The Minimalist Packing List

PLEASE NOTE: The dress featured in this set is SOLD OUT. It was originally from

This minimalist packing list is ideal for travelers that want to travel with a carry-on or less, no matter the destination or the length of the journey. Consisting of six pieces of clothing, each item is chosen specifically to provide you with optimal function while maximizing your travel outfits.

You can use this list if you’re going on a weekend getaway or if you’re an ultra-minimalist traveler going on a long term trip.

Choose ultra-light travel clothing that provides form, function, and fashion. Because you only have a few items to wear you have to ensure that you can mix and match each item. Quick dry fabrics or synthetic fabrics are essential!




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Where and when are you traveling?

This packing list is ideal for low maintenance women traveling in one region or in warm climates. For cold weather, consider the Essentials Packing List.



Other than a weekend trips, hand washing is necessary if you pack six items for a longer trip. Choosing the right fabrics for your basics is necessary to ensure maximum use and swift washing times.
Suggested items to pack include a universal rubber sink plug and laundry clothesline to make this process a breeze!


Guidelines to choose appropriate items:

Color: One Color Story – solids, patterns within the same color story
Fabric: Durable, quick dry, synthetics
Cut: Good Fit, classic styles that match with everything
Style: Appropriate in various settings: Beach, Temples, Villages, Cities, Treks, etc
Luggage: Carry-on weekender; 18”-21” suitcase, or 35 liter backpack

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Sample Packing List
3 Tops + 2 Bottoms + 1 Dress/Skirt

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Vintage Dress / Racerback Tank / Lightweight Blouse / T-shirt / Slim-fit Jeans / Printed Shorts / Top Sider / Sandals / Tote Bag


1. Two Tank Tops/Short Sleeve Tops in the heat or Two Long Sleeves for Cooler Climates – Synthetic fabric, quick dry, solid colors or simple prints. Classic cut that can be worn under dress or button up shirt to match and provide extra coverage if needed

2. One Long Sleeve Button Up Shirt – Light Fabric, Synthetics, polyester, or silk blend. Able to layer over other tops and dresses as a light jacket or cover up

3. One set of Trousers – Highly dependent on your destination, choose a pair that can be used for every activity

4. One Dress/Skirt – Solid Color/Print or Neutral Khaki/Little Black Dress. Versatility is key – worn casually during the day and dressed up at night. Convertible dress/skirts are ideal

5. Two Outerwear – One Fleece/Hoodie/Cardigan and Water Resistant Jacket/Coat

6. One Bathing Suit – Reversible bathing suits allow you to mix and match. Choose one that has a neutral shade on one side so it can easily double up as a bra under your tops

7. One Bra – Neutral color that matches with all your tops. Nude tones recommended

8. One Sports Bra – If you plan on being active or have long transportation journeys

9. Five Pairs of Underwear – Quick dry, avoid 100% cotton or mesh

10. Two Pairs of Shoes – Should match all clothing and work for all activities

11. One Belt – Worn with pants and dress (if applicable) for practical style

12. One Item of Choice or Complete Jewelry Set – neutral colors and/or stones that add a pop of color and match with everything

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Alternate Packing List Combinations
3 Tops + 2 Bottoms + 1 Dress/Skirt (versatile, shown above)
4 Tops + 2 Bottoms (good for cold climates)
2 Dresses + 3 Tops + 1 Bottom (good varying climates)
2 Dresses + 2 Tops + 2 Bottoms (good for mild to warm climate)
6 Dresses (good for hot weather)

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If you want to pack light but need more than a handful of clothing items, check out the other Universal Packing Lists and to shop functional and stylish travel gear, check out the Travel Fashion Girl Shop.

To find out how you can mix and match these four pieces you can also check out our Minimalista Style-Mix for fun ideas to maximize your minimalist travel wardrobe!

Don’t forget to check out Diane Ballard’s interview – the backpacker who inspired the minimalist travel packing list! If you found this post helpful, please re-tweet and share. Thanks!

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