How to Travel the Vegan Road with Minimal Things

Travelling lightly can sometimes be tricky. Despite baggage weight restrictions, we can be tempted to haul around lots of stuff while we’re out there travelling the vegan road. It’s only February, and already we’re seeing a surge of influencers showing us how to live minimally. We’re being shown that by owning less stuff, we can find more joy in our lives and set meaningful intentions in order to achieve the goals we’ve been so desperate to achieve. All of this is possible without the heavy burden of stuff that weighs us all down.

When we set out on another journey, we leave our house and larger scale of belongings behind. We pack a backpack and travel to a far-flung destination with just a backpack on our backs. This, therein, lays the trap. It can be tempting to stuff our backpacks beyond busting, because we may be worried that we might not have enough to cover us for the trip. What if the weather changes? What if we go out for a nice dinner? Though, what if…we don’t take a lot of stuff?

Here are my tips that can help you to travel with minimal things.

Pack to 100% then cull back at least 50%

On my last trip overseas, I managed to pack my backpack so I achieved a weight of 9 kilograms. This is how I did it. Firstly, I bought a backpack that has a small capacity. I then chose items of clothing that I wanted to take that would meet the weather conditions of my destination. Items I chose were items that can be layered easily, should the weather change, be folded and packed as flat as possible, and items that could be washed and dried quickly. I laid my items on my bed, and then reduced the amount of items by 50%. The items that remained where then packed into my backpack.

Choose and pack a small toiletry bag

A toiletry bag is deceptive in the sense that it can be small yet weigh a lot. I have a small toiletry bag that contains the essentials only – toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, a small bottle of soap-wash, shampoo and roll-on deodorant, comb and sunscreen. I leave make-up, hair straightener and larger bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash at home. When I arrive at the destination, I avoid the temptation of using toiletries in the bathroom as these can end up in your toiletry bag. Plus, they may not be vegan anyway!

Take some items that can reduce those disposable things

It may seem contradictory to the theme of this blog post, but it’s a way to reduce your consumption of disposable things. Pack in your backpack with the bare essentials – one travel bowl, one spoon, one fork, one knife, one reusable straw, one water bottle and one travel cup. Then, you can use these items rather than adding to the disposable waste that tourism creates. This will reduce your impact on the local environment; reducing the amount of single-use plastic, coffee cups, water bottles and straws.

Invest in a community, not things

While we’re travelling, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation of buying souvenirs and items that are a fraction of the price back home. First and foremost, ask yourself: “Do I really need these things?” Rather than purchasing swags of souvenirs that may not have a function when you return home, ask how you can invest your dollars in a community. Can you visit a local restaurant to sample the local vegan food? Can you make a donation to a local charity that’s in line with your values?  Or, what about donating your time? Time is a currency, too. Can you offer your time to volunteer at an animal sanctuary? Can you assist at a local co-op? Can you teach English to local community members who are keen to expand their English skills?

So, how do you find ways to travel minimally? Do you have any secret tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!    

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