There’s no denying that minimalism is one of the biggest trends for 2019. In truth, it’s been gaining steam for a while, but the release of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix has seen a surge in people giving away their things in the pursuit of a more peaceful (and tidier) life.
After spring-cleaning my shoe drawer and sprucing up my office, the logical next step was to apply my newfound minimalist gaze to my travel routine.
As someone who travels regularly for work, I’m familiar with age-old advice that it’s best to pack light. I’ve heard all of the benefits and they are certainly tempting but so too is filling your suitcase with too many outfits “just in case” or bringing all of my five-step skin care routine.
Inspired by Marie Kondo, however, I decided that 2019 was to be the year that I finally pared down my suitcase and embraced minimalism.
The benefits of minimalism when you travel.
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, there are many benefits to traveling light. From gliding through the airport to avoiding the risk of leaving a favorite item behind, the convenience can’t be understated.
The point of minimalism is to put less emphasis on things and more on people and places. That certainly meshes with my own travel philosophy by packing smarter and lighter, I spend less time worrying about the practicalities and more time immersing myself in the joy of travel.
Five steps to minimalism — how I did it.
Step 1: Buy smaller luggage
It is one of life’s rules that we work with what we are given, and if we are given a large suitcase, we’re likely to fill it with things. This is why the first step in my journey towards minimalism was to exchange my large suitcase for a smaller model.
This way it was physics, and not just my willpower, stopping me from over packing. Knowing that my space was limited, I had no choice but to be more thoughtful about what to pack into my new luggage.
Step 2: Packing cubes
I’d long thought of packing cubes as a bit of a fad, so I’d been hesitant to invest in any. Plus, buying something new to help me become more minimalistic seemed a tad counterintuitive. Nonetheless, on encouragement from my frequent traveler friends, I invested.
I am now a total convert. Not only do they make it easy to find your belongings (no more throwing everything onto the floor in your hotel room, just to find your favorite scarf), but they also make everything look so organized and put-together.
Step 3: Capsule wardrobe
I love fashion, and choosing what outfits to pack for traveling has always been a particular challenge for me.
As I look through my wardrobe, I can almost hear each piece calling out to be included, and there’s always that little voice saying, ‘but what if you get invited to a rooftop cocktail bar and you have nothing to wear?’ As a result, I have quite the tendency to over pack.
The solution? Capsule wardrobes. This year, I have fallen totally in love with the concept of choosing a small number of complementary pieces to create a simple yet versatile wardrobe. Not only does it avoid the frustration of having beautiful, yet clashing, pieces, but it also means spending less time choosing an outfit, and more time exploring the sights.
Step 4: All-in-one cosmetics and skincare
If there’s one area I’ve been known to seriously over pack, it’s in the cosmetics and skin care department. Of late, however, I’ve embraced all-in-one products, such as an eye shadow palette that can also be used for bronzer, brows, blush and liner, as well as a few tried and tested favorites.
A bigger conundrum for me was skincare. As someone with high-maintenance skin at the best of times, travel is always a challenge as I find that airplanes can wreak havoc on my complexion. I’d always been reluctant to do anything except my usual routine lest I upset the apple cart. The amount of time this took, however, was ridiculous, and I always feared one of the bottles bursting in my bag.
That’s why I was so delighted to find VENN — the answer to all of my minimalism dreams! This Korean technology-driven range offers convenience without compromising on quality, at all. As it’s so easy to use, VENN’s Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate is perfect for when you’re low on time, such as when you have an early morning flight. In fact, the only problem with this product is that it’s made me realize how much shopping and sightseeing time I’ve wasted in the past!
Step 5: Pack 48 hours in advance, against a checklist
Nothing will ruin your newfound sense of calm faster than realizing you’ve left your iPhone charger plugged into your wall at home and your battery is quickly depleting, or you’ve picked up the wrong laptop chord. Having done this one too many times, I found the simple solution: pack ahead of time (leaving you a day or two for those light bulb moments when you realize what you’ve forgotten!), and compare to a checklist.
This way, you can set off with your minimalist bag in-hand, confident you’ve got everything you need for a joyful journey.
By Georgie Eileen, Frequent Traveler and Contributing Writer