One of the most daunting questions when preparing for a long term trip is “What do I pack?”. I crossed referenced many other travel packing lists and put together one that worked for me. I suggest you do the same for your particular trip depending on weather and planned activities.
We traveled for 6 months in weather ranging from the extreme heat in Hong Kong summer to the chilly* New Zealand spring. We also knew we would be hiking for three weeks in Poland so I brought waterproof hiking shoes which came in handy in many countries. I linked directly to the specific items if I could still find them online*.
*At times I felt like a popsicle even though it was technically Spring.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Her RTW Packing List
- 1 pair of pants (Columbia Omni-Shield with zippered pockets)
- 1 pair of fleece-lined leggings (Nike Women’s Pro Hyperwarm 3.0 tights)
- 1 pair of quick dry shorts (Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Shorts)
- 1 pair of capri leggings (thick, not see through)
- 1 pair of capris (TNF Women’s Aphrodite Capri)
- 4 tank tops (poly/cotton blend or 100% polyester for quick dry)
- 2 short sleeve t-shirts (40% polyester, 60% cotton)
- 2 long sleeve shirts (1 merino wool, 1 polyester)
- 2 pairs of ankle socks (Smartwool)
- 1 pair of crew socks solely for sleeping (Costco merino wool)
- 5 pairs of underwear (best for travel)
- 3 sports bra with removable padding (serves as a pocket too ladies!)
- 1 pair of pj shorts (acquired in Thailand)
- 1 pair of pj pants aka elephant pants (acquired in Thailand)
- 1 merino wool dress (regret only used twice)
- 1 sarong (must have)
- 1 bikini
- 1 bandana (must have – infographic)
- 1 beanie (acquired in New Zealand)
- 1 pair of gloves (acquired in New Zealand)
- 1 wide headband (reversible to add color when needed)
- 1 fleece jacket (Women’s TNF Agave Jacket)
- 1 packable rain jacket (Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket)
- 1 packable straw hat (Amazon or Costco)
- 1 pair of flip flops
- 1 pair of leather sandals
- 1 pair of hiking shoes (Ahnu Montara II Waterproof Hiking Shoes)
Toiletries (for two people but carried by me)
- 100ml of regular shampoo
- 100ml of dandruff shampoo (optional)
- 200ml of sunscreen (100ml was enough)
- 100ml of hair serum (regret)
- 100ml of hair conditioner
- 100ml of body wash (can use soap bar instead)
- 100ml of face wash (can replace with baby wipes)
- 100ml of face moisturizer with spf 30
- 100ml of contact solution
- 100ml of powder toothpaste (doesn’t work as well – picked up regular toothpaste along the way)
- 2 fl oz of multipurpose liquid soap for body and laundry (Dr.Bronner’s Peppermint)
- Mini soap bars (acquired from guesthouses – body and laundry)
- Solid deodorant
- Mini hairbrush
- 3 hair clips
- 10 hair elastics on mini carabiner
- Nail clipper
- Nail file
- Travel towel (hair towel)
- Baby wipes (must have! Target brand is durable, non-scented)
- Tissues (travel size)
- Compact toothbrush (this worked well)
- Contact case and replacement contacts
- Neck pillow (regret)
- Tiny leather wallet (ideal size for credit cards)
- TSA lock with flexible cable (combination is better)
- Dryer sheets (only good for a month to keep clothes fresh in pack)
- Emergency city kit (DIY Altoid tin)
- Extra medicine kit (DIY Altoid tin)
- Sunglasses (cheap ones, replaced later)
- Headphones that work as earplugs (I have these)
- Sink Stopper (must have)
- Small Notebook with pen (must have)
- International drivers permit
- Passport holder neck wallet (only helped when in the airport)
- ENO Doublenest Hammock with straps (Used often in France – optional)
- Mini set of playing cards
- 2 extra plastic quart bags
- Old pair of earrings
- Cheap ring as temporary wedding band (acquired in Hong Kong)
- Mini umbrella (acquired in Thailand)
- Small sleeping bag (heavier but warmer than a sheet)
- Old extra cell phone for music, e-books, and audio books (I didn’t have enough memory in my regular phone at the time)
- Cell phone (plan comes with free unlimited international data and text)
- Headlamp (I bought at Home Depot)
- *Husband carried all the other electronics including laptop, cameras, chargers, cables.
- Osprey Farpoint 55 S/M (main pack was carry-on and daypack was personal item)
- 2 eBags Slim Packing Cubes (I fit almost all my clothes into these)
- Toiletry Kit (helps organize)
I noted what items I regret bringing and what items I consider a must have. I carried all the toiletry products that both of us were going to use, so in turn Tim carried more of the tech items like the laptop and all the chargers. If your trip is 4 weeks or longer then you might want to consider just buying toiletry products when you arrive to your destination. I was too nervous to do this because my hair and face are particular but looking back at, it would have saved us the hassle.
Remember that the liquid/gel/paste limit is 100ml and they must fit in one quart size bag per person.
It’s true when they say that you will always pack more than you need. Looking back we could have packed less but considering it was our first time doing long term travel I think we did pretty well.
When backpacking across the world you will learn that you don’t need to wash your shirt after every wear. Most times you wear it at least twice before washing, especially if it’s a loose tank top. You will learn that you can rotate 2 sets of merino wool socks to keep stink at a minimum for a week before washing. In general your personal hygiene will change and you will realize how low maintenance we can really be. I’m not saying you will be dirty, but your perspective might change.
Stay tuned for the HIS RTW TRIP PACKING LIST coming soon!
What are your must-have travel items?