The Minimalist's Travel Checklist

You don't need as much as you think you do. 

I wouldn't dare advise you to exclude the little luxuries you believe are critical for a successful trip. If you don't mind checking-in and your luggage doesn't become a burden for you (or your travel companion) – then by all means pack whatever you want. 

However, if for any reason you want or need to carry-on only, then you need a more streamlined approach to how you pack and what you pack. 

As a frequent traveler this is the actual checklist I consistently refer to whenever I'm preparing for the road. Of course certain circumstances may require tweaks, but I've survived several month long excursions across multiple continents and climates (including third world counties) with only the items on this list. 

The key is to understand what needs to be on your person and what doesn't. While en-route only include the absolute necessities and pick up one-off items (e.g. sunscreen) once you arrive at your destination. If you're curious about how to pack like a minimalist, read on. 


  • Face/Body/Hair Wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Toothbrush & Paste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Brush/Comb


  • Tops (4)
  • Bottoms (2) 
  • Shoes (Casual, Gym, Dress) 
  • Dress (1)
  • Sleepset (1) 
  • Underwear (3-5)
  • Workout Set (1) 
  • Swimwear (1) 


  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Charger
  • Adapter
  • Headphones
  • Organizer


  • Water Bottle
  • Book
  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • Contacts/Glasses


  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Credit Card
  • Insurance Card
  • Cash


  • Tote
  • Carry-on

Image: travel tote by Mismo