Question? What Is Minimum Amount of Clothing for Europe Traveler?
This is research for me, and sort of a game, but 100 percent real. I want to know how many shirts, pants, underwear, socks a person can get away with, what is the least? And, I am not going to wash my clothing in the shower, I may take just may Hobo Pro Travel Vest, Front Camera Bag, and other gear, and wing it. Thanks, Andy
The least would be 1. Then go to the local version paca/sari-sari/salvation army store and buy what you need once you get there. Without buying more maybe it would be 3 each, 1 to wear, 1 ready for tomorrow, and one wash/hang to dry. Without washing yourself maybe 5 each, since it could take 2-3 days to get clothes back from a laundry service (not all are open 7 days per week, not all have same or next day service). Add more pairs to extend time between laundry trips.
My husband and I just finished 33 days in Europe without sight of a laundry mat. We travel very light and also packed for a 1 week cruise ship of the Baltic Ocean. Beware! When you fly within Europe on cheaper airlines there are grave restrictions on bag weight and size so be prepared. Here is what my husband took and it weighed 8 kg and his bag fit the 55 cm length for carry on. 2 shirts: one dark gray, a tie for the cruise. A zip up the front wool sweater to act as a suit jacket. 1 windbreaker. 1 pants, thin material. 1 shorts/bathing suit. 2 shoes: light hiker, slip on for dressy. 3 socks: one white, 2 dark. 3 underwear. 1 T shirt. European men wear ankle socks or no socks in their shoes. They do not wear hats, not sunglasses perched on baseball caps. He washed his own clothes in the sink using Woolite packets. Roll in a towel. Take one plastic hanger.
25 years ago I spent an entire summer in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey with: 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of swimtrunks/shorts, 1 T-shirt, 1 short sleeve shirt with a collar, 2 pairs of underwear, and 2 pairs of socks. The pants were the kind that you can turn into shorts by zipping off the legs, although I almost never did that. I also had a pair of hiking boots and a rain jacket.
The underwear and socks were made of a quick drying material that would almost always be dry in the morning after I washed them in the hotel sink the previous evening. (The general aridness of the region probably aided that quick drying greatly.) I washed the shirts and pants the same way but less often.
Having such a small amount of clothing was a challenge because I didn't have much room for error, but it also meant that I could fit almost everything I carried into a small daypack, which let me be very mobile. Were I to go to Europe now, I'd probably take more, but not a lot more.
If you want to travel as a minimalist, every piece of clothing you have needs to be fast drying, comfortable, and excel at odor control. Forget cotton! It drys way too slow. Forget cheap synthetic materials too. They cling to odors, even after washing. Some modern synthetic or synthetic blends have anti-odor technology. Anything with odor control would work reasonably well for your needs as a minimalist traveler. The absolute best material, in my experience, for fast drying, comfortable, odor control is merino wool. Unfortunately merino wool is expensive and not always the most durable option.
I would pack 1 pair of pants, 1 long sleeve T-shirt, 1 short sleeve T-shirt, 1 collard shirt, 3 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, (1 pair of shorts if in hot climate). This would be in addition to what ever I was wearing on the plane.
I am very good at finding washing machines, dryers, I only wash clothing in sinks in Africa, only because there are no washing machines, and dryers. I will be having mostly 100 percent cotton clothing, and will not be washing clothes in a sink, therefore I do not care about fast drying except for my shower towel, that is also 100 percent cotton, but thin. I am not on vacation, I will be gone for up to 6 months this time, and will buy clothing along the way. I am mostly trying to avoid baggage fees for airplanes, and walking 5 miles with too much weight. I can find laundries that do all my clothing in one day, or two hours normally in Europe. There is why to everything, I enjoy 100 percent cotton clothing, and made the decision years ago to wear clothing I enjoy wearing. I also do not buy clothing that I would ever call expensive, because I may wish to throw it away, I buy mostly at the salvation army, charity places, I throw away close to 75 percent of the clothing i purchase, because they are not super comfortable. I wish to be fashionable, as much as possible. I suppose I am wanting to know why more, and what motivates more, and how people wash their clothes, I carry a bucket normally to wash clothes in, but on this trip not. I also would like to know from a civilized point of view how long people wear clothing, I meet a lot of people who wash clothing in rooms. It was quite funny for Mom Graham and I met one in Lake Atitlan, as he told us how he washed his shirts, it was funny, to say the least what she said after he left the table. I have been traveling for 20 plus years, and most climates, this is not my first day, and I also do not live in the USA, this is not really travel, it is living while moving. I am a person who can leave and never return home, I never know when I will be back in Orland, Indiana, or when I can buy anything, 98 percent of my shirts are purchased in Charity type place, called "Pacas" here in Guatemala, Salvation Army in the USA, and I love buying from them, because I never waste money, I get a super value for the amount of money spent. I wear happy, and colorful clothing, life is how I feel. Again, I am out for a long time, I am not on vacation, these are clothes I live in, moving while living.