The Ultimate Packing Guide for Minimalists
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Everyone travelling abroad packs a little differently. There are two main groups of packers: The “less is more” type and the “it is better to pack more because you never know” type. In this article, we will be focusing on the packing style of the “less is more” type, otherwise known as minimalist packers. A minimalist is a person who intentionally lives with only the things you will need. As a minimalist, you choose to have and be surrounded by fewer material items. Of course, being a minimalist or being an over-packer will not impact your trip in any way. However, with baggage restrictions and heavy backpacks in mind, let’s talk about a few ways you can err on the side of minimalism.
If you want to learn how to pack lightly, keep reading and note the tips provided. Remember, everyone packs differently, so your minimalist packing might look different from another minimalist. It is all about your preferences and where and when you are travelling. This list is an example of what you can pack, but take it upon yourself to add or limit what you take. Most minimalists travel with a small roller suitcase, duffle bag, or large backpack to carry all their belongings. If you are ruthless, you shouldn’t need any more luggage for your trip.
Sound impossible! Read on for the ultimate packing guide for minimalist and light packing.
Read more: Why You Should Teach English Abroad in 2021
Before we begin, there are two essential rules you must keep in mind before packing:
- Pack culturally appropriate apparel
Before you start online shopping for new crop tops and ripped jeans, you need to research what is and isn’t culturally acceptable to the country. In Europe, it is customary to dress up for a formal or special occasion. We recommend packing an elegant ensemble for such an occasion. In the Middle East, you could disrespect the country’s culture by walking around with your arms and legs exposed. We recommend packing long sleeve shirts as well as long skirts or trousers. Every country has a different dress code that must be followed. The goal is to look like you belong until you start to fit in!
- Pack for the weather
Whether you are staying for a month or a year, you will need to plan your accessories and clothing items around the weather. Research the temperature of every month and note if the country has a history of heatwaves, rain, or snowy seasons. If so, please be sure to pack any necessary items fitted for those weather conditions. Check out our optional clothing for more ideas!
So, here we go: your essential travel packing list:
- Plane Ticket
- As well as any other transportation tickets
- Drivers Licence/ Identification Card
- Social Secretary Card (if you have)
- Medical Insurance Card
- Vaccine Card (if needed)
- List of Important Numbers
- Credit/Debit Card
- Tip: It is best to have a mix of both your currency and the foreign currency
- Tip: Check with your local bank or airport for a currency exchange
All documents listed above are necessary for you to travel and live successfully in a new country. The majority of these documents are small and can fit inside a wallet. Remember to keep your passport and “larger” documents together in fear of misplacing them. Many of these documents are harder to replace when you are not in your home country.
Ideally, you want soft copies as well as hard copies of these documents, in case you misplace them. Scan them before you leave and make sure you have access to them on your phone or laptop.
While we’re not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t wear, let’s talk about a few do’s and don’ts.
If you are going abroad to teach, find out what clothes are preferred for work. Some schools prefer women to wear skirts while some countries require long sleeves and covered shoulders. You might need gym sneakers or smart shoes, or a tie. Find out before you go so you at least have a few outfits for work as soon as you arrive.
Be smart. Depending on the country you are visiting, you may not need certain clothing items. For example, if you are travelling to Greece, you will not pack snow boots and a sweater. You are more likely to pack sandals and shorts. You will need to research your country’s climate and pack accordingly.
Pack items which are easily foldable and low maintenance. You don’t want to have to find an iron whenever you need a new outfit! Comfy clothes are usually a win, like leggings, jeans, shorts, t-shirts, dresses. Be sure to choose items which you can mix and match, so pack clothes which can be used in a number of different combinations.
Go for comfy (read: flat) shoes over heels! You’re likely to spend a lot of time on your feet. If you must, bring your fave pair of heels – but leave the rest of your shoe cupboard at home!
Accessories are a nice-to-have but not essential, so only pack if you have space. Again, there is no need to pack all your necklaces or earrings, so be picky about which you will wear the most often.
Remember, there will probably be markets or shops wherever you are going, so if find you are in need of a particular item, you can pop to a shop and buy a local version.
- Portable Charger
- Computer *optional*
- Tablet *optional*
- Camera *optional*
Due to limited space in your travel bag, you may or may not take your computer or tablet. You can go to an internet shop or a local library. But we highly recommend having some sort of laptop so you can fully enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle to the fullest.
When you are abroad, it is tempting to take hundreds of photos on your phone, and you quickly run out of storage. Consider travelling with a real camera! The images will have a professional quality, and you can give your phone a break. Remember to pack all smaller electronic accessories together to avoid misplacement.
A typical minimalist could pack soap, dental products, and hair washing products and call it a day. Other minimalists may need some more products. Depending on preference, you may not need all of these products. Again, if you desperately need something you’ll be able to find it wherever you are going. Besides, when your toothpaste runs out you’ll need to make a trip to the store anyway!
Ladies, it is a good idea (as always!) to pack sanitaryware – you never know what might be on offer where you are going and it might not be what you are used to.
Also, a basic medical kit is recommended, especially with nausea tablets, painkillers, diarrhea medication and sleeping pills. If you take any chronic medication, make sure you have enough of it to last or else ask your doctor for a prescription for when you need it.
Example of Toiletries Kit
- Sunscreen with high SPF
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Travel Size Tissues
- Travel Size Hand Sanitizer
- First Aid Kit
- Primarily: band aids, ointment, alcoholic wipes
- (Small) umbrella
- Reusable face mask
The items on this are entirely optional! If you have no room in your bag, these items can be bought at any pharmacy. However, depending on what country you are travelling to, these items may be more expensive than in your home country.
If you are packing to teach English abroad, then you also need to give some thought to what you might need in the classroom. Stationery can more than likely be bought when you arrive but it doesn’t hurt to take a pen and notebook for your first day. You might want to take a few personal belongings which might come in handy in the classroom, such as souvenirs from your country or photos, but try not to choose anh big items. Don’t worry about lugging any books around the world with you. Your school should provide you with everything you need and, if you have any resources you would like to take with you, there is sure to be a digital version of it which you can take instead.
These are our must-have items for the minimalist packer. Is there anything we’ve forgotten?
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LAST UPDATED: 27th August 2021
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Everything TEFL Ltd retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that Everything TEFL Ltd holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the Everything TEFL Ltd offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.