The Ultimate And Essential Packing List For Your Long-term Travels

Burning Snow Umea 2014 European Capital of Culture A World to Travel Sweden (40)

While getting ready to visit my 13th country this year, and with my past trips’ bags still semi-unpacked flooding my apartment flat, I thought it would be efficient to write down my packing list essentials for once and all here. So I can come back every time I need to check if I am good to go and you can too!

Keep in mind I love to travel light, what means I pretty much always take my bag onboard and, unless needed, I don’t check in any items which in the end saves a lot of time, money and hassle.

Every item with a * is not 100% essential and you will be able to leave it behind many times. Others, though, you won’t have an alternative option other than packing them with you (specially rough weather conditions, camping trips, etc).

 

PACKING LIST ESSENTIALS

Luggage

  • Osprey Meridian Convertible Backpack 60L

Sturdiest and sweetest pack I’ve come across to in my life, the one year test I put it into is coming to an end and you’ll soon be able to read a complete review about this twice convertible 60L Backpack (40L wheeled backpack with a retractable handle + 20L removable Daypack)
here ! Did I say it always comes onboard with me? Strange I know but just removing its wheels has proven to work as a charm with infamous European low-costs such as Ryanair, Vueling and Easy-Jet! (I just have to remember keeping it around 10kg max). LOVE IT!

  • Wheeled Bag Totto Ojival 67L*

Should I need to bring many things with me (which I try to avoid!), this other ultralight bag has performed pretty good too. As the other one, you’ll be able to read a proper review when the one year test ends.

  • Havana 41 Photography Backpack by Vanguard*

 

Travel Documents and Money

  • Passport/s (I have two!) with required visas up to date
  • Travel Insurance
  • International Driving License
  • Money. Cash and credit cards (at least two, one might not work!)
  • Pen and paper
  • Money belt * If travelling to a relatively unsafe country
  • Vaccinations certificates card*

 

Travel Clothing

Long-lasting,  basic, matching colour clothes that are easy to wash and dry fast are advisable. Long-term travelling implies doing your laundry on the road. Given that fact and the nature of the place you are going, here are the bare minimum clothes you should take with you.

  • Raincoat
  • Warm long-sleeved jacket or fleece
  • 3 cotton T-shirts like this one I’ve tested last year
  • 1 nice top
  • 1 Comfy but stylish dress
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 1 skirt / pair of shorts
  • 1 swimsuit . I always take my Indian face bikini with me!
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of tights
  • 3 or 4 pieces of underwear
  • Sarong
  • Sneakers
  • Flip-flops*
  • Comfy and waterproof walking boots. We use Hi-Tec and Panama Jack.
  • Hiking sandals. Ours are Hi-Tec.
  • Flats*
  • Hat* or beanie*
  • Gloves*
  • Sunglasses*
  • Waterproof and / or snow clothing if needed*

 

Travel Gadgets

  • Smartphone. Feb’15 update: After being stolen, I am now traveling with a simple Samsung Duos and it is working great so far! I particularly like the way you can use 2 SIM cards, very useful on the move. I reviewed the Nokia Lumia 820 last year here. On top of that, I have to add it’s invencible! I mean, after accidentally dropping it twice a day during the last year, it’s still alive and working! Just remember to activate its International Roaming plan and fill it with all the Travel Apps you might need (TripIt to keep track of all your travel details in one place, Momondo Friend Finder, language and destination guides, maps)
  • Laptop. Feb’15 update: I now travel with a MacBook Air that my brother kindly gave me. My Acer Aspire One 10′ is still alive after 3 years of heavy travelling so it must be good! 
  • DLSR. Mine is a Nikon D5100 – 16.2 Mp (3″ screen, VR, Full HD) – kit with lens AF-S DX 18-55mm VR f/3.5. Feb’15 update: 2 new lenses come with me everywhere as well: Nikkor 10-24mm and Sigma 17-70mm. 18-55mm default lens started to break 3 months after purchasing it and it’s almost dead 15 months in. I am not happy
  • Small water-resistant camera. Feb’15: GoPro Hero3 silver edition. Sony Cibershot DSC-TX10 works just fine.
  • Memory cards (5), filters, chargers, lens-hood, lens-cleaning wipes, spare batteries
  • Electrical adapters (I usually take two cheap ones with me, not a fan of the bulky universal adaptor)
  • Multiple socket (1 to 2)
  • Tablet *
  • X-shot extension pole*
  • Vanguard Veo 265CB carbon fiber travel tripod + TBH-50 ball head*
  • 2TB 3,5″ Seagate External Drive
  • Gladiator Travel and Vogart laptop and tablet cases.
  • Jord water resistant wood watch.
  • International SIM Card.

 

Personal Health and Hygiene

  • First Aid Kit
  • Medicines
  • Lip Balm
  • Insect repellent (less than 100ml)
  • Toiletries (less than 100ml)
  • Sun screen (less than 100ml)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Tiny scissors
  • Razors
  • Sanitary towels / tampons
  • Mini Towel
  • Comb
  • Hair dryer* / hair straightener*

Travel Accessories

  • Mini sewing kit
  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs
  • Tiny Headphones like these ones I bought at Tesco’s Stansted Airport last time I had a red-eye flight to kill some time watching movies)
  • Travel towel*
  • Swimming mask* and cap*
  • Light weight Sleeping bag*
  • Tent*. I’m in love with Quechua 2″ Air but it only works for a certain type of trip (basically nearby music festivals we get to with our own car or ground transportation since it’s bulky)
  • Flashlight*
  • Lighter*
  • Hammock*. We’ve also reviewed the Grand Trunk Double Hammock last year.
  • Gladiator Travel pillow.

Are we missing something? Let us know in the comments below and safe travels!


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There are 8 comments

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    • Inma

      🙂 Yes! Not the * items though but I’ve been extensively travelling just with hand luggage and it’s the best thing in the world! Sometimes at the door I believe they won’t let me in but it never happened yet. Fingers crossed!

  1. Heather

    Hi! Thank you for your article, very helpful. I’ve read numerous reviews including yours regarding the osprey rolling backpack and I am very excited. I also want to be able to take it as a carry-on on the European budget airlines (Ryanair, Aegean) so you just used a Allen screw for the wheels before getting to the airport and made sure you were within weight limits? I’m just trying to get all the tips I can to make it as a carry on. Thank you so much for your time!

    • Inma

      Exactly Heather! I carry that tiny Allen screw with me all the time in the same rolling backpack and have used it a few times. Most of the companies don’t bother checking all the measures so crazily like Ryanair so no point in removing the wheels in that case! Weight limits is more up to what you put inside. Those also may vary a lot. Lately I was forced to check in my bag because the weight limit was set to 5kg! But normally is around 10 so you should be ok there as well.


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