You didn't think we'd leave the ladies out of this, did you?
Alright ladies, minimalist packing is seriously the smartest way to travel. To put it simply, you only pack what you essentially need. The first time I packed this way, I was headed for a 3 week trip abroad. Not going to lie, I was nervous. I had always been a serial over packer. But after being scarred from losing my luggage, [read the story here on the minimalist guide for him], I was dead set on bringing only what would fit in a carry-on sized suitcase.
The first rule of minimalist packing is: come up with your color palette. Second rule: create a capsule wardrobe using that color palette.
I first heard of capsule wardrobes after a few of my successful lady boss clients told me about them. They ditched their overpacked closets in exchange for a smaller collection of pieces to add ease to their lives. By switching to a capsule wardrobe, they were able to save themselves time, energy and money. Who doesn't want that? Adopting a capsule wardrobe while traveling has the same benefits, and you can test the minimalist dressing waters on vacation vs clearing out your entire closet at home. Win-win!
Alright, let's go back to the color palette. Because I dress like a vampire 24/7, this is easier for me than most. 90% of my closet is black. Thus, my color palettes are always blacks, greys, and whites. But you can easily add pops of color or create a palette that suits your destination, which is fun!
Below are the contents of my current suitcase (as I write this from a hotel in Stockholm).
I think the keys to packing light for women are:
1. Bring two pairs of quality, neutral bottoms. I chose two pairs of pants for this trip because it's a bit too cold for skirts or shorts, but you can always replace a pair of pants with a skirt during warner weather.
2. Choose 5-6 tops that match your color palette.
3. Pack 2-3 pairs of shoes. I always bring a pair of athletic shoes, converse, nice flats, and sandals (to dress up an outfit). I'm ALL about comfort when I travel, and you won't see me wearing stilettos in normal life, so they sure as hell won't be in my suitcase.
4. Bring 1-2 coats to round-out your outfits.
5. Lots of underwear and socks. I repeat, lots of underwear and socks.
6. Most toiletries can be purchased wherever you are traveling. I typically avoid packing sunscreen, shaving cream, shampoo, and deodorant. I buy these items when I land. If I'm traveling to Europe it's even more exciting because they have better products than we do in the states!
7. Invest in some packing cubes (in the below picture to the left of my suitcase). These are great ways to organize the contents of your suitcase and save room!
8. Pack makeup and electronics in a small backpack.
And there you have it. I won't go into more detail, because this is a post on minimalism. Don't overthink it.
Just for fun, here's a picture of my tiny carry-on right after I got done rolling my capsule travel wardrobe into it. All I had left to add were my toiletries.