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PLANNING AN UPCOMING TRIP BUT DON'T KNOW WHAT TO PACK? STRESSING ABOUT WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU ON YOUR UPCOMING CENTRAL AMERICA ADVENTURES? DON'T WORRY - THIS MINIMALIST PACKING GUIDE HAS YOU COVERED.
Packing might be one of the most stressful parts of going on a trip. With so many questions - do I bring this shirt or that one? Will I need 3 pairs of shoes or 4? - it can truly be overwhelming deciding on what to bring for your next adventure.
Don't worry, I've been there.
Luckily, I have gotten into the mindset that if you pack with a minimalist mindset you can usually get away with a lot less stuff, which may not only save you some money (checked bag fees are kind of ridiculous), but it will also likely save you some stress - especially on those long travel days.
But what do I mean by a minimalist mindset? Well, basically it means you only pack items that can be a) worn with almost everything else you bring and b) are hardy and versatile enough to be worn in many different landscapes and situations. In this case, I was focused on minimally packing for a 2.5 week trip to sunny, tropical Guatemala.
While the packing list below was tailored towards that specific trip, it could easily be followed for many other short(ish) adventures. Really what it comes down to is packing items that you will actually want to wear, can wear in many different situations, and will hold up to many days of traveling.
In short: find strong basics that work, and run with it.
If this sounds like something you could be interested in, then keep reading for my Minimalist Packing Guide below.
TIPS FOR MINIMALIST PACKING
1 | Consider following the 54321 Packing Rule: you can make 5 good outfits from 4 tops, 3 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shoes and 1 dress (if you are a female).
I sort of followed this rule but added just a few extra pieces since I was planning to be in Guatemala for 2.5 weeks. In the end, I brought 7 shirts (including 2 for activities like hiking and running), 5 pairs of pants (including tights), 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 dress.
2 | Know what activities you are going to do and plan accordingly: this seems simple enough but honestly having even a basic outline of what you are going to do during your trip will really help you narrow down what you need to bring.
For me, I knew my trip would mostly be spent in Antigua and Lake Atitlan and there would be one big outdoor adventure: hiking Acatenango. So I made sure to bring shoes I could wear up the mountain (my trail running shoes) and a set of warmer active clothing for the one night up on the volcano (I packed my trusty Mammut jacket and a pair of tights).
Likewise, because I had no plans to make it to the coast (unfortunately) I only packed one swimsuit - which was enough even during my time at Lake Atitlan and in Semuc Champey.
READ MORE | THE PERFECT GUATEMALA TRAVEL ITINERARY
WHAT I PACKED | CLOTHING & TOILETRIES
| 1 thicker jacket (Mammut), this came in so handy for nights out on the town (it gets surprisingly cold in Antigua at night) and for hiking adventures (like up Acatenango Volcano)
| 1 button-up shirt: great for sun protection and to wear when it isn’t too cold but also not too hot outside
| 1 long-sleeved sun shirt: great for hiking and outdoor activities, fast-drying when wet
| 1 short-sleeved active shirt
| 2 t-shirts (both had to be soft and nice): made sure that they were in colors that didn’t clash with anything else that I brought
| 2 cute tops: for when I was feeling fancy
| 1 pair of jeans
| 1 pair of tights: which I also wore as PJs in the dorm room and during the hike up Acatenango
| 2 pairs of nicer shorts: comfortable but still a bit classier than my running shorts
| 1 pair of active shorts: never leave home without one pair of comfortable active shorts
| 1 short flowy dress
| 1 swimsuit
| 8 pairs of underwear
| 2 pairs of socks: one shorter pair for running/walking around town and one thicker pair for hiking
| 1 set of Teva sandals (like these): I absolutely love my Teva's for days out on the town and when partaking in water activities (like visiting Semuc Champey)
| 1 set of running/hiking shoes: I brought along my trusty Altra running shoes and they handled everything really well
| 1 sports bra
| 2 regular bras, including one that could also work as a tank top