What to pack for long-term travel

IMAG1392 - Edited

Packing for a weekend trip or a week trip is fairly easy. You probably go on enough of these to pack in an hour or less and be ready to go. It starts to get complicated once you have to pack for a month long or summer long trip. For those that are trying to pack for an open-ended trip you really have to think of the needs and leave the wants behind.

Long-term travel

There is no official list of what to pack for long-term travel, but there are definitely plenty of lists out there from other travelers who have experienced long-term travel. So what makes our list different from others? Maybe not a whole lot, but when we were getting ready to travel long term I searched all over the web for what to take and then we’ve made small changes as we’ve been traveling. The lists are very similar and had the same main components to them:

  • Pack light- really consider how much weight you’re willing to carry when walking for a long time. You also want to make sure you don’t go over the different weight restrictions that vary between airlines.
  • Only take essentials- this can definitely vary between people and sometimes it requires you to contemplate what’s an essential. Ladies, do you really need a flat iron and a few different shoes?

Biggest piece of advice we could find was to pack light. If you’re wondering why pack light when you’ll be gone for a long time consider these: you can get from place to place for cheaper, your back will thank you and it’s easier to keep an eye on less items. Finally, without further adieu here is our list:

Traveling documents and identification

  • Passports
  • Drivers license

A couple things you might want to consider depending on where you travel:

  • Emergency card (containing emergency contact info. and allergies)
  • Vaccination record card

Backpacks and organizers

We found backpacks that are close to the measurement sizes (most are 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm) so that we can make the best of our space. We also made sure to find backpacks that had compartmentalization, locking capabilities and laptop storage compartments in them (which can also double as a filing system for important documents). Another feature to consider when purchasing a backpack are hip straps- oh these beauties do come in handy when your shoulders are tired!

These packing cubes really come in handy and help keep some organization to our crazy lives! It’s amazing how much space they provide, and helps keep our clean clothes separated from the dirty ones (more helpful than you’d think because we lose track of what we’ve already worn).

  • Purse- Nothing fancy in the style sense, but this is my version of a Swiss pocket knife. My purse has different cargo compartments, and I feel like Mary Poppins on occasion when I can fit item after item in it.
  • Small camera bag
  • Sports drawstring backpack- something for day trips that folds up and comes in handy!
  • Money Pouch– helps prevent pick-pocketing, but you could also have a “stage wallet” even though we haven’t felt the need to.

Dani’s Clothes

  • 5 t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeved blouses
  • 1 tank top
  • 5 days of underwear
  • 2 bras
  • 2 shorts
  • 2 travel pants 
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 Good pair of walking shoes
  • 2 pairs of sandals (dress and beach ones)
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 1 rain jacket

Pablo’s Clothes

Gadgets and Gizmos of Plenty


  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Phillips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush (We decided to bring this because we weren’t planning on visiting the dentist when backpacking for a long time and Dentists have recommended this type of toothbrush)
  • Floss
  • Q-tips
  • Nail Clippers
  • Shaver
  • Beard Trimmer
  • Lotion
  • Body soap
  • Small First Aid kit (just a couple bandages, gauze, ointment)

Remember that airplane travel requires that each liquid container is supposed to contain 3.4 fl oz or less!

Random leftovers

For the ladies: (Trust me fellas, you really don’t need to know about this)

Trying to figure out essentials and everything to take while traveling is a lot more complicated for women than for men (I may be biased, but I think Pablo would agree with me on this). Naturally women want to look nice for photos or when we’re going out somewhere special for dinner and etc. I carry around simple makeup- just mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow. Each are so small as to not be intrusive on my packing space, and nice to have for random occasion.

Aside from trying to look nice, there’s also that annoying time when you need extra essentials- you know what I’m talking about. I heard about the MoonCup before our trip and tried it a couple times, and I’m so glad I did. The MoonCup saves me packing space as well as money. (The fact that it helps save the environment and supposedly lowers your risk of TSS are bonus attributes!) I suggest you check it out. Oh and guys if you read this, I warned you 🙂

Any questions? Feel free to add any packing tips that you’ve discovered through your traveling experiences. 

We’ve used affiliate links in this post that provide commission to us, but at no extra cost to you. These links help us in our travels, and we appreciate your support. Thanks!


There are too many places and experiences out there for a person to know them all, but I figured why not give it a try? Travel has become an addiction and I'm here to share it with you. If you want to distract me, put a soccer ball at my feet, a sunset in my sights and the ocean splashing my toes. In a nutshell, this is me.

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