Much of the appeal towards minimalism is about re-connection to ourselves. One of the best ways to re-connect to ourselves is through travel. When you aren’t tied down by stuff, experiencing new places, soaking in culture, and tasting new things are all easier. Explore any of these perfect vacation spots for minimalists once you’ve done your first big purge.
The locations on this list will both inspire and motivate you to continue on your minimalist journey. Make sure you read my Minimalism Packing Tips Guide before grabbing your passport and hitting the road. Don’t forget to tell me about your trip! I love hearing where you find minimalist inspiration during your travels.
Natural beauty and calm ascetic are cornerstones of these perfect vacation spots for minimalists. Architecture doesn’t have to be modern to fit with minimalist principles, even ancient structures can be minimalist. You can find clean lines, simple designs, and intentional layouts all over the world.
I’ve been fortunate enough to live in Tokyo for nearly a year now, so I’m kicking off this list with a place you will love!
Japan is known for its minimalist aesthetic and Zen philosophy. The minimalist lifestyle aligns with the culture that deeply rooted in simplicity, harmony, and balance.
Visiting temples, gardens, and traditional Japanese houses can be a great way to experience minimalism in practice. Don’t get too entrenched in translating every sign. Instead, soak in the simple calm ascetic of the space.
Throughout Japan there is a strong emphasis on experiences over possessions. Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony or play with snakes, pigs, kitties, or even penguins while you eat. Even grabbing a bubble tea can be an experience with song and dance as it’s presented to you.
Feeling things more deeply is often the goal of people on their minimalist journey. Going to Iceland means you can be in awe of unique and natural beauty. Breathtaking views of glaciers and geysers as well as the Northern Lights.
Beyond the natural landscapes and unspoiled nature, there are minimalist concepts in the cities too. Many of the Icelandic buildings blend in with the natural surroundings. Simple and functional spaces create a sense of ease.
Practical and simple fashion reflect the countries unpredictable weather patterns. Food culture in Iceland centers around small portions made from local ingredients.
Being outdoors and experiencing nature fills most tourists days. Hiking under waterfalls, horse back riding, and stargazing should all be on your to-do list. The views alone make this a perfect vacation spot for minimalists to feel inspired to chase moments not memorabilia.
You’ve never seen a fjord have you? Me either! A fjord is a long narrow inlet of water with tall cliffs on both sides. Getting to see things you’ve never seen before is my greatest joy as a minimalist.
Winter sports are popular in Norway because of the mountains and climate. You’ll get to fill your tummy with seafood, cheese, and meats all sourced locally. Then start your ski day at one of 125 different resorts throughout Norway.
Small picturesque Ålesund is a minimalist haven. Across seven islands connected by a series of bridges you’ll find Art Nouveau architecture surrounded by vast mountains.
The overall vibe and experience in Norway is sure to center your minimalist heart.
You’ll find more diversity in natural landscapes than anywhere else on our list. From snow-capped mountains to golden beaches and lush rainforests to vast plains. Nature in New Zealand is unspoiled, so travelers can soak in the energy and splendor.
There are entire networks of sustainable and eco-friendly communities promoting global earth friendly policies. You can join retreats or volunteer missions to find other like minded eco-conscious friends.
Getting around New Zealand is a breeze. Public transportation allows you to access all the natural and cultural experiences the country has to offer.
Fully disconnect from the digital black hole you’ve been drifting in and focus on living in the present moment in this perfect vacation spot for minimalists. With so many different ways to experience the great outdoors, you won’t be focused on consumer decisions.
Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures the well-being of its citizens through the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). They threw the GDP concept out the window and focus on the people over profits.
Culturally Bhutan will provide an amazing escape from the hustle and bustle of normal life. Bhutanese people have a strong emphasis on spiritual and inner happiness. You will find a lot of crossover from the minimalist approach to focussing on simplicity and calm.
The country’s traditional culture and natural landscapes can be a source of inspiration for those interested in minimalism. Visitors can experience traditional festivals and visit ancient monasteries. Views of the Himalayas and dense forests will make your earth conscious heart happy.
The Danish concept of hygge, which emphasizes coziness and contentment, can be a source of inspiration for embracing simplicity in one’s personal life. Minimalists understand that inner happiness comes from within, not from material wealth.
Experience nature with cycling, hiking, sailing, and swimming. Anytime you’re utilizing electricity you can feel good that a large amount of their power comes from sustainable wind turbines.
Learning about the nordic history of Denmark will take you to many lush green places with structures built into the ground. Many minimalists adore the simple and functional design of the world famous Danish furniture makers, and appreciate their work.
Known for its natural beauty and ecotourism, Costa Rica can be a great place to experience minimalism in practice and find inspiration in living sustainably and in harmony with nature.
Living between lush rainforests and golden beaches can be paradise for those wanting to align with nature. You’ll soak in views from active volcanos to fast-flowing rivers. Experiencing the outdoors in Costa Rica is easy.
Costa Rica is popular for ecotourism and renewable energy. Visit indigenous communities and participate in traditional festivals. You will notice the simple fashion and muted color palate among locals.
The concept of “pura vida” meaning pure life is all about living a simple and natural life. This philosophy advocates enjoying the small things in life which parallels the minimalist ideals.
Anyone looking to live in harmony with nature will find joy in this perfect vacation spot for minimalists.
Normal well intended people use possessions as excuses all the time. You don’t travel because you fear being robbed. Hosting events is out of the question because your house is too messy. Then, you claim you can’t afford to travel, meanwhile every inch of storage space in your house is packed to the max.
Eliminating the excuses physical objects create in your mind is liberating. Worry about things can be replaced with wonder about places.
These are just a few examples where you can find inspiration during your minimalist journey. Many places around the world might resonate with you on your path toward focusing on what’s really important.
If you have found minimalism in action somewhere in the world, I want to hear about it! I travel this world as a slowmad looking for the perfect vacation spots for minimalists so that I can share them with you.