My main mistake when I started traveling was over-packing. I’d bring way more things than what I’d actually use, and it was quite annoying. Little by little, I learned to bring only the necessary.

Are you planning on backpacking for some weeks, a month, or even more?

Here’s my packing list that I created right before my last summer backpacking trip, and by having all of these items I did not need anything while abroad.

I was able to pack all of this in a bag that counted as a personal item, without paying any fees. 

CLOTHES

  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 button downs
  • 1 pair of Jeans
  • 1 pair of athletic pants (for hiking)
  • 2 athletic shirts
  • 1 pair of sneakers (I prefer the Nike Free 5.0’s. Recommended by a friend and quite stylish and comfortable)
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair show flip flops
  • 1 coat
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 raincoat
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • Pajamas/sleeping clothes
  • 1 belt
  • 1 hat
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 pair of gloves (if winter)
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 7 pairs of underwear

PERSONAL CARE

These are all travel size.

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Face wipes
  • Shaving cream
  • Cologne/Perfume
  • Floss
  • Deodorant
  • Hair gel
  • Reading glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Contact lenses solution
  • Bandaids (Accidents happen!)
  • Tylenol/Advil/Any other pain meds
  • Sleeping pills
  • Travel towel (Must have! This towel dries super quick and has many uses. This is the one I got on Amazon.)
  • Toiletry bag
  • Shaving razors
  • Face wash
  • Chapstick
  • Nail clipper

TECHNOLOGY

  • Phone charger
  • Wall adapters (different outlets abroad! These are cheap on Amazon)
  • SD Card
  • GoPro
  • Camera
  • Rechargeable charger (must-have for phones in case it dies during the day!)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Passport(s)
  • Travel Journal
  • Pens
  • Money belt
  • Umbrella
  • Lock (For hostels. Save money by having your own lock.)
  • Water bottles
  • Ziplock bags (These are great in case your clothes get wet, you want to save something, etc.)
  • Day pack/bag (You don’t want to go around during the day with your big bag. Bring a small day bag for you to carry and put in maps, food, water, etc.)
  • Headphones
  • Sunglasses

 

How do you pack all of this in one bag?

Packing cubes! Packing cubes truly saved my life. If you don’t know what these are, I’m about to change the way you travel. Packing cubes are a way to be organized while also compressing your stuff. I recently used them for the first time and now I cannot imagine traveling without them. There are many brands out there, but I personally prefer the Shacke Pak brand. For under around $25 on Amazon you can get these packing cubes, which come in four different sizes. Your clothes won’t get wrinkled and you can shove it all in your bag.

Did I miss anything? What’s something else you can’t travel without?

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