I’ve always loved having a clutter-free and clean apartment. Believe it or not, my love for minimalism in my daily life started to affect my traveling habits. And the growing fees for extra luggage did the trick too. After a few delayed and canceled flights, or when the luggage arrived a few days later or never arrived at all, a few of my solo traveler friends have joined my “Minimalist travel club” as well.
And by saying that I choose minimalist travel doesn’t actually mean I am spending a minimal amount on my lodging and food. Nope! Minimalist travel means I pack less. Just one backpack to be precise. And the same goes for my children, ages 19 and 14.
Finding the right backpack is absolutely important. It needs to be lightweight, stylish and comfortable to carry. I prefer fabric/canvas, rectangle shape backpacks.
So before I pack my travel clothes and toiletries, I ask myself these questions:
Tips for minimal packing:
- Do I really need this item?
- Is it lightweight?
- Is it comfortable?
- Am I really going to wear it?
Depending on a season you may need different packing lists. Since pants can take up the most amount of room for a single item, choose wisely. If you really have to take two pairs of pants, wear one for the trip. No matter what season, a pair of flip-flops is permanently packed in my travel backpack. Doesn’t matter where you stay, a fancy hotel, a hostel or an Airbnb apartment, wearing flip flops in the shower will help avoid infections that are transmitted through feet.
Try to keep your travel clothing choices simple and classic. Pick timeless pieces that don’t scream for attention. Then you can add a bright accessory (scarf, jewelry, etc.) to bring the outfit together. I always have a small black cotton dress in my backpack. It can go from day to night within a minute, by adding a bit of sparkle, especially if your starting point is a simple dress without much embellishment.
Georgian women, especially Tbilisi-old-town-dwellers, wear comfortable shoes. Occasionally you may come across to some who live in high heels. But these ladies have years of practice navigating cobblestone streets and narrow sidewalks, so you might find yourself really struggling if you choose to wear a pair of sexy heels. That said… if you’re going to be traveling to Tbilisi, I suggest leaving the uncomfortable shoes at home. But that doesn’t mean you need to bring ugly running shoes. Bring a pair of cute breathable sneakers, and a pair of comfortable yet good looking sandals for summer.
Show off some leg. We, Caucasian women, love to show off our great legs. That’s right! Tights, stockings, and pantyhose are year-round wardrobe staples. Even in the winter, you’ll see plenty of women wearing above-the-knee skirts and stockings. Make sure to pack a mini skirt or some nice shorts.
When it comes to underwear five is my number. You don’t usually need as many bras as panties. And remember, hand washing and air drying is the best. It extends the life span of your favorite lingerie.
Many Georgians tend to dress in dark and neutral colors. If you want to blend in, dress in neutrals. It also makes packing for travel easier since everything you’ll bring will coordinate.
And remember! The Georgian fashion industry is booming. Bring as little as possible and leave some room for unique apparel you’ll find at local designer stores in Tbilisi. We guarantee that anything you buy here will become your favorite article of clothing for a long time to come.
Minimalism to me is about quality vs. quantity. And that doesn’t apply just to the packing list, the items in my backpack or the furniture in my apartment. It’s also about being very conscious of who I bring into my life (especially while I am traveling) and occasionally evaluating whether these things and people are truly worthy of the space and time they consume.
So, take a look at your packing list again. For the first time declutterer, the lightness may come hand in hand with worries and uncertainty. But don’t you worry. You need to create space for worthy and better things and, who knows – even people.
Bon Voyage and see you in Georgia!