Travel Like A Minimalist: How To Never Overpack Again

Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
I love packing, almost to the point where I anticipate it more than what I'm actually packing for. Even during road trips as a kid, I was the one who made sure that my pocket checkers set, sketchbook, and Walkman were tucked into my Ninja Turtles backpack and not in my duffle (which housed the five-or-so outfits I had picked out two weeks prior). These days, I've refocused my (debatably) obsessive planning to making sure I never, ever have to check in luggage, because if there's anything I hate as much as I love packing, it's having to deal with luggage. Two and a half weeks in China sightseeing and attending a family wedding? Just me and my carry-on. Ten days winding through the Cote d'Azur attending both ridic-fancy dinners and hiking trips? One. Carry-on. Only. Fashion Week in Europe in February? You guessed it.
But, my coworker, Gina, on the other hand, is an overpacker. Short weekend trips require rolling suitcases and anything longer than a week anywhere calls for a fleet of luggage. But, like me, she hates all the baggage that baggage comes with. Says Gina: "Despite my best packing intensions, I am often that girl wheeling a suitcase that's at least half my size, running through the airport, holding up the lines because my boarding pass has now suddenly fallen into the abyss of my oversized tote. Plus, because I pack so much, any trip that's more than four days, I always check my bag...and then get anxious it'll get lost in transit." So, to make sure she's spending her upcoming vacation actually enjoying her time traveling through Italy and not frazzled trying to keep tabs on her stuff, I offered to give her overstuffed suitcase a minimalist's makeover. Click through to see how we fit it all in a carry-on (with room to spare!)

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