Minimalist Packing: Capsule Travel and Holiday Wardrobe

Since the arrival of cheap and cheerful flights, I can now travel abroad for less than I would pay for a train to Nottingham from York.

This does however mean that in order to bag the advertised cost, you need to be able to travel with just cabin baggage and not be fussy about your seat. I am happy to go with both of those requirements if it means I can hop over to Croatia for a weekend for £40.

Therefore over the last five years I have got very good at packing minimally with a capsule travel wardrobe to ensure that I have everything I need for a trip, without incurring extra baggage costs.

I have had quite a few people ask me what I pack for a short trip away (usually seven days or less) in my carry on, and therefore as I am imminently about to hop on a plane to go to Switzerland, I thought it was perfect timing for a post!

What I wear to fly (short to mid haul)

Black leggings or soft skinny jeans

Lightweight loose top

Knitted loose jumper


Flight socks – not worth the risk not to!

Slip on flat shoes

Glasses from Select Specs with Sunglasses in bag

Skagen Watch


Black handbag for essentials with a book

Travel documents holder with passport, insurance details and money




Destination guides or documents





In my case


Black cigarette trousers

Two knitted jumpers

White shorts

Black dress x 2

Blue dress

White dress

Three lightweight tops





Macbook Air

Purse with two pairs of earrings, two bracelets and necklace

Spare book – I read horrendously fast which is slightly annoying for travel






Makeup wipes








Eyebrow Pencil


And that’s it. It looks a whole lot more that I had expected when I write it down, but it all fits nicely and neatly into my travel-on case.

Obviously this list isn’t what some would define as super minimalist. However it’s the perfect collection of capsule things for me and my travels. I think if I went with less to wear I would find it harder to adapt to all situations. Likewise if I took less makeup or accessories, as fashion is something I am conscious about.

It also helps that I have themed my wardrobe and defined my own personal style so the majority of what I own is easily mixed and matched with each other.

What are your travel essentials? What can you never leave at home?








One thought on “Minimalist Packing: Capsule Travel and Holiday Wardrobe”

  1. I always have hold baggage. It’s the only way I can carry my Leatherman Wave. In my hold baggage I’ll have:
    Jeans, 2x pairs
    Trousers, 2x pairs
    Shorts, 2x pairs
    Cargo pants, 2x pairs
    Shirts, 5x
    Short-sleeved shirts, 5x
    T-Shirts, 5x
    Swimming togs
    Underpants and socks, 1 of each per day (usually 14x)
    Leatherman Wave
    Victorinox SwissChamp Swiss Army Knife.
    Toiletry pack, usually the one I got flying CX First back in the day. Electric razor, comb, shoe horn, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash.

    For the cabin, I’ll have my Karrimor Urban Rucksack, holding:
    iPad Air 2, with charger
    Universal Power Adapter
    Kindle Paperwhite, with charger
    Light waterproof jacket
    BioEars silicone gel earplugs
    Neck pillow


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