How To Pack For Long-Term Travels

Packing for any trip can be stressful. You want to be prepared for any climate. You also want to pack comfy/ lounge clothes, but yet you want to also bring dressy clothes and maybe some heels along? This whole situation can be a struggle at times. Jamie and I travelled for 4 months straight and we have packed and unpacked thousands of times, I guess you can say we’re pro packers now!

Everyone’s packing list will be different, but I thought I would share what we did while we were away and how it worked for us! The number per item will be estimated of what I took along with me for my trip. Everyone has different priorities while travelling, so bring as much or as little as you want!

Things to keep in mind when making a packing list:
  • What types of climate will you be travelling in? (Obviously you can’t always rely on the weatherman, but you’ll know if you’re going to Nepal or Italy what the weather conditions will be around that time).
  • Will you be staying and eating at fancy places?
  • How long will you be travelling for?
  • Are you planning on doing a lot of outdoor activities? (long hikes, mountain climbing, etc).

So how can you pack for multiple weather changes, fun in the sun, being active outdoors, and fancy places?

Let me show you how you can pack and make room for everything you’ll need! We sure made mistakes when we first left to travel. We basically filled our 80 litre backpack.. Yup, so here are my tips and advice!

Travel Backpack

We used 4 bags in total. Both of us carried 80 litre bags, and two carry on bags, which was great because the smaller carry on was great for our day bag!

Backpack VS Suitcase?

There are Pros and cons for both.

We dreaded travel days, due to how heavy the bags were on our backs. It actually ended up hurting my back and shoulders. I was never comfy while waiting in airport lines etc, but when we got to certain destinations with really bumpy or narrow sidewalks (I’m talking to you Bangkok), a backpack was easier to maneuver. I think for our trip a roller would have given me more freedom, allowing me to just have my smaller carry on bag on my back and just rolling the suitcase behind me; but it depends on your personal preference! I think if you’re a heavy packer maybe try a suitcase, that way you can really squish things in each and every pocket.

One thing to note is that backpacks are lighter than suitcases, so if you do get a suitcase, make sure to weigh it before you add your clothes in it; as some budget airlines have VERY strict baggage rules; and if you are over the maximum weight allowed; the fines you have to pay can be pretty hefty!

Women’s travel clothes

Change the numbers to your personal preference if you desire! Packing cubes are a lifesaver and really do the trick! It’s easier and can be very organized!

TOPS:

  • 2-3 t-shirts
  • 3 basic loose tank tops
  • 1 long sleeve shirt ( HeatTech from Uniqlo). Fabric that works with your body to generate heat and retain it. This was good for layering!
  • 1 cute onesie
  • 3 rompers
  • 2 lightweight dresses
  • 2 small cute crop tops (crop and tank tops are great to pack since they fold up really small!)
  • 1 sweater
  • 2 sports bras
  • 2 gym tops

    BOTTOMS:
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 3 comfy leggings
  • 3 shorts
  • 1 skirt

    UNDERGARMENTS:
  • 4 swimsuits
  • 8-10 underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 2 bras (one strapless)

    SHOES AND OUTERWEAR:
  • 1 pair of hiking boots (These were huge and bulky, really figure out if you need them or not. We did do some hikes, but probably could have found something smaller).
  • 1 pair of running shoes (mine are Nike)
  • 1 pair of hiking/walking sandals with a strap (mine are from Sketchers)
  • 1 rolled up vest and jacket from Uniqlo (or something similar)

Travelling for a long period of time really makes you rethink certain things to bring and buy. I love fashionable sandals, however my feet are very sensitive and they end up sore and tight, same with my calves after long walks. So wearing proper footwear is important. The sandals I got were amazing and I could wear them all day with no pain or stiffness.

ACCESSORIES AND TOILETRIES:

  • Sarong (An item every traveller should not leave home without. It can be a beach towel, bus pillow, table cloth, or light blanket).
  • Sunglasses
  • Couple pairs of jewelry
  • Some makeup (It’s definitely a nice feeling looking dolled up or just more awake).
  • Hair ties
  • Small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
  • Face wash, serum, and moisturizer
  • Face scrub
  • Toothbrush, floss, and paste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Cotton swabs
  • Brush
  • Small solid perfume
  • Self-Tanning lotion (Jergens and Fake Bake are great)

    TRAVEL GEAR
  • Packing cubes
  • Microfibre towel
  • Wine bottle opener
  • First aid kit
  • Small notebook and pens
  • Passport book wallet
  • Eye mask
  • Lifestraw pen (or the water bottle)
  • Tide to go packets
  • Laundry bag

    ELECTRONICS:
  • Macbook (or laptop of your choice)
  • Gopro
  • Drone
  • Canon DSLR Camera
  • Hard drive
  • Iphone
  • Universal Adaptor
  • Portable charger
  • Beats headphones

    TIP: Carry all your extra charger cords and plugs in a packing cube!

    WORKOUT ACCESSORIES:
  • Protein shaker cup
  • Protein powder
  • Workout bands
  • Supergreens

    TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION
  • Pasport
  • Passport photos (a couple extras for visas)
  • Vaccination documentation
  • Paper copies of passport photo
  • Copy of travel insurance

    Tip: NEVER EVER leave home without your travel insurance. Bad things can happen anywhere, so it’s nice to be covered. We were covered with World Nomads when I had to go to the hospital in Bali.
EXTRA TIPS:

Choose the right bank cards

Make sure you have your money spread out in a couple different banks. We had an issue with one of our bank cards in Bali, so we used a different card and it worked. It’s just an overall good idea to spread out your cash, just in case one of your accounts gets frozen etc, you will have another option for cash! Jamie and I both had our TD bank cards, along with our account with Tangerine, multiple credit cards and an AMEX. Find banks with low bank fees, and let them know you are travelling to avoid having to call them everytime you arrive in a new country and your card doesn’t work.

If you cherish it, leave it at home

I have bad luck with ruining a perfect piece of clothing, so I knew I had to leave certain dresses and jewelry etc at home. You will end up tossing clothing for new ones on the road, so it’s better off leaving the stuff you love at home.

Roll your clothes

Rolling your clothes not only saves you a TON of room in your packing cubes, but, it helps to reduce the inevitable amount of creasing when having everything squished in a backpack.

Laundry bags are essential

Having your clothes separated is a must! My husband sweats a lot, so being able to put dirty clothes away without seeing or smelling it was great! It also helps for those times you’re at a condo airbnb and have to go all the way downstairs to do laundry. You can’t always except the airbnbs to have everything! We were at one with a kitchen and it didn’t even have kitchen supplies!

Stop taking too many shoes

I wanted to pack heels with me… Yup… I’m so happy I didn’t. You learn when you’re travelling for a long period of time, that you can only dress up to an extent, unless you want to buy cheap heels or flats when you’re abroad and toss them out afterwards. Shoes weigh A LOT! So be mindful.

Compartmentalize

There is nothing wrong with having a bag inside a bag! It’s nice to keep things organized. So having small ziplock baggies can help with keeping things together and just also having liquids covered just in case it explodes! Which has happened to me with my tanning lotion!

Stay Charged

You don’t really pay attention to all of your electronics battery life, so at the end of each day, make sure to charge EVERYTHING! The last thing you want is to go out and have your camera die on you.

If you’re looking for what to buy for travelling, read “Best Travel Gifts For Fellow Travellers”. I have linked all the great Amazon products that we loved during our trip.

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