A Minimalist's Travel Guide

by Ari Takata-Vasquez

I travel about five or six times a year and being a minimalist makes all the difference in my experience. Trip after trip I found myself packing less and less and it made my travel more enjoyable. I never check bags and at most will have a duffel for the overhead and a cross-body purse.

It's freeing to have less with me because it means I can leave my plans more open, not worrying about how I'm going to bring my luggage around with me. By packing less, it also ensures the things I bring are really going to be used. Who wants to pack four "just in case" shoes, only to wear the same ones you had on during the plane ride. 

Here are my essential items for traveling: 

Pack All Black

Okay, maybe not all black, but mostly. I only one greyscale clothing but when I pack for a trip I primarily bring black staple pieces:

  • black dress
  • black leggings
  • black jeans
  • black boots/shoes
  • black t-shirts
  • black jacket

It just makes life easier and you won't need to spend your time getting ready in the morning. It also ensures you have clothes for just about any occasion.

I also have my in-flight uniform: a pair of black stretch denim from Just Black and a Viscera raglan under a Viscera crewneck or hoodie. It's comfortable and easy but still looks put together. 


Go-To Accessories

Even if it's Summer, I bring a cozy scarf because it can double as my plane pillow.

I also have my Shwood Sunglasses because you never know what the weather might be like. It also comes in handy if the person next to me on the plane keeps opening and closing the window. 

Skin Care Must-Haves

I keep all of my beauty products in my Nell & Mary pouch and go into my purse. I hate falling asleep with makeup on, so I keep my products near. My on board must haves include We Love Eyes make-up removing oil and foaming cleanser. The oil in particular gets my eyeliner and mascara off easily so I don't need to spend any more time in the airplane restroom than necessary.


I also always have a roll-on Melange perfume. I love all of these because they're already travel sized, so I don't need to make a special trip to Walgreens for smaller bottles.


Documentation Materials

I also have my public supply notebook with me to jot down any good food tips I get from locals. I also love their dot paper because I can easily sketch if something interesting catches my eye. 

As for photos I typically just use my iPhone. I'm super clumsy so I need to have a case on it at all times but I don't want it to be bulky. I love using my Clash case because it is slim and simple design. 

Come Bearing Gifts

I am still a huge fan of writing letters and enjoy the tactile nature of a physical letter. So when I am going to visit family or friends, I like to bring along handwritten cards. I'm a huge fan of Hey Jamie J's Oakland cards because they're simple and crisp. Letter take up virtually no space so it helps me to travel lightly. 


 Did I mention all of these favorites are available in-store? I normally echo Biggie Smalls say "don't get high off your own supply", but these are too good to pass up.

Where do you want to travel in 2017?