My 2-months unplanned trip around Europe with my mum is the first big trip I am going to be doing in minimalist style.
I’ve decided to go really minimal on this trip for three reasons. First is that with little luggage, I can help my elderly mum with her luggage. Second, since we’re going to be travelling by train, there will be a lot of walking around. Finally, I just love the freedom of travelling with very little stuff. You can get off a train early in the morning, have a look around your new city and visit a few places without having to find your hotel first to leave your heavy luggage there.
Since we are not going on any planes during the 2 months trip, I am packing a few things that I normally wouldn’t – namingly, the razor, tweezers, nail clippers and scissors. I find that although you’re suppose to be able to take most of these things on the plane, the application of the rules are very arbitrary. So I normally leave these behind and source them locally when I need to, but I am very happy to be travelling with them this time.
Lowe Alpine Vector 18 Litre in Black – I love this bag series so much! The zips on the main compartment runs 3/4 of the way down (well past the side pockets), so you can open it up really wide and have easy access to stuff at the bottom of your bag. The front pocket is huge (runs the whole length of the rucksack) and there is also a top pocket. It’s my dream rucksack and I have it in all three sizes, 18, 20 and 30 Litres.
Pacsafe Citysafe 100 (4 litres) – This is my one and only daily handbag. The bag has 4 anti-theft features (slash and tamper proofing). The inside is very well organised too, with lots of actually useful pockets. The little pockets on the outside are useful for keeping my fold-away shopping bags in.
1 Northface fleece
3 Icebreaker 150 short sleeve tops
1 Northface convertible trousers
1 pair of shorts (not photographed)
3 pairs of underwear
Pair of travel socks
Bra – dries over night
Pair of Keen sandal
Although a true minimalist will probably say that you only need two of everything (one to wear and one to wash), but since I am going on sleeper trains where washing & drying them isn’t so practical, I’ve opted to take three of most things. However, I’m only taking one pair of socks since I am going to be living in my keen sandal. I’m guessing I’ll only need socks when I’m in the swiss alps, and the travel socks dry over night.
Body scrubby thing
Simple soap + soap box – as shampoo, conditioner, body soap and shaving cream
75 pairs of daily disposable contact lenses
Peppermint essential oil (acts as a highly concentrated mouth wash)
Small bottle of laundry liquid
Miniature size moisturiser
Miniature size sun block
I find a small pair of scissors, rubber bands and cellotape so useful when travelling. I don’t know how many times I’ve bought something where the packaging was so solid that it took me ages to open it without a pair of scissors. The rubber bands are useful in keeping everything tidy in your bag (such as my yoga belt and spare ziplocks) and cellotape to secure lids of toiletry bottles or tape an open bag of crisps shut so they stay fresh.
2 sporks (one for me, one for my mum)
7 pairs of ear plugs
Spare ziplocks of various sizes
Strap to stap the fleece onto the backpack with
Medical dogtag with emergency info
2 fold-away shopping bags
The medical dog tags with emergency information is particularly important on this trip. I have several medical conditions, some of which renders me unable to communicate. Since my mother does not speak much English or any other European language, it’s vital that I have my basic info on the dog tags plus James’ phone number so the medical personels can speak to someone that knows my conditions well that can speak English.
I’m very happy with how small I have managed to get my luggage down to. I will be comfortable walking around a city with it on my back all day, or carrying my mum’s luggage for her as well as mine. It’ll be a lot of washing,, but 5 minutes washing each night is well worth the ease at which I will be able to move around Europe for 2 months.