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 down 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, which 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. Other times, though, you should take them with you (especially when rough weather conditions, camping trips, etc. are involved).
PACKING LIST ESSENTIALS
CabinZero Cabin Sized Bag
After using the Military Black 44L for a few months, and the Urban 42L (built with Tarpaulin fabric – which makes it durable and waterproof), I have recently downsized and the Cabinzero military black under seat 28L bag is usually my choice (no matter if it is for a weekend getaway or a 10-day long road trip).
Here’re some of the features that make CabinZero bags great: Okoban built-in global luggage tracker, lockable zippers, 10+ years warranty, cabin-sized, lightweight, cool designs, and lots of accessories to customize your traveling storage such as their packing cube set.
Osprey Meridian Convertible Backpack 60L*
One of the sturdiest and sweetest packs I’ve come across in my life is the convertible 60L Backpack (40L wheeled backpack with a retractable handle + 20L Removable Daypack).
For 3 years and a half, it came with me onboard every plane I took. Even the low-cost ones! Removing its wheels (it takes about 1 min) made it approved to fly in the cabin. I just needed to remember to keep it around 10kg max.
Last but not least, Osprey’s lifetime warranty makes it is also really eco-friendly too.
Unique bag by Compagnon*
Ever since I got one of these, I take this Germany-engineered leather female camera bag with me all the time I am off somewhere for business. Whether it is traveling by train, bus or plane, it fits under the seat in front of me perfectly and holds everything I need to rest, work and play during a long-haul flight like my 13″ laptop, camera and two lenses, notebook, pen, cell phone, USB cord to charge the smartphone on the plane, headphones, toiletries, refillable water bottle, a scarf, wallet, and passport.
Basically, everything I take on board.
It was never easier to keep everything tidy and ready to be used in the same place. And a camera bag never looked that good!
Highly recommended if you travel a lot with your gadgets and like big bags that hold everything.
Havana 41 Photography Backpack by Vanguard*
I’ve been trusting Vanguard bags (Havana 41 and Veo Discover 46) for my photography equipment since 2015. They usually have lots of compartments to hold every lens and body, waterproof covers, and whatnot without looking too bulky or expensive, just like a regular size daypack.
Travel Documents and Money
- Passport/s with required visas up to date
- Travel Insurance
- Covid passport
- International Drivers License
- Wallet with some cash and at least 2 different credit or debit cards in case one stops working
- Pen and paper
- Money belt, Cabinzero bum bag, or fanny pack * When you want to be extra careful in a deemed unsafe spot or as a handbag to keep documents and cash close to you.
- Vaccinations certificate card*
Long-lasting, basic, matching color clothes that are easy to wash and dry fast is advisable. Long-term traveling 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.
- Foldable raincoat
- Warm long-sleeved jacket or fleece
- 3 cotton or microfiber T-shirts
- 1 nice top
- 1 comfy, versatile, and stylish dress
- 1 pair of capris
- 1 pair of black leggings
- 1 skirt/shorts/skort
- 1 swimsuit or bikini
- 2 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of tights
- 3 or 4 pieces of microfiber/lycra underwear
- 1 sarong or tunic
- Water-friendly, versatile & light Tropicfeel sneakers.
- Comfy and waterproof walking boots when needed. We use Hi-Tec and Panama Jack.
- Hiking sandals. Ours are Teva.
- Sun hat* or beanie*
- Waterproof and/or snow clothing when needed*
- Smartphone. Since my good old Nokia Lumia 820 was stolen, I have been using a few different smartphones. These days, the Huawei P20 does the job.
- Laptop. Since I started this blog, I used an Acer Aspire One 10′, a MacBook Air, and a Lenovo Yoga 710.
- Camera. I am currently shooting with my trusty Olympus OMD E10 Mark lll, and the following lenses: 7-14mm, and 14-140mm.
- GoPro water-resistant camera or similar.
- A bunch of memory cards, filters, chargers, lens hoods, cleaning wipes, spare batteries
- 2TB 3,5″ Seagate External Drive
- Laptop case
- Electrical adapters (I usually take a couple of cheap ones with me, not a fan of the bulky universal adaptor)
- Multiple sockets (1 or 2)
- Tablet *When traveling for business
- Extension or selfie pole*
- Vanguard Veo 265CB carbon fiber travel tripod + TBH-50 ball head*
- 3atm water resistant Nordgreen watches
- International SIM Card.
Personal Health and Hygiene
- First-Aid Kit
- Meds and painkillers
- Lip Balm
- Insect repellent (less than 100ml)
- Toiletries (less than 100ml)
- Sunscreen (less than 100ml)
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Tiny scissors
- Sanitary towels/tampons
- Mini Towel
- Hairdryer* / hair straightener*
- Mini sewing kit
- Eye mask
- Insulated 32oz refillable water bottle
- Microfiber travel towel*
- Swimming mask* and cap*
- Lightweight 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)
- Grand Trunk Double Hammock *
- Travel pillow*
Are we missing something? Let us know in the comments below and safe travels!
ADD THIS PIN TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS:
I agree. The best way to travel is a backpack/hand luggage.. You don’t have to wait at the airport. I use to go only with cabin luggage, for a fifteen days trip.
Thank you for the article! Did you ever post a review on the Osprey convertible bag? I would love to find out more on how that worked for you!
Great post, when i tried out the wheeled backpack it did not work well for our long term traveling.
Why was that David? It works wonders for me after 2y and a half!
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!
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.
You can fit all of this into hand luggage? I’m so impressed right now!
Definitely popping this on Pinterest to come back to for those long haul trips…
🙂 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!