Semi-minimalist travel

If you’ve ever been the person lugging three bags through Europe from plane to train to automobile, you’ll understand why I wanted to do this trip as a semi-minimalist undertaking. But, that’s not my typical mode of transit.


Returning from the United States on a typical work trip.

Living in the Middle East, I’ve become accustomed to traveling with luggage. Between Platinum-level frequent flier status on Qatar Airways and an abundant amount of Business Class travel, I routinely return with 3 checked bags (70 lbs each), a wheeled carry-on and a shoulder bag.

So, I had to figure out how to survive for seven weeks, with a wheeled carry-on and a small backpack. Normally, I’d say that would require some serious planning… and it should have. But, as I suggested in a previous post, I didn’t have time to really think things through. But, it’s Europe — not the most rugged of destinations. If I forget something major, I’m sure I can buy it.

After reading up on minimalist travel (not for me, thank you), I needed a compromise between the lifestyle that requires you to turn your underwear inside out and the one that permits me to travel with an entourage of porters.

So, what’s semi-minimalist travel?

Semi-minimalist travel will allow me to easily move about Europe — hopping cheap flights on budget airlines without breaking the bank or taking the train from one city to another without breaking my back. It also allows me some of the creature comforts I need to feel at home:

But, it requires that I forgo things I’d normally pack if I had an entourage. That’s right. For the next seven weeks, I’m traveling without:

  • Make-up (pretty sure I heard angels sign when I typed that)
  • A hair dryer, curling iron or hair straightener
  • My beloved Bose noise-canceling headphones (I packed the in-ear version)
  • Travel-size memory foam contour pillow
  • Grid Foam Roller
  • My usual third, fourth and fifth pairs of shoes
  • Crossword puzzle and Sudoku (I’m told these exist digitally now)

We will see how this goes. In another post, I’ll go over what I did bring along for the trip (with photos).

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American expat. University professor. World traveller. Dog lover. Eating and drinking my way through the Balkans for 7 weeks.

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