Packing for long term travel can seem like a daunting task. You may be asking yourself the following questions.
What should I pack? What kind of bag should I use? Or should I just go for a suitcase?
These are good questions to ask yourself. The answers, of course, depend on several things.
Where are, you going? How is the weather there? How long will you be traveling for? Do you prefer to carry your luggage on your back? Or drag it along? Which do you find more comfortable?
It all seems like a lot to think about and a bit complicated. Have no worries though; I‘m here to help! In this post, I will go over some simple things to consider when packing for an RTW trip.
First things first, what bag to use?
The very first thing you should think long and hard about, is what type of luggage to use during your travels. You need to think about what would you find the most comfortable. Do you find it more comfortable to be a bit free and carry it all on your back? Or do you prefer to spare your back some future pain and drag it around in a suitcase? It all depends on which you prefer and see yourself being comfortable with during the duration of your travels.
Personally, I was conflicted between a backpack and a duffle bag. I liked the idea of carrying it all on my back. However, I hated the look of the traditional backpack. Therefore, I ‘m using a duffle bag that can also be carried as a backpack. Mine is the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 which is 45 liters in volume.
My sister, on the other hand, opted for a traditional backpacker´s backpack. She’s using the Osprey Viva 65 liter. A traditional backpack that brilliantly distributes the weight on the hips. It also has adjustable straps, and both features have made a huge difference for my sister.
What kind of clothes should you bring?
Honestly, it depends on several things.
Where are you going? What is the climate like? Figure out if you need to pack for various types of weather.
Is it a conservative country? Do you need to be careful regarding clothing?
What are you going to be doing? Are going hiking, scuba diving or surfing?
Here’s a simple packing list to help you get started.
How many pairs of shoes do you need?
I recommend bringing along three pairs of shoes with you.
Pair 1 | One for all the activities you might do such as hiking or running shoes.
Pair 2 | Your casual day to day shoes. Whatever shoes you comfortably wear on a daily basis.
Pair 3 | Your dressy shoes for a night out. A simple pair of ballet flats or cute sandals are usually a safe bet. They can easily be used during the day and take little space.
The technological issue
Right now, you may be wondering what kind of electronics you should bring with you. Whether you should bring your laptop or tablet. Bring that special camera you got or whether your smartphone is enough. The answer: It depends
Laptop/Tablet: What do you need to do? Are you going to keep a blog during your travels? Or are you going to simply browse the web and watch Netflix? If the answer is the latter, I highly recommend bringing a tablet. A laptop is heavy, and unless you intend to do some heavy work, there is no reason to carry around that much excess weight.
Camera: Do you use it a lot at home? Or do you usually use your smartphone for taking photos? Are you sure you‘re going to use it all the time? Unless you use your camera all the time at home. See yourself reaching for it way more than your smartphone bring it with you. However, if you use your smartphone all the time for taking photos then just use that during your travels. If you don‘t use it a lot at home, it’s highly unlikely to be any different while traveling.
What you might not expect to need
- A headlamp – because you won ‘t believes how useful this baby. When in a hostel dorm at 7.30 PM and someone decides to have an early night. In the process turning off all the lights.
- Drylite Towel – Useful for several reasons. The best thing about these things is that unlike normal towels, they dry much faster, hence the name.
- Spork – From when you are grabbing street food or on a road trip. This is useful to keep in your daypack.
- Small coin purse – A lifesaver because when using cash all the time, you eventually end up with a lot of coins, whether you like it or not.
- Noise canceling headphones – Traveling around the world requires a lot of flights. Flights that everyone knows will be noisy and will test your patience. For the sake of your sanity, a good pair of noise canceling headphones will be a godsend.
One last thing to keep in mind while packing for your big adventure. It’s always better to have less than you think you need. Worst case scenario, you will need to shop a little while on your travels.