Going on a trip of a lifetime? Worried about packing? How to pack carry on for an around the World trip? This list covers all the necessary tips and recommended items to pack for an extensive trip. There are some similarities to packing for a two-week trip, but long trips are another beast and do require different types of items and planning. This guide will cover it all, from both women’s and men’s clothing to accessories and electronics, as well as a camping section. We even have a printable PDF to help you plan and a packing list for a world trip!
Ultimate Travel List – Click Here for our Printable PDF list
This list should be used as guidance.
First, understand where you are going. What is the general weather in that part of the world? Pack to accommodate the weather and lifestyle you will have at that location. Going to Southeast Asia? Bring beach clothes. Heading to Nepal? Bring your trekking gear. Going to South America for 1 year? Bring comfortable clothes that could adjust for both warm and cool weather. Know your terrain before you pack.
Wear what you love.
Don’t buy something just to buy something. Wear what you already love. Yes, while you want to cut back on what you bring, and preferably want lightweight stuff that packs well, you don’t want to bring something just because it is “travel-friendly.” At the end of the day, you are going to wear what you think looks best or what you prefer to wear based on comfort.
Comfort always win.
When deciding between travel-friendly and comfort, always go with comfort, unless it is absolutely un-travel friendly. Layering and clothes for different types of weather may be something you need to think about and plan for, and when you have to layer, you want to be comfortable. Lounging around in the hostel watching a movie? Throw on those comfy shorts and the lightweight hoodie that you love.
The debate on jeans.
Jeans are heavy. A lot of travelers do not bring jeans. I can understand this, but if you wear jeans and a t-shirt 90% of your outfits normally, then bring jeans and t-shirts. While they are heavy and bulky, they do keep you warmer than other types of pants. Jeans are also essential in not looking like a backpacker all the time. If you want to fit in at that European bar or go to a nice dinner on occasion, don’t be the one wearing your zip off trekking pants. Jeans are the way to go. Pick one comfortable dark pair with no knee holes (those will get much bigger over time) and rock the jeans.
Worried you might forget something? Don’t worry. REI ships internationally for $35 if under $150 order total. Above $150 order total and shipping is only $20. There also are other options, and always can look for locally made goods as well.
Where to buy?
I personally buy almost all of my equipment through REI, B&H or Amazon. As the largest online retailers in the US, they usually have the best prices as well as good return policies. If you are considering buying any camping gear, hiking gear, or photography gear, please consider buying through the below affiliate links on this page. You won’t pay for anything extra at all, but we will receive a small commission (usually 2%-5%) to help run the website. We appreciate the support! Click here for more info on planning a RTW trip.
TIPS: Here are a few of our favorite things: Good athletic tank tops, a good button up shirt, a cute maxi dress, merino wool socks, ExOfficio quick dry underwear that may change your life for the better, and a lightweight down jacket. Our travel list includes both warm weather and cold weather clothes. Depending on your anticipated destination, some of these items may be unnecessary.
3 Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank Tops
2 Button-up Shirts
Marmot Lobo Convertible Trekking Pants
Lululemon Speed Track exercise Shorts
Lululemon Wunder Under Yoga Pants
Lululemon Free to Be Sports Bra
2 Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiking Socks
8 ExOfficio Give and Go Underwear
Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Ion Windbreaker
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket
Havaiana Flip Flop – UPDATE: Quality has REALLY dropped since these flip flops first came out. We now prefer to buy locally made flip flops as we travel.
New Balance Minimus Trail Running Shoe
TIP: Here are a few of our favorite things: ExOfficio quick dry underwear may change your life, good hiking pants that have some stretch to them, merino wool socks, enough t-shirts, and a lightweight down jacket. Our travel list includes both warm weather and cold weather clothes. Depending on your anticipated destination, some of these items may be unnecessary.
Patagonia Venga Rock Trekking Pants
Nike Exercise Shorts
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket
North Face Resolve Lightweight Rain Jacket
Long Sleeve Mountain Hardwear Henley Thermal
2 Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiking Socks
5 ExOfficio Give N Go Boxer Briefs
Long Sleeve Lightweight Dress Shirt
Havaianas Flip Flops. UPDATE: I no longer wear Havaianas as their brand quality is not up to what it used to be. Now I prefer to buy locally made flip flops. I go through a new pair nearly 3x per year!
Colombia Bahama Vent II Shoes
For all of our clothes, we each had two compression sacks from Eagle Creek. These are a must for traveling. Below is a picture of all of our clothes rolled up into compression sacks, plus an outfit left out that we would wear while traveling.
Note on footwear.
We brought very lightweight minimal trail runners. Although they are awesome if you plan on doing extensive hiking bring supportive shoes. Our trail runners aren’t cutting it so we had to purchase new hiking shoes. I would go with Salomon’s for a more comfortable and relaxed hiking shoe. For walking shoes in cities, you want to balance comfort with style.
Going camping on your trip, or maybe you want to save some money and bring a tent? Many countries offer camping, even within city limits. Find a good backpackers or caravan park and save money on your accommodation to lengthen your trip or spend more money on other things (i.e. food).
2 Sleeping Bags: Get an 800 Fill Down, 20 Degree Rating
Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 3 Person Tent
Thermarest Neo Air Sleeping Pad
REI Flash Sleeping Pad
Silk Mummy Bag Liner
ENO Atlas Straps
Sea to Summit Waterproof Pack
ACR ResQLink Beacon Device
MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stove top
TIP: When traveling to places where water needs to be purified, the Camelback UV Waterbottle is excellent to have with you. Always have a good RFIDsafe travel wallet, bring at least 2 locks and 1 cable wire for protecting your information and gear, and NEVER forget Earplugs. Earplugs sometimes are your best friend, when there is construction next door, a party outside, or just a friendly neighbor in the dorm snoring like a congested camel.
2 Lightweight PackTowl’s
Camelback UV Waterbottle
Klean Kanteen Thermos
BPA Free Collapsible water bottle
RFIDsafe Travel Wallet
2 Metal Cables Locks
Notepad + Pen
1 Deck Playing Cards
Small Utility Rope
Small Duct Tape
Waterproof Dry Bag
5 Zip Lock Bags
10 Rubber Bands
Toiletries For Him:
Goddess Garden Travel Sunscreen
Toothbrush + Travel Holder
Soap + Soap Dish
Fragrance Free Beard Oil (Jojoba or Argan Oil)
Natrapel Travel Bug Spray
Toiletries For Her:
Nailbrush (Also works with laundry)
Coconut Oil (Can use 101 different ways!)
Toothbrush with Holder
Technology has become a staple in our everyday lives, yet everyone uses technology differently. Love taking photos? Bring all your camera gear. Want to check out from technology for a bit and just travel with a pack and clothes on your back? That’s fine too. Bring what accommodates your hobbies and travel needs. This list is quite photography heavy, resulting from our interest in landscape photography and our blog. The most important thing with technology is to ensure you have enough power. Bring extra batteries and a portable battery charger.
Here is what is in our electronics bag:
Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 III USM full frame lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 II USM full frame lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 is II
Davis & Sanford Lightweight Tripod
Peak Design Slide camera strap
Canon extra battery + Charger
Camera Wireless Remote Clicker
Monoprice Headphone Splitter
Car Charger Adapter
1 Travel Adapter EU
256GB PNY Turbo USB Flash Drive
Anker Portable Battery
Seagate 2TB external hard drive
SD Cards: 2 64GB SanDisk Extreme
Sunto Ambit3 GPS Watch + Charger
Samsung Galaxy S7
Go Pro Hero4 Silver
GOMA GoPro suction cup
Go Pro 3-Way Arm
Invest in a good pack. It will be on your back often and you want your pack to fit your body properly, so you are not getting sore each time you are moving between places. Pick the right size pack for your needs. Want to try to carry on only? Stick with a 40L-44L pack. If you want to go with a full-size pack, look for 65L packs.
Osprey Talon 44L Mens Pack
Osprey Tempest 40L Women’s Pack
PacSafe Camera and Laptop Anti-Theft Backpack
Ultimate Travel List – Click Here for the PDF List
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Looking for a budget travel destination for your world trip? Check out this guide for our top 10:
Heading into the mountains? Check out our ultimate hiking & backpacking gear list: