16 In Sustainable Living

Efficient Minimalist Packing List: 4 Days in Madrid

Last Updated on January 15, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow

So I haven’t been traveling in a minute, but I’m finally off on another trip tomorrow. I’m going back to Madrid which is one of my favorite cities in the world. And since I haven’t posted a minimalist packing list yet I thought I’d take this opportunity to show you what I’ll pack for four nights in Madrid. (Check out my vegan guide to Madrid!)

I always try to fly with a carry-on only. First, it’s cheaper. Nowadays, even regular airlines charge you more or less depending on the number of bags you take with you. Secondly, the heavier a plane is the more fuel it needs to use so if we all fly with fewer bags we can help to reduce fuel usage. And finally, it’s so much easier to travel with less luggage. Who wants to drag a huge suitcase through the airport and to their hotel?

Of course, if you only fly with hand luggage you have to take into consideration the restrictions on liquids. But the Airbnb we are going to stay at has soap and shampoo so I won’t be bringing those.

So, what am I going to pack?

Well, Madrid seems to be quite a bit colder than Athens right now, so I will wear a pair of jeans which means I won’t have to pack skirts or anything like that. I’ll also make sure to pack an umbrella as there are some showers in the forecast.

With regards to tops, I have opted for a sweater and two long-sleeved shirts. I’ll wear a t-shirt and cardigan tomorrow. It’s always a good idea to layer your clothes on flights.

Of course, I will need socks and underwear, but I won’t pack an extra pair of shoes. I never understood why some people pack more than one pair of shoes for a short trip, but hey, to each their own.

I’ll also take a pair of pants, a long-sleeved top, and a thick pair of socks to sleep in. I need to feel cozy at night.

Then there are the essentials, such as a toothbrush, contact lens solution, deodorant, moisturizer, etc., but these usually don’t take up a lot of space. In terms of makeup, I’ll keep it quite simple with powder, blush, an eyebrow pencil, mascara, and lipstick.

As far as electronics go, my camera and my phone along with their chargers are all I need. Personally, I wouldn’t touch my laptop on such a short trip anyway.

All of the above (minus the camera which has its own bag) fit in a carry-on very easily. But ever since I have started using packing cubes my suitcase is also a lot less messy. I can find things more easily and quickly which is definitely a plus in terms of minimalist packing.

The Final Minimalist Packing List


  • 1 sweater
  • 2 long-sleeved tops
  • 4 pairs of socks (+1 extra for sleeping)
  • 4 underwear
  • 1 sleepwear

Personal Care

  • toothbrush
  • contact lens solution
  • deodorant
  • moisturizer
  • face serum
  • face mask
  • eye mask
  • 2 brushes
  • body lotion


  • powder
  • blush
  • mascara
  • eyebrow pencil
  • lipstick
  • pencil sharpener
  • makeup brushes


  • camera
  • phone
  • camera charger
  • phone charger


  • 1 umbrella

That’s it! As I said, I made sure to layer the clothes I wore so I had to pack less.

minimalist packing list pin lemons and luggage

What do you think of this minimalist packing list? Would you feel the need to bring more stuff on a trip?


  • Reply
    November 27, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Iโ€™m a fan of minimalist packing but havenโ€™t quite got there yet lol I do love packing cubes though. I packed like 8 of them during my Thailand trip so that should give you an idea of how light I pack. Lugging around that huge suitcase was the worst. Iโ€™m definitely scaling back on my next trip.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      Hi Ayishia, it gets easier the more often you do it so I’m sure you’ll soon be a minimalist packing pro!

  • Reply
    Margarida Vasconcelos
    November 29, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    I haven’t been to Madrid for ages, it certainly on my list. I use zero-waste beauty products, made with natural and organic ingredients. They are vegan, totally plastic-free and hardly take any space on my backpack.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 1, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      That’s a great way to travel, Margarida! I think the benefits (eco-friendliness, health, and small size) are really amazing.

  • Reply
    The Frugal Samurai
    December 2, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    We’ve never been to Madrid but are dying to go! Where are the places to visit there?

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 2, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      There’s so much to do and see in Madrid, in particular, some of the world’s best museums. But there are also lovely parks if you go in the warmer season.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    I can totally relate. I am such a minimalist when it comes to packing, but still always seem to pack way too much! Compared to my travel buddies, I barely have anything yet I get home and didn’t even use everything that I packed ๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      Hahaha, I understand this so well!! But you know, another good thing is that it gives you plenty of space for souvenirs if you want to buy any.

  • Reply
    Sandra Joseph
    December 3, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    I’m a fan of having more than I need so I still struggle with just a carry-on. Even if it’s a short trip. I’m one of the people that “need” more than one shoe too!!!LOL!

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 3, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Haha, well if it’s something that makes you feel at ease it’s not easy to change. Do you think that more expensive tickets for checking in luggage would prevent you from bringing more than a carry-on?

  • Reply
    December 4, 2019 at 12:13 am

    I am all for this! My main goal with every trip I take is to fit everything I need in a carry-on because it just makes the whole process so much smoother. I totally agree about the shoes too; I rarely take more than one pair on a short trip ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      Right? Isn’t it so much easier to simply take your carry-on and get out of the airport right after landing without having to wait for your bags?

  • Reply
    December 4, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Yess! Packing light is the way to go. I know when I take my first trip, it would be similar to the way you pack. I am not a big fan of dragging around more than I need.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 5, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      That’s the spirit, Tiara!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    A great list. I find the key is to pack versatile items that can be easily mixed and matched. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      December 7, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      I absolutely agree, Clara! A pair of jeans can easily be worn with different sweaters or t-shirt with cardigans.

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