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What's in My Bag: Minimal Travel Packing List

As a world traveler for almost a decade now, I have understood and adopted the essence of the famous quote "less is more" when it comes to what I carry with me. Here is a look into my backpack.

A person enjoying a view of the ocean with a sunset.

by Sylvia Marie

22 de dic de 2023

POV: With your things packed, you eagerly set off on your adventure. Once you arrive at your destination, you grab your bags, gear up, and off you go, into the unknown! All the new sights, smells, and places to see carry you away on a jolly stroll around town when all of a sudden, shoulder pain starts creeping in, followed by exhaustion from carrying all the weight, and finally, you curse your entire trip and don’t know why you left home in the first place!

When you first set off on your journey, you might get overwhelmed at the idea of living with only the items you can carry on you. The difficulty of choosing no more than what you expect will be necessary during your travels can be a daunting task. Often, you end up packing items that you will later realize you never needed.

Sooner or later, you will realize that less really is more and that it’s time to declutter and reduce. It even becomes quite liberating to know that you don’t need much to live a rich and abundant existence.

Here is a list of what I have been carrying with me throughout my travels after nearly 10 years on the road. Keep in mind that some items get swapped for others depending on different climates.

My bag of choice:

My travel gear consists of one carry-on backpack that carries a maximum of 10 kg and an extra side bag for my laptop and other things I need to access easily when on the move. I chose this compact setup because I like to be able to carry everything with me even when on a flight.


Since I left home in 2014, I thought: anywhere I end up, I will at least be able to wash my clothes every 7 days or so. With that in mind, I always have more or less 7 pairs of underwear, 7 pairs of socks, 7 T-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of pants, 2 leggings, 2 warm sweaters, 1 windbreaker jacket, and a hat.


I’ve always promoted self-sustainability, and consequentially, eco-friendly practices and I was happy to see how easily this transitioned into my travel lifestyle. I travel with a menstrual cup, a simple DIY deodorant, my essential oils (read about my natural travel first aid kit here), a toothbrush + toothpaste, a bar of soap, a hair brush, some hair ties, a nail clipper, and tweezers.


Lately, I have been working online while traveling but I keep it simple with just my laptop + charger, a mobile phone + charger, 2 USB keys, and 1 USB battery.


Apart from the above “essential items”, I also always pack my cloth shopping bags, reusable water bottle, sunglasses, notebook, book, earrings, flip flops, and a pair of everyday walking shoes. Oh, and obviously, my passport and wallet.

You can definitely get by with less or afford yourself a little more depending on your lifestyle. There is no right, wrong, or one-size-fits-all way. The above list is what works for me at this moment in my life.

Living with almost nothing, materially speaking, allows you to experience a different way of going through life, another perspective of what really matters, and a new understanding of contentment. If possible, opt for abundance in life experiences and minimalism in your backpack.

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