On this trip to Amsterdam, I didn’t get a data/phone plan. Instead, I’m connecting to wifi from time to time and otherwise embracing an airplane mode vibe.
To prepare for a low-tech, slow travel trip, I …
- set up an email auto responder with an in case of emergency alternative email. As you may have guessed, my inbox doesn’t have many emergencies.
- decided to stay off almost all social media, but am sharing some travel pics on Instagram, mostly on Instagram Stories.
- committed to posting something here weekly. I know you probably wouldn’t miss me if I skipped a week or two, but I’ve been posting weekly since the beginning (almost nine years ago) and I don’t want to break my streak.
- am only reading fiction (nothing related to work or self-improvement).
- leave my phone on airplane mode, and use it mostly as a camera.
Creating these boundaries in advance help me stay focused on the people and places around me.
Here are few more things to help with your upcoming travels. Simple travel and packing is possible and the following travel tips and articles will help.
Travel Tips …
Instead of packing your itinerary with back to back activities, build in time to rest, get lost, or simply to see where the day takes you.
Live like a local.
Instead of a pricy hotel, find an apartment through Airbnb. While I usually rent an entire home, I have done some house sharing too. I’ve always had a great experience and love having a kitchen, washing machine, and staying in a neighborhood I like. It feels more like a home away from home.
Leave your F.O.M.O. at home.
If you try to squeeze too much in, nothing you do will be enough. Leave your F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) at home so you can fully appreciate the moments you experience.
Avoid hangriness (feeling angry/grumpy because you are hungry) by packing snacks and water.
Create a travel day uniform.
Assign one outfit for your travel days. Then you don’t have to think about what to wear on the plane, train or however you are traveling. No matter wear you are going, your travel uniform can be the same. I typically wear a black pair of leggings, short-sleeved shirt or tank, and black zip up sweatshirt with a scarf (on or in my tote bag). Even if I’m traveling to a warm destination, I know I’ll get cold on the plane.
Challenge yourself to only pack for half of your trip.
If you are going to be away for a week, ask yourself what you need for three or four days. Because most of us lean towards over-packing, you’ll still have more than enough.
Make a packing list.
List everything you bring with you, and then cross each thing off when you use it. At the end of the trip you’ll know you can leave anything home that wasn’t crossed off. Keep your list handy with details about where you went and what time of year, so the next time you take a similar trip, you’ll know exactly what to pack.
Create a travel capsule wardrobe.
Stick with similar colors, and instead of an aspirational wardrobe, pack clothes you will actually wear while traveling.
Pack simply and lightly.
Only pack what you can carry and don’t bring any “just-in-case” items. Use The Minimalist’s 20/20 rule.
Simple Travel and Packing Articles …
How to Pack (my best minimalist packing tips and resources)
16 Essential Tips for Traveling with a Family (from Leo at Zen Habits)
The Be More with Less Guide to Simple Travel
Slow Travel, Fast Kids and Making Counter Cultural Decisions (podcast with Brooke McAlary)
How to Land Your Plane: 8 ways to help you feel more grounded
Minimalist Travel: What’s in my Suitcase (from Francine at Miss Minimalist)
A Gentle Warrior’s Guide to Healthy Travel
I hope you have a great trip!