10 Essential Travel Packing Tips & Hacks – Minimalist Traveling

How to Pack Light & Smart – Essential Travel Packing Tips for Minimalist Traveling. Audible is offering our followers a free 30-day trial today. Sign up to check out their audio books using our special link: http://www.audible.com/exploringalternatives

Want more travel packing tips? Check out this NEW video we made for extra light minimalist travel: https://youtu.be/-PcrLWkxZSk

After almost 5 years of travelling, we’ve come up with our 10 best travel packing tips to help you travel light, save money, and have an easy and comfortable trip.

1. Minimalist Travel Wardrobe

We choose clothes that are all in the same colour scheme and style so they can be layered to create different outfits for different situations and climates. In our experience, packing fewer clothes is always best and if you find that you’re missing something, like a warmer sweater, you can always pick it up along the way.

2. Water

After buying and throwing out countless plastic water bottles on our travels, we finally said enough is enough. It was a waste of money and plastic. So we decided to get a portable water purifier (SteriPEN sent us one) and now we bring our own stainless steel water bottles with us and we purify tap water wherever we are.

3. Books and Guides

Books and guides are easily the heaviest things we carry on trips. To downsize the weight in our backpack or suitcase, we try to bring smaller travel journals, we don’t bring guide books (we use our iPod and free maps from airports and train stations to get around), and we’re starting to try eBooks (free from the library) and audio books from Audible (our video sponsor!).

4. Staying Clean

When travelling, there are many times (for us at least) when we don’t shower as often as we’d like, maybe a long 48 hour travel leg, or a nasty hostel shower that we don’t want to use. To stay fresh between showers, we use dry shampoo (the one in the video is from One Love Organics) and wet wipes (paraben-free). We also always travel with Dr Bronners soap because we can use it for everything: showering, dishes, and laundry.

5. Souvenirs

We no longer buy souvenirs for our friends and family. Instead, we try to send postcards to show people we’re thinking of them. It’s cheaper, less wasteful, and we feel that it’s more meaningful overall.

6. Passports

We’ve had a passport stolen, and another damaged by water. We’re not messing around with our passports anymore so we carry them in ziplock bags, inside a hidden passport pouch.

7. Food and Snacks

Food and snacks at airports and in touristy areas is usually overpriced and not necessarily healthy. We try to pack our own food and snacks as much as possible (sandwiches, granola bars, hummus and crackers, oatmeal, roasted nuts, etc.) but it’s important to check the rules about what you can bring and where.

8. Electronics

When we’re not travelling for work, we try to bring just our iPod touch. We travelled for almost one full year with just the iPod & free wifi, and we did all of our hotel and flight bookings, and even a couple of visa applications on the tiny screen. It’s not perfect, but it saves us from lugging around a couple of laptops like we do now.

We also always travel with a flashlight. We have a Foxelli headlamp that is USB rechargeable and the battery lasts forever (they sent us the headlamp a couple of years ago and we love it).

9. Reusables

Travel has a pretty big environmental footprint and while we haven’t quite gotten to the point where we’re willing to stop just for environmental reasons, we do try to minimize flying and we travel with reusable containers to limit the amount of garbage waste we’re producing. We bring stainless steel food containers (by Onyx), water bottles, and coffee mugs, as well as cloth bags and cutlery.

10. Staying Healthy

We use natural remedies like oregano oil, garlic pills, activated charcoal, and essential oils to treat things like food poisoning, cold and flu, diarrhea, headaches, etc. We also bring strong anti-nausea pills because Danielle gets motion sick in cars, planes, buses โ€” even a hammock once!

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Thank you to all of our Patrons who support us so generously! You are all the best!

And a very special thank you to our backbone supporters: The Burgess Family.

If you like our videos, please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/exploringalternatives


Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives


  1. DrSoulTraveler on October 27, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Excellent tips!

  2. Rachel M on October 27, 2018 at 5:35 am

    You seem like such a nice young couple, and I hope we meet you on our travels one day! Who knows?! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  3. MisterHot on October 27, 2018 at 5:38 am

    They had me at "suppository "

  4. Shannon Garrett on October 27, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Less unpleasant than the glycerin suppositories… maybe try eating 2-4 prunes/dried plums?

  5. Daisy May on October 27, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Has she not heard of a kindle ??

  6. RVing Live The Dream on October 27, 2018 at 5:40 am

    We have been traveling 8 years and have most of this stuff.
    Love the collapsing water bottle and the water Purifier

  7. Exploring Alternatives on October 27, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Want more travel packing tips? Check out this NEW video we made for extra light minimalist travel: https://youtu.be/-PcrLWkxZSk

  8. Kevin Ryall on October 27, 2018 at 5:42 am

    great tips here. Thanks. If I’m not mistaken, the post card you showed was in Nfld? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Made me homesick to see that view ๐Ÿ™‚ Safe travels.

  9. itssugarfree on October 27, 2018 at 5:45 am

    I like to get a local SIM for my pocket wifi as a preference to using free wifi – public networks are NOT safe.

  10. S Wellinger on October 27, 2018 at 5:46 am

    thanks I liked the water purifier item and have ordered mine as I want to stop lugging water around in bottles.

  11. Gabriel Lopez on October 27, 2018 at 5:46 am

    5 books? are you crazy? What about the Kindle? Packing books tips, pfff!

  12. Julian Stรถrig on October 27, 2018 at 5:51 am

    @explorign alternatives, I hope you know that it only kills bacteria and doesnt protect you from DANGEROUS particles that are in the water such as haevy metals and chemicals emitted by factories? I’m honestly concerned about your health there

  13. Aztec 420 on October 27, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Haha that water tool that supposedly kills bacteria lol does,that really work ? looks like a modern day snake oil scam …

  14. lynn pierce on October 27, 2018 at 5:52 am

    Best video ever.

  15. Shannon Garrett on October 27, 2018 at 5:54 am

    That’s so smart to keep your passport in a ziploc bag. I once had my passport get ruined by rain while I was traveling. It had been inside a (supposedly) waterproof pouch. Needless to say, I wound up spending far more time than was desirable traveling to and from the US embassy in the capital city. Not my idea of a good time! This time, I will be extra EXTRA careful!

  16. Johannes on October 27, 2018 at 5:54 am

    ipods in 2017 wow

  17. Lorenzo Potrich on October 27, 2018 at 5:55 am

    That is SO cool 1:32

  18. Foxes on the Go on October 27, 2018 at 5:55 am

    Thanks for the tips. We travel quite a bit but could always use advice to make our travels easier and packing more efficient. – Michelle ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Leland Kolson on October 27, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Just thought I would add something I picked up over the last few years traveling. Instead of carrying both the detergent bar and the Dr Bronner, just carry some Dr Bronner bar soap, you can use it to clean your clothes and yourselves. Lighten the load a bit. Great video, safe travels

  20. Miles Blackson-Dunbar on October 27, 2018 at 5:59 am

    This helped thanks

  21. Esther Gerlitz on October 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

    I wish I knew about Dr Bronners soap yesterday when I spent 8$ on a shampoo bar ๐Ÿ™

  22. `Cadambrazil on October 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Dry shampoo? You have got to be kidding me mate XD XD .. high maintenance travelling

  23. Neftali Mendez on October 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

    My dad has been using Zote as a body wash and laundry detergent

  24. Elena Munari on October 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Very helpful!

  25. Zaheer TV on October 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

    nice video

  26. cla ire on October 27, 2018 at 6:01 am

    great video thank you. Audible isnt good for me cuz the books i like arent in audio form anywhere except for a couple dodgy home made jobs.

  27. piupiu on October 27, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Do you do that in Asia too with the water filter?

  28. zvczvcvzxcv on October 27, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Install maps.me on your cell phone and you can use it over gps without a data connection. Just make sure to download the specific area map while you still have a connection.

  29. Brendan Lee - McGrath Estate Agents on October 27, 2018 at 6:03 am

    I know this is years later, but why don’t you buy a kindle for your books the battery life is like 1 month and you won’t you your phones battery up!

  30. sstrongnproud on October 27, 2018 at 6:04 am

    This is great even if sponsored ๐Ÿ™‚ but why would you need the wet wipes? Theyโ€™re very bad for the environment ๐Ÿ™ I travel often and thereโ€™s always a way to have a shower somewhere or clean yourself just with water at a restroom.

  31. kitsaplady on October 27, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Your phone already has a flashlight.

  32. Lola Gosling on October 27, 2018 at 6:05 am

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  33. Pat Mosh on October 27, 2018 at 6:05 am

    How do you use the oregano oil & other oils–internally or externally?

  34. Robert Williamson on October 27, 2018 at 6:06 am

    Two tips to southeast Asia, totallying a little more than six months… eating street food and meals in poor villages… never got sick. Took Dukoral before my trips…

  35. ๆ™“็‡•ๅฎ‹ on October 27, 2018 at 6:13 am

    love this video๏ผŒbest of all that I have watched! Thanks.

  36. Dr Spaseebo on October 27, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Excellent important advice re carrying passports !

  37. Venus Gillespie on October 27, 2018 at 6:15 am

    I do all my laundry by hand, and I just use Dr. Bronnerโ€™s soap for it. It works well, even with the washboard, so you could cut down the space by not taking a big laundry bar.

  38. B Nah on October 27, 2018 at 6:17 am


  39. Annathomas Strock on October 27, 2018 at 6:19 am

    I recommend soap berries, aka soap nuts. They are a great way to wash clothes!

  40. zainalu on October 27, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Which universal charger is that?

  41. Yasunari Ishii on October 27, 2018 at 6:22 am

    I agree with a lot of what you guys are doing, especially those sickness remedies. I’m looking into J.R. Liggett’s shampoo bars, in order to minimize toiletry liquids. It is not only a solid shampoo bar that is made from natural oils and that eliminates the need for hair conditioner because of that, it can also be used to wash your body and clothes, and also to shave with. Now it looks like all I’m going to take is toothpaste (in contact lens cases) , concentrated hand cream (same), and maybe a tiny hand sanitizer (0.25 oz) that can also work as after-shave…..

  42. Clara Salaam on October 27, 2018 at 6:23 am


  43. Patty Nielsen on October 27, 2018 at 6:24 am

    If you have a library card, you can download ebooks for free.

  44. Gulnaz Otorbaeva on October 27, 2018 at 6:27 am

    no shampoo?

  45. Annathomas Strock on October 27, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Iโ€™m curious about the Fels Naptha. First, couldnโ€™t you use the Dr. Bronners to wash clothing, and just skip the FN? Or is there something about it that makes it better for clothing? Also, how do you used the FN? do you grate it, or just rub it on the clothes? I have a recipe to make laundry soap with it, but Iโ€™m curious if it would work fine just on itโ€™s own. Do you have a washboard that you use, or just your hands?

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  47. The Eco Vegan House on October 27, 2018 at 6:29 am

    loved this video. Was wondering how you go taking the essential oils through customs, do you have any problems with it?

  48. Emily Berkemeyer on October 27, 2018 at 6:30 am

    What type of adapter is that?

  49. mohammad wadaa on October 27, 2018 at 6:30 am

    i love traveling soooooooooooooooooo muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch

  50. Magnus Leuthner on October 27, 2018 at 6:31 am

    I mean no offense but the constant "we" really bugs me…

    Anyway thanks!