Save. Spend. Splurge.

Minimalist Travel: Packing Tips

I’m thinking ahead of what to pack for our upcoming trip back to Europe and thought I’d do an overview of the thought process.


Beach? Pack a swimsuit (I only have one, but you like my sister, may want multiple suits for the days).

Skiing? Don’t forget your sweaters.

It sounds trite but consider the context of where you are vacationing and what you are planning on doing.

If you are going when they’re in the middle of their hottest summer, don’t bring wool sweaters (although I will say packing a travel scarf in cashmere is one thing I never travel without now, not even during summer, it can get very frosty on the planes and in waiting areas).


Love love LOVE your favourite jeans? Pack ’em.

Think that your tank top with the perfect cut (not too low and not too high) is the best basic to wear with anything? Pack it.

Tried & proven outfits and feel-good pieces will make you want to reach for them and upon return back home to your  closet, make you reconsider why you have so many other one-trick ponies in your wardrobe that you don’t wear quite as often.


My tried-and-true pieces is this tank wrap dress that is in a jersey knit that won’t wrinkle and always feels comfortable no matter how much you eat, or how you have to travel (squished into a seat)…

You definitely need to bring pieces that make you feel comfortable and confident.

My #1 Tried & True item to pack is always going to be my Cashmere Travel Wrap. It’s a blanket, jacket, poncho, and scarf all in one.


You don’t need a ton of jewellery but a little is always nice.

I would bring at least a watch as one, and two necklaces (earrings, bracelets, and rings can fall off and I don’t want to lose my favourites).

My two necklaces are one statement piece (will jazz up any neutral outfit) and a long one as a simple, minimalist pendant.

I also don’t bring a ton of jewellery because I don’t want to lose it!


I travel with only a carry-on and a purse. I refuse to bring any more than that, so if it starts to get full, I remove things until it fits.

You really don’t need as many things as you think you do.

Trust me, you know you’ve overpacked when you get back, you’ll pull out things and think: I never even wore this!

If this happens a lot, start making a note of how many outfits you have worn out of what you packed and aim to pack that amount the next time you travel.

You also don’t need more than a carry-on. I went for 2 months with a carry-on and a bag.


Remember that point about your favourite pieces?

If you’re bringing jeans, make sure they feature in every outfit, and bring another bottom like a skirt or another pair of pants you can wear while they dry from being washed which can also mix & match with the jeans.

All the pieces need to be interchangeable.

2 tops x 2 bottoms = 4 outfits

That’s almost a whole week.

Add in a third top you can use to layer over other items (as it gets colder), and it turns into many more:

3 tops x 2 bottoms = 6 outfits!

So what’s my plan?

This is it





  • Jodie Bierbrauer

    Sherry, you are going to Europe for two months and only bringing the items shown? (Obviously I realize undergarments, etc. aren’t shown). Only one pair of shoes? No jacket? Or is this just a portion of your list? No judgement, genuinely curious. I like to pack light but haven’t been able to get even close to limiting to just the items you’ve shown. You are so right about the jewelry. I always bring too much. I’m a list freak when it comes to packing and I save them so that I can review when packing for upcoming trips.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      This is only the clothing part of the list.

      1. No jacket will be brought because it’ll be summer and I plan on using the cashmere travel wrap if I need it. It is light and warm enough 🙂

      2. I also don’t need a lot of shoes. I never wear them, nor heels or anything. We walk a lot and hang out, so I always brought 2 pairs of shoes in the past but NEVER WORE THEM. This time one pair.

      3. I haven’t listed out what Baby Bun will bring, so I still have medication, toiletries, etc but the clothing portion is done.

  • Sarahn

    So I’m going to Iceland in may and buying flights I paid for luggage as I’m nervous that bulky (warm) gear would have put me over. I’m a sook for cold so I plan on a full snow proof coat. I know I can easily do high summer with a carry on sized suitcase, but the cold worries me, from a volume perspective

    • Jodie Bierbrauer

      I was in Iceland last October. Loved it so much we are stopping over again for three days on our way to Europe. I used a mid thigh length trench coat with a removeable liner. Also brought other pieces I could layer, including cashmere scarf that I always take when I travel. What I forgot: (and ended up buying in Iceland) a warm hat. It’s windy there! Make sure you have one pair of warm socks and gloves as well. We did the Blue Lagoon and I brought an old swimsuit that I didn’t want anymore and just tossed it when we were done. Iceland is amazing!

      • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        That is such a good idea — bringing a swimsuit to toss. I did that with shoes once, bringing an old pair that was just too worn out and I tossed them.

        • SarahN

          I accidently did it with shoes on a recent weekend away. They were getting tatty, so I didn’t rush to go back and ask for them etc, but I do sorely miss their softness as a ‘walking’ ballet flat compared to what’d replaced them.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I hear a lightweight “packable” down jacket works very well (size up one so you can layer underneath). It keeps your thighs warm, has zippered pockets AND a hood. Plus it squishes up into nothing and keeps you warm (down and polyester outside really traps the heat). Warm socks like wool ones also work well (do not bring cotton), or anything that is “thin thermafleece”. I’d also bring a layer of a thin light fleece jacket if you are really concerned about the cold, and wear that under your jacket.

      • SarahN

        I generally have such an aversion to polyester and man made fabrics. This is clearly not the time for that!

  • Adriana @MoneyJourney

    I also travel with a carry on and a smaller bag! Paying for extra luggage just seems useless, especially since I usually prefer traveling when it’s warm so I really only need to pack light!

    By the way, I love your outfit planning strategy! I have to admit, I’ve never thought about this before. It’s brilliant!

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