How to pack light when traveling as a digital nomad

Pack light as digital nomad

If you’re thinking of diving into the world of nomadism and starting your journey with working and traveling, we have some news. Unfortunately, the first thing you’ll learn is that you have to say goodbye to material things you own.

If you’re frequently traveling and staying somewhere for a month or two, it’s not convenient to bring along all your clothes and material possessions.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to pack light and how to have all you need in one place. We will teach you some tips on how to travel without spending money and energy on carrying enormous amounts of luggage or buying all that you’re missing „when you’re there.“

Best clothes for traveling light

The best tip for packing your clothes is to plan 5-10 outfits upfront. Of course, the key thing is to pick clothing pieces that can mix and match with many other clothes.

👕 For example, pack a basic t-shirt that goes great with jeans but that can also be a base layer below your clothes or go with a skirt or sweats.

👖🩳 Pack 2-3 bottoms, one casual, one semi-casual, and one formal-ish. For example, you can pack sweats, jeans, and a skirt or trousers. If you’re traveling in the summer, then shorts, light long pants, and casual/sports shorts.

👚👔 Pack 4 tops that can mix and match – 2-3 t-shirts, a shirt, two sweaters, or sweatshirts (depending on your style). Again, if there’s no need for sweaters, some light sweatshirt or a long-sleeve shirt will do.

🥼 Try to pack only one overcoat, like a suit top, cardigan, or a shirt that can go both casual and formal. It all depends on your style, but you should pick pieces that can mix with at least two other outfits.

👟👡 When it comes to shoes, if you can, bring only two pairs of shoes + sleepers or flip-flops for inside. Two shoe types can differ in warmth or formality. If you think you have universal shoes that go with everything, it’s okay to bring only those.

Another rule to follow is to wear all the bulky items when traveling and leave the light clothes for packing. If you’re not traveling in summer, layering is a great way to save space.

What cosmetics to pack when traveling lightly

If you’re doing makeup, pack only the essentials. One to two things for your face, one for your eyes and brows, and one or two things for your lips. One smaller eye shadow palette is more than enough to stay creative but pack light.

Other than makeup, bring only essentials that are expensive to buy again. Those can be face or acne creams that you cannot go without, but that you typically renew only a few times a year.

You should invest in travel-size packaging and take your stuff like that. For example, these traveling containers from Amazon can come in handy.

If you click this link and make a purchase, as an Amazon Associates we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Other things like shampoos, toothpaste, showering gel, etc., you should either buy at your destination or bring in solid form. Solid shampoos last longer and help save space, and reduce plastic use so they’re often the “eco” option so it’s a win-win. You can find these on Amazon or your local pharmacy.

Doing laundry on the road

If you decide to wash your clothes on your trip, you will see that it will save you so much space when packing. To make this happen, try finding accommodation with a washing machine or one close to a local washing place.

Self-service washing places

Washing places in Europe charge from 2-4 euros per load and another 1-3 euros for using the dryer. However, even the smallest load in these places fits a lot of things so you can wash all your clothes with one load.

Public laundry rooms in Europe
Self-service laundry room

If you’re using these self-service washing places, they will have washing powder included, so you don’t need to buy one. If you’ll use a washing machine at your accommodation, you can buy washing powder for as cheap as 2 euros that can last for a few weeks. There are also many options of solid washing powders that come in small blocks that can be super easy to carry through the airport.

Try to fit all your electronics in one place

Depending on your job or hobbies, you will have some essential electronics that you’ll need to take with you. And I’m not talking about hair dryers and curling irons here – these are not essentials if you’re traveling light. The key to traveling light is to pick your accommodation in a way that you will have all the stuff you need there.

But, when it comes to essential electronics, we’re talking about your laptop, phone, chargers, cameras, etc.

A tip is to try to fit all of these into the laptop carrier or in one compartment of your suitcase instead of having a separate case for every piece of electronics. There are some great compartments for organizing the electronics that you can buy on Amazon.

However, maybe the best thing is to go for a backpack as an all-in-one solution.

Our advice is to choose a backpack that can cover both traveling and daily working needs. That way you don’t need to pack an additional one, which can save you a lot of space in your suitcase.

In the end, if you need more space, you can always combine the two and separate the backpack with organizing cubes, thus allowing yourself a better-organized space.

Bring energy bars instead of potato chips and other snacks to save space.

If you’re bringing food to your travels, it’s best to buy energy bars or other protein and energy foods that will not take much space but will also keep you going longer.

Chips and other similar snacks will not help you fulfill hunger nor give you energy and will take too much of your space.

Stick to a packing list

This one seems obvious but is very important. Write a strict list of the things you’ll be carrying and stick to it. When you’re not following a list, you’ll put a lot of things you don’t need but found while packing.

If you brainstorm and find out you need only three shirts, stick to it and do not bring the 4th one with you.

Use packing cubes

Packing/organizing cubes like these from Amazon are a smart thing to invest in, especially if you’re carrying a suitcase.

Organizing your clothes in one place, cosmetics in another, and electronics in third, really helps you think about the essentials.

It’s great to have 5-6 packing cubes that you designated to specific categories and stick to those categories. If you already filled out the packing cubes you meant for clothing, don’t pack your clothes anywhere else.

If something can’t fit into the cubes, leave it, or swap it with another piece. This will help you stay on track.

Another great product to invest in are compression packing cubes. Packing your clothes in compression compartments is life-saving and will allow you to bring much more things. There are plenty of options on Amazon for this, too.

We hope these tips will help you pack lighter and be more organized. Remember, living lighter is rewarding and will make your life simpler and more stress-free.

Travel safe!

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