Minimalist Packing: 4 Day Trip, 1 Small Travel Bag

20160403_102451There are certain things I don’t mind spending more money on – skincare, healthy organic food, and experiences (trips, concerts, plays, etc).  However,  I am frugal at heart.  So when my husband and I made plans to take a trip and travel via plane, I didn’t want to spend the extra money to check baggage – so I had a mission – fit everything I needed for a 4 day trip in one small carry on bag that isn’t much bigger than a large purse.

[As an aside, yes, my travel bag is leather.  I transitioned to being vegan in April 2016, and I do not advocate leather use.  However, this bag in an anomaly for me, as it was a gift from last year and was not purchased with my own money.  It is a very durable, well-made bag, and to get rid of it would result in my needing to purchase another travel bag, which is counter-intuitive in a sense.  In the spirit of using what I have, I will keep this bag until it wears out, most likely.  I just thought I’d add my thoughts about this bag, considering this is a blog with an eco-friendly, cruelty-free stance. I will not purchase any leather products in the future, just to make it perfectly clear.]

Keep in mind, I like makeup, skincare, nice clothes, a change of shoes, etc, when we travel.  But it was a challenge I knew I could take on.

First, I started setting aside travel sized items of everything I typically use for bath/body/makeup.  I re-used some small sample bottles for other items and simply scooped some of the product into a smaller container to make it more travel-friendly.  This allowed me to fit all of my makeup, skincare, and other toiletries into 1 quart sized bag.  A miracle, I tell you.

In my quart bag I packed (p.s. I may be forgetting some items, but this is a pretty accurate list):

  1. coconut oil
  2. bar face soap
  3. one vial of face oil
  4. eye balm
  5. bar body soap
  6. perfume
  7. SPF moisturizer
  8. foundation
  9. concealer
  10. powder
  11. eyebrow pencil
  12. mascara
  13. eyeshadow palette
  14. 2 lipsticks
  15. 1 lipbalm
  16. 1 cream blush pot
  17. 1 cream bronzer pot


I also took a very simple approach to packing clothes for the trip –

  1. 1 pair of black/grey athleisure-style yoga pants*
  2. 1 pair of black yoga capris
  3. 1 pair of gray leggings
  4. 1 periwinkle colored dressy rain jacket*
  5. 1 black camisole*
  6. 1 neutral camisole
  7. 1 fuchsia camisole
  8. 1 gray short sleeve T-shirt
  9. 1 purple/fuchsia blouse
  10. 1 neutral long-sleeve T-shirt*
  11. 1 burgundy blouse
  12. 1 sports bra
  13. 1 regular bra*
  14. 2 pairs of socks*
  15. 1 black bathing suit
  16. 1 pair of black flats
  17. 1 pair of sneakers*

(items with * indicate items I wore during the flight)

I also packed my phone, tablet, camera, and charge cords, but my husband carried the camera and cord in his bag.  There were a few other small miscellaneous items in my bag.  On the way home, I even managed to fit a few very small gifts/souveniers in my carry-on, including a stuffed animal for my little girl.  I was quite pleased with myself for making it work.

In the end, the minimalist approach to traveling was no big deal and even liberating – I didn’t need 6 pairs of pants, 10 shirts, 4 pairs of shoes…you get my drift.  We were too busy enjoying each others company and walking around seeing the sights to worry about wearing the same pants two days in a row, you know?

When you travel, do you ever “travel lightly”?


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