Travelers are always looking for the lightest, and most efficient way to pack; ain’t nobody trying to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame because of heavy bags and poor packing.
While most people dream of packing light, there’s a major issue in the way we shop; we’re tempted to buy products that fix each and every one of your problems. Next thing you know, your hygienic bag is filled with 2080 products that all serve their sole purpose; major travel foul.
The goal in minimalist packing is to choose as many multi-purpose items as possible, so you minimize the bulk in your luggage. After being in the travel game for a hot minute, I’ve learned to keep my “one-hit-wonder” items to a bare minimum. Instead, I always pack the following multi-purpose items for any trip:
+ Serves as a hair de-greaser
+ De-funk clothes when you can’t hit the laundromat
+ Can even double as deodorant
Dry shampoo hasn’t gotten nearly as much credit as it deserves on most travelers “Must Pack Items” list. This aerosol spray is definitely multi-purpose and will keep you fresh on the go. Get a bottle small enough to bring as a carry-on (always in a plastic bag), or just go all out and buy a bottle that’s larger than 4oz, but be prepared to check a bag.
Facial Wet Wipes // Makeup Remover Wipes
+ Make up remover
+ Cleans your travel gear
+ Toilet paper in desperate times
Baby wipes, or makeup wipes are a travel gal’s best friend. Carrying around liquid makeup remover gets messy, plus, you’ll always need cotton balls, or toilet paper to remove the eyeliner residue. In order to pack smart, buy a pack of 60+ wet wipes, these things go fast because they’re not just to remove makeup. Keep them in your bag at all times, you never know when there will be a shortage in TP.
Used Empty Containers
+ Put hygienic products inside
+ Conceal money and valuables
Every traveler has gone through the emotional turmoil of deciding whether or not to leave your valuables alone on a beach while you take a dip. You’ll leave your wallet at the mercy of beach thieves. Here’s a trick: bring along old bottles of sunscreen, or any other product that robbers will have no interest in, they may want your money, but they don’t give a damn about SPF.
+ Repurpose clothing
+ Attach bags onto your bags
Safety pins probably remind you of a granny, or a seamstress, but don’t think just because you’re not either of those things, you shouldn’t always have safety pins on you. These little guys are super cheap, and can seriously save your life. The best thing to do with safety pins is fix wardrobe malfunctions on the road. Anything from ripped shoelace to converting a tee-shirt into a crop top, they got your back. Bonus perk is you can even attach canvas bags to your main backpack; basically condense your crap so you upgrade from major bag-lady to sort of a bag lady.
+ Moisturize your lips
+ Lotion to look glam in photos
+ Seal down frizzy flyaways in times of emergency
Vaseline is always good to have nearby, especially when you travel. I’m always facing that debate on whether or not to pack lotion, as it’s not critical, and it’s usually too big to fit in a carry-on, so I do without it. Problem is, when you’re running around in hot cities, and get dirt in every crevice, you’re gonna need a product that takes the ash away. Vaseline is perfect for making not only your skin, but your lips look glowy and moisturized. *Bonus tip: your stubborn flyaways can be dabbed and put down with a little Vaseline, don’t overdo it though, otherwise you’ll look grease-tastic and will be running for your dry shampoo.
+ Cut fingernails
+ You’ll always need a tiny pair of scissors on the road
You’ll be buying souvenirs, maybe picking up some extra shirts along the way, and will absolutely need to take tags off. You’ll probably encounter more than one scenario where a product wrapping is way too heavy duty for your bare hands; when you least expect it, you’ll need a pair of scissors. The problem is, no one wants to carry a power weapon on the plane, so bring fingernail scissors, and you’ll have a great utensil, and the ability to keep your nails lookin’ clean instead of crusty.