We should really just dive right into this, as it’s going to be a long, bullet-pointed travel packing list. Many (MANY!) people have asked us what we brought on our 6-month journey around the world. Particularly once they find out we have less than 10kg of stuff to each of our names. Obviously it’s pretty much just the essentials. But what are the essentials for a round-the-world trip covering many different climates? Here is what got us through:
***Before I dive into what we brought, I want to put in a disclaimer here. All the links below that link to products on Amazon.com are affiliate links. This means if you buy something after clicking through our links we get a very small commission. I just wanted to be upfront about it! We are hoping it pays back the cost of running this site (eventually). We certainly aren’t making a living doing this. And we would never link to anything we didn’t truly love and use constantly on this trip. We just wanted you to know!***
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 5 pairs of socks (these are the best socks ever. No blisters! I use them at home too)
- 3 bras (2 regular, one sports)
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 pair of pants (that zip into capris)
- 1 pair of leggings
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 dress
- 1 skirt
- 5 long sleeved garments (one heavy fleece, one button up light jacket, 3 long sleeved shirts. The fleece was a later addition on a freezing day where I forgot a sweater. I think 4 long sleeved garments are likely enough.)
- 4 t-shirts
- 5 tank tops (including an older version of this one from the amazing Vaute Couture)
- 1 sarong (all-purpose. It can be a towel, a skirt, pretty much anything.)
- 1 scarf
- 1 t-shirt for sleeping in (a super-comfy t-shirt.)
- 1 pair of athletic shorts for sleeping in
- 1 Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It 2 Sided Cube (Everything except the heaviest outerwear fits in here)
- 1 Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Mesh Stuffer Bag (I used this as my dirty laundry bag)
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 9 pairs of socks (Dan’s not sure how he ended up with 9 pairs. He recommends 7)
- 1 pair shorts that are also a bathing suit (they are Old Navy brand)
- 1 pair of pants that can zip off into shorts
- 7 t-shirts
- 1 polo shirt
- 3 long sleeved shirts
- 1 swim shirt
- 1 Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It 2 Sided Cube (All of Dan’s clothes fit in here)
- 1 Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Mesh Stuffer Bag (Dan also used this as his dirty laundry bag, but he got the bigger sized one)
Top left. It goes into that blue flowery bag:
- Pads and tampons (these are the necessities of life…)
- Small glass nail file (borrowed from my mom) and travel nail clippers
- 2 eye masks and earplugs taken from an airplane flight (rarely used, but good for the occasional loud or bright hostel)
- Hair ties and a brush
- 2 packages of dry laundry soap sheets (essential!)
- Dan’s extra glasses and my glasses
Top middle 3 ziplock bags:
- The left one is our shower stuff. It contains a plastic container with dry conditioner (purchased at Lush), a plastic container with a bar of soap in it, a small container of shampoo (under 3 oz), a tiny bottle of face wash for my pimply face, and a few razors.
- The two right ziplocks are our liquids bags (when we are flying the shampoo and face wash get added to these). At this point in the trip they are getting pretty empty. But I will tell you that when we left I brought 5 containers of vegan contact solution, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, face cream, hand lotion, a stain stick and maybe a few other travel-sized liquids. The bags were very full. Your liquids needs will vary, and change with time over the course of your travels just like ours did.
- Travel tooth brushes
- Extra contact lenses and a contact case
- A small bag of q-tips
- A travel sewing kit with tiny scissors in it
- Solid deodorant from Lush
- Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Mesh Stuffer Bag to put the stuff in
Middle left. Fits in the quart-sized ziplock bag:
- Small travel medical kit. We added things to a pre-made kit. We added extra bandaids and neosporin.
- Temperature-stable, vegan probiotics. These were purchased on the road. Sometimes eating out all the time gets to my stomach. These help.
- Medical tape
- A small container of ibuprophen and a small container of pepto-bismol
- Anti-diarrhea medicine and antibiotics (we have never had to use these, but we figured better to have it just in case! My doctor prescribed the antibiotics for me specifically for the trip before I left. Just in case!)
Bottom left in the ziplock bag: Dan’s electric razor with its accessories, and Dan’s contacts.
Bottom right side:
- Two sets of camping utensils
- A camping mug
- A travel clothesline
- An extra pen
- A bottle opener (our free gift from the Heineken factory in Amsterdam!)
- Duct tape, unrolled from the cardboard and re-rolled on a container of mechanical pencil lead
- The Vegan Passport
- AA batteries
- Extra liquids bottles
- A rubber sink stopper for doing laundry in the sink (in case we didn’t have access to a washing machine. Rarely ever happened.)
- A solar/handcrank LED flashlight keychain
- A headlamp
- Extra ziplock bags and mesh bags
- A roll of toilet paper
- A card game called Seven that we picked up on the road
- Shoes! 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair water sandals, 1 pair flip flops for each of us.
- 1 lightweight umbrella
- 1 waterproof raincoat each (essential!)
- 1 fleece sleeping bag each (essential!)
- Cords for all of our electronics
- The electronics: 1 Chromebook, 1 iPhone 4s, 1 iPhone 3gs as a backup, 1 knockoff Nokia Lumia 925 purchased in Cambodia, 2 Kindles (one old and one new), 1 Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS19 (great camera, but a bit of dust got stuck between the lenses about 3 months into our travels), 1 Fujifilm FinePix XP60 (our camera for the final 3 months of our trip. Great for the underwater photography we did at the Great Barrier Reef!), 1 iPod nano, 1 64GB usb stick.
- The outlet adapters. Yes, we had a different one for each country, but these adapters are so good and reliable, I thought they were worth it. They do not convert voltage (those would be transformers), but if your electronics are relatively modern a transformer is not necessary. We didn’t need one for any of our electronics.
- A loop lock
- The best travel power strip ever.
- A mesh bag for all the cords.
- A microfiber travel towel.
- A bandana.
- A visor.
- A blanket/skirt. (purchased in Thailand so Dan could get into a Wat, but then he really liked using it as a blanket so he kept it.)
- A daypack with all of the things in the bottom left corner of the picture in the top pocket of the backpack (lip balm with spf, headphones, a headphone splitter, earplugs, B12 pills, house keys, a pen and pencil, probiotics and ibuprofen, our expenses notebook and Dan’s notebook. The water bottle goes in the backpack side pocket.
- Not shown are our computer case that the Chromebook goes in, and the money belt that comes with us everywhere.
This is what it looks like all packed up:
Was everything above used on this trip? Nope. We haven’t touched the duct tape once and almost the entire medical ziplock bag has gone unused. But am I glad we have those things just in case? Yup! The biggest surprise of the trip was how much we used that little hand-crank flashlight.
If any women out there are looking for a new backpacking backpack, I highly recommend mine: The Gregory Sage 45 backpack. I’m 5’3″ and I wear a size small backpack. It’s comfortable, a good size and shape, and fits in overhead bins. Don’t ask about Dan’s bag, though. It’s a knock-off he bought in Cambodia!
Okay, I think that’s a long enough packing list for you. For the record, this stuff we brought covered us over 3 continents and from temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Please let us know if you have any questions about what we packed or how we packed it in the comments and we will be sure to answer them!