When I did Friday favorites a few weeks ago, I mentioned that my favorite way to travel is as light as possible. This got me thinking: how few things could I pack for a week away?

Now, as I live in a four season climate, I always think about clothing with an eye towards the weather. For this exercise, I will assume that the weather is high sixties, low seventies, low humidity with fairly sunny skies. The clothes listed would include traveling outfit. Also, this would be an urban sightseeing type vacation- activities do dictate clothing choices.


  1. 2 black dresses
  2. black legging
  3. 2 shirts
  4. long cardigan
  5. long jacket/blazer (lightish weight material)
  6. pajamas
  7. undies (enough for every day- I don’t scrimp here)
  8. 2 bras
  9. 7 socks
  10. pajamas


  1. sneakers or canvas flats (but I mean pretty ones like converse or superga, not the sneakers I wear to the gym)
  2. boots- either knee high or mid calf


  1. face wash
  2. 2 moisturizer ( tinted day and night- travel can wreak havoc on skin)
  3. eye cream (I am obsessed with keeping my eye area good- it’s my vanity thing)
  4. duo eye shadow
  5. eye liner
  6. mascara
  7. tinted lip balm
  8. blush
  9. under eye depuffer
  10. 2 make up brushes
  11. 1 hair brush
  12. 2 pony tail holder
  13. allergy pills (I have some bug bite allergies, so I always travel with Benadryl)
  14.  bandaids

I tend to stay in hotels, and almost every hotel now offers shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion, so I do not bring these. I also don’t tend to “do” my hair when I’m on vacation- so no product.

extras (packed in tote/medium sized purse)

  1. camera
  2. ipad (loaded with at least five books)
  3. phone
  4. wallet
  5. hand sanitizer
  6. tissues
  7. small hand lotion
  8. large scarf (I mean a pashmina type thing, that could almost be a lightweight blanket. It’s probably the first thing I throw in my bag after phone and wallet, because I tend to get cold)-can also be folded to put behind my neck
  9. 2 pairs glasses with transition lenses so they become sunglasses
  10. I haven’t traveled with masks, but I now will always have a few masks with me
  11. reusable water bottle
  12. breath mints
  13. headphones
  14. 1 apple based charger/1 all other thing charger
  15. notepad and pen
  16. envelope or folder to keep all paper based things organized
  17. fitbit
  18.  1 pair earrings
  19. 1 necklace
  20. 1 bracelet
  21. 1 ring
  22. computer- this is a tough one- I tend to like to upload and organize my photos each night of vacation- but I realize that this doesn’t really make things light…
  23. small umbrella

Now, I realize that I won’t fit this all in a backpack so I can traipse around Europe, I’m probably never traveling like that anyway. I know the above easily fits into my carryon and tote- and to be honest- the stuff I list as extras are often things I carry in my bag on a normal day- much of it fits in a small case.

I am not a souvenir girl- we buy shotglasses from cities/states that we visit, and these are small and don’t take up much room. I tend not to go into stores when I am vacationing except when it’s local and artisan. If I do buy stuff, it’s small like maybe cool jewelry or a book if I happen upon a non chain bookstore

So that’s my minimum- it might seem like a lot to some, but very little to others…

What’s the lightest you can pack?


57 thoughts on “How Low Can You Go?

  1. If you really mean how low can I go for a week away try this.

    Clothes I stand up in
    Spare Underpants (one pair)
    Spare Socks (one pair)
    2 Pens
    Books – say three – 2 novels and a non-fiction
    Large bag or prescription medication
    Walking stick

    If it’s colder I would take a coat.

    No, I’m not proud of my ability to survive with minimal underwear but I have low personal standards.

    If I am travelling with Julia I have to adopt higher standards of personal hygiene but by that time all thoughts of travelling light have been abandoned. Like you, she packs for an expedition rather than a simple trip.

    I take the view that if I find I need a black dress or a hair brush I can always buy one. Though if I’m away for so long my hair has grown…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the thought of an expedition….FYI…my husband usually travels without underwear…but not for the hygiene thing…just because he never considers it when packing. Yet….he packs far more than I do….he is a throw it in the bag just in case

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No. Not at all. This was more living vicariously. I wrote a post a few weeks ago talking about how my favorite form of travel is one small suitcase and a tote bag, and I was trying to figure out the least amount if things I could travel with.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I only took one pair of hiking shoes last time I traveled, and barely any makeup. Most of my attention was on my camera gear- primary and backup camera bodies, all three lenses, at least three batteries for each camera, chargers, plus the filters for each of the lenses. I took less clothing than the last time I traveled, and just washed the dirty undershirts and pants in the shower and hung them up to dry overnight. One carry-on suitcase, one camera shoulder bag.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always bring an extra in shoes in case my shoes get wet. Hiking boots are generally waterproof so that’s a good option. And you’re smart…you pack what’s essential to you. That’s the trick

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. I figure that I’m traveling alone and not trying to impress anyone. The hiking trails don’t care what I wear.

        I’ve got a nice pair of hiking shoes that dry out quickly, so if I get them wet during the day, they dry overnight.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For sure. I misjudged an incoming wave and got soaked to the knees in Iceland, and I was two hours away from my hotel. Had to deal with wet shoes and socks for the rest of the day until I got back to the car and could turn the heater on my feet.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you on the underwear thing. I’d leave out all that makeup stuff but take mini bottles of shampoo, body wash and face wash, gum instead of breath mints and more leggings and tops instead of dresses (depending on where we were going of course). I’d bring more rings. I have one that has a marble in it that is interchangeable so I’d bring marbles to match my outfits. Love rings. Love scarfs too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I would imagine where I was going and what I had planned would make a difference in my packing, but I have traveled with just a carry on/duffle type bag and my large tote for most trips even if it is by car. I will say I do not usually bring my laptop and I don’t have an ipad, but I will brink a couple of books. I bring my own shampoo and conditioner in tiny little travel bottles(hair is tricky and those little bottles are so wasteful).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like the little bottles, but hotels throw them out when you leave because they can’t ascertain if they were used, or liability if in the event someone put something in them. And some hotels are going to the larger reusable bottles, but there’s all sorts of guidelines for those. And if on a plane they restrict how many little bottles you bring on, and I’m always bringing moisturizer and hand sanitizer so packing gets tricky. And totally….if I were going hiking in Utah my list would look quite different


  5. I only pack light when I backpack or river raft for multiple days. Then it’s usually just what I’m wearing, 1 change of clothes, undies each day or swim bottoms, change of socks. (I rinse clothes in river or waterfall and dry on branch overnight) Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin cream, bug repellant, sun block, deodorant, contacts…you get the idea. Otherwise I’m at the total other spectrum of this. Large wardrobe bag with something different almost each day and a dress each night for dining out!! Plus a carry on and large tote….and whatever room is left in my husbands bag!!!! I do limit myself to no more than 4 pairs of shoes. So yes I can go extremely minimal especially if I’m carrying it on my back but no I don’t do it as a norm!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d drop the makeup and put in five pair of earrings and three rings. Draw attention away from the face, because earrings are much lighter than makeup. I’d take a light rain jacket but no umbrella. Laptop is a must.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We were supposed to go to Florence and Venice this year, so that’s the top of the list. But really, any where I haven’t been to!


      2. It’s a dream trip for me. My daughter was supposed to study there and I was going to meet her after the program


  7. I pack light even for two or three week trips. Capsule wardrobe fits in my backpack, toiletries and electronics in a Longchamp black tote that expands with a zipper for the plane but compacts to use for sightseeing. Never more than two pair of shoes, one of which I wear, usually black ankle boots or in summer black clog sandals. Like you, always a big scarf… can keep me warm or out of the sun or become a pillow. I like Blockshop scarves for this purpose! Also … packing cubes!!!! But who knows if I will ever be allowed outside of the US again, sigh. And who wants to travel in the US these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not going somewhere this year is killing me….I always visit one place I’ve never been….we were supposed to go to Italy…that didn’t happen….ugh….


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