What I Pack for My Travels

Packing a BackpackOver the years, what I carry in my bag has changed a lot. Most of that change has to do with the fact that I now carry a lot of gear related to blogging, but it also reflects the fact that I’ve learned a lot about packing since I first hit the road in 2006. And while many websites have packing lists, I want to combine all my previous posts on the subject (there are about three) into one updated post that reflects my current views on what people should pack on their trip.

First, the short answer to what you should pack: take as little as possible. I take only the essentials and if I really need something, I buy it. It’s not that hard to find medicine, clothes, or an umbrella overseas. I also try to stick to the same climate during my trips to avoid carrying lots of different clothes. I don’t want to be lugging sweaters around Thailand!

However, plans can change and if that happens, I buy a light jacket. I keep it until it is a burden and then I leave it behind. The more I travel, the more I realize I don’t need a lot of stuff. Everything I own fits into one backpack. Packing light is a cliche, yet one that has a lot of truth to it.

But the long answer to what you should pack? Well, below is my suggested packing list:

1 dress shirt for when I go out to a respectable place in the evening.
1 pair of jeans (They may be heavy and not easily dried, but I wear them a lot. A good alternative can be khaki pants.)
1 pair of shorts
1 bathing suit
6 T-shirts
1 long-sleeve T-shirt
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of sneakers
8 pairs of socks
1 pair of black dress socks
1 pair of dress shoes (Heavy to carry around, but when I visit local friends, we usually go somewhere not sneaker-friendly)
7 pairs of boxer shorts
1 towel

1 toothbrush
1 tube of toothpaste
1 razor
1 package of dental floss
1 small bottle of shampoo
1 small bottle of shower gel
Hair gel so I can keep the fro down between haircuts.

Hydrocortisone cream
Antibacterial cream
Eye drops
Doctor-prescribed antibiotics
Hand sanitizer

GEAR (for those blogging, taking video, or anything else)
Nikon Camera
Wireless microphones
Universal power adapter

A key or combination lock (everyone should have this, too!)
Zip-top bags
Plastic bags

Special tip: Buy a small backpack so you won’t be tempted to overpack. We subconsciously like to fill empty space so if you have a big bag, you’re more likely to overpack just so you don’t waste space.

I’ve found that this list leaves me wanting for nothing. I’m sure many of you will read this and say “But what about X” or “You really don’t need Y”. Well, that works for you and this list works for me. Tailor your list to suit your travels.

I write this post not because I think there is one perfect way to pack but to answer a recurring question about what I pack and why. I haven’t touched upon this subject in over 3 years and people keep asking me “what should I pack when I go away?” This is my guideline and suits my “chase the summer, live in hostels” lifestyle.

But the real point I want to emphasize is that you really don’t need a lot when you travel. Before I go on a trip, I write down a list of what I think I’ll need and then cut it in half. You never need as much as you think.

In the end, there is never a definitive packing list. Everyone has different needs. My list suits my needs. It might not suit yours.

  1. Matt, how do you wash clothes while traveling long-term? Do you get little containers of detergent and then wash in hostel sinks? Or do you go to laundromats and get full service fluff-and-fold?

    • Well I’m not Matt – and I wouldn’t carry t-shirts myself as they are hard to wash. Depending on where in the world you are -in Asia – I just give my laundry to the nearest shop offering to do it for a $1 or so a kilo. In more expensive countries I wash it myself using shampoo usually in a sink (bring a universal plug!). I always carry lightweight shirts, that dry easier, and a travel clothesline to hang the stuff up with.

      • fran

        I am not Matt either. My husband and I pack similar stuff but NEVER cotton t-shirts. Always quick dry, wicking, generally cool travel shirts from Columbia, Exofficio or similar. These wash beautifully in a sink (yes to the universal plug) with my baggie of detergent powder. They dry overnight. 7 pairs of boxer shorts! Yeek…Matt must get Tilley underwear…two pairs are good for a year of travel. Wash one, wear one. Actually my son managed three months with one pair, washing nightly as they dry instantly (well almost). We also sub quick dry pants for the jeans although I always miss my jeans when travelling….if only someone would come up with a pair that are cool and quick drying.

        • Felicity

          True – but washing boxer shorts every night seems like more hassle than just carrying the extra pairs. I’d imagine it’s the last thing you’d want to do after a late night out or whilst travelling on an overnight boat or bus – and you don’t want to be stuck wearing the same pair two days in a row when in such a hot/humid climate.

          Sometimes the additional comfort or convenience of certain items just outweighs the disadvantages of having extra baggage.

        • Molly

          Levi’s makes a line of jeans called the Commuter. Although originally intended for cyclists commuting to and from work I’m sure they would work well for travel. They’re water + dirt repellent with 3M reflective features and the jackets have a ton of sneaky pockets – great for travelers.

          Even with regular jeans you shouldn’t need to wash – only spot clean. The Commuters should make it through a trip without needed a wash. If you find they do soak in a bath tub with a little detergent, rinse, and hang dry. Should be good by morning.

          *Bonus: Levi’s just released a line of women’s Commuters!

    • Duct tape is a brilliant idea! I don’t think I would pack it though b/c it can be a bit heavy, but I’ve used it to fix up boots, prevent blisters, fix luggage…it’s great! When in doubt just ask someone for duct tape…it might not look great, but it works!

    • 3 tops (shirts usually), 3 bottoms (shorts/trousers/skirts depending on culture/climate), some bras and pants. We are lucky – our shoes take less space than men’s! My clothes usually take less space/weight than my partners – and that’s because of his second pair of shoes.

    • I agree. I’ve been living off 2 pants and 4 shirts for 3 months now.

      I have a Deuter Futura 28L backpack. I started off with a Deuter Futura 32L but I did a trial run with it to Sydney earlier on in the year and it was too heavy (I could pack too much into it). The 28L just restricted me a bit more.

      I also brought jeans with me, because as much as I like to travel light, I like to be comfortable as well. Jeans you can wear almost anywhere. Zip off pants… not so much. :)
      I’ve also got my laptop, camera (not a SLR), first aid kit, 2 pairs of shoes etc. I even had a sleeping bag to start with, but I passed that onto someone else back in Cusco. Made room for other things. :)

      Admittedly I have bought stuff on the way, like Matt says, just grab it when you need it and ditch it when you don’t need it anymore.

      Everyone thought I was nuts when I left home with such a small backpack. But it’s definitely do-able. I have not regretted bringing such a small bag the whole trip away. Best thing you can do….. Think how much your back will thank you :)

      • Hi Megan, can I please ask a question as I have the same backpack as you. How do you go about protecting your laptop against the wire frame back? I love the backpack, it is soooo comfortable, I am just concerned about breaking my laptop!

        Love your website Matt, you have some fantastic posts and resources.

        • Marlena Santoyo

          OK so I book a flight to Manchester, UK & wonder how to be flexible on the return date.
          I could stay 4 or 14 days there and/or other locations.
          So can I change flight back without a charge or….?

          • tiptopcashew

            That would all depend on your airline. Most airlines will charge you for changing the date of your flight once booked, but this information will be on their website.

      • Marta

        Nice site, Matt!

        wow, Megan, 28L is impressive! I’m jealous 😉 I also carry less clothes/shoes than Matt, but my first aid kit takes as much room as my clothes :/ I suppose depending on your travel style you might not need as much stuff. I sometimes go on hikes or practice adventure sports without guides, so it’s good to have cleaning pads, tape or cloth to immobilize extremities, water repellent lining (so I can continue to practice water sports after injury), Compeed, on top of pain-killers and antibiotics.

        Feminine hygiene-related stuff is the other packing-space-related annoyance I have, and can’t get around it!

        I currently use a 50L backpack (not full, but additionally a sling bag for camera and electronics) and I’m tempted to leave my light hiking shoes behind, since my Tevas are totally all-terrain and have flip flops too. That’d free up a lot of room!

  2. Steph- I don’t think Matt wears a lot of womens clothing but I could be wrong (lol jk dude)

    My only exception is I bring one exercise outfit, just for running & general exercise. These are specific clothes types and expensive to keep buying on the go.

  3. Bookmarked it! Leaving for a short 2 years round the world trip and packing gives me already a headache before even starting it :D. I was thinking of 7 peaces of clothes but I will see it when my backpack will get full :)

  4. James Griffin

    I go for zip-off convertible hiking pants. They dry quickly, are easy to wash, are fine for most any occasion (save the expensive meal with friends), and can be used for swimming.

    One pair of good walking shoes and one pair of sandals (Chaco’s for me).

    I prefer merino wool tops for the same reasons Lissie listed in a previous comment.

    Leave all tech at home except the camera. Take extra memory cards and batteries. Download when the trip is done.

  5. srisha

    Matt…tx for the great tips…I jz returned from Krabi n guess what, I kind of packed light too ..in my case, I wanted to be trendy as well, so I brought along my tights which are much more lighter than jeans and tops of lighter material….that really helped actually..

  6. Genie

    Ten-feet of suspension line (they now sell bracelets out of this stuff). You never know when you’ll need a clothes line, to tie something together, to hang something, etc. And large safety pins. You never know when you’ll need them!

  7. Heather

    For the ladies I would like to recommend a sarong. It’s small and lightweight. Doubles as a bath and swim towel, skirt, dress, scarf, sweat rag, sun cover, and even a mosquito net in the hammock.

  8. Matt, these posts pull me in every time. I appreciate seeing your list and then looking at my own bag of life and yup, it’s pretty much the same. Though, I’m still a,axed that no matter the size of the pack, we will always fill it.

    Best advice here, and you’re right. Always go with a smaller pack!

  9. Yes you mentioned things are important. I am troubled some time in travel without torch light, and medical kits.

    So very important thing is medical kit, dress and insect killer.


  10. I was going to comment on clothes for women too! I am with Matt on the basics, but I like to have a simple dress and a pair of sandals! Have been known to make those sandals heels (I cycled across Canada with a party dress and heels – sometimes you just have to have some fun!). At least women’s dress shoes tend to weigh less! I also tend to avoid cotton t-shirts…fast drying tops are so much more versatile.

  11. I like your tip about buying a small backpack. It is so true that you will keep filling your bag until it is full. It is totally a sub-conscious habbit of mine, and if I travel with a small bag I always pack less, and never miss the things I would have put in a larger bag.

  12. Heavily depends on where you’re going, as well. Jeans would just be brutal right now in Thailand! I was sweating bullets just in my hippie pants. I agree with the small pack. Mine’s tiny and it helps me save money by not buying souvenirs.

  13. Hey Matt.

    What can you say about carrying a tripod with you? I’m just wrapping up a year abroad, and I didn’t bring one because of the weight. Sometimes I regret it, but how do you find carrying it around all the time? What size of tripod do you bring?



    • I agree with Matt, I hate lugging around a tripod. On my last trip, I only used it once. The funny thing was I ended up using my GorillaPod more than my regular tripod. I suppose it depends on whether you want to be a professional or just enjoying your passion for photography. But in the end, for me, next trip, I am just taking my gorilla with me.

  14. Excellent list/tips, Matt! Quick question – how do you pack for winter vs. summer? How do you still pack light when you have to bring a lot of layers? Thanks! And happy holidays! :)

  15. You’re absolutely right! Everyone has things they may need and others may not. It becomes more difficult when you have to pack for different climates. We have done a couple of trips that involved different climates and the one thing I can say to people is: buy items along the way.

    If you’re trekking in Nepal, don’t lug a sleeping bag around the world with you for 9 months until you actually need it – buy it there! Same goes for warm clothing. Things are usually cheaper overseas anyways.

    A good plan is to bring a base layer (thermal top) and a lightweight fleece (for cooler climates). We also have a windproof/waterproof jacket each. Both are lightweight, and roll up very small.

    Cheers for the post.

    Safe Travels,
    Goats On The Road

    • Taking notes – we are getting our packing list prepared for our big trip in Asia from June.

      Any particular recommendations for a good wind proof/water proof jacket and fleece jumper?

  16. Adam Allegro

    Currently on a year long romp around Asia. Because I am a photographer I carry gear that is a bit bulkier, but what Matt wrote pretty much covers the rest. Since I started during winter, I have much more stuff (it is currently 15 deg f here in Korea). But most of that will be shed by the time I hit SE Asia. If considering traveling during the winter months, I would recommend a pair of long undies (top and bottom), which fold up very small, warm gloves, beanie or head scarf, and then layer as much as needed – thermal, tshirt, sweatshirt, and waterproof light jacket have been doing the trick – beats carrying around a bulky, heavy jacket… The biggest pain for me is my Full frame DSLR, two bulky lenses, gitzo tripod, MacBook Pro (editing), 2 external hard drives, extra camera batteries, chargers, misc camera gear, business cards… I also brought a sleeping bag but will probably ship it home since I haven’t needed it. I plan on trekking through Nepal later this year so will probably end up buying some stuff along the way. Oh, and if you like to read, get a kindle and load it up with books, beats carrying those paper things around with you. Let me know if you have any photography related backpacking questions! Feel free to follow me on Facebook as well!

    • Steve


      Does airport security ever give you a problem with carrying a tripod in the over head? I have a carbon fiber tripod but always check it because I’m afraid security will have an issue with it for some reason.

  17. 8 pairs of socks! Matt, lose the cotton and get some wooly socks! 2-3 pairs, tops… they won’t stink and you won’t have to wash them as often, and they dry very quickly if you happen to wash them in the shower or something… cotton sucks for socks lol, just saying! :)

    • Aye Matt, I agree here. I often use my SmartWools, the light ones, just two or three, along with two micro light, in case it gets colder than I expected. It’s shedding a few ounces but they add up. Same for my bottoms, I don’t wear boxers but love my Give and Go boxer briefs and often find myself just taking three or four on a two week trip. You can easily wash one at the end of the day, leave it out to dry, and it’s ready by morning.

      Thanks for an inspiring blog. Keep up the good work.

  18. It’s only Matt’s list, but for him this can be the perfect baggage. As a scuba diver, I pack my underwater camera housing, more swimming trunks and less surface clothes… I think this entry try to teach you have to pack what YOU really NEED.

  19. Rayne

    Ourjourneytothesea… replace the sheet with a doona cover. Does the same job but doubles as a top sheet too or if necessary (esp in SE Asia) sleep in it and you won’t need a blanket

  20. Thx for sharing seriously we dont need much thing when we’re on the road!i survive last wonter wf one fleece jacket one windbreaker one inner wear and one wool longsleeve with one pair of jeans LOL

  21. I’ve found that packing light has also become my primary goal. It unburdens you both physically and mentally, and allows you to travel a little more freely. Furthermore, it seemed to me in my travels, that anything I may have needed but didn’t have could have just as easily been picked up along the way. There are some exceptions to this, certainly, but the key, I think, is to realize that you don’t need much.

    I recently wrote a post about just this, in fact: http://athousandsteps.com/lessons-from-the-road/

  22. skshrews

    Why the MacBook Pro?

    Why not the MacBook Air? Paper light and plenty of horsepower for photo editing. I think it is the ideal “travel laptop” (and I’m a Windows guy).

    Just wondering

  23. If there’s one thing that travelling makes you realise, it’s that you need very little to travel. After years of travelling light, I’m always amazed when I see people travelling with enough supplies to get them through what seems a life time – prepared for every actuality which may eventuate!

  24. Great list. How do you feel about space bags? I think they are usually unnecessary for the way there, but I love them on the way back. I tend to sweat more than most and it seals the smells in :P. Do you have any experience with them?

  25. Jaren

    Hey guys,

    Thank you Matt for this post and thank you all for your helpful comments. I’m going abroad for nine months and I LOVE my music. I have bulky noise canceling headphones. Anyone who uses these knows its hard to beat the quality on a loud bus or airplane with earbuds. Has anyone traveled extensively with these and if so, did you wish you would have left them at home?

    • I’d buy a few pair of foam earplugs (they’re cheap) and a semi decent pair of in-ear earphones (much smaller). Or, you can buy foam tips for most in-ear earphones and use the phones as earplugs – that’s what I do, but sometime (like when sleeping) the cord can get bothersome. But overall, you’ll learn to tune out a lot more noise than you think you can.

  26. Hi Matt,

    What bag do you use to pack your powers cords and chargers in, that you then put into your backpack? We are currently using a toiletry bag, and still on the hunt for a better option.

  27. Denise

    Some airlines are restricting the weight of your carry on bag and charging fees to check it. A travel vest with multiple pockets can save you from having to check (and possibly lose) your backpack. You can put your heavier items in the vest and avoid the fees. The vest goes through security as clothing and not a carry on item. If the pockets are hidden on the inside it also can thwart pickpockets. Weigh your pack before you go so there are no surprises.

    • A friend of mine gave me one (silk sleeping bag-sheet) while I was on the road that she had hand-made for me (to my size) while she was in India (I wasn’t there). it’s so darn pretty and weighs hardly. I didn’t think I’d have use for it really but now I LOVE it. Always bring it along. Sometimes I just use it because it somehow helps me sleep better, even when it’s hot, being covered by something light gives a sort of security feeling – I dunno – I think they’re great and if you get one in India or SE Asia, they’re cheapez chups.

  28. Pedro

    Small gym sack anyone? Easily folded and good for short term trips if you’re staying at the same location for some time.

  29. Phillip

    I like the military style poncho liner as A sheet, blanket.

    It is great for those cool nights, large enough for two, and folds down to A compact, virtually weightless size.

    I am looking to do the Applichian trail next spring and am looking for A new backpack for it.How well do you think your REI backpak would double for that experience. I always travel light

    Thanks for your great site.

  30. Gaz

    Hey Matt. How much will the above weigh and what size bag is used for all this stuff (I assume it’s your 80L REI)?

    I’m looking at a bag/gear of approx. 55L/12kg but don’t know if this is unrealistic for similar sorts of gear (maybe a few less tees and no dress shoes/sneakers).

    I’d love to take my laptop but it’s going to add another 2.5kg if I do – do you think I can manage on Internet Cafe’s and Hostel computers across China and South East Asia (having a laptop would be mainly for photos and blogging)?

    • Normally you can definitely manage with just cafes – some countries it’s cheaper than others (NZ is crazy expensive for internet btw) and you sometimes run the risk of not having it when you want it. I had a small but fairly powerful (for its size) netbook that was perfect for me as I am a photog and had to have something with a little omph to handle all my photos. but again, you can certainly get by without. i mostly try to not have too many things that need to be charged because that is one of the biggest hassles there is.

  31. Although a traditionalist when it comes to reading (we love the feel of a good book), we’ve found our Kindle’s have helped reduced the weight we now carry, replacing all reading material except any LP guidebooks we may choose to take.

  32. kevinn g

    that is “packing light”? I’d take less than half, wash the T-shirts & undies, socks every day or every other day at least . I don’t take a camera or laptop now, too much hassle, I take a ‘digital holiday’ -seems ironic to visit ancient sutures then spend at least half our day fiddling with electronic gear, Matt of course produces these blogs so he needs that stuff more than most. I have found myself too often spending more time “recording ” on camera, iPhone, laptop than just experiencing it, and my friends can wait a while they don’t need instant Facebook updates on every minute detail of my tri -quite would likely bore them even if they are too polite to say so to my face

  33. carrie

    Love the website. I am getting ready to travel over the next few years often and far and this has helped me prepare. I will be traveling alone any packing specific ideas for solo travelers.

  34. Kayleigh M

    What is the best way to carry your camera and laptop so that it does not become a burden to carry, stays in one piece, and doesn’t become a bull’s eye?

  35. rach

    Hey, thanks for the post! I’m now planning on halving my amount of clothing :) Could do with some backpack advice though. I’m a petite girl, 5″1 and not a lot of upper body strength. Going travelling round Aus and south-east asia for 2 months. I want to have enough space to buy things when travelling to take home but Im worried about the size of backpack as I am quite small. Any suggestions on size? Im considering buying online as backpacks are so expensive where I am at the minute (Perth, WA) and looked at REI Flash 65 womens backpack online…?

    • Gwen

      I suggest you go to a store and have them fill the bag with weight. Make sure they aren’t just sticking sleeping bags in there as that is not realistic. I’m 5’6″ and I’m freakishly strong for my small frame. I had a 50L bag on yesterday with about 30 lbs in it. I could carry it fine, but the fact is, I wouldn’t want to. 60L is quite large on me. I look like I’m going to topple over. Again, I have small frame, but I am quite strong. I could carry a 60L bag, but I really wouldn’t want to.

      After trying on a bunch of different sizes with weight, I decided to not go over 50L. The larger the bag, the more likely you are to fill it. I ended up getting a 45L bag and I think it’s going to big enough and I’m brining a large DSLR.

      Anyway, nobody can tell you what size to get because who knows what kind of weight you’re okay with carrying. Not just what you can carry, but what you’re willing to carry.

    • Cynthia

      I agree with Gwen-even if they are expensive where you are, go try some on and then buy online. I am a bit taller at 5’7″ with mediocre upper body strength and have travelled 3 times overseas now with a 46L. I find it to be almost too big-I can fit everything in it, but I can fit too much in it, especially with cubes and space saving bags so that by the time I am all packed up I start having back pain due to the weight by the time we are out of the airport and looking for the train station. I am now in the market for something a little smaller.

  36. Bruce

    Dress shoes are a killer. Have you tried Ecco dress shoes? They’re ultra-light with a soft sole — which can save 300g from a traditional hard heel shoe.

  37. TheTon

    Hey Matt. Good advice and great blog.

    I’m off for a 3 monther to SEA and, much to my better half’s chagrin, I wish to take my MacBook, camera and iPhone.

    What insurance do you get? All the policies I have found have a single item limit of £400-500! That’s nowhere near enough to cover the gadgets!

    And how do you get over the “unattended” clause when leaving your pack in places?

    Any advice would be awesome!



  38. kathleen

    medical kit – benedryl – you can use for sleep, colds, allergic reaction, antihistamine

    homeopathic med like black elderberry by Sambucol, melt in your mouth tabs for cold/flu

    Tea Tree oil – small vial – blisters, small infections, burns, cuts, lips, etc

    tylenol – colds/fever

    triple anibiotic cream – tiny tube

    alcohol pads – a few

    steri-stips – for a severe cut (until you get medical help)

    I am a RN and I pack these small items

  39. Stacee

    If you’re a girl break the tights are not pants rule. I wouldn’t dream of doing this at home but when traveling they are comfortable, dry quickly, are great for long haul travel, are good for almost all weather and can double as pyjamas.

    I also bring baby wipes – some choose toilet paper but I find baby wipes cover everything toilet paper does and more (they clean stuff too).

    My favourite travel accessory is a massive cotton scarf I have. It’s like a big sheet. It doubles as a blanket for cold buses/planes, pillow, towel, sarong and cover up to get into churches.

  40. Barry

    Some tips I use:

    Get a Osprey Exos 46 backpack – its super light, carry-on size, only 2 pounds, and it is very comfortable.

    Skip the laptop, bring a tablet instead.. get a Galaxy tab plus they are about $100 used. If it gets stolen, no big deal (vs ipad $400)

    Bring underwear that are satin or polyester, they dry almost instantly. With shirts im going away from cotton, try Under Armour shirts they dry quickly and are super light, and they dont wrinkle. Very important for me is non-wrinkling clothes.

    And if your going to hot climates, you will be wearing sandals most of the time, only need 2 pairs of socks at most. And get thin, ankle-high socks when you wear pants, they are lighter and take less space.

  41. Ditto on the external hard drive. I’m looking at getting a external battery pack for my camera/phone when I’m on the road. Seriously looking at a Mophie or a Ankor. Any advice?

    • Dave

      Depending in what you’re trying to power, and your preferred form factor, MonoPrice moght have a charger that suits you.

  42. Thanks Matt and everyone! Lot of cool ideas (Scottevest, Under Armours, Exofficio etc). For women I would recommend one summer dress- it is light to pack, nice to wear even in resto and you don´t need shoes for that, nice flip flops are just fine.
    I would also recommend a tablet so it is laptop-e-reader 2-in-1, plus much lighter.
    And I always pack a sleeping bag+light matt, just in case it is chilly or I cannot find a place to stay, you can always sleep in gas stations etc like this

  43. Steve

    Great list Matt and inspiring blog!

    You also carry a smaller bag right? For hand luggage, day tours etc? You’re not checking your laptop in right?

    Being a musician I like to have a small acoustic guitar with me. It might seem like a pain but I’ve found it a great way to pass time, make new friends and I’ve even earnt a few bucks along the way!!! Ha ha

  44. Jodie

    Great list Matt. Just checking though, do you not take a pair of hiking boots/shoes and or flip flops? We’re struggling to decide what to take with us on our year long trip. Mostly, we’ll only be using them to do adventure stuff and hiking, no major trekking and are unsure what to take. Trainers/hiking shoes obviously mean more room in our backpack and less weight, but we already have boots and are reluctant to spend the money…Thanks

  45. Time to revise these recc’s Matt. A power converter is not necessary for anything you have on your list. Adapters for the plugs are needed, but both your laptop and your camera will run on 110/220v 50/60 cycle input. Gear made for the US gets a little warmer running on 220/50, but it works just fine.

    Instead of the converter, pack a 3-way splitter for those rooms that have only one outlet but you and your companion have multiple devices.

  46. Dalisson

    Whats the size of your backpack in liters? Mine is 42 liters its a Deuter futura pro 42, so I am considering if I should by a new osprey 58 or 68 liters in order to go around the world.

    Greetings from Brasil

    • mischa

      a 68 would seem too large to me….I used 45 osprey maybe too small but you can get it in and out of trains and onto airplanes (with their restrictions) very easily…

  47. mischa

    yes it is amazing how little one really needs. I always use a small backpack and pack light! one needed thing that I forgot last time, a travel towel, very useful. also some placea the toiletries are very expensive so it is good to has some with you like shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs etc.

  48. Jon

    I have found that Smart Wool or Icebreaker merino wool t-shirts, although an expensive upfront investment ($50-100 each), are great travel shirts. They are extremely light, roll up very small and don’t really wrinkle. The best part is they don’t retain smell and can be worn at least 5 or 6 times before you start to consider washing them. Some people will wear them for weeks at a time. They dry fast too if you sink wash.

  49. Really useful list. I bought a 72L North Face bag (I’m normally against brands for bags, but this one was a perfect fit) and I’m traveling SE Asia for the second time, but I have to fit my whole life in it this time.

    Although I’m traveling for a long time, I’m planning to travel super light. Last time I went backpacking across SE Asia I had a 90L bag that was only 60% full, but I ended up giving away a bunch of things as I didn’t want to the carry them anymore.

    Light is the way forward!

  50. SAH

    Useful, but definitely also recommend carrying:

    -A pocket knife/swiss/multipurpose knife, you never know when it’ll come in handy (self defense, cooking-yes-really, tweezers for eyebrows haha, ..opening things..)
    -A water bottle, heavy but you got to keep hydrated and it is much much cheaper than buying drinks everywhere as you can usually fill it up for free wherever you go
    -Appropriate insecticides – say you’re in India, get mosquito lotion and malaria pills
    -Protein bars/food loaded with cals and a good shelf life – again, suppose you’re in south Asia, you can’t find any cheap (not spicy) and hygienic food, don’t let yourself starve!

  51. Diana

    Are you able to have your back pack as a carry on planes? That is a concern of mine my goal is to pack so that everything can fit in the overhead so does that apply to the typical backpack. What size backpack do you think will fit that criteria?

  52. Catherine

    As a diabetic. I always carry emergency snacks like a granola bar or small bag of nuts, incase i get stranded somewhere and have no access to food.

  53. Hello Matt,

    I will go on my first one-year-travel soon, though I did shorter travels before. Last time I really checked what I will need, what I can be without and which things are best to use. Unfortunately my new backpack was not arriving in time for the travel, though I had to take two pieces – as small as possible – and of course my safe money belt.

    I found, that I need a small day-pack to the money belt. And I am happy that my new backpack, which finally arrived after my last trip 😉 is just right for that, because it is an 59L backpack with a 17L daypack, that is put together, men that also can be used one by one. The important thing for me is – I am woman 60+ – that the backpack also has wheels. It makes the backpack a little heavyer, but I think it is a very good idea.

    Anyway I will try to pack light and I found that 4 t-shirts and 4 x underwear will be enough. I have to change my cotton panties for easier washed and drying ones. I also bought a very light sleeping back (rolled of a size like a little coke bottle). I found that a scarf helps a lot – it takes not a lot of space, is not heavy but helps against freezing when it is chilly and also against sunburn.

    I planned to follow the sun: Summer in NZ and early autumn in Australia, summer and early autumn in Canada and than the West coast of the USA from the Washington DC to California. I think I need a little warmer clothes for the autumn in Canada and the time in the USA, but I planned to buy when I need to hold the weight of the backpack low.

    I look forward to tell you of my experiences when I am well there!

  54. Thanks to sharing a very important information to us and its very helpful.It’s nice to see some interesting info in this blog.The content is so fresh with crispy information.

  55. Nice article, thanks for sharing.
    Also you can change DSLR camera with a pocket camera. It have small size than DSLR camera.

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