Minimalist Travel Must-Haves

I’m a  minimalist.  I don’t buy things.  I don’t want you to buy things.

 –                    But.

After reviewing my entire packing list, here  are five things I think will markedly improve  your travel life:

Cocoon Silk Liner

Perfect in gross  accommodation where  bedding probably hasn’t been washed – recently or ever. Some swear bed bugs can’t get through the silk.  It’s spacious, cool when you’re hot, warms you up in the cold, dries quickly if you wash it on the go, and doubles as a beach blanket!  

Get the blue one!

Collapsible Water Bottle

If you’re about to enter the land of unsafe tap-water, you will need to drink water out of a bottle.  This saves  $ and dozens of one-time-use plastic bottles.  Also enables buying water in large quantities, then packing along the amount you need that day.

Takes up zero space when not in use,  unlike roll-up or regular water bottles.  No push-pull cap (which quickly become disgusting and leak easily)! Slides into the seat-back pocket on planes.  Saves $ on budget flights charging for water. The Platypus brand hasn’t let me down. I also love that the bottle is clear so I can see how much water I’ve got left.

Travel Towel

Bottom line: I have yet to find one that doesn’t end up reeking  (when wet), but it’s excellent  to have a towel when  linens aren’t included in accommodation.

Forget about using a  sarong or t-shirt. The quick-drying towel material is  worth it. Trucking around wet cotton  is cumbersome and often mildewy.  Save space with  a medium if you’re around my size (170cm, 63kg), large if you’re bigger or uber modest.

Sea to Summit is great.

Extra Long Charging  Cable

In hostel after hostel, room after room, you’ll  be  longing for a longer cable.

Common cables will almost reach from an outlet to your bed. (You know, the place where you’re going to be right before your 5 a.m. budget flight?)   This 16ft Android cable DOES reach!  It’s braided sheath means it doesn’t get tangled, banged up, or easily damaged.  It’s easy to spot among all the other cables you have.

If you’re an Apple baby, this 10 ft. cord offers the same.

Travel Vest

If you’re following the excellent advice to take a pack no larger than the Osprey Farpoint 40L, you’ll need a solution for the increasing tyranny of budget airlines.  Size has long been a carry-on deal-breaker.  Many budget airlines are  now incredibly pedantic about weight.    The solution?  A travel vest.

All the stuff one brings on an RTW trip usually weighs over 10 kilos (some budget airline carry-on limits are 7 kg!  15 pounds!).  To avoid the cost, time, and hassle of repeatedly checking your bag, put heavy items like electronics, lights, locks, etc., into a travel vest and wear them on the plane.  Last-minute, didn’t-know-I-was-overweight, bag  checking  fees are a major cash cow for airlines.  You’ll get your money back in three to five  uses of this high quality vest.  This Ex-Officio Vest is my second choice.

Reader beware: If you buy any of these items within 24 hours of clicking on the images above, Amazon will give me some beer money.*

*I cannot actually guarantee I will spend the money on beer.  I might  pay for this website’s hosting instead.

And here’s the stuff lawyers say I have to say:
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