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Minimalist Travel: Packing for the Entire Family in Just One Bag

Minimalist Travel: Packing for the Entire Family in Just One Bag

It’s time to stop over-packing and start packing smart. Your travel life will be so much easier once you force yourself to pack like a pro. By only bringing along the essentials in the right type of luggage, you and your family can become minimalist travelers in no time. Here’s how you can pack for the entire family in just one bag.


Choose the Right Bag

Packing all the items a family will need for a trip in one single bag is no easy task, but starting out with the wrong bag will make this task downright impossible. The best way to pack for the entire family in just one bag is to choose the right bag in the first place.

The bag you’ll want to bring along will be lightweight AND durable – you don’t want to have to worry if your bag will rip in the middle of running to catch your next flight, so make sure it can take on a good amount of weight.

Ensuring the bag isn’t bulky or cumbersome is essential for minimalistic travel. What’s the point of only bringing one bag if it’s a pain to carry around?

Start your packing with a bag like a large travel duffle bag. This will ensure the best start to minimalist travel.

 Personalize the Packing

Since you’ll be sharing the bag with more than one person, it’s important each family member has their own spot for their clothes and belongings.

Since assigning everyone a corner won’t ensure your clothes stay neat, clean, and in a sensible order, the best way to pack for the entire family in one bag is by using packing cubes.

Before you leave, give each person their own packing cube or two. Let them know that all the items they plan to bring must fit into their packing cube(s).


Only Bring the Essentials

When helping each family member to pack their packing cube, remember these rules:

  1. If you’re headed to the Caribbean, there’s no need to take along sweatshirts and jeans. Only bring the essentials for the place you’re going.
  2. If you’re a “nervous” packer and tend to over pack because you’re not sure what weather you could encounter, use websites such as Weather Underground to look up what the weather has been like in the past in the area you’re visiting.
  3. Bring outfits and shoes that can double for multiple occasions. Versatile outfits are best. Avoid outfits that you’ll only be able to wear on one occasion.
  4. Will you have access to a washer and dryer? Only bring a maximum of one week’s worth of clothes, and plan to wash anything you want to wear again.
  5. Do you plan on buying any clothing items there that you’ll have to bring back home? Make sure you have room in your packing cubes on the way home.

All of these questions should factor into what you plan to pack.

 Purchase Toiletries Later

Bringing individualized sizes of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash can take up lots of space and make a mess when they spill. Bringing regular sized bottles will use up your weight limit when traveling. To avoid all of these potential travel issues, minimize your packing and buy your toiletries when you arrive.

The nearest grocery store or pharmacy will have low-cost essentials that you’ll need for the rest of your trip. If they provide it, your hotel may also supply free bathroom items for your family to use.


Share Electronics

Instead of having every family member bring their own music player, computer, DVD player, and other electronics, share with each other to reduce how much you bring.

Pack one single laptop and use it for everything your family needs. Load lots of different e-books on a portable e-reader so everyone has something to peruse while waiting in the airport. Add unique genres of music to an iPod, and no one will feel left out.


It’s not as easy as throwing all of your clothes in a bag and calling it a day, but packing for minimalist travel will certainly save you time, money, and effort. Next time you’re traveling with the family, choose the right bags to bring, leave toiletries behind, and share your electronics, and you’ll be able to take advantage of minimalist travel by packing for the entire family in just one bag.

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