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How do I travel with Minimalism? Everything in My Backpack for The Last Trip

Photo by Deanna Ritchie via


November, 2017


Ok first thing first, travel and minimalism/zero-waste do not seem to fit in the same sentence, correct? Am I being a hypocrite here then? You are the judge. I would rather say, these days no one can avoid travelling, and we break our routines very easily while on the road: No matter it is for the take-away meals, the taxi rides, or the souvenir shopping festivity, we break our “normal” rules. 

Thus, in my perspective, minimalism and zero-waste become even more essential and relevant, particularly for us, who do care about the environment: We need to put extra effort to maintain our daily standards while traveling. So today I will share with you my picture of bagage and some information how I apply zero-waste and minimalism while traveling. What works for me is one rule: less is more. As cliche as it may seem, there is certain truth: the spaciousness can give you more space to create. 

“One rule: Less is more.”

This is all from my backpack for a weekend city trip. I know, I know flight counts big for carbon footprint 😞😞 I try to compensate that with my daily life routines such as biking and public transport.


Tech Essentials: Laptop, Camera, Lenses, Phone,Chargers.

These are my top five to carry for my technology needs.

Laptop: I am using this one around for four years now. This is my super machine as I use it for everything: writing, photo editing, music, sometimes movies, and storage. For protection I have used this cover for as long. I would suggest anyone with any tech product to use protection: cover, keyboard cover, charger cover etc. The longer time you can use them, the longer it is also better for the environment. 😉 

Camera & Lenses: I have two lenses for now, I bring them whenever I need good photos , for the best quality photos I rent lenses. This is rather sustainable for me. Even though renting lenses can be expensive, it is practical as not every lens can fit into every ambience. For the price, you just need to find good deals. You can also beg your photographer friends for their lenses 😀  Anyway, I have a very basic lens and a low-light lens, which meet 70% of my needs.

Phone: My phone is my portable laptop. 😀 I use this one to take photos, make notes, get visuals etc.etc. I acquired these tech essentials when I am not so into sustainability, so now I am thinking to preserve them as long as possible so 1) I can save money 2) I can also reduce tech waste so long I am using them. Luckily they are rather of good quality. Let us see. .

Makeup & Toilette:

For travelling, I have two types of coconut oil for my teeth and skin. They are enough for me and I like to keep toilette simple. Moreover, there are so many addictive in commercial makeup, I am not sure if they are in fact beneficial for the skin. At home, I have a few organic makeup products (If you are curious, I can make a post about them), and a few essential oils. That is basically it. For the rest, coconut oil is really my best friend, from hair, to teeth, from skin to lips. AMAZING. I cannot recommend enough.

The soaps are souvenirs I got from the eco market during the trip 🤗 I love them so much I saved one for myself, which I use as shampoo and facial cleaner. This one has got a few essential oil, cacao and coconut oil in it. 

The comb is a traditional Chinese wooden one. I like it. In China, these kinds of wooden combs are quite popular, which is fortunate for the environment. 😛 

The most unsustainable thing here,I have to point them out, are my contact lenses. Still trying to figure out a way to compensate without compromising hygiene…

(Food Drink) Packages:

I have one cup/mug for coffee and one for water. This time I did not bring a lunchbox or something similar. I usually eat at a restaurant and use all their “assets”. This is a great way to reduce waste when you travel. On the other hand, buying water is trickier, as wherever you go for drink they provide plastic bottles. It is very important to bring your own coffeecup/mug and water bottle, as a result. You might ask how I reduce cost while travelling. When in Europe, I often stay at places with kitchen, so I can also cook myself; When in Asia, I normally eat at small restaurants with good prices. Sometimes I eat very simple stuff for dinner such as a couple of fruit. 

You ask, do you eat snacks? Yes, I do, but I do not buy commercial snacks. My snacks are mainly fruit and nuts. If I am lucky enough, fruits are not wrapped in plastics so I can add one point to my minimalistic score. 😀 For nuts, I usually ask them to give me a paper bag.


For the clothes, unless it’s beach summer, I usually bring as less as possible and this time only an extra sweater for a three day trip. And a bag (non leather). And for your information, I do have quite some clothes at home. One reason is that I do not throw away clothes easily. Some clothes I have been wearing for years. The oldest clothes I think are roughly around 6 years. Of course, I can improve here. I would also like to point out that part of the reason I do not throw away clothes was that I was under financial stress for sometime. It just did not make sense to me to buy really expensive clothes, logically. Anyway, how do you achieve minimalism in clothes? I would love to hear from you. 

Do you like this article about what is in my baggage as a (wannabe) minimalist? Let me know. It would be lovely to hear from you.

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