Note: I have updated this page since the original post since I have actually packed my bag and have deleted some items and added some that I will be taking with me.
Having travelled for extended periods of time before, I decided early on to take the least amount of accouterment as possible. Taking less will allow for me to pick up treasures along our journey as well as avoid being what Scott would call an “angry beaver” from having to carry a pack that is too heavy for my 5’2″ frame. Here is a list of things I decided to pack for our trip, and some of the things I would not recommend taking on a RTW trip. *Note: I know this list looks pretty long, but keep in mind I’m not that big, so my clothes don’t take up as much space as someone Scott’s size.
1. Backpack: Osprey Talon 33
I chose what some might consider a “smaller” pack for multiple reasons. One being I hate carrying around a heavy load. Trust me, the bigger the bag, the more unnecessary crap you will end up taking. You would be surprised what you can live comfortably with. Another reason I chose this bag is that the fit was perfect. I would highly recommend having an expert at REI help fit your bag to you as it will be an appendage for the next several months.
The Flash 18 is small enough to be a lightweight day bag, can also serve as a stuff sack when dirty laundry starts building up, and also does not have a rigid frame so when it is not in use can be folded up pretty small and stuffed into my main bag.
I also opted to take my small Eagle Creek purse which comfortably fits a cell phone, my iPad mini, and a couple other smaller items. It can be worn cross body and has a safety toggle to keep the zipper securely closed for those packed metro rides.
I highly suggest using packing cubes. It helps keep you organized, and also is way better to pull out big cubes of things versus having to dig to get stuff out of the bottom of your bag.
1. Sony NEX-5R with extra battery, wall battery charger, extra SD cards
Smaller than a DSLR but has interchangeable lenses, 16MG pixels, takes great video. What sold us was the ability to upload pics straight from the camera to the web anywhere you have wifi. It’s always smart to carry an extra battery and SD cards so you never miss a shot.
2. iPad mini
We sold our regular sized iPads and opted for the minis. They are smaller, lighter, and the screen size really isn’t too small with the new design.
This keyboard attaches magnetically to your iPad like the smart covers and really does make blogging almost as easy as having a laptop, but much more compact.
4. Electrical plug converter
1. One convertible maxi skirt/dress in black
These are super comfy, come in handy when you are going into churches, or are in countries where women must dress conservatively. They are stylish and can be dressed up for those special occasions when you don’t want to look like a scrubby backpacker.
2. 3 pants: LuluLemon Athletica Studio Pants, Skinny Jeans, Leggings
First I must admit…I LOVE LULU!!!! Yes it is pricey, but it is absolutely worth it in my book. The fit is always great, the fabrics are always sweat wicking, anti-stink, quick drying, and stylish.
The Studio Pant is a more relaxed fit and perfect for travel days or work outs. A lot of people don’t recommend taking jeans due to the space that they take up, but I would recommend taking jeans because they look great, it’s better than wearing weird travel pants, and I just love my jeans. Leggings are great for wearing under things when it’s cold, they can be workout pants, or regular pants and they take up minimal space.
Once again, Lulu all the way! I bought these short sleeved shirts and never want to ever take them off. The exofficio shirt is great for layering over stuff when it is cold, protects you from the sun, and has bug resistant material. I chose to take 1 nicer blouse that can be casual or dressed up. I chose a shirt in a fabric that is lighter and wont wrinkle as much in my bag. Tank tops are great for layering or for those hot summer days.
5. 4 pairs of LuluLemon underwear, 1 pair of exofficio underwear (just because I wanted to solve the debate for myself as whether travel underwear really make a difference), 3 pairs of LuluLemon running socks, 1 sports bra, 1 strapless bra that can be worn with or without straps, and 1 normal bra
6. A Cardigan and one Waterproof jacket.
7. Swim suit
1. North Face hat
Every girl needs a hat. Having a hat is great for outdoor adventures and also for those days that you don’t get to wash your hair.
2. Polarized Sunglasses
3. The Buff: Just google it and see all of the amazing things you can do with this.
4. Flip flops
Flip flops are a must for beach days, hostel showers, and also to give your other shoes a breather.
5. 1 pair of Tieks flats in obsidian black
Tieks are super stylish, comfortable, and they fold up so small that you could pack them in your pocket if you wanted to.
6. Minimal running shoes (I personally like the Brooks Pure Connect, although Scott is taking a pair of minimal New Balance shoes that he loves that are as equally light weight).
First off I must say that wasting lots of time primping while traveling just takes away from time you could be exploring something new. I narrowed down my normal routine, but also decided to bring a couple splurge items (the last three items) for days that you need a pick me up after being a traveling scrub for so long. Also, I like the minimal thing, but I also don’t want to look back at our adventure and have looked like crap in every picture.
1. Chi travel sized flat iron
If you have to take one styling tool a quality flat iron may be your best option. I once took a travel blow dryer…I ended up leaving it at a hostel in Italy because it was too bulky and just plain stupid to be carrying around. With a flat iron you can smooth out bed head, create volume, and even curls.
2. 50 SPF MAC face prep and prime
This is part of my every day ritual that I couldn’t leave behind. I’m a big advocate of protecting your skin from sun damage and other elements like pollution (trust me on the pollution thing if you are going to China).
3. Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is great for keeping the greasies away. I’m assuming this will be worth its weight in gold after 7 days on the trans-siberian train ride.
4. Lush Shampoo Bar & Conditioner Bar
This is a first time item for me. It’s not subject to airline liquid restrictions, which is a plus, and it is supposed to last much longer than liquid shampoo. I’ll let you know how I feel about this once I have more experience with it.
5. Bare Escentuals powder & mineral veil
This makeup is great because it’s light weight, does not fall under the liquid travel requirements, and also has 15 SPF.
6. MAC graphite black eyeliner
This is my favorite eyeliner however, this is a little splurge item for me and may not be a necessity, but has major impact on days that you need a pick-me-up.
7. Diorshow Blackout Mascara
8. Clinique strawberry and fudge duet eyeshadow
This is a splurge item, but takes up so little space.
9. Travel size Creme De La Mer moisturizer. A little goes a long way.
1. LuluLemon Towel & REI mini multi towel
The LuluLemon Towel is actually made for yoga purposes, but is a perfect size, light weight, packs small, dries quick, and absorbs like a chamois. It can also serve as a blanket on a cold flight and great for a day at the beach. Scott thought it was a little to big for him so he opted to take the smaller version. I also decided to take a smaller mini towel to use as a wash cloth and can be packed in a day bag for wicking away sweat on day jaunts.
2. Mosquito spray with DEET and wipes
With my allergy to insects and being in South East Asia, this was a no brainer. Also, don’t forget your malaria pills and other vaccinations before you leave (the not so fun part of traveling.) Scott talks about our first aid kit here.
3. Ear plugs are great for sleeping on planes, trains, and for those times you have hostel roommates “sawing logs”.
4. A sleep sack is perfect for keeping the heebie-jeebies away in suspicious sleeping quarters.
5. Nalgene bottle to keep hydrated and also for making noodles on the Trans-siberian train ride.
6. Travel spork to eat the noodles made in the Nalgene bottle.
7. Steri-pen for those times you can’t find bottled water. It’s much better than waiting 4 hours for chemical tablets or even worse “Delhi belly” 😦
THINGS NOT TO TAKE:
1. A blow dryer
I’ve done this before, and it’s just plain stupid! Even travel sized blow dryers are bulky and heavy and there are so many other ways to make your hair look half-way decent without having to blow it out.
2. Too many clothes
Try to pack neutral items that have multi purposes and can be mixed and matched. You can always do laundry and you can always buy new clothes if you need to.
3. Heavy jackets
You won’t want to have to carry around a big heavy jacket…trust me. It’s better to think in layers. Unless you plan on being somewhere cold for a long time, it is better to take an ultra-light water resistant/proof jacket that you can wear over layers. For example: We plan on going to see the ice palace in Switzerland. I plan on wearing a tank top as a base layer, a long sleeve shirt with a short sleeve shirt over it, and then my jacket over that. A buff can serve as a beanie, scarf, or used to keep your face warm, and you can always wear leggings under your other pants to keep your legs warm. Voila! No need for a big fluffy jacket!
4. Don’t take anything you would be sad to lose…even your wedding rings.
I will not be wearing my gorgeous wedding rings (BTW: Scott has excellent taste:) ). I will be wearing a stand in ring.
This is all of my stuff laid out before being packed:
This is all of my stuff in the eagle creek packing cubes:
This is my packs all packed up and ready to go: