My Round The World travel packing list / How I packed for full-time travel

Below you will find my detailed full-time travel packing list, revised after few months of travel. My learning, mistakes, personal dos and don’ts. My favourite travel items and those I wish I have never packed. Let’s begin!

Packing for full-time travel, especially if you are unsure where you will end up travelling to, is pretty challenging. I don’t have a set in the stone itinerary. I just left Portugal and currently travelling around Columbia. Next month, I could end up in the tropics or up in the mountains, so I need to be prepared for any weather and any activity. Challenging? Yes, it is.

Creating a full-time travel packing list is challenging. It is obviously much easier if you know that you will only travel in warm climates, for example. If your itinerary consist of many countries with varying climates, this is where the challenge really starts.

Also, you need to be aware that everything you will pack, you will have to carry on your back. This one backpack will become your life.

 

Disclaimer.

I am not one of those backpackers who travel around the world with a 30l backpack and one pair of shoes. If it is this kind of travel packing list you are looking for – this one is not for you.

However, I aimed to go pretty light – not heavier than 55l, with clothing and gear suitable for all-weather condition and as light, versatile and reusable as possible. I am a woman, therefore this list will include some ladies stuff.

I travel pretty comfortably. I wouldn’t take my backpack on few hours hike in the mountains, but I can walk from the bus station up the hill to the hostel without dying or collapsing. I also carry a good amount of electronics. Everything that I will mention here fits inside my 55l Osprey Fairview, consisting of a 40l min bag and a 15l detachable day bag. And this packing list allows for being a girl, having some personality and fun. So if this is something that fits your travelling style or desire – read on!

 

I have probably read all the possible articles and watched all the videos about packing for extended travel out there.

The truth is that you can learn some essential tips and info from those articles. But mostly, you will learn when on the road.

As I have now been travelling solo for over three months, I thought I would do a little review of my packing ‘strategy’. I will do this once in a while therefore this travel packing list will remain a living organism, so to say 🙂

My aim here is to list what worked and what didn’t. It was the first time I was taking on extended travel. In addition, I had to be prepared for all kinds of weather. I travel through a variety of countries with various weather. Although I am not planning to stay in climates below freezing, this is always a possibility. I might one day end up in the mountains or Atacama dessert when temperatures go below freezing at night.

So if you are planning a trip around the world or just extended travel across different countries, I hope that the packing lessons learnt by me and my tips will help you in your own travel preparations.

As I am writing this post, I will also be packing ‘with you’ and take photos all along. So you will be able to see all that I pack and how it fits in my bag. And I do admit – I do exercise some pushing and squeezing. Oh well, there is a limited amount of miracles out there, lol.

Without further ado, let’s crack on with my detailed solo female long term travel packing list and tips. What I packed, what worked and what didn’t. What I wish I took with me and what I wish I left behind.

 

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

The Bag I took with me / Osprey Fairview 55l review

I changed my packing strategy quite a few times now. I started my journey quite heavy and decided to ditch quite few things along the way. But my main bag stayed with me, and I am pretty happy with the choice.

There are many great backpacks suitable for full-time travel.

This was probably the most comprehensive research and thought I gave to any packing gear. I was tempted, of course, to get a 72l backpack as many travellers do. But I decided not to. I know myself. I knew the bigger bag I will buy, the more stuff I will take.

My head was spinning from all the options – different sizes, loading types and so on. In the end, I wanted a backpack that opens like a suitcase and nothing larger than around 55l. 

So I purchased 55l Osprey Fairview, which consist of a 40l main bag and a 15 l detachable day bag. This is the female version of the very popular Osprey Fairpoint which is a unisex bag. There are not many differences between one and another. The Fairview is meant to be designed specifically for women. 

 

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

My beginner mistake: Oh, how did I overpack. After reading and watching all of the travel packing list tutorials, I created a pretty long list myself. For the six months leading to my departure, I kept acquiring things and ticking them off the list. So when the day came actually to pack it all, guess what – there was not enough space in my 55l bag. So instead of leaving certain things behind, I came up with a different strategy. I decided to keep my detachable bag permanently attached (for additional space) and get one more day bag to be carried at the front. This was NorthFace Bolearis 27l. Some travellers would take just that one bag with them!

It was ridiculous! The NorthFace Bolearis is impressive, but I looked and felt like a Camel. After two weeks into my travel, I decided that I could not do it anymore. It was uncomfortable, bags were heavy, and travelling on public transport was just ridiculous. I looked like and felt like I’m moving house! 

I managed to sell my Bolearis bag for a fraction of the money I paid for it and left few items behind in the hostel for other travellers to enjoy. 

Now, most of the time, I travel with the main part of the bag on my back or being checked in and the small detachable bag at the front or on my back when travelling on the plane. 

I could possibly organize it, so I have only one bag, yet with the number of valuable electronics I carry, I want to have a day bag that consistently stays close to me. 

How I packed for full-time travel / My RTW travel packing list
This is how i started my trip!

There s a lot of things to be liked about this bag, but there are also few things I would change or found annoying along the way.

The main part of Osprey 55l is really only a 40l bag, and in the women version, the day bag is 13l. So what you are really getting is the 40l capacity that you cannot take as a carry on due to its length. Once the main bag is fullllyyyy packed – attaching a small bag to it is near impossible. Saying that I always carry my valuables in the smaller bag, so I wouldn’t want to have them on my back anyway. 

 

Osprey Fairpoint / Fairview 55l pros:

 

  • This is a highly durable and comfortable bag. I pack it to the brim with some pushing actions involved. On many occasions, I was wondering if the zipper will take it, and it did!
  • Most of the time, the main part of my Osprey weighs between 15kg. The straps and harness of this bag make it very comfortable to wear, and the waist strap takes a lot of the weight off your shoulders and bag.
  • The fabric is also solid and durable, and generally, it is a quite good looking bag.
  • It has a nifty way of hiding all the straps which comes in handy if you are checking the bag in. I figured this also creat an extra storage space!
  • Osprey Fairview 55l opens like a suitcase, and I love it! I can unzip the top of the bag, and I can see exactly what is where.
  • It comes with detachable day bag which has a dedicated laptop sleeve. It is also very comfortable and perfect for day trips.

 

 

Osprey Fairpoint / Fairview 55l cons:

  • The day bag is pretty small. But then, you don’t want to be carrying too much at the front. I can easily fit my laptop, book a notepad, electronics bag and some of my cosmetics. The issue with that bag is that why you put anything inside – the water mesh pockets become useless. I usually stick some wipes, tissues, an emergency charger and a mini tripod, but the water bottle will not fit in. That’s the biggest shame, and I think if Osprey could fix this – the bag would be near perfect.
  • There is not too many options to store anything outside of the bag. I like when bag has some additional pockets or straps you can utilize. But I worked my way around it. As I always carry a day bag at the front, I use the compression straps to hand my pashmina or shoes if I’m not on the plane. There is always a way 🙂

 

All in all, Osprey Fairview is a very good bag. I am very pleased with my choice, and I can highly recommend it for guys who don’t mind checking their bags in yet don’t want to carry massive bag with them.

My detailed full-time travel packing list

Clothing – My full-time travel packing list

 

Let’s start this full-time travel packing list with the clothing.

I pack enough cloths to get thru at least 7 days without doing laundry. Depending on the weather and location I’m at – I could push it into 10 days. It took me a long to decide on the clothing I would pack. And this part of my packing process went through the most changes since I left.

Saying that I am no longer hang up on the clothing so much. Some pieces of clothing are essential for me to carry in my bag. This would include very good quality, pricey items that are very versatile or possibly difficult or price to get hold of around the world.

This would include good hiking shoes, a warm and packable jacket, a rain jacket, a couple of good quality, everlasting and versatile tops/t-shirts or comfy versatile trousers.

The rest of the clothes are totally replaceable. Things like summer tops, cardigans or shorts can be bought or replaced easily. And to be honest with you, I do this from time to time just to feel like I’m not wearing the same piece of clothing all the time.

 

Important long-term travel packing tip: Don’t give up your style or personality only because you are travelling full time. You want to pack clothes that you like and will wear. You want to feel like you! If you’re going to take this one flowery dress or pineapple print shirt you love – take it! All the clothes I originally packed were very neutral and pretty dull. I ended up buying a couple of tops and floaty pants two months into my journey. I just wanted to feel like me again, and those couple of items did the trick 🙂 

For reference, I will list all the clothing I currently pack. First I will list what I personally find essential. The remaining part of the list is fully customizable. 

 

  •  Good Quality Rain Jacket – In my opinion, packing quality rain jacket is essential. You will get caught in the rain, that’s a fact. And in some parts of the world – it will be a bad one. In some parts of the world or during some activities a rain jacket is something you want to have on you even if the day starts with the sun. And if you like hiking, it’s a no brainer. Weather in the mountains changes very quickly.

You don’t want to save money on your rain jacket. I tried and regretted it. I bought a cheap, lightweight rain jacket, and the first time I got caught in heavy rain, I got totally soaked. Saying that, you don’t need to spend a fortune either. I got my jacket from Decathlon. I chose the water-resistance level and breathability and paid €30 for the jacket. And I love it. Oh, it’s pretty cute too 🙂 

  • One hoodie. Essential! Do I need to say more?
  • 3 to 5 good quality t-shirts. You will wash your clothes a lot. It is important that they are made of good quality fabric but also breathable and moisture-wicking. Cotton is not good for long term travel. 
  • 3 to 5 light vest tops and strappy tops. I currently have 2 vest tops (black and navy) and 5 tops that are either strappy or sleeveless.
  • A couple of your favourite tops. It’s good to make them a bit practical, though. Meaning try to choose the top you love but also know you will wear a lot. 
  •  
  • Going out top. I didn’t pack a going out top as such. Instead, I packed one floaty and a bit fancy, over the shoulder shirt. If I want to look decent when going out, I can throw this on top of any of my vests and look dresses up. 
  • A pair of comfortable walking trousers for cooler weather. Jeggings, super comfy jeans or warm legging. Whatever ticks your fancy – make sure it’s comfortable!
  • A pair of comfortable walking trousers for hot weather– be it a pair of legging, lightweight hiking trousers and comfy culottes. When I know I will be walking for an extended period and the weather is hot – I like to wear a really light pair of trousers. Not all places will be suitable for shorts. Or, if you will walk in nature, you might want to save your legs from bites or bushes. Just saying. These will also be really good for travel on busses, trains and so on. 
  • Socks – I packed 3 pairs of hiking socks which also work as socks to come with my runners for cooler weather. I also packed 3 pairs of short summer socks. Happy with that – I used them all, and they are very easy and quick to wash. 
  • Underwear – I packed 8 pairs of pants. If I run out before my laundry day – I will wash them in the shower, and they are dry the next day. Quality is essential, and yet again – you want them to be comfortable and moisture-wicking. 
  • I packed 3 pairs of bras. My everyday favourite one, one comfy bralette without any wires and one high impact sports bra. In case I would do some high impact exercise lol
  • Very packable and warm dawn jacket or vegan alternative. Those jackets pack very small and are surprisingly warm. If you know for a fact, you won’t get caught in cold weather – no need to pack it. I don’t know for sure. I don’t want to end up in the mountains in cold weather or during the night on Ataca dessert, freezing my bottom off. They are also not that easy to buyy just anywhere.
  • One thermal long sleeve top. I packed 2. One super light thermal top and one hiking long sleeve top. Used them both. But you could do with just one. Packing those will largely depend on the country you are travelling in.
  • Something to throw on for that in-between weather. Sometimes a warm hoody is just too much, and just a T-shirt, not enough. I carry a jeans shirt and one very light shirt. I love them both! For once, because those are some of my favourite pieces of clothing. Second, either one or another, go with all tops I have. Great to tight on my hips at the start of the day and put on in the evening once the sun goes down. Again, you could do with just one shirt of neutral colour. I took them both cos couldn’t decide which one to leave behind. No regrets!
  • 2 pair of shorts. I packed my favourite jean shorts and one pair of light fabric shorts.
  • A dress or a skirt. I have one of each. For those days when you want to feel a bit girly, and the circumstances allow it. 
  • A pair of nice light trousers. This is where I am most guilty of overpacking. I love floaty pants! In total, I have 3! They are all light and pack flat, and I wear them all the time. For those days when I walk around the town, go for dinner in the evening or venture for a day trips. But 2 will probably do – I just have a slight obsession, lol
  • Pijamas? Sleeping clothes? This is entirely up to you. You could use existing clothes like leggings or workout shorts and one of your t-shirts. I have one pair of swimming shorts that work great for sleeping shorts and those water activities when you don’t want to wear just a bikini bottom. If I ever went for a run or to the gym – they would work great too! Also, I have one great loose hiking T-shirt, which doubles up for a sleeping T-shirt. 
  • Bikini and a one-piece. Some girls take 7 sets of bikini. I didn’t. I have 3 sets that mix and match nicely, plus one piece. But I would sat=y it is really up to you. If you think you will be living in those – take more. Or if you are not a beach bum – take less. 
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

I pack my clothing in packing cubes. I know opinions on the usefulness of packing cubes are divided but shoving all my clothes into my bag just wasn’t an option. I love the fact that thanks to packing cubes I stay semi-organized ad can fill them thematically.

For example – a packing cube for hiking and warmer clothing. A packing cube for tropics or one for underwear and bikinis. Works really well for me.
I have two types of packing cubes. A couple of very sturdy compression cubes from Travel Dude which are made of recycled plastic bottles. The zips seem to be very solid, and they look excellent quality.

I also use a couple of Decathlon packing cubes, but I’m too sure how long the zips last, given how much I try to squeeze in them. I will keep you updated.

You don’t want to save money on your rain jacket. I tried and regretted it. I bought a cheap, lightweight rain jacket, and the first time I got caught in heavy rain, I got totally soaked. Saying that, you don’t need to spend a fortune either. I got my jacket from Decathlon. I chose the water-resistance level and breathability and paid €30 for the jacket. And I love it. Oh, it’s pretty cute too 🙂 

Shoes – My full-time travel packing list

 

This was hard to start with. But I’m sure more than one girl would relate. But eventually, I decided to pack 4 pair of shoes. Yes, I know. I never said that this guide would tell you to pack just two if you can, hats off to you!

 

  • Comfortable walking shoes – Consider the type of walker you are. If mostly you will be walking around the town, a comfortable sneaker will do. If you think you will go hiking in more difficult terrain consider trail runners. Hiking boots are bulky and take a lot of space. I got myself awesome pair of trail runners from Decathlon and those worked a treat! I used them for hiking the mountains in Madeira and during the rainy days in Bogota. Fantastic option!. My trail runners work as hiking shoes and also walking shoes for those rainy and cooler days. Those shoes are fantastic! I actually met a girl on a trail in Madeira wearing the same pare and we started chatting about how great they are. Super comfortable and with great grip but not too bulky so I can wear them around the town as well. Those are Decathlon trail runners. 
  • A pair of lightweight Birkenstock that serve as both beach/summer shoes and as flip flops for those hostel bathrooms and as general ‘home shoes’. Happy with those! They are smart enough that I can wear them to town. Good shoes. Very light. They take a bit more space than flip flops though. But they definitely more durable and very comfortable.
  • One pair of nicer sandals for the days when I want to feel a bit more dressed up. This type of shoe I definitely not necessary. But I know there will be those days when I just want to feel nice and not like a total backpacker.

    They are Blowfish Women’s Open Toe Sandals, Grey Fog Grey Dyecut 763, 8” data-wplink-url-error=”true”>Blowfish Sandals and I wore them a lot in Portugal, but those are very comfortable, with non-slippery sole and go nicely with a skirt or nicer trousers. I even ended up walking into less even terrains, and they worked just fine! I love them so much that once those are gone – I will be replacing them with the same pair.

    I believe that a regular person could get quite a few years of those sandals – I regularly destroy shoes, so I’m not a regular shoe-wearer in that matter. Still – I got them a year ago, and they are going strong!

  • I started my trip with a pair of very light sneakers, a cross between a sneaker and a plimsole. I had destroyed them by the time I left Portugal.
    They were shoes I have already worn at home, and I took them intending to finish them up on the road. So I did. They were terrible on slippery surfaces, and Lisbon is full of those!

    Once those were gone, I didn’t buy a replacement. Instead, I purchased a pair of comfortable hiking sandals. I knew that both Bogota and Medellin would be too wet for plimsolls and that I will wear my trail runners all the time. And once in the tropics, I wanted to have an option to wear extra comfortable sandals that would be great for hiking, crossing the rivers, and walking around the town.

 

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

Toiletries and Cosmetics –

/ My full-time travel packing list

 

I have 2 cosmetic bags. One is great for organizing all the cosmetics while staying in hostels. You can hang it in the bathroom and the size of it is perfects. all the non-liquid toiletries and accessories live there permanently and when I’m not on a flight also things like shampoo, face cream and body lotion. I always make sure that this gets checked in as this is when i carry all my sharper objects like razor, tweezers and small scizors. Love this bag!

My second bag is a plastic see-thru bag for all those liquids in case I carry them in my carry on bag. 

This is the list of my toiletries and accessories I packed for my long-term travel. 

  • bar of soap
  • toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Face moisturiser
  • Body lotion/oil
  • shampoo and conditioner

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

Personal Tip: Shampoo and conditioner bars are great options, especially if you travel hand luggage only. Those literally last forever, and as they are in a solid form – you don’t have to worry about staying under the required liquid volume. I used the ethic shampoo and conditioner – and I was very pleased! 

However, now as I have run out, I use reusable silicon squeezy bottles. You can buy them in packs of 3 or 4, and they are all just under 100ml. Once I arrived at the destination, I buy a regular bottle of shampoo. Just before I leave, I transfer whatever is left to one of those silicon bottles. I do the same with my body lotion.

I don’t need to buy conditioners as I regularly colour my hair, and those always come with a free conditioner yay!

 

  • deodorant
  • hair dyeing kit (dye, gloves, brush)
  • razor/shaver
  • hairbrush
  • small scissors
  • tweezers
  • nail clippers
  • nail file
  • a couple of small bottles of nail polish for my toenails 🙂
  • sunscreen 
  • Makeup – BB cream, mascara, powder, a couple of eyeshadow, two brushes and an eyebrow pencil
  • Hair bands
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

Dyeing and caring for your hair during full time/long time travel.

 

Why do I colour my hair, and how to go around colouring your hair when travelling full time.

I wish I didn’t have to. Many would argue that I don’t have to, but most of my hair is grey as we speak, and I’m not ready yet to show it all off with pride. Vanity – yes, I know.

My hair also grows pretty fast. If I let it grow without dying the roots – I end up with my hair resembling a Polish flag. Half white, half red. I was looking for different solutions before my travels. I even considered dying my hair blond so I can get away without colouring my roots for longer. But eventually, I would have to, and the blond colour is harder to maintain and more expensive as you need to go to the hairdressers if you want it to look decent. So I kept my red colour as I can get red dye everywhere in the world.

Trust me, the idea to shave my head crossed my mind on numerous occasions. Hence if you are like me and need to dye your hair – I feel you, girl!

There are a couple of hair products I always stock up when I am in a bigger city. Yes, maybe it is a trivial and anti backpacker philosophy. But who cares? A girl needs to try a look nice lol and hair… Upf, what can I say!

So when I’m in a bigger city, even if it’s not the time to dye my hair, I stock up red dey so when I’m in a more remote area and have access to a bathroom sink, I can do it whenever I need to.

Two products that are complete lifesavers when it comes to caring or maintaining my hair during long term travels are dry shampoo and root touch up. The second is an absolute luxury and sometimes really hard to get hold of. Both also take some space in the bag as they can get a bit bulky.

You can replace dry shampoo with baby powder (talc) or cornstarch. For brown hair, add a bit of cocoa powder to it and maybe a few drops of essential oil. This mixture is easier to shove at the bottom of the backpack in comparison to bulky aerosols. Better for the environment too 🙂

I have particular hair, and I think the texture of it changed with age. I remember those days when I could wash my hair, and after it naturally dried, it was naturally wavy and shiny. Good old days.

I admit, taking care of my hair during travels is the biggest pain at the backside. So I thought I would share my ideas if that’s the case for you as well.

Electronics / My full-time travel packing list

 

Electronic wise, I took a lot. But this is because not only I write this blog whilst on the road, I also take photographs and started recording my podcast when in Portugal. 

Here is a list of electronics I believe packing for long-term travel is essential. 

I took this adapter, and it is a life saviour. It is the best thing I could have purchased. You can charge multiple devices via UCB entry, and it works for all sockets around the world. It is truly fantastic. 

We all carry some electronics for our travels these days. Even if you don’t work from your laptop, chances are you will take a phone, maybe a kindle, headphones or camera. You want to make sure you can charge those anywhere you go.

The other great piece I have purchased was this Solar Power Bank. Although a bit bulky – it holds around five charges and charges itself through solar power, which can come in very handy at times. 

This power strip is quite an unusual item to travel with, but I have used it so much that my life would definitely be much harder without it. This power strip, in combination with the adapter, resolved multiple connection issues for me. Whether the plug was too far, or just one in a whole room! This can happen. You’d be surprised.

Here is the complete list of all the electronics I ended up packing for my full time-travel. I packed them nicely in this travel organizer. I could not imagine having this many pieces of gear flying all over my bag. This organizer is one of the best things I purchased before my departure. 

 

 

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list
  • Laptop 
  • Mobile phone + one spare (an old phone lying around my house)
  • Solar Power bank
  • Fujifilm X-T30 camera (fantastic!)
  • 3 x USB memory cards
  • My podcast microphone – Razer Seiren Mini
  • Far too many spare USB cables for charging, my phone, my watch, toothbrush, connecting power banks and so on (this is exactly why I love the electronics organizer)
  • 2  x external hard drives. I take a lot of photographs so I need tones of external memory. This WP My Passport I have bought specifically for travel as it’s tiny but holds 1T. It is also a great quality power bank with a fast transfer of data. Love it!
  • Headphones

Medicine and First Aid / My full-time travel packing list

 

At first, I made a fuss about packing a complete first aid kit. I’m a nurses daughter, and it came as a default. But it was taking quite a bit of space, so very quickly, I reduced it to the necessary minimum.

The majority of over the counter medicine can be purchased in any country you travel to. You might be surprised, actually. Often those are cheaper and better.

I got a terrible allergy in Bogota, and the hayfever tablets I brought with me did nothing. I purchased some allergy medicine from a supermarket, and those worked like a treat!

What I carry with me are medications that I might need immediately. Those are Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, Imodium (I didn’t have t use it so far, lol), a few plasters and water purifying tablets. I also pack few safety pins.

There is no point lagging an extensive first aid kit with you unless you are planning to go travelling in remote areas with no access to civilization.

Of course, prescription medication is a different story. If there are certain prescription drugs you need to take regularly, consult your doctor and get a supply for at least a couple of months or possibly the whole duration of your travel.

What you will learn is that often in so-called ‘third world countries ( I hate using this expression anyway), the health care will not only be cheaper but also better. So I am sure you would be able to make a doctor appointment for a new prescription, yet the particular make of your medicine might not be available, so please do thorough research.

Please consult your doctor if you need malaria tablets or any additional vaccines required for travel to certain countries

 

Accessories and miscellaneous / My full-time travel packing list

 

Below is a list of other items I packed that don’t fit any of the above categories. My travel packing list wouldn’t be complete without those items. So here is what else I packed for my long term travel.

  • Journal and few pens – I use them for scheduling my tasks, ideas and planning the trips. I really like using the traditional pen and paper to put my thoughts together. I am aware that many applications would do this job, but I’m a bit traditional like this. 
  • Few travel padlocks for locking my bag and for hostel storage.
  • Head Lamp – and I did use it. It’s a great headlamp I purchased for trekking Atlas mountains, and I used it for hiking in Madeira. There are few hikes in Madeira where you cross the tunnels, and the headlap came in handy. I plan to stay in a couple of beach hostels where the light goes off in the evening, so I’m sure this will also come in handy there. 
  • Small bag with very basic jewellery. Most of the time, I wear the same pair of earrings and a couple of bead bracelets, but it’s nice to have a choice of a couple of other items in case I was going out and wanted to feel a bit fancier. It didn’t happen yet, but a couple of extra pairs of earrings don’t take up much space in my bag.
  • Bungee cord – great for hanging washing in the wild (still to happen, but I’m excited about the idea), tying bags together and all sorts of other possible emergencies. This is the only piece of gear I am yet to use, but I feel when the time comes, I will be happy to have it/. Also doesn’t take much space.
  • Two microfibre towels – some hostel don’t provide towels or do so at extra charge. Great to have your own, and the microfibre towel takes no space at all. I have two as I use one for the beach towel, hair towel and generally as a spare one. Many travellers, most actually, recommend having just one – I like the idea of having two. And in case I don’t have a way of washing one, or if I use one in the hostel, I can take the other to the beach. They dry really quickly and are very lightweight. I know I could use a sarong for beach and drying, but this is one of the typical travel items I don’t use. And I didn’t miss it just yet. 
  • Bumbag – initially, I used an over the shoulder bag to carry my camera and essential items when out and about. But I found this a bit too much at times, and I really wanted to go hands-free. I purchased this bumbag in Madeira, and it is now literally the only thing I use if I go out in the town or even to the beach. This bumbag fits my documents, camera phone and purse. Even a beach towel! I could not do without it now!
  • Insect repellant – Very essential in mosquito-infested areas of the world. Don’t forget that mosquitoes transport most tropical diseases. Apart from not wanting to get beaten, I also don’t want to get sick.
  • Corkscrew – Hahaha. Yes, I know. But there is nothing worse than buying a nice bottle of wine and not being able to open it. As a former waitress, I already owned around 5 of them, so taking a couple on my trip was a no-brainer.
  • Laundry bag – for the dirty laundry
  • Sunglasses
  • Spork – these days and in general it can be hard to find a single spoon in hostels. Spork comes in very handy!
  • Waterproof phone bag – in case I am alone at the beach. I can pack the phone and some money in it and go swimming while leaving only towel and a book on the beach.

 

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list
How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

Important learnings

 

  • Good quality of items is important! – You will wash your clothes a lot. You will use your shoes, jackets, gear – relentlessly. Invest in good quality – those things will last you longer. I learnt the hard way. 
  • You need less than you think – I was petrified when I realized how little I would be able to take with me. But I am perfectly fine, and as time passes, I will probably minimize a bit more. I realize that I really do need less than I thought. Life on the road teaches you how to appreciate what you have, especially when you surround yourself with people having much less. The world is beautiful! You don’t need to 3 wardrobes of clothing to enjoy life 🙂
  • Don’t pack just in case – the possible things that could happen are endless, and there is always a solution without you taking with you a whole cupboard of medicide, bulky multi-tool (experience!!!) and other things you will not use. Before packing an item, I ask myself what would have to happen for me to need this thing and how likely it will happen. The answer to this question helps me in deciding whether I need it or not.
  • Research the country you are travelling to. The weather, safety, if credit cards are widely accepted, culture and customs. It is crucial to be prepared and informed.

 

Final thoughts

 

This is not a perfect long-time travel packing list out there. Nore, it is the most minimal. But as with everything I write on this site – it is a real one. I am a solo female traveller well past my 20s, and I travel with one backpack and one day pack. I am writing this article as I travel. Therefore it couldn’t get more real than that.

I am also very open to suggestions and new tips and tricks. Please share yours with me, and I will be happy to try them and add them to the article.

As I write this, I am sitting on the roof terrace of my hostel in Santa Marta, Colombia. Every now and then, I have to pinch myself. This journey is the best decision I have ever made and the biggest adventure. The rest – are just things. Yes, it is crucial to be well prepared. But you will learn as you go. It is the experience that matters the most.

Happy travelling!

 

How I packed for full-time travel / My Round The World travel packing list

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Pati's Journey Within

Hi, I’m Pati. A traveller, photographer (aspiring), dreamer and hopeless believer in magic. I have caught the travel bug in my forties – and not planning to look back any time soon. I travel solo and on a budget and try to spend as much time and effort to truly immerse myself in the country I am visiting.

Whether you are like me and decided to change your life around a new dream or just wandering (because not all who wander are lost) – I am here to tell you that everything is possible. 

 

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