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What I'm Packing For 6 weeks Abroad As A Zero-Waste Minimalist

Hey guys!

So if you're reading this right now it probably means you're curious to see how to pack more minimally or you're just interested in seeing what I'm packing for my 6 weeks in Rome!

Long story short, I've been packing my entire life (moved a lot) and I never really learned how to do it properly. It wasn't until I discovered the Zero-Waste Movement that I changed all my ways and accepted the fact that I had a problem... too much stuff! Now, I carefully decide what I can live without and pack the bare minimum. Kind of.

So, to clarify, I'll be going to Rome on May 23 for study abroad! I'll be living in a small apartment with 6 other girls and I'll have access to a washing machine, bless. I'll be traveling around Italy and Europe during the weekends and will basically be spending all my time outdoors. Everything pictured below is going into a small carry-on suit case that I'll actually be checking in, except for my purse and backpack which I will take on the plane with me, and the white vans which I'll be wearing on the plane. So this is what I'm packing for my trip as a zero-waster and minimalist!

So here is a picture of everything I'm bringing on my trip except for the pants, shirt and sweater I'll be wearing on the plane.

From left to right, starting from the top are:

-2 packing cubes for clothes

-Bag with underwear/socks

-Produce bags and reusable bags on top


-Water shoes

-Mason jar/castile bar soap/grater to make laundry powder (recipe under DIY products on our blog)

-Pouch with sunscreen, perfume, hair ties and hair clamps

-Journal/sketchbook for class & pens

-Kanken backpack

-Purse (Madewell)

-Vans and water proof bag underneath (for wet swim suit)

-Cosmetic/toiletry bag

Here's a more in depth description of ​what is inside all the bags.

So at the top of the photo are 2 packing cubes. I got these for my birthday a few years ago and I absolutely love them! They keep all my clothes nice and compact and are a great way to organize my suitcase. Here's what's inside:

-4 linen pants

-1 pair of loose jeans

-2 shorts

-1 romper

-Jean jacket

-Light cardigan

-5 tank tops

-4 loose/flowy shirts



Seems like a lot for a minimalist, I know. I actually had a really hard time choosing my wardbrobe for this trip. I considered packing less and maybe buying some new clothes when I got there, but that defeats the purpose of minimal living and I've been a lot more careful of where I shop recently and recognizing fast fashion. But that's an entirely different subject that we can write another blog post for later.

Anyways, I have enough clothes and don't want to add any more to my wardrobe (attempting the whole capsule wardrobe thing) which is basically a wardrobe that consists of a few pieces of good quality clothing that you wear over and over again. A lot harder than it sounds but very doable.

Now to my backpack. I decided to bring my backpack on the plane with me so I could carry my valuables such as my camera and laptop and other things that I don't want weighing down my purse. I got this backpack for my birthday this May from my awesome mom and it's made of 100% recycled polyester. It's also very durable and great for travel. The thick fabric also makes it hard to cut open (thieves in Europe will often cut into purses/backpacks without people even noticing. Happened to my aunt).

Inside I have, from left to right:


-Fan (bought in Spain a few years ago)

-Container for plane snack that I'm reusing

-Homemade chapstick (recipe on our DIY products page)

-Floss (Dental Lace)

-Sun glasses

-Tooth powder (Urban Oreganics)


-Travel coffee cup (Klean Kanteen)

-Toothbrush/bamboo travel case (Brush with Bamboo)

-Glass straws (Amazon)

Next is my purse!

Since I'll be putting my purse under the seat in front of me on the plane and my backpack in the overhead bin, I made sure to pack it with the things I know I'll be using throughout the flight.

Here's what's inside:

-Watercolor travel journal + watercolors and pen/pencil

-Pleasure reading

-Striped pouch with my phone charger, portable charger, headphones, and adapter

-Warm socks

-Eye glasses

-Bamboo travel cutlery

-Black rag/chapstick/hair clamp

-Reusable water bottle (Hydro Flask)

-Reusable bag (Chico Bag)

-Wallet (Madewell)


I got the little blue pouch from Numon. They're a company that makes bags made from recycled textiles! They're based near Barcelona, Spain, so I had one delivered to my aunt who lives in Valencia, Spain and she brought it to me when she came to visit.

And lastly is my cosmetic/toiletry pouch. As an aspiring minimalist I

am only bringing what I regularly use for my skin routine. It's gonna look like a lot of stuff but I'm cutting my-self some slack on this one since I was able to pack it all into a single pouch. I also put a little description next to each product listed which will hopefully be more helpful than too much information, haha.

From left to right:

-Face wash bar from Desert Essence (I reused the container from Moon Valley Organics)

-Foundation in glass (Elate Clean Cosmetics)

-Olive oil for make-up remover in amber bottle (bought in bulk)

-Liquid castile soap to clean my reusable cotton rounds in amber bottle (bought in bulk)

-Bar soap for hands/body (inside tin Lush container)

-Metal eyelash curler

-Witch hazel toner in amber bottle (bought in bulk)

-Facial repair serum for the pm in glass (cocokind)

-Chia face oil for the am in glass (cocokind)

-Brow Balm in bamboo (Elate Clean Cosmetics)

-NYX mousse eyeliner in glass (I've had this for years but actually use a little bit on my eyebrows)

-Face powder in bamboo case (Elate Cosmetics) I don't actually use powder that often but I'm brining it because it has a little mirror inside that may come in handy since there will probably only be 1 bathroom in my small apartment that I'll be sharing with 6 girls who all wear makeup.

-Homemade deodorant in reused glass container from 'Meow Meow Tweet' (Deodorant recipe under DIY Products tab on our blog)

-Face mask powder in glass (Urban Oreganics)

-Dry shampoo in glass vile (recipe under DIY products on our blog)

-Powder brush (Eco Tools)

-Foundation brush (Eco Tools)

-Eyebrow brushes (not pictured but also from Eco Tools)


-Tea Tree essential oil in glass roll-on vile


-Nail scissors

-Tweezers/eyebrow tool

-Organic reusable cotton rounds (not pictured)

So, as you may have noticed, I don't make all of my products. I try to buy from sustainable companies and I've had a lot of luck with some of them. With others, not so much. Unfortunately, I still haven't found a sustainable mascara or eyeliner that works well. I tried Elate Clean Cosmetics mascara and eyeliner and both smudged really easily. By the end of the day I'd have black smudges under my eyes. Their eyeliner and mascara also come in little bamboo tubes which are actually just covering the plastic ones inside like a case, so kind of seems like a waste of resources for a sustainable company.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. I'll probably end up buying shampoo and conditioner once I arrive in Rome. Unfortunately I haven't found a shampoo bar that is affective and affordable. I've tried Lush shampoo and conditioner bars, which are effective, but I don't really feel like spending $20+ on 2 bars every month (I have long hair, so it doesn't last). I've been buying my shampoo and conditioner in bulk at home from my local co-op lately but I may have to settle for plastic packaged ones for Rome, or get really lucky and find some amazing affordable bars. So wish me luck!

Anyways, I leave tomorrow afternoon so now I have to go put all my stuff back into my suit case!! I hope this inspired some of you to pack less and more sustainably!

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