Your Guide to Minimalist Travel that’s Rich with Experience

Minimalism and travel

Following a minimalist lifestyle opens you up to so many more opportunities and experiences - like travelling. You’re probably thinking, ‘anyone can jet-set around the globe at any time, what does minimalism have to do with it?’ We’ll tell you!

A huge part of minimalism is being more intentional about what you purchase. This typically leads to more money in your pocket that you can freely spend on what matters most. While non-minimalists may have to plan, budget, and sacrifice in order to see the globe, people living a minimalist lifestyle can fulfill their wanderlust a little more easily.

However, it’s not just about being able to pick-up and go anytime you want. There are other reasons that travelling like a minimalist can lead to richer experiences. Here are a few of our best travel tips to follow on your next trip.

Don’t splurge before you leave

We know that being minimal means you’re shopping with a purpose. Don’t let something like a trip throw you off track. Consider whether new outfits or new luggage will serve a larger purpose in your life once you return home.

cost effective minimalism

It’s easy to fall into the pre-travel spending splurge. After all, you need STUFF to travel with, right? But remember that little things add up to big expenses and a lot of clutter. Don’t stock up on a travel-size this or that. Pack what you have at home or check to see if things like shampoo, soap, and toothpaste are provided where you’re staying. 

Resist the urge to purchase items because you think you might need them. Unless you’re travelling into the jungle or down the Amazon river, you can purchase things like medicine or bandaids if the need arises at your destination.

Try to under pack

We’ve all been guilty of overpacking for a trip. Largely because of the things we outlined above. However, packing like a minimalist can relieve you of the burden of lugging around and paying for all that extra baggage. Instead of overpacking, trying under-packing instead.

Under Pack Minimalist Tips 

Ideally, you arrive at the airport with only a carryon. On most airlines, they’re free, but even if it’s not, you don’t have to pay to check a bag. Remember, what you bring is your burden, and that includes financially.

Under-packing takes some planning. Look at the weather where you’re going and think through your scheduled activities to determine the types of clothes to bring. Try coordinating your outfits before you put them in the suitcase and look to reuse as many pieces as possible.

How long as you going to be gone? Five days? You’ll need five outfits for those five days. However, that doesn’t mean you absolutely need five different shirts and five different pants. Think ahead and consider combinations. 

Dine on a budget

One of the greatest pleasures of travelling is trying the local food and enjoying dining experiences you can’t get anywhere else. But the costs add up quickly when you have to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner away from home.

In order to save money, hit up a local grocery store to get the essentials as well as ingredients for a few meals you can make at your vacation rental or even in your hotel if possible. Just be careful not to end up with too much food that you create waste or pack things up at the end of your trip.

Minimalist Dining

Now we’re not suggesting you cook filet mignon on a hot plate at your motel. However, if your hotel or rental has at least a fridge, you could probably manage a few breakfasts and snacks. Then, choose a couple local eateries that you absolutely must try and stick to those places only. This will help you save money by avoiding frivolous stops and make your experience that much more special.

Don’t fall for tourist traps

Some of the most well-known attractions in cities around the world are also the most expensive to visit. And dare we say that many (not all!) are tourist traps? Before buying expensive passes to a popular attraction, ask yourself if it’s an experience you’ll truly value after you leave; or if it’s just something that everybody does when they visit that area.

Dont get Caught in Tourist Traps

Also, skip the souvenirs. Magnets, postcards, pens and snow globes, etc. They may be fun and you may think you’re going to use them… but you know you won’t, right? They’ll wind up in a drawer somewhere or throw onto a shelf and forgotten.

We’re not trying to be a downer here. If you would like to purchase something to remember your trip by, consider an item that’s meaningful and intentional as opposed to a last-minute impulse buy at the gift shop. Consider functionality and sentimentality as opposed to just grabbing anything with the name of the place you’re staying at written on it.

It may not even cost a dime! Plenty of people collect seashells, stones, or other items from nature as a keepsake. If you are looking to buy something, consider a piece of art, jewelry, or even clothing.

The bottom line is that you’re on vacation, so enjoy it! But if you’re looking to save some money while still making memories on your trip, just be more intentional about what you take, what you buy, and what you do.