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Friday, March 21, 2008

The Minimalist Approach to Travel

On the eve of my volunteer spring break trip, packing is a pressing dilemma. With very limited space in the vans that we will be using, packing light is a must. However, I often struggle over this because I want to include all possible scenarios that may come up in the least amount of items. I become the MacGuyver of packing, inevitably putting way too much time and effort into The Perfect Pack. What if it gets cold? What if we go out for a nicer dinner? What if we're going to be doing something active? What toiletries do I need? These are all important questions, agreed, but with the comfort of others in mind, I needed to try a fresh approach that didn't make me think so much.

Quite by accident, I came across Zen Habits' great article, "36 Tips for Keeping Travel as Simple as Possible." It didn't take me long to get an idea of what I needed to bring, contrary to my previous thought processes. For the past few days I went back and forth, thinking, "Well, I definitely need a pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts, swim shorts, a couple t-shirts, maybe a couple nicer shirts. Oh, and socks. Definitely need socks. Damnit, I don't even own a pair of flip-flops. Who the hell doesn't own a pair of flip flops? No, that's okay, I can just buy them down there. But what if there aren't any stores down there? I've never been there before, who am I to think that they have stores?"

That is only an excerpt of the internal dialog I faced for the past few days. However, Zenhabits alleviates this problem, giving you wonderful tips on minimalist travel that won't leave you wishing you hadn't forgot that ever so important extra pair of underwear. Because that would be awful.

Some tips I especially enjoyed:

  • Tip for quick drying: roll a towel over wet fabric,and squeeze tightly.
  • Put everything you want to bring in a pile and slowly strip away things that aren’t necessary.
  • Pack just a few clothes with only a couple complimentary, solid colors — no patterns. Black is a good idea if you need to be able to dress up and be casual.
  • Take time for naps. Seriously.

1 comment:

Lauren Kilberg said...

I haven't even packed yet. This article was written for people like me, and apparently you as well.