Travel Technology

How to Travel without Luggage

travel without luggage

Some friends of mine are talking about this article on minimalist packing. I’m somewhat obsessed with this subject. Every time I take a trip I feel like I’m carrying around too much stuff. Ideally I want to travel without any luggage. But I’m also pretty attached to clean clothes. So I’m constantly looking for ways to optimize and reduce my packing.

In this article Gillian talks about traveling with just a purse. And then she posts a picture of all the stuff she carries, including extra shoes. I have to admit I stopped reading at that point. It’s not a purse if it fits shoes and all that other stuff! I’ve written about my current favorite luggage, it’s a medium sized (25 L) daypack. And I’m confident Gillian’s stuff would fit in there, but it’s a lot bigger than a purse. At least it’s a lot bigger than what I’d call a purse. Nonetheless her bag is smaller than mine, and she seems to be carrying less clothing overall (except the extra shoes). So part of my defensiveness about her “purse” is probably just jealousy.

It’s a backpack and a large purse in one

My friends pointed out some really good stuff in Gillian’s post, so I went back and read through it. I did get some new ideas:

Wear clothes more than once

She wears the same clothes for multiple days (except underwear). But nothing is cotton. I wear my clothes for multiple days too, but I haven’t found much non-cotton that I like. My underwear and socks and workout clothes are all non-cotton. But shirts and pants are a struggle for me. I need to put more time into shopping for these things. I can’t wear wool (makes me itchy) so options that are versatile and look nice are limited.

Tooth powder instead of toothpaste

A brilliant idea. I hate buying those little toothpaste tubes. It’s a waste of packaging and not enough toothpaste to last more than a week or two. I’ve ordered some powder to try this out.

Dry shampoo to keep clothes smelling fresh

I really like showers so I’m not giving up washing my hair in water. But clothes washed in the sink don’t always come out smelling as fresh as I’d like. I’m going to try this idea too.

My packing looks a lot like Gillian’s in many other respects. Well, except that we have different styles. Things like a small lock, a flashlight, and a little tote bag are staples in my travel bag too. I’m always looking for new tips and tricks to travel light.


  • Traveling with heavy stuff is so much hectic and boring. As you have discussed here above in this blog to smartly manage your stuff in a backpack rather than a big massive suitcase. It definitely makes your journey comfortable and happier. Very good tips you have shared here for the guidance of people who love to travel.

  • I’m always reading up on minimalist packing too so thanks for this post! I gleaned some good tips from Gillian’s post and found her round backpack to be a novel way to carry all her stuff and not look like a tourist. Time to go through my packing list again.