This year Max and I will begin travelling full-time with 40L backpacks the ultimate challenge of packing light. The first question everyone asks us is 'how do you fit everything into your backpack?!' Well firstly, we became really good at detaching ourselves from 'stuff' while we were saving for our trip. But the real key to success was finding some travel accessories which take up less space and have multiple uses.
So without further ado, here are our favourite travel accessories that every minimalist packer needs.
I'm a recent convert to Packing Cells , originally thinking they were far too organised for me. But, as always, my mother knows best and bought me these for Christmas. They really do make it easier to group and access your clothing. Also great for when you're moving from place to place and don't want to completely unpack each time. I love my ones from Kathmandu as they are made from recycled plastic and are so thin they lie completely flat when they are empty.
Shoes usually take up the most unnecessary space in my backpack. So for this trip I've made the effort to cut down and only bring three pairs! This means they need to be light-weight, durable, suitable for all weathers and activities and a least a little bit fashionable. Here's a list of great travel shoes.
For me Teva sandals are my number one travel shoe as they can be worn in so many situations including beaches, water, cities and easy hikes.
This is my absolute favourite product of all time. It's so perfect for travel and the wool comes from New Zealand's abundance of sheep. Merino wool is light weight, quick dry, warm when it's cold, cool when it's warm AND it doesn't hold smell! I love the entire Icebreaker range. I've recently discovered a store that sells it here in Frankfurt and have stocked up my wardrobe. I currently own sports bras, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, socks and a hoodie. All of which fold up super small and are easily hand washed.
I can't stand the feeling of microfibre but I can't fit a normal towel in my backpack so I shopped around to find my one. A large, comfortable towel that actually dries your body. Plus, it folds up to a very convenient size. It's called an Ortec Power Towel and I found it in a travel shop but if you're ok with microfibre you can get a huge range of colours and sizes like the ones here.
Thin, light weight and water proof. We use ours to store our dirty laundry so that we can compress the bag and keep it separate from our clean clothes. You also never know when you might need to keep things dry. These Osprey ones are perfect.
Any clothing that can be worn in multiple ways or for different occasions. Things like leggings can be worn for hiking, under dresses or even to sleep in when it's cold. Dresses that can be comfortably worn during the day but are also classy enough for an evening out are perfect. My favourite item is my new, reversible skirt from Kathmandu. It's light, comfortable, stretchy and looks great at the beach or in a restaurant.
Ice breaker also do a really nice reversible skirt which looks great for cooler weather.
Fold-up Rain Jacket
This is the only jacket I'm taking with me as I can layer it with my merino hoodie for warmth. It folds up super small into a stuff bag. I can throw it in the day pack and it also frees up lots of space in my backpack compared with bringing a normal rain jacket.
Sleeping Bag Liner
I've never travelled with one of these before but since we want to get off the beaten track a bit it seemed like a good idea. I opted for a silk one because it is much smaller and lighter than other materials. It will definitely be useful on hot nights in the van and if we come across any questionable hostel beds!
Dr Bronner's All-One Magic Soap
This product supposedly has 18 uses. I don't foresee ever using it as toothpaste but it makes a great all round shampoo, body wash, detergent and soap for hand-washing clothes. It's highly concentrated so you only need a few drops. This means a 60ml bottle could last months. Plus it's organic and fair-trade. Perfect for when we are travelling in the van and washing clothes/dishes/ourselves outside.
I recently replaced my hairbrush with a comb. Ok, it takes a little longer to get the knots out of my hair. But the convenience is well worth it. Now I can slip my comb into any pocket of my bag and it lies small and flat. I can now fit all of my daily toiletries into a small zip-up bag, hooray for compactness!
Both my travel sized razor and my toothbrush have replaceable heads. For each of these I have purchased one 'handle' and several heads which can be swapped on when the last one gets old. Saves me having to find these items in other countries and takes up very little space.
Why do we need all these travel accessories that save space? Check out our awesome carry-on sized backpacks we'll be living out of! We have many other travel accessories and gadgets that don't necessarily save space but are pretty cool. Watch this space for more reviews.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you buy something through one of the links, I will make a small commission. This doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks for your support!