Hello, friends! Amanda here. We are getting really excited about our trip and can’t believe it’s less than 3 months away! It’s something we’ve been researching and planning for years and have noticed that “what to pack” is a hot topic among the travel circuit. Seeing how others have taken similar trips is so inspiring and the differences in travel style are as varied as types of people. So what will our family of four pack for a trip lasting 6-9 months? Surprisingly not very much! We are planning to bring one large checked bag for the family and we’ll each have a small carry on. That’s 6 outfits and 2 pairs of shoes each, our work computers and toiletries. The kids will also bring their kindles, a bag of legos and some art supplies.
The way I figure it, you can spend a fortune on travel gear, or you can use the money to have more lasting experiences. Rolf Potts says the best purchase you can make when planning long term travel is a very small bag. While we are new to long term travel, we are definitely advocates of travelling light. The less you have, the less you have to worry about/ clean/ carry around. No one will care if you are wearing the same outfit repeatedly. It is freeing to have less. We’ve been getting rid of our household possessions for the last 2 years and every time another “thing” walks out the door, it’s a relief. I can’t imagine ever wanting to replace the stuff we’ve let go. Plus, not shopping has been a great way to save money.
As preparation for our new lifestyle, I’ve personally implemented a capsule wardrobe and it has made getting ready in the morning really easy. My travel wardrobe will be 3 pairs of pants, 6 t-shirts, 2 sweaters, 1 dress, 1 swimsuit, a blazer and 2 scarves. I have more than that now, but won’t miss the downsize. The key is to have everything match. Black and charcoal gray are my go to colors. They won’t stain and these classic pieces can be dressed down with sneakers or dressed up with ballet flats and a scarf. Easy peasy!
Honestly, this is all best case scenario, but if there’s a worst case situation, we won’t know what it is and won’t be able to prepare anyway. Will we get the opportunity to attend a grand ball? Maybe, but I’m not packing a ball gown. Will we change our travel plans and go to South America? You never know, but I’m sure I could buy appropriate clothing in that case. The kids will most likely outgrow their shoes. It will be a fun experience to shop for new ones wherever we happen to be when the need arises. In the meanwhile, I don’t want to have to carry huge bags throughout Europe. When Craig and I were in Paris this past September, we stayed in a nice little apartment close to the Louvre. It was perfect except it was up 7 flights of stairs! Yes, that solidified my resolve for minimalism!
What about you? What has worked for you in the past while travelling? What would you do differently in the future? Any gear you couldn’t imagine going without? We love to hear how others have done similar trips want to learn as much from other experiences as we can.
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