Capsule Packing

t r a v e l   g o n e   m i n i m a l

I have one packing list which I use for all of my trips all over the world. I developed this for my journey “around the world in 89 days” which involved 16 countries and a variety of climates ranging from Fall in central & southern Europe to early Winter in northern Norway to hot & humid Thai islands. I did that trip with only a carry on and quickly learned to carry only what was essential.

Carry less, go further. 

Seven years later I don’t even travel with a carry on, only a “personal item” (a bag which fits under the seat in front of me). This has saved me many headaches at airport security and during stopovers and now feels second nature. No matter the climate, I bring ONLY the things on this list. Minor adjustments only.

My Master Packing List

Everything goes into my Patagonia “black hole” 25L pack– I highly recommend this bag – I pack all of my clothing into packing cubes and a reusable toiletries bag + product tubes.

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For a simple weekend away reservations and tickets can be accessed via phone, but for more extensive adventures I make an “important stuff” folder: All tickets, reservations, etc. are printed and put in here along with a copy of my passport photo page & visa (if applicable) & any medication prescription forms.

Clothing

I plan to wash the following about once per week:

1 pair skinny jeans

1 pair black leggings

tights (1-2)

1 mini skirt

2-3 short sleeve tees

1 long sleeve bodysuit

1 silk tank top

2 sweaters (wear one)

Long sleeve silk button up shirt

Oversized coat (wear it)

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Compression socks are wonderful for long walks, long flights and keeping toes warm in the Winter. Here’s my link for 15% off (and these are made by a company from my hometown in Missoula, MT) + everyday socks (1-2, go for wool in Winter)

5 underwear (+ wear 1) & 1 extra bra (+ wear 1)

Shoes

I generally travel with two pairs of shoes (wear one, pack one) and try to have both a comfortable daily option and dress-it-up option. I love platforms for long wear and almost always have black booties on hand. Flats are an easy way to squeeze in extra style if you discover some open space this is a good way to fill it 😉

Seasonal Adjustments

Fall

+lined leather jacket

+ blazer

Winter

+ snow-and-ice-friendly flat over-the-knee bootsI like a soft bootleg and go a half size up so I can wear warm wool socks underneath or the durability and grip of a Dr. Marten if you’re sure you’re in for more treacherous conditions. 

+ warm hat and blanket scarf

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Spring

+ rain boots & umbrella?

+ 1-2 pair(s) loose pants   use this link for 10% off your & Other Stories purchase   + 1 pair linen shorts – my favorite are from Oysho, use this link  for 10% off

Summer

Oversized coat

– black skinny jeans

2 sweaters

+ 1 bikini top + 2 bikini bottoms

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+ 1-2 pair(s) loose pants      + 1 pair linen shorts

+ midi skirt (so easy to travel in, cute with a crop top!)

For trips in Nature:

+ cropped leggings

+ hiking shorts athletic tank

+ athletic shoes: sneakers/trainers/hiking boots

+ Compressible rain shell OR down puffer

+ DEET wipes (for zones with hazardous disease such as Malaria, Yellow Fever)

For special events

(optional) LBDif you have an event that calls for it

Accessories

small cross-body bag       (optional) foldable shoulder bag       (optional) wristlet clutch

What’s in my handbag:

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  • Sunglasses
  • Lavender-scented hand sanitizer 
  • Skinfood – for hands and lips or to use as a face mask on long flights, an overnight mask for parched skin in winter
  • Lipstick
  • Strong mints
  • Phone, wallet, keys
  • Passport

(optional) simple gold jewelry to mix and match

Toiletries

I have some favorites from the United States:

and from Europe:

I transfer my regular products into small reusable & travel-sized “goo” tubes:

  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • face/body wash & lotion
  • deodorant & sunscreen
  • toothbrush & paste

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Simple Makeup

BB/CC cream or mineral powder and brush + mascara, maybe concealer, bronzer/highlighterkeep it simple

Then pick a couple of “glam” goods, maybe a tube of red lipstick or a tiny hairdryer —

Don’t forget basic meds: pain/anti inflamitary, antihistamine, antidiarrheal, feminine products, daily multivitamins, dramamine (or gravel), nail clippers & file, tweezers

Tech

Phone (this is my camera) & charger(s)- sometimes nice to have a small power block to recharge phone during long flights, a power adapter if needed, and headphones

Optional Extras

For a journey sure to involve hostel bunks I throw in a silk sleep sheet.

When I know I’ll have yoga time I bring along my travel mat.

For long haul flights I add an eye mask & earplugs (or noise canceling headphones). I also like to bring some backup snacks such as an apple/orange, protein bars, and tea bags.

66C5AFC3-98AB-4C0A-AF2E-EB9CBD790F5DI always bring along my reusable water bottle which slides into the outside pocket of my pack.

Tips

  • baby or feminine wipes make great makeup removers/full body spot “showers” in flight
  • toss dryer sheets into your packing cubes and the dirty laundry pocket of your bag to keep everything smelling a bit fresher
  • tiger balm always comes in handy for aches and pains associated with carrying a backpack or walking 10x your usual amount & helps with itchy bug bites. I also like to put it on my toes before bed to keep them warm in the winter.
  • Coconut oil makes a wonderful cooking oil, makeup remover, insect repellent and light sunscreen/moisturizer. It’s a great purchase once you arrive at your destination due to its versatility but I avoid packing it since it could easily spill and stain my things.

If you piled every single thing you own around you, could you see over your pile? With so much world to see, keep it simple. 

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Published by Grace in the World

I hope that the experiences I record here could be of some use to those looking to travel and I welcome questions/comments/feedback. Thank you for reading my words. Bon voyage!

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