Compact Travelling with Style

By Carlos Perez

When travelling, I like to keep things light. Have you ever seen a video on YouTube going on about ‘Minimalism’? My travel style is something like that.

At the moment I’m travelling through Europe and have managed to keep things contained to a 16kg large bag and a small hand luggage and it’s been working really well. Despite this, my wardrobe is still looking really good (or so I like to think).

So if you’re like to me and want to keep things minimal in your luggage, but also want to look your best – what should you do?

1. If you don’t wear it weekly, you’re not going to wear it on vacation

What I tend to wear back home is of decent quality, where I go through outfit cycles on a weekly basis. So if a shirt or pair of pants doesn’t go into my weekly/fortnightly dressing cycles for outfits and it’s been sitting in my wardrobe for months (#impulsebuy), I’m not bringing it.

At the end of the day, especially if you’re a broke ass student, no one is expecting you to have a new lavish outfit for everyday of a two month trip. So stick to KISS – keep it simple, stupid.

2. Pack mostly for the season it is when you’re going away.

I emphasise the ‘mostly’ for trips that are in Europe. The weather here at the moment is bipolar, despite being summer. So what I’ve done is pack for a typical summer but snuck in a leather jacket, cardigan and two pairs of pants. This suits most places where the weather changes suddenly (except for countries like Scotland, bring a wee umbrella). 

3. Take it easy on the shoes

This is easier said than done. I only brought a pair of thongs, one pair of high-top Jordan’s, some old sneakers and some boots, originally. Even then I had to go out and get another pair of low-top Jordan’s to go with my shorts. Yeah, I have too many now.

If you can get a pair of low top shoes that go with most of your outfits and won’t break the bank, then go for those as your primary going out shoes. I already have one pair too many for my suitcase. 

4. Proper packing techniques

Target are selling these mesh luggage zipper compartmentalisers at the moment and they’re only around $10. They have definitely revolutionised how I pack. All my clothes are organised and I don’t have to worry about different items of clothing getting stuck in weird angles on top of each other. Apart from stuffing as many socks and small items of clothing possible inside your shoes, these compartmentalisers are a great technique. 

P.S: These aren’t my clothes!

5. Luggage

Point 4 mostly relates to if your packing with a standard big suitcase and a small hand luggage suitcase. This is my favourite combo since I’m able to pack in a decent amount, without reaching the 23 kg limit.

Whether you’re going with a backpacking bag or a suitcase combo, it’s really important that you’re not reaching that 23kg limit per bag. You’re definitely going to bring stuff back, whether it’s presents or gifts for yourself. So keep it around the 15-18 kg mark, so that you have a nice safety blanket for yourself.

6. Holiday attitude

This is key. Remember that you’re on holidays and that you can’t have it all like you would back home. Enjoy the time you’re spending in foreign places and embrace the traveller lifestyle and wardrobe. Failing to do so means that you’ll be upset the whole time about your limited outfit options and likely camera-shy. We don’t want that for our canal shots, do we?

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