How to Travel Lightly + What I Brought to Argentina
Argentiiiiiina! Our dream of visiting this country — specifically Patagonia — came true, thanks entirely to our whirlwind experience on The Price is Right last spring. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this & this). We returned home a month ago and have missed it ever since.
We are already planning our next adventure in March. (To this gorgeous place.) And the most fun thing about traveling to a new place is the packing list! Okay, so maybe not the most fun. But I do like it.
Packing lightly is something of an art, and it’s an art I have gotten better and better at during our last few trips. As I look back on what I brought to Argentina, and look forward to what I’ll bring on our next trip, I follow a few guidelines for traveling lightly:
Be real about the things I will actually use (not just intend to use)
Do you like the idea of lying by the pool with a bunch of great books but know you’ll actually just listen to music on your phone? Ditch the weight or bring your eReader. Will you actually need several nice tops on your camping trip? Embrace the dri-fit. You can usually get away with one or two pairs of shoes (we love Chacos for this reason). And if you’re staying at a hotel, they probably have most of the toiletries that you need. It’s crazy how much more people lug around than they really have to.
Think neutral clothing
Most of my clothing is neutral anyway, but during trips, I really try to focus on items that will be multi-dimensional. Denim + white + black is a good formula. To keep it interesting, I like to throw in a lightweight more exciting colorful top.
Pack bags in bags in bags
Inside my biggest backpack, I also throw in a small, packable daypack, a packable tote bag, a few Walmart bags, ziplock bags, and a small purse. Then, for any situation we find ourselves in (going to the beach, touring around the city, hiking), we have the right bag!
Travel lighter (literally)
This might seem obvious, but most things can be made smaller or lighter. Always carry mini toiletries. I carry a small contact lens case for items like concealer and face moisturizer. A few cleansing wipes can be removed from the packaging and put into ziplock bags. Instead of lugging around books, I load several library books on my Kindle. Most of our travel information can be saved on our phones.
What I brought for two weeks in Argentina:
We packed everything we needed into our two 22L Camelbak daypacks. I had plenty of clothing options to wear each day, and since our hotel in Bariloche had laundry facilities for guests, we had even more than we needed.
We spent one week in Buenos Aires (~85 degrees) touring the city and kayaking, and one week in Bariloche (~65 degrees) hiking and scenic driving.
*Ish. My clothes are different brands and sometimes colors, but this gives you a good idea:
- jean shorts
- 1 pair black gym shorts
- 2 pairs black workout tights
- 2 sundresses
- 2 dressier tops
- 3 casual tops
- 1 black sweater
- 1 flannel shirt
- rain jacket
- hiking boots
- underwear + bras
- mesh clothing bag
Technology & Entertainment
- phone + charger
- Virb + charger + selfie stick
- Kindle + charger
- portable battery pack
- Garmin watch + charger
- small cross-body purse
- passport & ID
- cash & credit card
- laundry detergent
- toiletries & makeup
- Qalo ring
- small notebook & pen
- packable daypack
- packable tote bag
- empty water bottle
- mini hair straightener / curler
- plane snacks
This was all I needed for two weeks in Argentina!
Stay tuned for another packing list — this time, for Belize! I’m thinking swimsuits and gym shorts and not much else… can’t wait!