Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions about packing for a trip. What do I bring? What should you bring? How much stuff should you take? One backpack or two? Where do you put all your electronics? Lots of questions.
Well, here is my answer: I take as little as possible. I try to take the bare minimum and if I really need something, I buy it. It’s not that hard to find medicine, or clothes, or an umbrella overseas. I try to stick to the same climate wherever I go to avoid carrying lots of different clothes. However, sometimes plans change and I end up somewhere cold. If that happens, I bring a light jacket. I keep it until it is a burden and then I donate it to good will. I do not and never like to check in my luggage so that i can save my time from waiting and looking for my bag upon arrival. The more I travel the more I realize I don’t need a lot of stuff. In fact, despite many years of travel, I still usually take too much stuff. On the plus side, it usually means I can go a long time between washing my clothes.
What Do I Pack?
Light and easy…this is how i look when i travel
f) Allergy medicines
i) Small pair of scissors
a) 1 pair of waterproof/quick dry long pants
b) 1 pair of waterproof/quick dry shorts
d) 3-5 Quick dry shirts
e) Sneakers/Hiking shoes
f) 1 lightweight/breatheable/waterproof jacket
g) 1-2 pairs of Socks
h) 1 small towel
b) Extra Battery
c) iPhone and charger
d) Plug converter
e) Padded lock
f) Lonely Planet guidebook for reference
g) iPAD/MacBook Pro
Some of the stuff you probably don’t need. Most people I know take a lot less electronics with them. Your average traveler doesn’t need all the fancy equipment. I do since I use it to run this blog. I tend to take quick dry shirts and hiking shoes with me because when I visit friends around the world, they want to go someplace nice. Most places don’t want to let you in if you just look like a grungy, backpacker who is still wearing yesterday’s clothes (which I usually am). You really don’t need two pairs of long pants either but it’s good to have an extra pair and they are light. I like pants better than jeans because they are great if you are going to do a lot of hiking.
Additionally, I bring ziplock bags with me to put my shampoo in. You never know when those things might explode in your backpack. I usually take two or three bags with me just have backup.
You really don’t need a lot of stuff when you travel. If I suddenly need something like sunscreen or shampoo, I just buy it. No need to overpack and that’s really the secret to traveling. Just take the minimum you need and buy the rest along the way. Before I go on a trip, I write down a list of what I think I will need and then usually cut it in half. You never need as much as you think.
However, in the end, there is never a definitive packing list. Everyone has different needs. My list suits my needs. It might not suit yours. But it’s simple here as a reference and as proof you don’t need a lot of stuff when you travel long term.