fresh for a lot longer.

Keep everything fresh.

Between long flights andunplanned adventures there's going to be times where you'renot going to be able to shower and you're going to be a littlebit grimier than usual.

And Merino wool willdefinitely help out with that.

We also like to have, like, pack fresheners within our bags and our luggage.

Although there are a ton ofrecommendations out there to carry along dryer sheets, we've personally found that wooden cedar chipsare the best option for us, especially if you like that scent.

The smell will last longerthan the dryer sheet while you're on the road.

Also we just prefer thescent of something natural instead of something super synthetic.

Some people also like to carryessential oils with them – lavender oil orpotpourri sachets as well – and that's totally fine;your mileage may vary based on the scents that you prefer.

When you're on the roadyour bag and your luggage is pretty much your constant in your life.

It's basically your home, sowhy not try to keep that fresh? And one pro tip with thesecedar chips – it's a natural deterrent for bugs andcritters that like to get into your bag and chomp awayat your clothes and things like that, especiallyMerino wool.

So if you keep the cedar in there it can helpdeter those little critters from chomping away at your stuff.

Get some solid soap.

So we have covered on howto keep your bag fresh, well, how about keeping yourself fresh when you're on the road? Shampoo bars can do wonders.

They have a small form factor so they don't take up too much space.

They're highly concentratedand they typically last quite a long time.

They are multi-use whenyou're on the road.

So use it for shampoo, soaking your body, you can even use it forwashing dishes or laundry if you're in a pinch, dependingon the soap that you choose.

And the best part? They'rea solid – which means it's easy to get throughTSA's liquid allowance in airports around the world.

Concentrated liquid Castilesoap also works really well – say something like Dr.


However, that counts against your liquid allowance.

And when you're going through TSA, you're getting on an airplane, some of the pressurechanges, and there's always – even if you're just walking around, like your neighborhood – there'salways a chance that whatever tube or thing thatyou have that liquid soap in can bust open and spillaround the contents of what's in your luggage or your bag.

Even if you're going on ashort weekend trip we'd still recommend bringing ashampoo bar or liquid soap along with you.

It doesn'ttake up a lot of space and you'll be glad to haveit when you need it, especially if you're onsome unexpected delays.

Pro tip – a more fragrantshampoo bar can actually do a great job at keeping your pack fresh in addition, or in place of, those cedar chips that we talked about in the last tip.

Bring a compact bag.

If you're going one bagtraveling – either with a backpack or some luggage – it's goodto have a smaller, packable, compressible bag you can keepwith you and use with you as you get to your destination.

So whether it's a packableday pack, a tote bag, or a reusable grocery bag – or maybe even one of those bags that you seeat Lululemon for instance, where they give you thesuper fancy bag with whatever it is you're buyingand then you've got like, 50 of 'em at home and you don'tknow what to do with them? Well, just bring one on your trip and then use it as your out and about.

If you're cafe hopping anddoing the digital nomad thing, maybe you have a packableday pack and can use it with a padded laptop sleeveto hold your tech gear – keyboard, mouse, laptop, things that you need at the coffee shop to work for the day.

If you're out for a hike orexploring the city maybe bring your phone, abattery pack for charging, a map, some snacks, and a water.

It's great to have that stuff with you, and all the essentials withyou, when you don't have to carry around your giantluggage or your massive one-bag travel backpack.

Pro tip – we have all beenthere, we want to take home some souvenirs for ourfriends and our family, but our luggage is full.

Well if you have apackable pack you can just take that out, unravel it, whatever, put your souvenirs in there and use thatas your personal item when you're flying home, depending on your airline.

And then boom! You don'thave to check a bag, you don't have to shipanything, and then you are just good to go, friends andfamily will just be thrilled.

They'll love it.

Plan your flight.

Having all items close to you on the trip is an underrated perk.

If you're using a packingcube and a pouch method inside of your bag, considermaking those packing cubes a sling or some typeof fanny pack instead.

Slings come in many differentsizes and they're perfect for the road becausethey can hold just about the right amount of stuff you want to carry with you on a small excursion.

It's basically a fannypack with a larger strap that you can wear messenger style.

Some examples of whatyou can bring along as your essentials in flightare the following ideas: water, drinks, and snacks.

An eye mask and earplugs to help you sleep, USB cable, headphones, your phone, and a cord to plug into theseat monitor in front of you for charging.

A notepadand pen for any wild ideas that come to you in the air, plus you'll like having that pen when it comes time tofill out the customs forms before you arrive at yourdestination if you are going to a different countryrather than your own.

Get creative, you can definitelyput a lot of stuff in here.

I personally like puttingeverything that are in my pockets inside of the sling.

That way when I get to the airport checkpoint, go through security, instead of emptying yourpockets, taking everything off, you just already have it in your sling.

Pop that through securityand you are good to go.

Strategize to save money.

A little bit of planningwill help you save some cash while you're on the road.

Starting with food.

Eating on the road – especiallyin transit – is usually inconvenient, unhealthy, and expensive.

On a plane trip you need towait for specific times to eat, and if it's a short enoughflight you may not even be able to eat at all.

Always good to prepare and bring some snacks along with you.

For optimal packing werecommend high calorie, high density, and lowweight non-perishable foods.

You'll get the most bangfor your buck this way, and generally the space andweight to usage ratio is great.

For example – nuts, trailmix, and protein bars seem to do really well on the road.

Next up – being preparedwith electronic cords, international converters, SIMcards, and cables is great.

Oftentimes, products sold atairports or more generally touristy areas are overlyexpensive and cheaply made.

Take some time to thinkthrough your needs on the road.

Your wallet will thank you.

Consider loading up yourbandwidth hungry content at home locally on your devices beforeyou leave for your trips – whether it's an eBook onyour Kindle or your iPad or video content, movies, tv shows, et cetera.

Load all that up at home.

In flight and at a hotel, speeds can be quite low.

In the worst case scenarioyou'll be charged for either megabytes or gigabytes ofbandwidth that you've used.

Not to mention internationalphone plans or temporary data plans with SIM cardsthat have a bandwidth cap.

There are a ton of differentways to plan and save money – these are just three examples.

And for a quick pro tip -be sure to bring your own empty water bottle throughTSA security checkpoint, fill it up with waterafter you get through, and that's going to save you atleast three bucks every trip.

Practice your trip.

We often get asked whatthe best travel backpack is or what the best travel gearis, and we love and we're honored to be experts in this space.

However, at the end of theday it's all about you – your travel style, and what uniquely fits into your lifestyle.

With all of this, thebest advice we can give is to practice your trip beforehand.

Load everything up in yourbag a week before you leave.

Take it to work with you.

Only use the gear that's inside for an entire week or two, maybe even a month.

At the end of the week, take a look back at what you used a lot, what you didn't use.

Cut things out, add thingsin, iterate and test.

Coming from me, a personthat's lived out of a backpack for nearly two years, tryto cut some of the clutter out of your life, you'lldefinitely thank yourself for it.

Pro tip – be mindful of what you buy.

You probably don't needto go out and buy that shiny new thing every couple of months.

Starting with what youhave and slowly upgrading with high quality items thathave high durability and last a long time, is one of thebest ways to go about things.

Thanks for checking thisout, we would love to know your favorite travel tipsin the comments below.

Be sure to head overto onlywhatmatters.

com and join me for advice and conversation on how to simplify not only yourpacking and travel style, but simplifying otheraspects of your life as well.

Thanks for taking a look at this video, we'll see you the next one.

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