What We Packed in Our Carry-ons for 1 Year of Travel Around the World

Up to date February 2019

We traveled round the world for 14 months, via Latin America, Europe, India, and Southeast Asia. And now we’re again in Brooklyn, digesting all that we’ve skilled. So now is a superb time to replace this packing listing!

Earlier than we left, my husband and I did months of analysis preparing for our journey. We discovered so much of web sites with recommendation, however lots of recommendation that wasn’t helpful in any respect, both as a result of the packing listing was by an early-twenties backpacker who’s content material to run round in shorts and a polyester tank prime, or as a result of it was from a male digital nomad who wears just about the similar factor daily.

Nonetheless, we rigorously conferred and cobbled collectively a Frankenstein of a packing record between us, for two style-conscious digital nomads who wish to hike but in addition exit to good dinners typically.

We managed to suit all of our stuff in two rolling carry-ons (mine with the expander zipper undone; we’ve been checking them for flights), two backpacks, and a private merchandise (my little crossbody purse.) This listing doesn’t embrace all of his DJ manufacturing gear, by the approach–that’s an entire different publish.

However sure, I’m fairly impressed with ourselves!

Some Basic Tips

  1. Select a easy shade palette. As with all Capsule Wardrobe, you need to ensure you can combine and match. I went with white, black, navy blue, and pink. He went with black, white, and gray, plus denim. I’ve a big caftan gown that’s none of this stuff, nevertheless it’s its personal outfit, so it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t actually match anything. My equipment match too: They’re both camel-brown leather-based, gray, or or gold.
  2. Flat pack and stuff sack. Every little thing ought to both lay flat in your suitcase, or include a stuff sack. That features your purse, your clothes, your hat, your puffy coat, your jewellery, your underwear assortment, and so on. I even stuffed my bathe cap into slightly cotton pouch. Everybody’s so about packing cubes – I purchased a number of and truly don’t discover mine that useful, as a result of then I’ve to pack round these two huge rectangular issues in my suitcase, and I don’t like how they require extreme squishing of my cotton issues.
  3. Pure supplies. Particularly should you’re headed to scorching areas or taking lengthy aircraft rides, you don’t need to be sporting polyester (itchy and dangerous for your woman elements), rayon viscose (attracts and retains B.O.), acrylic (similar), or pleather (sticks to pores and skin, falls aside shortly). Merino wool wicks away moisture and lets go of odor (extra on why I really like wool), cotton is wholesome for your pores and skin for an entire day on planes, silk is light-weight and wholesome for your pores and skin, hemp is robust and long-lasting, as is linen, and artisan-made leather-based equipment will final you all yr. (Why actual leather-based for artisan-made gadgets is best.)
  4. Washable and dryable. You’re going to seek out your self handing your laundry over sooner or later to somebody who doesn’t perceive the idea of “lay flat to dry,” I assure it. So pack gadgets that may survive a visit via the dryer. And no “dry clean only,” for apparent causes. Until you’re staying solely in 4 Seasons Resorts. During which case, why are you even studying this?
  5. Overlook the resort put on  – You gained’t put on it as a lot as you assume, even in Central and South America. Pack issues which you can put on in the metropolis in addition to the seashore.
  6. Put together for a small change out whenever you cross to a brand new continent. It’s unavoidable, regardless of how properly you pack! In Europe you’ll need to add some glossy fundamentals. In Southeast Asia you need to pair right down to solely the lightest, most informal stuff.

So right here it’s: the remaining packing record for a heterosexual couple (man and lady) who’s touring round the world:

My Touring Outfit

This was for leaving New York Metropolis in December and arriving to Mexico Metropolis. You is perhaps totally different, clearly.

  • Natural cotton yoga leggings – I like to recommend these. They’re so versatile, flattering and cozy!
  • Ably white t-shirt – Once more, has stain-resistant know-how, which is essential for those who’re touring!
  • Merino wool hoodie – I used this continually. A darkish gray shade ensures in case you layer it underneath a shawl or poncho, nobody will comprehend it’s for climbing, and merino wool is so smooth, and wicks away moisture and odor.
  • Uniqlo extremely mild down jacket –  This comes with a stuff sack, so I might truly match it inside my mid-sized purse if the temperature fluctuates quite a bit. When it’s on, nevertheless, it’s fairly heat. When you don’t need to purchase Uniqlo, Ecoalf makes an various, however I can’t vouch for how small it will get for packing functions.
  • Sports activities bra
  • Snug underwear in pure material
  • Wool socks – I really like merino wool as a result of it wicks away moisture and odor.
  • Path trainers – I might pack these should you assume you’ll be doing any hikes which might be longer than two hours, or any muddy hikes. We did a number of and I used to be grateful for these. In black, these aren’t tremendous dorky wanting, and are smaller and lighter than climbing boots. Simply add wool socks to make them heat in chilly climate and dry shortly if you need to tramp by way of a stream, like we did in Hawaii. But when intense climbing is admittedly not your fashion, then I might recommend black sneakers, that you could put on in the metropolis with denims or perhaps a skirt, for exercising, or a light-weight, non-muddy hike.
  • Mini crossbody purse or bumbag – I acquired into the behavior of carrying a mini crossbody purse once I journey, as a result of it provides me fast and safe entry to my passport, pockets, and tickets, with out me having to take off my backpack. O My Bag has a ton to select from, and Marlow Items has some nice ones as properly. Then I acquired to Berlin, and noticed how everybody slings bum luggage throughout their chest and appears very cool and classy, and I switched to that. I like to recommend Zamt for some vegetable-tanned and classy bumbags.
  • Passport and Passport case – convey one with pockets, as a result of I caught my Mexican visa in right here, and nonetheless had it once I came upon that it is advisable to current your copy to go away Mexico, or else pay for a brand new one at the airport. I even have my yellow fever vaccination card, additional visa pictures, and my worldwide drivers license in right here.
  • Telephone
  • Charging twine
  • Mini pockets – There’s tons to select from at O My Bag.
  • Sun shades – right here’s my purchasing information to the greatest eco sun shades


I began with a Fjallraven, however I didn’t like how anybody might attain proper into the again pocket, and it additionally wasn’t waterproof. I had grünbag in Denmark customized design me a brand new eco-friendly, waterproof, pickpocket-proof backpack. They appreciated the design a lot, they put this specific mannequin up for sale on their web site, with the identify Alden!

  • Moveable telephone charging battery – These by Nimble are moral and eco-friendly
  • Earbuds – conventional jack for laptop computer/airplane console, and a dongle when you have the latest iPhone
  • Digital camera and lenses, additional battery, battery charger, additional reminiscence playing cards – I really like my compact however highly effective Fuji x-t10, with a large angle lens for panorama, structure, and room photographs; and a 50 mm lens for portraits and meals.
  • Macbook Professional and charger 
  • Laptop computer hardcover – I really feel like my Macbook is just too shiny to have peeking out of my bag or on an outside desk at a restaurant in a creating nation. So I purchased a case for it and slapped a black sticker over the light-up Apple emblem. You can get one of these fairly (however not eye-catching) wooden covers. My laptop computer is so previous they don’t make my measurement anymore, so I ended up getting an affordable one off of Amazon. It’s already peeling, however I don’t thoughts that my laptop computer seems to be nugatory now. That’s the level.
  • Matador lens bag and digital camera bag
  • Moleskine
  • Chico reusable bag with stuff sack – Additionally an excellent factor to get as a memento as you journey!
  • Extensive-mouth reusable espresso cup with sealable lid – Can be utilized for espresso, or additionally as a to-go container in a pinch for soup, fruit, snacks, and so forth.
  • SPF chapstick
  • Mini tube of SPF cream. It’s so nice to have this in your backpack or purse always, since you’ll end up strolling round a sunny metropolis and assume, oops! Ought to have placed on sunscreen! Listed here are my favorites.
  • Hand sanitizer – It was widespread in Latin America that the public rest room wherever doesn’t have any cleaning soap out there. Or, for those who’re like me, that you simply’ll need to pet a pleasant stray cat or canine!
  • Bamboo journey utensil set – so that you don’t have to make use of disposable one in areas which have horrible or non-existent waste disposal. Make sure that it’s plastic or wooden (not metallic) so it doesn’t get confiscated by airport safety (whoops).
  • Reusable straw – Most drinks don’t want straws, however mojitos and coconuts do!
  • Pack of tissues – this isn’t for your nostril, so don’t assume I’m advocating this over a reusable handkerchief. It’s for rest room emergencies.
  • Reusable handkerchief – Yup, this one is for your nostril, or you should use it as a serviette.
  • Travel pen with carabiner – so useful! I haven’t misplaced this pen in the previous 9 months, which is astounding.
  • Moveable pillow – all the time convey this, even on a aspect journey in case your aircraft experience is an hour. You by no means know when will probably be delayed by 5 hours till 2 am, as occurred to us in Zihuatenejo. I purchased mine in Singapore – it converts from a neck pillow to a sq. pillow.
  • Matador droplet moist bag


In My Suitcase

I’ve a Samsonite carry-on with enlargement that’s made with recycled water bottles. Right here’s an inventory of eco-friendly baggage choices.

  • Black-and-white striped long-sleeved tee – Lengthy-sleeved striped tees can go from excessive summer time to winter, and it’s saved me from many a sunburn! I obtained my Hole one used, however I want I had gone with a better high quality, since mine already has holes in it. I now have a Saint James tee, that I do know will final for years.
  • Elizabeth Suzanne reversible washable silk tie prime – I’ve worn this to the seashore and out on New Year’s Eve. Tie it in the again and it’s a stunning prime that goes with any backside, from denims to a skirt. Tie it in the entrance and it’s tremendous attractive.
  • Par en Par gown/gown – I can put on this as a seashore cowl up, a gown, or a gown. Having a gown available is so useful!
  • Par en Par culottes – modest, trendy, and cozy, they’re tremendous versatile, from the seashore to a restaurant to a temple.
  • Linen long-sleeved button down – I received my J. Crew one secondhand. It’s versatile and might be worn from daytime, to nighttime to protect towards mosquitoes. However I ended up changing it with a linen shirt I obtained off a pal who I used to be hanging out with in Nicaragua. Tradland has some nice new variations
  • Denims – Both black or denim, relying in your type. Essential for whenever you’re in a metropolis! I wore my black ones till they turned gray, and received some secondhand indigo pale ones in Berlin. Right here’s an inventory of eco-friendly denim manufacturers. 
  • Excessive-waisted shorts – Both in denim or cotton. I selected black material, as a result of I’m attending to previous for brief jean shorts and material is lighter than denim. You will discover some at Yoox.
  • Caftan gown – modest but flattering, nice for in all places from Panama seashores to Bali temples. Doubles as a private mosquito internet whenever you’re in tropical places! I really like this one at Accompany.
  • Midi skirt – I received one in a jersey cotton, and put on it in scorching informal climate in addition to the metropolis.
  • Yummy sweater – You want one thing heat, belief me. Lots of cities even in the tropics are at excessive elevation and get chilly at night time!
  • Leather-based jacket – A should for each metropolis in the world in which it will get chilly at night time. Go together with a light-weight, tender one which folds and packs small. So no stiff motorbike jackets.
  • MATTER pants – A should for touring, these pants will take you from the metropolis to the temple.
  • Hobes footwear – They flat pack and look tremendous cute on.
  • 2 tanks in black and white – For layering beneath your day outfit or for a scorching hike. I packed the scoop necks from Groceries Attire, or attempt a stain resistant one from Ably.
  • Pons Avarcas strolling sandals in camel brown – These final perpetually and are tremendous snug and versatile. Learn my full evaluation. 
  • Birkenstocks  – At first I packed fairly sandals. Then I hardly used them, and eventually realized that Birkenstocks are each trendy and helpful, so I received these in black. I’m nonetheless on the lookout for tremendous snug strappier black sandals that pack extra flat, however I maintain making an attempt on ones in the retailer and may’t discover something as snug as Birks!
  • Chila Bag from Noa Commerce or leather-based backpack from Raven + Lily– Each serve the similar perform as a flat-pack trendy bag that holds quite a bit. I’ve used each and love them each.
  • Rain jacket with hood by Marmot – Folds up tiny. I’ve been so grateful for this a number of occasions.
  • Patagonia athletic shorts – for mountaineering, doing yoga, or understanding. I initially introduced two, however I noticed I solely wanted one pair.
  • three bras and eight pairs of underwear. Right here’s my 5 guidelines for packing underwear for journey.
  • Wool socks – Merino wool retains your ft cool or heat, and wicks away odor and sweat.
  • Lengthy-sleeved white tee – Cute sufficient to put on in the metropolis, at night time towards mosquitos, but in addition nice for mountaineering. Get one from Ably, in order that it resists stains.
  • Sarong – Nice as a canopy up, towel, or seashore blanket. I obtained mine in India from Anokhi, however of course you will get these anyplace!
  • Pajamas – I selected this set as a result of I might put on the t-shirt individually out in public (and did!), and the shorts to the seashore.
  • Jewellery? I’ve been having a lot enjoyable jewellery buying, that I truly want I hadn’t packed something besides my ear studs. I’ve been including to my assortment and it’s getting just a little unwieldy. So, you may need to simply pack the very fundamentals: studs, a hoop, one favourite delicate necklace.
  • Skinny belt – This one from Nudie is the good measurement for me, as a result of the final gap let’s me use it for my denims, and the first gap let’s me wrap it round my waist.
  • Light-weight giant scarf – I really like my Sluggish Manufacturing unit BANNED scarf, particularly for a yr of journey!
  • Small scarf – I exploit this for wrapping my hair so much. I had a white cotton one, however colourful is enjoyable too!
  • 2 bathing fits – 1 one-piece and one bikini. I’ve a Black Vitamin A one-piece and a pink bikini. Right here’s my record of favourite sustainable swimwear manufacturers.
  • Packable wide-brimmed hat – You’ll be in the solar lots, whether or not at a seashore or doing strolling excursions in the metropolis.
  • Sports activities bra
  • Teva’s or different watershoes that strap on – Not simply for climbing or waterfalls, additionally useful with it’s raining buckets!
  • Additional sun shades – Past the city-style ones, you’ll need beach-y, pageant fashion ones, too. Right here’s my listing of eco-friendly sun shades. 
  • Informal watch
  • A hand fan – A should for festivals or dancing on the seashore to music. You may also purchase this as a memento whereas touring from actually any museum.
  • PurSteam touring iron/steamer – this factor is tiny, however essential!
  • Photo voltaic lamp by Luci – When the electrical energy went off in India, this factor saved the day. It’s extra of a lamp than a flashlight, so you’ll be able to eat by it or learn by it with out getting mild into your companion’s eyes. The brand new one has a USB charger so you possibly can cost it up or cost your telephone.
  • Travel yoga mat – So you will get a very good lengthy stretch in each morning, regardless of the place you’re. I fold mine up and pack it inside the suitcase
  • Common sink plug – So you’ll be able to wash your clothes in the sink. I exploit mine continuously.
  • Travel dry line – Drying one thing on a line versus over the railing or on the flooring makes an enormous distinction in time spent. (I misplaced my bikini prime in Hawaii drying it on the railing!) I like this one as a result of it comes with a stuff sack.
  • Waterproof reusable laundry bag – Issues will get moist and also you’ll need to put them in one thing waterproof…so synthetics wins out on this one.
  • Travel stitching package – I’ve used this a number of occasions.
  • Reusable sealable luggage – I acquired these on suggestion from a digital nomad weblog, and I’m so glad I did. We’ve been utilizing numerous sizes already for issues that come up, however they take up no room in my suitcase aspect inside pocket.
  • Baggage locks – Deliver two! Once we’re in a tenting state of affairs with no protected, I put one on my suitcase and one on the tent zippers once we step out.
  • Travel first assist package – Get a primary one, then add in drugs you’ll want, like malaria tablets, altitude treatment, ibuprofen, imodium, and so on. You’ll be able to all the time get extra drugs the place you’re going, probably, for cheaper than in the U.S.

In My Toiletry Bag

  • Travel toiletry bag – So, I ditched my eco-friendly however not very organized journey toiletry bag. Illich ordered two sizes of this nylon one, and gave me the bigger one and I adore it. It has a journey mirror, so many pockets, and isn’t stiff so it takes up much less room.
  • Argan oil – I can’t stay with out argan oil for making my hair shiny and clean, plus sealing in moisture on my face after a bathe.
  • Coola Tinted SPF BB cream – That is my absolute favourite tinted SPF moisturizer. It’s not too thick and makes your face glow!
  • Micellar water – I really like touring with Micellar water, since you don’t want to make use of water for it. I like Sure to Cucumbers, which yow will discover in the journey measurement in your native CVS or Walgreens.
  • Reusable cotton rounds
  • Extremely moisturizing night time face cream – For whenever you’re in arid, mountainous areas. My night time regenerative balm from Apoterra was a lifesaver in Mexico.
  • Physique lotion – this one from Osea comes in the journey measurement.
  • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste – I’ve to confess, mine is plastic, as a result of I needed a compact toothbrush with a protecting cap.
  • Deodorant – right here’s my roundup of my favorites.
  • Mini hair iron and/or hairdryer – I didn’t have room to convey each, although I want I did! I went with the hair iron for my bangs.
  • Mini hair brush
  • Tweezers
  • Hair elastics
  • Reusable metallic nail file – nice for each submitting and digging crud out from underneath your nails.
  • 1 matte lipstick – I like Jane Iredale lipstick in purple
  • 1 lip tint – One thing extra delicate and seashore applicable
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Bathe bag – Having all my bathe stuff in a separate bag is essential to make sure I don’t depart issues behind in the bathe, as a result of I see the empty bathe bag once I’m packing and keep in mind I have to fill it up.
  • Shampoo and conditioner – I exploit conditioner for shaving, too. At first I packed full measurement, as a result of I didn’t need to hold shopping for and ditching plastic bottles, however rattling, they take up so a lot room and I lastly gave up and received two journey sizes. I refill them each time I’m in a lodge or place that retains giant bottles in the bathe.
  • Bathe cap – I obtained one from Shhhowercap that wouldn’t be thrown away by the cleansing individuals the approach small plastic ones are, nevertheless it got here in over-the-top, wasteful packaging, so I don’t advocate it. However as soon as I had it, I stuffed it in a bit of cotton bag.
  • Security razor and razor blades – I switched to this as a result of it’s simpler to seek out razor blade replacements overseas then the fancy heads that include no matter fancy razor blade you will get out of your drugstore in the U.S. I acquired a alternative pack of four blades for $three in Ecuador! It’s additionally much less wasteful and cheaper, and the replacements take up no room. I assumed Illich and I might share, however then he went and obtained his personal! Simply remember that you need to verify the bag with razor blades as a result of safety will confiscate them.
  • Sunscreen – Right here’s my information to non-toxic sunscreen.
  • Dr. Bronner journey sized – Nice for if the place you’re staying doesn’t present hand cleaning soap, or if you should wash your garments in the sink.
  • Ear plugs – Get them on a string so that you don’t lose them once they fall out
  • Security pins
  • 1 bottle nail polish and 1 bottle prime coat – learn my critiques of the greatest non-toxic manufacturers
  • Nail polish remover pads – get ones that come in just a little screw-shut container, as an alternative of individually wrapped ones.
  • 1 mini bottle LURK fragrance
  • Bugspray – My absolute favourite

Illich’s Males’s Travel Packing Record

I’ll begin this by saying Illich is just not a sustainability freak like me, so not all the things in this listing is eco-friendly. I’ve snuck quite a bit of issues in there over the previous 4 years although which might be. So that you’ll discover a cut up between gadgets which are simply plain helpful and gadgets which are additionally sustainable.

On the Airplane:

  • All Birds runners
  • Merino wool zip-up layer
  • Nudie denims
  • Sensible wool socks 
  • Uniqlo extremely down jacket – Yeah, we match. Nevertheless it works so nicely! For the document, he did have his first and I copied him.
  • Ably cotton t-shirt
  • Caravana black poncho – He can wrap this as a shawl in the metropolis, or put on it as a poncho in resort areas like Tulum. Sadly, you’ll be able to’t purchase it on-line. It’s a must to purchase it from one of their shops in the US or internationally.
  • Baseball cap
  • Cash safety belt
  • Low cost Ray-Ban fashion sun shades – He didn’t need to convey his actual ones advert lose or break them. A great factor, as a result of he needed to exchange them a number of weeks into the journey!
  • Low cost watch

In His Suitcase

  • Uniqlo undershirt
  • White cotton emblem t-shirt
  • Black sleeveless cotton tee 
  • One other Ably cotton t-shirt – It’s stain and odor resistant, nice for longterm journey
  • Hemp lengthy sleeve button down – by B Label. Hemp is sustainable, robust, and solely will get softer with put on.
  • White cowl neck t-shirt  – one thing trendy for his DJ gigs.
  • Outlier black pants – Illich hiked for 7 hours in these in Hawaii, however they appear ok for dinner or the workplace
  • MATTER shorts – He wears these each different day
  • Mild pajamas pants and shirt
  • Nike Dri-Match t-shirt
  • Nike sleeveless Dri Match t-shirt
  • Columbia convertible mountaineering pants – These have been the most light-weight plus got here in a tall sufficient measurement for him (he’s 6’5″)
  • Truthful Harbor gray shorts – These eco-friendly shorts seem like regular shorts, however they are often worn as swim trunks, or to yoga.
  • 7 pairs Sensible Wool socks 
  • Leather-based seashore sandals – From OAK three years in the past, they’re extra trendy than flip flops! (Have I discussed he’s a metrosexual? Should you haven’t observed but.)
  • Ecco mountaineering sandals
  • Palladium boots – they appear cool sufficient for the metropolis however he can hike in them too.
  • Leather-based belt – for the metropolis
  • Fjallraven belt – for climbing or informal days
  • Marmot rain jacket with hood
  • Black sarong – He can use this as a towel or wrap it round his neck like a shawl
  • Insulated water bottle and crochet sling – A reasonably manly approach to carry your water bottle, truly!
  • Camelbak backpack – for day hikes
  • Head lamp – We’ll be staying in locations the place we’ll want this to navigate round the property at night time.
  • Matador duffel bag that goes right into a mini stuff sack – nice for aspect journeys to the seashore or the jungle for a pair days.
  • Matador tote bag that goes right into a stuff sack – He places his DJ gear or day journey gadgets in right here.
  • Travel towel

In His Backpack:

  • Smartphone
  • Telephone charging twine
  • Laptop computer and charger
  • Laptop computer warmth lap pad
  • Display cleaner spray and material
  • Cable pouch/organizer
  • Duct tape
  • Moveable telephone charger battery
  • Moleskine sketchbook
  • Brief extension twine with a number of plugs  – So we will share an outlet when working
  • Passport and passport pockets
  • Worldwide vaccination certificates
  • Worldwide driver’s licence
  • Additional pictures for visas
  • Fold up reusable bag
  • Travel pen with carabiner
  • Inflatable journey pillow
  • Earbuds
  • Ear plugs
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Moveable spork – So we don’t have to make use of disposable ones
  • Pack of tissues  – For loos with out rest room paper
  • Tin mug – we every purchased one in Mexico and use it in lieu of disposable cups
  • Wifi booster – so he ca decide up the weak lodge wifi from our lodge room, or sit at the cafe subsequent door to the one with the wifi.

His Toiletries:

  • Small nylon journey toiletry bag – He appreciated it a lot that when it obtained a gap in it in Mexico from an unprotected razor, he took it to get it repaired.
  • Electrical toothbrush by Quip – It’s actually compact
  • Travel toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Security razor and razor blades  – I feel we might have shared this however he acquired his personal!
  • Mini hair brush
  • 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner
  • Tweezers
  • Dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Cleaning soap
  • Cleaning soap field
  • Chapstick
  • Akamai pores and skin and hair oil – he has lengthy hair
  • Swiss Military Knife

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