A Minimalist Traveler's Tips On How To Pack a Dozen Things for Two Weeks Abroad

Don't let heavy luggage extinguish your wanderlust!

We've all done it, gone to pack for a vacation intent on bringing just enough, only to find ourselves lugging twice as much as we thought we needed. It’s like something inside of us is dead set on setting our luggage zippers to the test, and no matter how hard we try to avoid it, we will make any excuse for packing loads of things we know we won’t need. 

I used to be exceedingly guilty of this. I almost always had to talk my way out of overage charges at airport check-in, and would sometimes wear three layers for the flight just to have more room to pack. Sad. I know. But over time, I’ve changed my ways, and even though the saying goes “old habits die hard,” this one was shockingly easy to wash my hands of. I just had to commit. 

I believe that a big part of being committed to ethical fashion is being committed to limiting waste. That can mean wasted time, wasted energy, wasted space, or, in the case of packing, all three.

I believe that a big part of being committed to ethical fashion is being committed to limiting waste. That can mean wasted time, wasted energy, wasted space, or, in the case of packing, all three. When we try to focus only on what really matters, and eliminating anything “extra,” the happiness that mentality reaps dissolves the anxiety of giving away that third pair of jean shorts. I promise. 

Packing the bare minimum for a two week trip

Recently, my fiancé and I went on a last minute work trip to London and Greece. We’re bloggers, so we like to pay attention to the kinds of outfits we’re being photographed in, but we try to steer clear of giving off the vibe that you have to wear something new every day to feel beautiful or valuable. For this trip, I really wanted to bring the bare minimum. So, I did. A dozen things, for just about two weeks. I would say it was easy, and I will, because I packed in the amount of time it takes to make a bowl of cereal, and because I wore every single thing I brought and didn’t miss a single thing I didn’t. 

Here was my packing list:

  • 2 Bathing Suits - One bandeau style (to avoid creating some serious shoulder tan lines) and one one-piece (because it can double as a bodysuit beneath pants or shorts). The ones I brought along were eco-friendly from Palm Swimwear.
  • 2 Dresses - One more geared toward daytime, the other, nighttime. Simple enough.
  • 1 Jumpsuit - I brought this one, made from recyclable materials from The Reformation and wore it three times.
  • 1 Pair of Pants / Jeans / Shorts - Pair these with your one-piece for an extra outfit, or just wear down to the beach.
  • 1 Pair of Athletic Shorts - For nighttime or exercising.
  • 1 Comfy T-shirt / Sweatshirt - To sleep in and for the flight.
  • 2 Pairs of ShoesOne pair for being active and flight days (sneakers) and one pair of sandals. It helps if your sneakers don’t require socks, and actually recommend they not be worn, like ethically crafted Allbirds.
  • 1 Hat - I brought along this one from Will & Bear. For every hat sold, they plant ten trees.
  • 1 Linen Shoe Bag Filled with Delicates - I love this trick because it makes your packed bag a whole lot neater, and when you arrive at your destination, you can just put it straight into the top bureau drawer.
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Obviously, it’s a whole lot easier to keep things down to a dozen when you’re headed somewhere hot, don’t need layers, and can do laundry halfway through, but these tactics aren’t just limited to the tropics. The idea is to bring what you need, nix what you don’t, and spend your vacation focusing on what really matters, like taking in an early morning sunrise, swimming out to the nearest sailboat, or finding the most romantic little restaurant tucked into an unassuming street corner. Trust me, you won’t regret it.  

Spend your vacation focusing on what really matters, like taking in an early morning sunrise, swimming out to the nearest sailboat, or finding the most romantic little restaurant tucked into an unassuming street corner.
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Follow along Anna Lisa & Porter's adventures on Recess City's Instagram.