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Thinking of a long-term journey?

How about one around the world? Then you'll find this packing list useful.

Packing List for a Round-the-World Journey

This is a ladies packing list, but most of the sections of it are same for all traveler. With the items listed below I traveled 13 countries in 6,5 months:
Mexico – Guatemala – Belize – Peru – Bolivia – Argentina – Chile – Australia – Cambodia – Japan – India – Napal – Armenia.
Packing is very exciting! It’s part of huge anticipation of the upcoming journey. Each piece I put into my backpack transfers me mentally to my destination(s). But I also focus on my personal needs, tasks and goals: packing for a long term journey full of unexpected and unfamiliar experiences requires both imagination and understanding of how daily routines are going to look like. The challenge is to keep the backpack as light as possible, and on the other hand not needing to go shopping constantly.
I had no certain plan for my journey, but the list of the countries was pretty much clear to me. I researched a lot about the climate in each country for the time I was going to be there. It looked like I was going to need clothing for 3 seasons:
  • tropical hot summer in Central & South America, South-East Asia and India
  • warm and functional clothing for Andean Altiplano, erratic Patagonia (late summer and fall) and Himalayas
  • rainy spring in Japan. 


Size, weight, ergonomics of your backpack(s) will  crucially affect your travel experience. So choose and pack wisely!

Define your limit and stick with it!

After multiple attempts to pack I finally reached the desired weight of 14 kg in my main backpack. I choose a 55 +15l Deuter Aircontact Pro SL for carrying shoes and clothes for 3 seasons, as well as security, hygiene and health items. My daypack, an Osprey Nebula 34l, was my hand luggage, where I put my laptop, the camera, electronics, documents, some hygiene items and snacks for long transfers.

14 kg is the limit I defined for myself – this is how much I can carry more or less comfortable (keeping in mind the daypack with about 5-7kg) and knowing that my luggage is going to be increasingly heavier while traveling. To fight this I will send some stuff now and then per mail to Germany. It was a pretty challenging task to pack within the defined limit. The first time I packed (tested few months ago) I had something over 16kg. Some of the stuff was not even there, as I ordered more equipment later on. It was clear to me, that I had to reduce my luggage significantly. So here is my packing list for my world trip.

Choosing the Backpack

For those, who have no backpack yet: please note, that there are backpacks designed for ladies considering the proportions of female body, thus lighter and more comfortable. Choose backpack carefully, as it is extremely important for your health and travel experience during the whole journey. I highly recommend the Deuter Backpacks for their quality and design. Absolutely love mine!
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Packing List for Clothes

The following list covers the basics. Depending on your individual style, you may pack more items. But remember, you can always buy things while traveling. 

Mix & Match

While putting stuff together I payed extra attention on the weight of materials and was guided by the rule of layering, i.e. no warm bulky pullovers or jackets, but multiple light layers of clothes to put on upon each other and to be combined with each other. Speaking of combining, here the next rule: mix-and-match. The color palette of my clothes was reduced to white-grey-earthy brown shades, so that I can wear and wash anything with anything. Another thing I kept in mind: stay low key!
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Order in Your Backpack

I highly recommend the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes. The ultra lightweight silnylon cubes will help you to organise your clothing without worrying about weight, It’s durable and saves space. I have 3 of them in large small (13l and 6l) and can’t imagine any journey without my compression cubes.


4 x Tank tops, perfect for layering, can be used as nightwear
4 x T-Shits, nothing fancy, can be easily replaced
1 x Long-Sleeve Shirt, layering again
1 x Light Jersey Cardigan, for chilly summer evenings


1 x Jeans Short
1 x Chino trousers, very universal, can be combined with anything, really comfortable to wear
1 x Leggings, perfect for hiking and layering, can be used as nightware on long bus/train transfers
1 x Slim fit trousers, in my case in anthracite for off-season or an urban look with a nice shirt and sneakers


2 x Sport Bras don’t take much space, are flexible and comfortable to wear 
Underware for 2 weeks, in order not be forced to wash laundry to often 
5 x Socks, 2 for boots, 3 for sneakers should be enough 
1 x Scarf, very large and super thin/light 
1 x Belt, a light one with a small buckle
1 x Bikini/swimwear


This is where you pay extreme attention on weight of the items. Especially when you're planing high altitude activities, such as trekking in Andes and Himalayas. 

Outdoor Winter

Super light down Jacket absolutely universal for multiple weather conditions
Hardshell GORE-TEX Pro Jacket best water and wind protection, lightweight and robust enough to carry a backpack upon it. Goretex Pro (3-layer) hardshell jackets are significantly more expensive, but there is no better protection for bad weather conditions, which is absolutely essential in Patagonia and Himalayas.
Waterproof Outdoor Trousers, I choose soft-shell pants from Arc’Teryx, extremely reliable and comfortable to wear.
Light Fleece Jackets, to be layered and good for wearing in off-season
Buff Polar Fleece multifunction headwear, great wind stopper if needed

Outdoor Summer

1 Pair Zip Off trousers 
2 Long-Sleeve Shirts for sun and insect protection 
Buff Headwear a multifunction piece with UV protection for head and neck 
Baseball cap
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The main guideline choosing shoes for journey: comfortable and lightweight (again).


Super light hiking boots (Keen): these are actually summer boots, but they were fine on my last trip to Patagonia.
Teva Outdoor Sandals: wonderfully soft shock-absorbing footbed, great for long walks in hot climate, water-ready sandals, super universal!
NB Sneakers: for wearing everywhere. I choose a pair with non-flashy colours made mainly of textile – perfect for both transportation and wearing in summer.
Flip-Flops: optional, I wear them only for short moments, mostly in accommodation only, since they are not that comfortable for longer walk (s. Sandals)

Health and Security on Road

Comfort, hygiene, health and security on a long term journey are essential.  


It was really hard to keep this bag small, but I’m proud I made it. The only important thing in there was my skin care, which I can’t easily replace due to my sensitive skin. The rest can be bought in every corner of the Earth. I absolutely recommend those silicone travel bottles, a true sensation in use (squeezable! easy to refill, can be taken in carry-on luggage).

I didn’t pack a travel hair dryer first, but needed a lot and borrowed later from a friend for the rest of the journey. Please consider that many hostels and homestays (especially the ones in Latin America) don’t have a hairdryer.

Prescription drugs

migraine painkillers I hope you don’t need them
malaria standby pills depending where you are traveling, it’s must for malaria high risk regions 
broad-spectrum antibiotics this should be with you on any journey, but use carefully and only if there is no other option
anti-diarrheal agents & activated carbon pills absolutely essential, you don’t want to miss them when you need them
antifebrile drugs only some basics
a small first aid kit with bandage items and antiseptics are complementing the setup.

Hygiene & Health

water disinfection agent
hand sanitizers both as tissues and sprays
insect repellent & sunscreen
vaccination record, extremely important
eye drops, especially relevant on long flights
a small first aid kit with bandage items and antiseptics are complementing the setup.
a microfibre cloth to be used as a towel if needed, its lightweight and dryes fast

Comfort on road

Long haul flights and bus/train transfers are unavoidable on a journey like this, thus its very important to have comfortable clothing to sleep in. So I packed
1 x Leggings, already mentioned it
1 x Soft hoody, light jersey material
1 x Compression socks, help to prevent swollen ankles and tired legs.
My Inflatable neck pillow from Eagle Creek is absolutely fantastic, got always with me even on short trips.
Silk Inlett for hygiene reasons for the cases, especially for the cases when I’m renting a sleeping bag. It was extremely useful in night buses for the isolation from the over air-conditioned cold cabin air. It takes little space, is light and feels just wonderful on skin.
My headlamp for reading or finding my way when everybody sleeps (in busses, hostels and in outdoor).
Earplugs for a good night sleep.

Security on Road

These items are essential no matter if a round-the-world-trip or any other journey.
Travel Document Case with RFID cover, comfortable and secure way to store the most important items
Undercover Money Belt with RFID Cover for keeping cash, documents and credit cards on body
Packsafe Travelsafe® 5L portable safe for securing small valuable items (phone, documents, camera, etc.)
Packsafe Bag Protector, a 360-degree steel lock for luggage in case I need to deposit my backpack for few days, or when I can’t keep my eye on it
Dry bag 5L to protect documents and valuable items (mostly in outdoor)
A dummy wallet with fake credit cards and a little cash, to deceive in case of danger

Documents & Co.

Passport + ID +Driver License
Creditcards + Little Cash
Vaccination Record 
Business cards, I constantly meet a lot of people 
Pass Photos if necessary for issuing Visas
Copy of Pass and IDs laminated, to protect the originals whenever possible
All Documents scans stored on a secure server
Travel Health Insurance Infos printed out, in case I need it really fast
Notebook+Pens or something to write
A Folder to collect all that stuff + the brochures & Co coming up along the way

Photography & Electronics

This section is very individual, I did my best to keep it at minimum.

Photography Gear

Macbook Air, light and powerful, just perfect for traveling, blogging, organizing the journey, managing my data and keeping contact with family and friends.
iPhone 6s definitely need my smartphone
Panasonic Lumix FZ 1000 bridge camera with spare of battery and memory cards and a mini tripod.
WD Passport Drive with WiFi option for data management and back up.
External Power Bank 22400 mAh for the cases I need to charge my phone when no power can be accessed (multiple day trekking, long transfers)
World Plug adapter + a double socket to charge multiple devices simultaneously if needed.
Relevant chargers and wires carefully collected in a zip bag.
Anker PowerLine lightning charger, durable, extra long (6ft) and fast charging, you will appreciate this
2 x Headphones
Bunch of SD-Cards, great for image backup and mailing them home
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One final thought

Practice Packing!

Don’t wait with packing till the very end. Start researching the equipment you need to buy as early as you can, because you can save a lot of money on discounts and sales. Practice and test your backpack, check if you feel comfortable carrying the weight on a longer distance. Adjust the content of it, think of your routines and how you are going to access your stuff. Develop a certain order packing your stuff. Not only it will help you to pack faster, but you will also avoid forgetting and loosing your items on road.

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