Travel Right, Travel Light

I was practically raised to love traveling. Every year when I was young we would go on a family vacation, whether that be to the beach in Mexico or the metal jungle of New York. Not only do I love experiencing new cultures and seeing new places, I love traveling as minimalistic as possible. Last year I journeyed over the course of three weeks through Germany, Spain, Italy and England with merely a large duffle bag. To continue this pattern, I am currently writing from Greece where I will be living for a total of three months out of my good and trusty duffle.

Packing Without Excess Luggage:

One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is having to check a bag. It could get lost, delayed, or cost an excessive amount of money. This can all be avoided by having one carryon and a small, day satchel. The olive pike bag is ideal for fashionable, light travel. It fits all of my necessities and leaves a bit of room for souvenirs. This olive carryon was made in Peru and its purchase sustainably employs, educates, and empowers artisans. With products like this, you aren't only benefiting yourself but the individual that crafted it. To better distinguish your bag from the rest, decorate it with the Jogi luggage tag with your information on the back, just in case it gets “misplaced.” Each tag is unique and vibrant since they are ethically made from up-cycled fabric.

An Extra Essential:

Before I pack anything, I make sure that I have my something to write in. Every traveler needs a journal to keep at their side. The Hemmingway Journal fits well in my satchel and is easy to carry around throughout the day. Not only does the variety of colors reflect the surrounding nature, it was made in India from sustainable leather and tree-free cotton paper that helps fund community development projects. As I travel, I love to record the names of the people that I meet and their stories, the happenings of my day, and observations of the architecture and culture that surround me. I also love taping in flowers or leaves that I find on the sidewalk or a postcard of the beach I sunbathed at.

What to Pack:

Traveling with one bag might sound daunting for women who feel it’s necessary to bring a separate bag for their makeup, but it’s quite manageable when you travel light with fewer, high quality items that were ethically made. Depending on the climate and amount of time traveling, you could need a range of clothing. However, when I travel, I stick to the basics.

Packing Basics:

1 - Pair of Pants1 - Pair of Shorts2 - T-Shirts or Blouses
2 - Tank Tops2 - Long Sleeve Shirt1 - Dress or Skirt
1 - Sweater1 - Light Scarf

This compilation of items allow you to layer up if you become chilly while still maintaining variety. Depending on the season, you might need to include a rain coat or a cute polkadot swimsuit out of necessity, but don't bring three of each because you want to “change it up.” When traveling, there are other ways to style the few items of clothes that you bring so that you don’t feel as though you are wearing the same thing everyday. It is best to pack neutral colors to easily mix-and-match, then jazz them up with a colorful accessory.

A fashion scarf is one of those accessories that is a must, even when it is toasty outside due to the summer sun. The fair trade, handwoven Pomegranate Air silk scarf is my personal favorite with its bright pigment and lightweight material. Not only can it be used to dress up your outfit by wrapping it around your shoulders as a shawl or over a pair of workout shorts as a skirt, you can make it into a mini tote to carry the organic produce you bought from the farmer’s market. Just gather up the corners and tie a few knots to carry your homemade banana bread and fresh carton of blueberries. Then, find the nearest park and transform your tote into a picnic blanket for your afternoon snack.

If you happen to be going on a long road trip or plane ride, a scarf often won’t cut it. Instead, opt for the Peruvian, fair trade cotton woven throw. This is a traveling necessity for its softness and warmth. I take it with me on long trips, rolling it up and laying it on top of my duffel to carry, cuddling with it in the plane, the car, or in my hotel room that has scratchy sheets. Simultaneously, use your scarf as a pillow when you cuddle up in your cozy throw.

While traveling light may seem intimidating or even unattractive, if you pack the right things, you're going to be just fine.