How to pack minimally for your summer holiday

Nearly every time I go on holiday I take too many things.  I’m very minimal at home with my décor and belongings and so on, yet when it comes to travel I am guilty of taking a bunch of clothing I never even wear.  Not only is this wasting time packing and organising them, but it means I’m lugging around a stack of extra weight that I simply don’t need to.

I also really hate packing and even worse is unpacking when home.  It’s a travel chore!  So I really don’t want to waste any extra time packing and unpacking things I don’t even use.  I’ve decided to make my packing for travel recently a lot more minimal and I will share tips in this blog post on how you can pack light for your next summer holiday.

Firstly, here’s a reminder of the benefits of packing light:

  • Save time (less time packing and choosing outfits)
  • Save money (less luggage and clothes to buy)
  • Less weight to carry (so much easier at the airport and carrying suitcase to hotel room)
  • No overweight luggage to pay for
  • Less stress overall

Here are my top tips for how to pack minimally for a holiday:

How to pack minimally for your summer holiday

Choose a smaller suitcase

If you have the biggest suitcase going then the chances are you’ll be more tempted to fill it with things you don’t really need to take with you.  Not only will this mean you’ll be lugging around a really heavy suitcase for no good reason, but you’ll also be paying more to buy a larger suitcase.

You can save money by choosing to buy a smaller suitcase as they’ll be cheaper than the larger versions.  If you need to buy some new luggage then remember to check out online discount sites for the latest deals on summer and travel items.

You’ll be forced to pack less as you simply won’t be able to fit a large amount in your travel case.  If it can’t fit then you can’t take it!

2 in 1s

To cut down on the amount of toiletries you need to take then choose products that can double up.  For example, do you really need to take a separate shampoo, conditioner and shower gel or is there a product that can act as all three?  I now skip the conditioner and simply take a Childs Farm 2 in 1 shampoo and shower gel.  This saves loads of space in the suitcase and we can all share one bottle between us as a family.  There are even natural products such as Dr Bronners 18 in 1 soaps which have a multitude of uses from shampoo to mouthwash to washing up liquid.  It’s the ultimate minimal multipurpose travel product!

How to pack minimally for your summer holiday

Capsule wardrobe

It can be really tempting to stock up on an entire new wardrobe when going away, but first check what you already have.  Most of us already have plenty of suitable clothing in our wardrobes for a holiday.  To keep things minimal you need to create a capsule holiday wardrobe.  Choose similar items that you can mix and match to create a few different outfits.  If these items can take you from day to night then even better!

Summer holidays are really easy for minimal clothing.  If the weather is sunny then you really don’t need very much clothing at all.  I find I can wear a swimsuit in the day covered with a summer dress and often that dress can be worn in the evening too by just adding some underwear and a cardigan.

I’ll often end up having a comfy and favourite summer dress that I can easily wear for several days of the holiday which reduces the number of items I need to take.

When I was younger I’d pack a different outfit for each day of the holiday and an outfit per evening!  I’d not end up wearing half of it, so now I pack much more wisely.

Tip – don’t forget to check the weather and pack appropriately.  You want to check the weather before you pack and not a couple of weeks in advance just in case it changes.  And always take your sunglasses to protect your eyes no matter what the weather.

2-3 pairs of shoes only

For summer beach holidays then you only really need two pairs of shoes.  Some flip flops for the beach and pool are a must.  No one wants sandy shoes and socks!

Then, a comfy pair of shoes for walking, travelling and exploring.

I take a pair of flip flops and a pair of TOMS which I usually travel in.  That’s it.  If it’s sunny and warm then I don’t need anything else.  I choose some black flip flops usually that will see me from day to night.

If you’ll be going to fancy restaurants or clubbing then you may need some smart shoes too.

How to pack minimally for your summer holiday

Layer up to travel

Fingers crossed you won’t need lots of layers on your summer holiday, but often they are needed on departure and arrival in the UK where it’s nippier!  Wear your layers when travelling, such as a cardigan, coat and scarf.  This way you’ll not need to pack these items and can save space in your suitcase.

Think about layers whilst you are there too, especially if travelling at the start or end of the summer season.  Whilst it can be sweltering in the daytimes in the sunshine, it can sometimes get cooler in evenings or when there is cloud cover.  By taking a cardigan and lightweight scarf when travelling, you can then easily layer up if you need to on holiday without having used up any extra room in your suitcase.

There are lots of ways to pack fewer things when going on a summer holiday and I hope one day I’ll have nailed it down to hand luggage only!

What to read next

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Your ultimate guide of tips when flying with young children and babies

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