I Packed Like a Minimalist (ish)

I have never been a heavy packer. Because I was fortunate enough to travel a lot when I was young, I learned the bulk of travel do’s and don’ts as well as tips and tricks for maximizing your travel time and the space in your bag.

From March 27th to April 3rd I will be travelling to London, England with a 10 hour layover in Reykjavik, Iceland where I am visiting the Blue Lagoon hot spring.

The weather in the UK at the end of March is looking quite pleasant (compared to that of Toronto right now) so I am bringing 1 light down jacket, to go with all of my outfits, and 1 pair of white Adidas sneakers… this is also contingent on the fact that I will probably buy a pair of boots from Primark.

With that, I’ll start with what’s in my Purse: Packing like a minimalist implies that I am ONLY bringing carry on luggage, but I will have one for clothes and toiletries (a duffle) and my purse for important items.

Purse: I knew I didn’t want to bring a large purse but I wanted one with a zipper that had space for everyday necessities. I severely downsized what I carry in my purse and learned to use travel items for those things like sanitizer, lotion and tissues while also compartmentalizing awkwardly shaped items. TIP: Try to be as practical as possible i.e. unless you are using cash, those small purchases can be done through your phone and you don’t need to hold on to all your receipts. Below is a list of all that is in my purse for the trip, as well as my toiletries and miscellaneous items. Because I am only bringing a carry on duffle, some of the less common items will go in the front pocket of that next to my clothing.

To be honest, when compiling the list of things I wanted to bring, I realized there were a lot of “What if…” scenarios which require us to overpack. The key here, is doing efficient and effective research while maintaining realistic expectations about your itinerary. Specific to this trip, I am not going to have time to go home and change between outings and I am going to want to take a plethora of pictures, while remaining comfortable. With that, I wanted to pack staple pieces that I can dress up and layer, as well as pieces that can put a spin on otherwise simple outfits such as thigh high socks.

I am not going to be doing laundry so with regards to socks and underwear, I will not be conducting minimalist habits. However, I am excited to mix and match clothing combinations and get creative, while not breaking my back carrying oversized baggage.

Clothing: I would even go so far as to say that I over packed, but I am definitely someone who dresses depending on my mood and well-being, so I still wanted to have options.

3 Dresses: This was only a lesson I learned recently but I love having dresses as an option while travelling. They are easy to pack, and take up little to no space, and can be dressed up and accessorized however you like. Whether you are headed to a pub or a club, you can change up your shoes and jacket, and you’re good to go.

1 Pair of Jeans: You really don’t need more than one pair of jeans and the only reason I say this is because they are a staple that you definitely need, but you only need to bring your favourite pair. What pair will you be most comfortable in? What pair are transferable with outings?

1 Pair of Leggings: These are mostly for my flights, and don’t take up space because I will be wearing them both there and back, but they are also a staple item that doesn’t take up much space if they ARE packed. If you are taking part in any physical activities these are a great throw-on pair of bottoms (especially for any of those hangover brunches).

1 Body Suit: Another staple piece, that goes great with a pair of joggers, trousers or jeans. I love these for layer and texture within your ensemble, and provide a chic look to a simple combination. I work to pair these with a dress shirt tied at the waist, with a pair of high waisted trousers and a bomber jacket.

1 Turtleneck/Top: This is more for the weather variables. Just in case it gets a little too chilly for my liking, and I want something to wear that is a little cozier. I think that everyone should pack one piece that is a varying staple piece; this might be a specific coat, or a summer crop top – its one piece that represents the season and is what you’re most comfortable in at that given time.

1 Pair of Trousers: The trousers that I have are baggy, high waisted and similar to joggers or sweat pants. So, this is the style without the hassle. Maybe I am prioritizing wrong, but in order for me to have a good time and enjoy a new space, I need to be comfortable. So, finding pieces which meet multiple criteria can be difficult, but also incredibly rewarding.

1 Blouse: As mentioned above, button down blouses are some of the most versatile pieces and can be worn through a variety of activities. They say the staple of any woman’s wardrobe is a collared button down, and after seeing all the different style opportunities, it can add a lot of depth to an outfit that, in hindsight, may be relatively simple.

Overall I am hoping that this packing strategy will be as rewarding as it is satisfying. I feel like taking the time to Marie-Kondo my suitcase and fold everything perfectly has put me in a fresh and focused headspace where I don’t have to worry about logistical issues such as weight, convenience and shopping space. This way, I can centre my thoughts on making my trip as memorable as possible.

Wish me luck 🙂

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