Travel

Tips For Minimalist Packing

Getting ready for a summer getaway and don’t want to pack your whole closet? Printfresh founder Amy shares how she went from overpacking to a more minimalist approach. Use her tips so you have plenty of room in your suitcase to bring home amazing souvenirs from your travels this summer and beyond.
July 2021
Tips For Minimalist Packing
Tips For Minimalist Packing

I have always been a heavy packer. I admire people that can get away without checking luggage but that’s just SO not me. Pre-pandemic, I frequently traveled for work, so I have been making an effort to be more intentional about how I pack for trips.

Plan Ahead and Check the Weather

One thing I do to prepare for my trip is to check the weather in advance. I also have a VERY thorough spreadsheet that has everything I might typically need while on the road, which keeps me from forgetting things. I once flew to San Francisco for a tradeshow only to realize that I forgot to bring shoes that were work-appropriate. After several days on my feet in uncomfortable shoes, I promised myself I would never make that mistake again.

I’ve been using the Cladwell app to organize my wardrobe and that’s been really helpful for planning and scheduling what I’ll take on trips. It also helps to generate quick outfit ideas that will work with the same pants or jackets.  

Also, because I love checking out boutiques I always know that when I’m traveling I can pick something up if I totally miscalculated the weather or forgot something. It helps relieve some of the anxiety that I feel about remembering everything. As a bonus, the next time I wear whatever I purchased in my travels, I know I will have a great story about how I found the special article of clothing. 

Since I have been working to get better at packing just the right amount of stuff for every trip, I’ll share some of the things that have helped me avoid overpacking:

Amy’s Tips to Avoid Overpacking

1. Make a packing list
I make a list before I pack to keep myself organized. You’d be amazed what you can forget without one! 

2. Pack in advance if you can
This way you can put things in your bag as you think of them. Taking a travel-friendly blouse out of the dryer? Throw it right in your travel bag and check it off on your packing list!  

3. Pack for only one week
Even if you are going to be gone longer, try to only pack for one week. You can do laundry on the road to keep your suitcase lighter. 

4. Wear bulky items on the plane 
If you need to take a bulky sweatshirt or boots with you, try to wear it instead of packing it. That way you’ll have more room in your suitcase. 

5. Get a set of packing cubes
Packing cubes are critical especially for long trips to ensure that undergarments stay organized, and for keeping tops and bottoms separate and from flopping around in your suitcase. When I’m traveling to amazing shopping destinations like Jaipur I like to fly with an empty suitcase inside my suitcase so that I can pick up some new items and gifts and have enough space. 

6. Take lightweight cotton dresses 
I love packing lightweight cotton dresses as they are easy to throw on and they pack down pretty well. Try to pick dresses that you can hand launder and dry quickly if you need to do some washing on the road. 

7. Keep to two pairs of shoes 
It’s easy to get carried away here, but keeping things comfortable and casual is best. Mules and wedge espadrilles are some of my favorites. They can easily go from exploring, to work, to evening events (and they look great too). Depending on your itinerary you might also want a pair of sneakers.  

8. Invest in the best quality suitcase you can
I LOVE my RIMOWA and they have always been really helpful with repairs. This is important because when suitcases are sent to the landfill, they can take hundreds of years to decompose. It's best to invest in a great one and take care of it well.

For more packing tips from a pro, consider picking up Hitha Palepu’s book, How to Pack. I just learned about this book when putting together this post and haven’t read it yet, but I’m very intrigued! Hitha is a former management consultant who has traveled more than 500,000 miles around the globe. Her website also offers some practical tips for packing - regardless of your itinerary or destination. 

Wherever you’re headed, be sure to pack some of our Printfresh pajamas. The short sleep sets or separates don’t take up too much of your precious suitcase space, and your trip will feel that much more special when you slip into fancy pajamas each night.

If you’re packing for an upcoming trip, let us know where you’re headed in the comments. If you have some tried and true packing tips of your own, feel free to share those too! 


Photo Credits: Hitha Palepu, RIMOWA, Cladwell App

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