What to Pack:
I have one packing list which I use for all of my trips all over the world. I developed this for my journey “around the world in 89 days” which involved countries/climates ranging from Fall in central/southern Europe to Early winter in Norway to hot & humid Thai Islands. No matter the climate, I bring the things on this list. Here’s the trick: NOTHING more! (If I’m ONLY going to the beach in summer, I might swap the insulated jacket for a lighter one) Minor adjustments only, no excess = the key to success!
My Master Packing List -everything goes into my Patagonia MLC bag $189 – highly recommend this bag!!
In my “important stuff” folder: All tickets, reservations, etc. printed + copy of passport photo page & visa (if applicable) & any medication/prescription forms.
Phone (this is my camera) & charger(s)- sometimes nice to have a small power block to recharge phone during long flights, headphones
I pack all of my clothing in packing cubes (Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set $40) & aim for athletic fabrics whenever possible because they dry faster and can be worn more than once.
I plan to wash the following about once per week: 1 pair black leggings + 1 pair pants (“camping pants” which are actually cute! See: Mountain Hardwear Women’s Dynamo Pant $70) + 1 pair shorts, 1 skirt (or may a recommend a skort?!) +2 tank tops, 2 short sleeve tops, 1 long sleeve tee + 2 dresses + 1 light down jacket (Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie $259)+ 1 compressible rain jacket (i.e. water-resistant jogging jacket- in case of an actual downpour on, say, a jungle trek, purchase a trash bag- it’s the only thing actually waterproof for <$300). I often throw in a sweater & it never makes it home with me.
optional: sun hat (OR – BETTER – purchase this en route)
1 wool compression socks (these are wonderful for long flights! See: Vim & Vigr $35) & 2 reg socks (athletic fabric preferred)
5 underwear (highly recommended: Knixwear $20-25) & 2 (soft) bras + 2 swim suits
Toms Flats (with Superfeet insoles $50) + tennis shoes (for hiking & long touristy walking) + (dressier) sandals and flip flops + Wedge booties (I like Toms desert wedge $89)
optional (recommended): sleep sheet (Cocoon cotton travel sheet $30), eye mask & earplugs (or noise canceling headphones), Pro Bars ($3 “meals” v. $20 airport food…), starbucks via packets ($1 instant coffee whenever you need it), herbal/green tea bags, reusable water bottle, Daypack/small purse/clutch for daily use (OR this can be purchased on the road!)
toiletries: (solid) shampoo/conditioner (lush brand Godiva $13), face/body lotion/oil (coconut is recommended!), sunscreen, dry shampoo powder (the best I’ve found: Bumble and Bumble prêt-à-powder $12), DEET wipes (Ben’s Insect Repellent Wipes- 30% DEET- package of 12 $6), face/body wipes*, deodorant, 2 travel toothbrushes & paste, makeup (BB/CC cream + mascara maybe concealer, bronzer), meds: pain/anti inflam, allergy, pepto, fem products, cold/sinus (optional), vitamins, dramamine (or gravel), nail clippers & file, tweezers
Then pick a couple of “glam” goods, maybe a tube of red lipstick or a tiny hairdryer- we are not camping, we’re glamping!
I purchase jewelry as souvenirs along the way. Sometimes I have a harder time finding scarves than planned – bringing one does’t hurt. I’ve recently been introduced to the blanket scarf, I did bring one on my last trip to S. America & was very glad to have it along on more than one occasion!
Thats it! That is all I’ve ever needed in 30 countries & counting… and I find that after each trip I take one or two more items off the list. Soon I’ll be in the market for an even smaller bag! The lighter the load the easier you move.
*Note: bringing a travel size Fabreeze spray is a great way to maximize time between washes, feminine wipes make great makeup removers/full body spot “showers”, throw a dryer sheet into your packing cubes and the dirty laundry pocket of your bag, tiger balm always comes in handy for aches and pains associated with carrying a backpack around & helps with itchy bug bites. I’ve only ever used a backup battery pack to help charge a stranger’s phone at an airport- but having one (which was $5) isn’t a bad idea. Emergen-zzz is a great sleep aid + vitamin boost for overnight flights.