A Traveler’s Packing List

A Traveler’s Packing List

The moment leading up to your departure is typically the most stressful part of your entire trip.  In the mix of saying goodbye to family, friends and pets, giving the house plants a final watering, printing boarding passes and visas, unplugging all your appliances, locating your passport, organizing a ride to the airport, and finalizing last minute work emails, you still have to pack.  Here is a packing list!

You dont need everything on it.  In fact, less is always more. The easier it is to pick up your backpack or suitcase will make the journey that much more freeing for you.  This is my packing list for long, extended trips, when washing in underwear in the sink was essential.  Depending on where you are going and what you will be doing, let yourself be your guide.  Now… have a great trip!


  • Money belt w/  Passport/ 6 passport pictures/ yellow immunization booklet/ ATM cards/ flight info
  •  38 L Osprey Backpack (that fits like a glove) pack cover (optional, as I didn’t have one for 4 years)
  • Collapsible small daypack/bag
  • Little Clothes: a few shirts, long/short/tanks, 2 skirts, comfortable pants/ leggings (leaving enough room to buy things along the way)
  • sandals, good shoes
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • swimsuit(s)
  • hat, sunglasses, long sleeve shirt for sun protection
  • toiletry Bag: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, razors, sunblock (can be very expensive and hard to find), citronella spray, “Keeper” (an alternative to Tampons which can be hard to find in certain countries).
  • First Aid Kit (see post on herbal first aid kits), medications.
  • Steri~pen (an amazingly effective UV waterfilter, no more plastic water bottles!) + Nalgene water bottle
  • small travel alarm clock or cell phone.
  • headlamp
  • bed sheet silk mummy liner (for hotels that just cant get the sheeps clean enough).
  • (optional) laundry line, Thermarest
  • Camera, memory cards, chargers, travel converters
  • Ipod/pad/ with music and headphones
  • books, guidebooks (or a KINDLE ~ you can take your library with you or download anything you want from the backseat of a bus) (try not to borrow books as then you cant exchange them enroute)
  • Journal (+ colored pencils/ pens/ watercolors if you are a creative)
  • Towel
  • Yoga Mat (a light think one works better)

Wilderness Adventures:

  • Fleece, sleeping bags, thermal base layers, 3 pairs of wool socks, rain jacket, winter coat
  • Tent, Sleeping Bag, thermarest, Stove, Malita (coffee setup)
  • Hiking gear: Hiking boots, hiking stick, rain jacket and pants
  •  GPS (depending on destination and season. I would never take a tent to Southeast Asia/ India, but Africa and Central America, yes!)
  • Ski gear: googles, gloves, beanie, skis, ski boots, poles, snowboard, snowboard boots.
  • Surfboard with an extra leash (I have had some seriously inflated leash costs in certain locations), surf wax
  • small guitar, harmonica (i started traveling with my guitele, and I love it!)