Did you know that couples who travel together have healthier and happier relationships? That’s if you believe a survey by the U.S. Travel Association. It seems that these new experiences keep things fresh, improving both communication and sex lives. It is also a chance to strip back, forgoing material possessions and focusing on the things that really matter, like adventure and remarkable experiences. To make the most out of your trip, consider adopting a minimalist approach.

As a couple, there are a few tricks you can try to keep your packing load down, allowing you to be more efficient and move freely. Consider trying a one bag travel lifestyle. If you only have one backpack, you only have to carry it half the time, so you’ll feel less tired and will be able to achieve more. Becoming a minimalist traveling couple could be the best thing you do for your vacation and your relationship.

The One Bag Rule is Per Trip, Not Per Person

When people think of one bag travel, they usually associate it with one bag per traveler. However, why not be more ambitious? Couples should aim to fit everything into a single backpack, and you should even try doing this if you are bringing the kids on future vacations. Having a definite and specific goal to aim for helps you to take only the essentials, making overpacking impossible.

The Role of Packing Cubes

When can adding another item free up space? When it’s a packing cube. When looking for ways to get organized, packing cubes will change your life. You can fit more in, and then, if you have something well made, you’ll be able to zip it up, compressing your clothes as tightly as possible.

Furthermore, it allows for separation. His and Hers packing cubes (or any other combination of gender) will make it easy to pack everything into one bag and still quickly find what you need. It also ensures that everyone knows their space limit and doesn’t overpack.

Learn to Share

Couples who pack together, stay together, so make sure you are working from the same list and not doubling up on items. Toiletries like shampoo, toothpaste, and shower gel only need to be packed once in a single washbag and can be used by both of you. If you are worried about running out, consider whether you can buy more while on the road, rather than bringing extra. The fewer items you bring, the better for travel time management. As a couple, you will likely share a bathroom anyway, so why not share grooming products where possible?

Try to apply this as much as possible, such as with electronics. Maybe you need a laptop to keep on top of some work here and there, but do you both need one? Consider bringing a universal travel adapter with multiple USB sockets, so that you can charge all your devices from the same item. Clothing, unless you’re a same-sex couple, might be trickier, but the most hardcore minimalists should see if there are any clothing items you can share to save space in the bag and time spent dividing clothes in the morning.

Invest in Travel Clothes

Most clothes are not designed for travel. They don’t pack up small, remain crease free, or wick away odor-producing sweat. Dedicated travel gear does all this, and it will change everything. From super warm, yet unbelievably thin, thermal jackets to merino wool socks, this gear keeps your packing down to a minimum. When you have underwear that doesn’t pick up smells and can be hand washed and dried within a few hours, then anything more than one spare pair is just a luxury.

It might seem expensive when you first look into this hi-tech clothing but consider the fact that you can buy one to do the job of several regular clothing items. These clothes are designed to look great as well, so you can come straight off the hiking trail and into an inner-city restaurant, without looking out of place. If traveling to a cold location, remember that a thin thermal base layer will do the job of a thicker outer layer, but take up a fraction of the space in your backpack.

It’ll take planning and maybe even a few disputes about whether she really needs that gadget or he definitely needs so many evening shirts. Ultimately though, minimalist packing as a couple is good for your trip and good for building communication skills. Learn to let go of unnecessary possessions, while packing efficiently so that you never feel like you don’t have everything you need. In the end, you will learn to work together towards the common goal of adventure and freedom.

Written by Thom Brown