Minimalist Travel: European Spring Edition

Summer is here! Well, not officially, but we’ve been privy to some gorgeous weather and warm temperatures this side of the Atlantic.

View around Schloss Neuschwanstein
Frankfurt at sundown

I’m about a third of the way through a trip through Germany, the Benelux region, and Iceland. So far, I’ve explored Bavaria from München, visited the Rhine and Black Forest from Frankfurt, and am presently taking in the luxuriousness of Luxembourg city (it seems that every second car I see is a Porsche). After this, I’ll be exploring Belgium from Brussels (I am anticipating a day trip to Bruges), spending some time trekking about Amsterdam, and will finish up my exploration of continental Europe with a brief stint in Berlin. Then, it’s off to Iceland to meet up with friends for a road trip around the country!

Cruising along the Rhine
The Black Forest and Baden-Baden

I am travelling minimally and am LOVING it. I have a 20+4L bag from Vaude that is holding most of my essential (and non-essential) items; the remainder are in my Roots cross-body handbag.

When I bought the Vaude bag, I was regarded with much scepticism by the retailer. “Well, this would make a good daypack,” he said dubiously, “But you must certainly want a bag that’s at least 60L.”

I smiled politely and bought the bag anyways; after all, I’d be travelling in developed nations on this jaunt. If I really wanted for something, I reasoned, I could simply buy it there.

I am nearly two weeks into this adventure, and have wanted for nothing. I am by no means doing this spartanly – I have with me some heavier items (jeans, boots) and some luxury items (iPad, travel straightener, makeup) that I could likely do without. That said, they’ve improved my comfort and the quality of my trip immeasurably, so I think they’ve been worth having along.

This trip has covered temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius and will go as low as 0 degrees Celsius. With such a broad range of temperatures, I selected items that were easy to layer in cold environments but could be worn standalone in warm weather.

Without further ado, here is the official list:

Bags: Vaude 20+4L bag, Roots cross body handbag, money pouch

Clothes: Jeans, sweater (merino blend), long-sleeved shirt (merino), t-shirt (merino), leggings (merino), causal dress (merino), nicer dress, sock x4 (merino), underwear x4, sport’s bra, swimsuit.

Outerwear: Icebreaker MerinoLoft jacket, hat and gloves (merino), infinity scarf, sunglasses

Shoes: leather hiking boots, nice ballet flats

Toiletries: shampoo bar, conditioner bar, travel toothbrush and paste, hair brush with elastics, tweezer, face cream, hand cream, Chapstick, menstrual cup, cleansing face wipes, antiperspirant, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, gum

Makeup: concealer, foundation, powder, Naked Basics palette, eyeliner, sharpener

Medications: Tylenol, ibuprofen, band aids, NyQuil, throat lozenges, antibiotics, immodium, aloe vera

Electronics: iPad mini and keyboard case, iPhone, charger, electrical adaptor, travel straightener, headphones

Documentation and Cards: passport, medical insurance, driver’s license, Eurail pass, photocopies of all of the aforementioned, credit cards x2, debit card, money, health card’ printouts of all hotel and flight information, glasses prescription

Miscellaneous: journal, pens x2, the glasses on my face, jewelry.

What I’d do differently next time: I’ll switch out the sweater for a more versatile cardigan and will sub the flats for sandals. I will also do without the money pouch – I personally find these uncomfortable and am happy to take my chances with my handbag. 😉

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