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Minimalist Packing List for a Week – How to Pack Light for a Week’s Trip

Nothing can put a damper on a trip like clumsy packing and heavy luggage that you have to drag around everywhere you go. Except maybe spending a week in the same clothes because your luggage never came out from your flight! After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen if you try minimalist packing list for a week? You don’t bring a few items that you can buy practically anywhere in the world? I believe you’ll agree, not the worst thing in the world. So, next time the little angel on your shoulder asks “Do you really need to pack this?”, don’t be afraid to say no. Hopefully, this perfect minimalist packing list for a week will help you to travel as light as possible when you travel anywhere for a week’s trip!

Why do you need a minimalist packing list for a week?

light backpack

Packing minimalistic gives you a lot more flexibility when traveling. First of all, the bigger your bag is, the longer it will take to go through TSA and sometimes, you might struggle to find enough room to place your luggage in the overhead department on the flight. This also means you’ll avoid paying extra for your big check-in bags. Additionally, a smaller bag means you can take it anywhere, use public transport from the airport instead of taking overpriced taxis, and overall, feel less burdened by your bags. And most importantly, you’ll save time packing and unpacking!  

But minimalistic packing actually does a lot more for you! You’ll be surprised by how much this simple change can help you ditch bad habits and get rid of unnecessary things that bring nothing but clutter and havoc in your life.

As a beginner minimalist packer, you might assume that trying a minimalist packing list for a week means only taking fewer clothes next time but you’d be wrong. Being minimalistic requires a lot of planning, time, and dedication to finding a minimalistic packing strategy that best suits your needs. Hopefully, sharing some of our strategies will help you with that!

First things first


The best packing advice I can ever give you about your minimalistic packing list for a week is “Get a smaller bag”. When you have a bigger backpack, you’ll always be tempted to bring more things. If you get a smaller bag, on the other, hand, you’ll learn one of the basic laws of travel physics; pushing hard enough, can make your backpack expand enough to fit all of your items by taking out the air while filling in the empty spaces.

If you’re looking for a minimalistic backpack for a week trip, my personal choice is Osprey Packs Talon 22 Hiking Backpack. It’s lightweight, very durable, very easy to organize for a week’s trip, and on top of everything, it looks great. Combined with some packing cubes, this backpack can definitely help you adopt a minimalistic travel approach.

Now, before we continue with some more important tips, here are some questions you should ask yourself while packing that will help you pack minimalistic.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our long term travel packing list.

Questions you should ask yourself while packing

  1. What are the items that I’m 100000% sure I’ll use? Pack all that and for everything else, proceed to #2;
  2. Is the item lightweight?
    2.1 If no, are there travel-sized versions of this product that I can pack?
  3. Does the item have a dual purpose?
  4. When having second thoughts about packing something, ask yourself “How often do I actually use this when traveling?”
  5. What travel habits can I cut out from my routine or in other words, what can I skip doing for a week and still survive (hint- hair curling/straightening, jewelry, an extensive list of make-up, etc.)?

With that being said, here are some more…

Minimalist packing tips for a week trip

backpack 1868720 1920

You can adopt minimalist packing methods for every kind of trip. Personally, I have the same minimalist packing list for a week trip and a month’s trip. Depending on the weather and the occasion, my packing list sometime requires a few tweaks here and there but the main principles I follow are the same. Here are a few guidelines that I use which could help you.

  1. Always stick to multifunctional items. This applies to bags, personal-care items, medicines, and even clothes. Try to pack items that have more than one function/purpose.
  2. Let neutral colors guide your choices. Pick your favorite neutral color (black, white or grey) and choose complementary clothes that go well with your color palette. This will help you get rid of clothes you likely won’t wear because they don’t go well with most of your other clothes.
  3. Only quick-dry fabrics. Pack only things you can wash and dry as quickly as possible. If the item is so thick that it requires more than a day to get dry, you don’t need it (unless of course, that’s your main winter jacket when traveling to a winter destination).
  4. When comparing items, tend to reduce just weight, not usefulness. Don’t carry items that are not useful. When choosing between two items always choose the lighter one or the one that has a dual purpose (take a look at rule #1 again).
  5. Compromise design for comfort. You don’t need a lot of flashy, designer clothes when traveling. You’ll likely explore and move a lot and in these situations, it’s always better to sacrifice design and good looks for comfort.

Minimalist packing list for a week- clothes

rolling clothes

Just because you’re going somewhere for a week, it doesn’t mean that you need an outfit for every day. Instead, pack just enough clothes for 3 days, don’t forget the quick-dry principle and do your laundry once halfway through your trip and wear the same clothes again for the remaining 3-4 days.

Shoes also take a lot of space when packing and this is one thing that requires special attention. When you travel, you’re going to be on your feet a lot and your legs and feet are going to get tired. That’s why you have to be strategic about which shoes you bring but in any case, don’t bring more than 2 pairs and make sure you have at least one pair of comfortable, walking shoes.

In addition to this, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a few pairs of socks that will keep your feet dry and cool and have compression elements to increase blood flow.

Regardless of where I’m traveling, here’s the most minimalist version of my packing list.

  • A pair of black pants
  • 3 T-shirts
  • A pair of jeans/shorts
  • 3 Pairs of underwear
  • 3 Pairs of socks
  • 1 Pair of shoes wearing on me (the heavier one) and 1 more pair of shoes/slippers in the backpack.

Optional/depending on the destination

  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 swimming shorts

I know this is for guys, but following the golden rule of packing just enough clothes for 3 days can easily be applied by girls too.

For example, you can pack

  • 1 pair of black pants/jeans
  • 1 pair of yoga pants
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 1 skirt/miniskirt
  • 1/2 T-shirts
  • 1/2 Tops
  • 3 pairs of bras
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 extra pair of shoes/slippers

Just commit to doing your laundry at least once a week, stick to a single color pallet, pick your favorite outfits, and you’re good to go!

How to reduce your toiletries and makeup?

make up

The basic rule when it comes to minimalist packing list for a week and toiletries is to bring just enough toiletries for a “lazy Sunday look”. If you want to go extreme minimalist, you don’t have to bring everything and just buy a travel-size soap, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant after you reach.

But if you don’t want to be extreme, here’s my suggested list for you.

  • Toothpaste + toothbrush
  • Shampoo+ conditioner (if possible go for 2-in-1 shampoo-shower gel)
  • Deodorant/stick deodorant
  • Lotion/conditioner
  • Pick up to 3 more toiletries that give you the most confidence and you think you can’t live without.

How to limit your just-in-case items

Treat the space in your backpack as a precious commodity. This means you have to use it as efficiently as possible and guard it against packing ‘just in case items’ with your full strength. If ‘just in case’ actually happens (even though most of the time it doesn’t), 99% of the time, you can buy that on the road for a price that’s not worth adding more heavy items that will slow you down. Just make a list of “know I’ll need items” and stick to it.

Minimalist packing list for a week – Electronics


The most minimalistic version of an electronics packing list includes a phone, charger, and a headphone. Disconnect to reconnect is often the motto when going on vacation. Staying away from electronics is a great way to clear your mind and get away from everyday stressors, such as work emails.

However, If you’re a digital nomad, this isn’t always possible. You’ll probably need your laptop even if it’s a short trip. One thing you can consider is getting a foldable Bluetooth keyboard that can be linked to your phone; some are so tiny that they can fit in your pocket! And if you also need to bring a camera along (for work), you can still get a minimalistic high-quality DSLR camera for your trip.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our guide to dental travel hygiene.

Minimalist packing extends beyond the backpack


Even though in this article, we only focused on a minimalist packing list for a week, this approach can do wonders in other areas of your life too. Adopting a minimalist way of doing things will allow you to focus on experiences rather than consumption, to be happy with what you have, and live more modestly. But that’s not all it can do. Minimalist travel can help you get rid of the unnecessary things in your life that do nothing but add more stress and make your life more difficult.

Finally, if you liked this article, also check out this list of the most common travel packing mistakes.

Did you like this minimalist packing list for a week? Did you ever try to pack minimalistic for your trip? Is it something you would ever do? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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minimalist packing list for a week
minimalist packing list for a week
minimalist packing list for a week

Seema jain

Monday 27th of April 2020

That was very detailed and helpful

Passport Symphony

Friday 1st of May 2020

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it.