Philosophy of Minimal Travel

Philosophy of Minimal Travel


Traveling, especially air travel, can be a stressful endeavor. It is a convoluted process with many steps; plan out a complicated trip, you need to prepare, get a ride to the airport, fight your way through traffic, hope you make it in time, wait in long lines, hope they give you your boarding pass, pray you took out that pocket knife out of your backpack, and make it to your destination. With so many steps its likely you will eventually get hung up in one while traveling by plane, but this shouldn't be the case. There are ways to make air travel, or any kind of traveling, as easy as getting in your car and hitting the road.

Why is travel so chaotic? Because of all the complexity. It’s not as easy as choose a city, drive up to the plan and show the captain your ticket, and then come back in a day. Traveling is a commitment. Its committing to the process of completing all the steps, in order, and hoping you dont fuck up along the way. So to make traveling easier you need to remove all that complexity.

Minimal Wardrobe

One big part of traveling is knowing what to pack, but this can be easy or difficult for some people. Either way, It should be one of the least complicated parts of traveling. Stop spending so much time and mental energy deciding and going back and forth on what you should wear and what you should pack.

Everything starts with less. When there is less to choose from, the decision is always easier. Like when buying a new car was as simple as choosing the only model available in “any color as long as its black.” By reducing the opinions you reduce the decision and the anxiety from the decision.

There are a few ways to approach this but I'm going straight to the source: Minimize your entire wardrobe. When it comes time to pack for a trip you will know exactly what to bring based on your needs for the trip.

Less stuff equals more important stuff. Fill your whole wardrobe with cloths that you love and that you feel great in. Don’t hold on to cloths you put on and take off after glancing in the mirror, cloths that the button stays buttoned only when standing up, or shoes that start to hurt after an hour.

So much time and mental effort is wasted trying to find the right cloths, but if every clothing you own was “right”, any clothing can go in that suitcase. There is nothing better than wearing your favorite shirt or jeans.

Invest time and effort into clothes

I have two pairs of jeans that I could live my whole life with. If I needed to go anywhere and for an extended period of time I could pack those two and be done packing any long pants, or in some cases, any other bottoms. Of course, I would be washing those jeans for longer trips.

When I’m looking at a specific type of clothing its better to invest in clothing that is comfortable and durable. I will have those jeans for a couple of years before I see any significant damage. If I alternate my shirts, for example if I have 7 shirts, I would also see these shirts hold up well for a couple of years as long as they are good quality shirts (such as our Be In shirts).

Clothing that is versatile and multi-functional will help you prepare for the unseen and reduce the weight of your backpack or suitcase. I have a button down nylon shirt that is great for walking around but is also perfect for a fancy dinner. I also have shorts for casual wear but are made of a material that drys quickly so in a pinch could be used as swim wear.

Know what you will be doing

The best way to understand what you need to pack is to understand what you will be doing at your destination. Will I be swimming? Am I going to be walking around? This can easily help you know what you should bring and is usually an easy step because you, more or less, know what you will do because you followed our “How to plan your destination” guide.

Next is to understand where you will be doing these things. Where will I be swimming? You might want to bring different items depending if its on a beach, pool, or boat. Will you be walking around on a trail or in a mall? Asking questions like these are what brought humans to this point of medical and technological advancement, but we can also use this to figure out if we need to pack our spongebob swim trunks.

Asking these two separate questions helps cover the range of stuff you might be doing on a trip. Maybe you forget you will be swimming but you remember you will be at a resort and know they have a pool. Sometimes it takes coming at something from two different point of views to figure it out.

Make lists

Asking what and where you will be doing may be an easy and common step for travelers, but where I see people fail the most is forgetting to pack what they wanted to pack. The absolute, foul-proof, sure-fire way to never forget anything, ever in your life, and always be prepared no matter what you are doing from here to forever is to... write a list.

It a simple idea but a powerful one. The easiest way to write a list is to open your notes app on your phone and start writing what you will need. This can be a quick list of what cloths you want to bring to any additional items. What you think of now you will forget later, which can be in 15 minutes, but a lists memory is written in stone.

Time and questions are the best tool for better understanding something. You might think you are going swimming in a pool but in a few days you remember it will be at a resort where towels will be provided. By writing a list a couple of weeks before you leave will let these epiphanies come to fruition.

The best part of writing a list on your phone is you can do it anywhere. Packing requires you to get up, but writing a list can be done while watching Netflix, in the bathroom, or at 4am when you remember something.

One bag travel

One bag travel is a religion, not really, but sort of. There is a sense of freedom that comes from not having to worry about so much. An anxiety that is lifted when you have everything you need on you at all times of this complicated, and hopefully less complicated after you read this article, journey.

When you one bag travel, traveling by plane becomes synonyms to traveling by bus. You get on with your stuff, you get off with all your stuff and you go home. No waiting for your bag in the bag carousel. No risk of losing your bag or not having access to it when the flight is delayed. You have everything you need with you.

There is nothing better than having a good quality, well organized pack on your back with all the items you will need for the plane. How about if that bag had everything you needed for your trip. That would be great! No worries about the airport losing your luggage.

There is a purge of anxiety when you one bag travel. The feeling is real. I highly recommend you try it one day if you haven't. I will be writing an article on one bag travel for those interested in the near future.


I have only skimmed the surface of how you can make your travels easier, but I feel like I tackled the areas that give people the most stress and that can be directly controlled by you, the traveler. To fill out this travel knowledge I recommend parsing the site for other travel tip articles. Happy travels.

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