Travel items in Pictures
Disclaimer: the links within this ultimate packing list take you straight to Amazon, where I purchased all of my items. These are affiliate links – if you purchase these items, I receive a percentage of the sale without any extra cost to you. Every little helps to keep this page running for as long as possible. Thank you.
Backpack (45l – 55l)
It took me good five weeks to find the perfect backback. And here is advice i can give you: Make sure to try your backpack on with weights in it (most outdoor shops offer sandbags which you can put inside of the backpack) and think carefully what you need your backpack for.
It is the most important purchase for your RTW trip!
TORTUGA – I initially ordered the brand new Tortuga from the States. Two of my friends put in a great deal of effort to bring them to Europe as they happened to visit over the summer. It was, however, not quite what we were looking for. The Tortuga is fantastic if you plan to only take carry-on luggage. Plus, it has the added advantages of being fully front-opening and can be easily locked – a major downside in conventional backpacks. But, if you ever feel you will be doing treks or any other activities that require you to carry your backpack for longer periods of time, the Tortuga is not for you! As we started off with doing a Trek, we wanted to have a backpack that was going to be really comfortable when worn for longer. The Tortuga is no such bag. Plus, be aware of buying it, if you have a small Torso like I have. It won’t work – it’s too long and bulky and simply doesn’t fit right. After wearing it for 10 min, fully packed (according to how Tortuga recommends you to pack it on their website), my back and neck was aching. I haven’t experienced any of it when trying the other backpacks recommended here. The guys who started Tortuga are now introducing other backpacks into their range and hopefully there will be a smaller sized backpack for the smaller- sized humans around us.
OSPREY – Another very good alternative is the Osprey Farpoint 40l. Ben was ‘oh so’ close in buying this one – but ended up choosing a more multi-functional hiking pack instead. This one is more comfortable than the Tortuga – but yet again, not suitable if you plan to do adventures which require you to carry the pack on your back for a long time. I personally find the Osprey to have a more sturdy feel to it. The Tortuga seems flimsy and cheap – whereas the Osprey feels like the type of backpack that will last forever. Coupled with the life-time guarantee that Osprey offers…it’s a no-brainer (i’m not getting paid to say this – after all, I did not buy it).
LOWE ALPINE – I then bought a Lowe Alpine Airzone Pro 33:45 with an awesome side-pocket which would have made it perfect for trekking and photographing as you can conveniently take out the camera from the side without having to place the backpack down. But, it was simply too small and I underestimated how small it really is. So, I sent it back. Back to square one. Great. Ben stuck to the LoweAlpine Airzone 45l – 55l (male version), as luckily for him, Lowe Alpine produced a bigger Airzone male version only. He loves it.
DEUTER – After more research and more trying on, I was going to buy the Deuter ACT 35l. And Bingo. Deuter was definitely the brand for me. The reason why I fell in love with this bag, is it is extremely comfortable and lightweight! The straps are durable and so thick. No matter how long I was going to carry this bag – it will feel comfortable. But, on the other hand, it misses some much needed pockets which the Airzone from LoweAlpine has. And it has no in-built rainpocket (which I got cheaply for under 5 Pounds at an outdoor store). Because of the work I do, I was worried that 35l was not going to be enough as I simply had too much equipment to carry and my bag would have been filled with electronics leaving me with no space for clothes. I started to scrap the idea of just having carry-on. I needed to be realistic – I was not going to be a lightweight traveller!
So…I ordered the Deuter ACT lite 45l (female) which is perfect in size. It is still very small in comparison to what other people travel with (we regularly see people with 70l plus bags! I really don’t understand why as after two months of travel I have a whole packing cube of clothes I haven’t worn yet…). I do now own a small Deuter daybag, to complement my big bag, which I bought in Nepal (I do question its authenticity but it’s an awesome little daybag small enough not to be a burden and big enough to carry Laptop, Camera and all my valuables if need be).
Filter Water bottle
I cannot tell you often enough how valuable this is. I love the fact, that I can drink clean drinking water wherever I am in the world without fearing that I will be sick. We drank water from taps in Nepal and India and were absolutely fine. Nepal’s tap water is beyond gross! The stuff that was floating in it, made us extremely apprehensive of actually using the bottle. I mean there were black little pieces of dirt floating in our water – it looked like mouse droplets to be honest – THAT’S how gross the water was. We were not sure if the bottle was going to do the trick. But it did!
Ben chose the stainless steel version with the straw – it keeps the water cooler than in mine – but he can’t pour water into a cup and can’t use his to filter water to brush teeth (which is a must do when you travel to many parts of the world. Therefore, if you are solo traveller, I would probably suggest to go for the pull tap version, for practicality reasons. Note: This item is currently sold out.
Check out the official website to see when it becomes available again.
This is by far one of my most favourite travel items. I purchased the UV protection & Insect shield version. Keeps the mozzies away (after two months of travelling I’ve only had maybe 3 insect bites in total), and protects me from the sun. It is also great as a mask if you travel in highly polluted countries (if you are prone to respiratory infections like I am, then definitely use your mask daily – otherwise it can lead to this).
You can check the versatility of the buff on their website.
Sleeping bag liner
This is a must-have item, if you want to avoid bedbug, mosquito and flea bites (amongst other things). I love the fact, that I can lie in any bed, no matter how unhygienic it may be, and have peace of mind, that when I wake up, I won’t be spending the remainder of the day trying to refrain from scratching myself bloody. And to be quite frank: it’s just plain and simple gross to sleep in dirty beds. And I’m fussy like that. So, if I’m not 100% sure that the bed I’m sleeping in is clean, I sleep in the liner!
And because I want to make sure that NO bug in whatever form it comes can get to me, I bought the – anti-bacterial, no bed bug & anti- mosquito – version from Deuter ACT lite 45l (female).
Universal sink plug
Note: I wish I could show you a photo of this item. However, we have lost ours by stupidly leaving it in a guesthouse we stayed at. It WAS a very useful thing to have though…
I’m not sure what to write here. It kind of goes without saying what a sink plug is, really. We used it to wash our clothes in the sink, as many guesthouses don’t have plugs and washing your own laundry can save you tons of money, even if it is my most hated thing to do while travelling. Apart from that…you may potentially use it to wash dishes when staying at camping grounds? Play with it…maybe?! This one is what we had carried with us originally.
Again…another item that does not need any further explanation. If you really don’t know what it is used for and why it is needed whilst travelling long-term, drop me a line and I would be more than happy to go in greater detail on why this would be a useful thing to have. All I’m saying: if you plan to travel to many different countries and want to make use of all your electrical equipment, get one of these! We bought one with an USB plug, as you can charge your iphone / IPad / camera at the same time. Very convenient!
Oh yes. This is one hell of a useful device! Especially if you carry smartphones, cameras, Ipads and any other devices which can be charged through USB plug. If you are stuck somewhere where there is no electricity or no plugs, for whatever weird reason, then this is a useful gadget to have. With this one, you can charge three devices at the same time. One full charge charges my Iphone 7 times – that’s how impressive it is! And anyone who owns an Iphone would never ever want to be without this thing ever again. For whatever reason, my power charger is currently not available on amazon – the one I linked you to, would have been my second choice, costs exactly the same and is more lightweight than mine.
I’m still waiting for the day when Apple produces a phone with a long battery life. Sigh.
I actually own two of those babies. One small one for my hair or to use as a hand towel and a big one for well…my body. Duh. They are lightweight, dry quickly, dry YOU quickly and are anti-bacterial. I haven’t washed mine in two months – a bit gross, but it still doesn’t smell and as long as it doesn’t, I don’t see the point of washing it.
I loved this combo – plus you can chose from so many different colours!
First Aid Kit
This should really be much higher up on the list – but I noticed that if you don’t plan to travel to extremely remote areas, you will always find a Dr. somewhere – and pharmacies for that matter. So far we managed to get hold of prescription medicines without prescription too (especially in SE-Asia). And when shit hits the fan, and you fall really ill, your first aid kit will be useless. However, I would never travel without. Within two months of travelling I used: antibiotics, cold sore cream, Rennies, antiburn gel, wound cream, plasters (anti-blister as well as regular), immodium. This one is a fairly comprehensive one – I would add bits & pieces though by complimenting it with a small bag of medication.
Here is a list of useful medication to carry with you.
Merino wool socks
I would always carry at least one pair of merino wool socks for those unexpected cold moments e.g. travel on air-conditioned confined spaces (train, plane). If you decide to not travel to cooler climates at all – obviously, you’ll most likely not be going to need these. However, if you belong to the more adventurous and sporty type travellers, like us, then a few pairs of merino wool socks are absolutely worth it. They are expensive but so durable – you’ll probably own these for a very long time. For trekking activities e.g. Nepal, Peru, even when it is warm, these socks are a godsend. Why? You don’t sweat in them, you won’t have any blisters and their antibacterial properties mean your feet won’t be smelly. But the best part about them: you ca get away with not washing them for days and days.
In Nepal, we did not have the possibility to wash our belongings very often. In fact, we used the same socks for a week and they did not smell despite wearing them for the whole day. Merino wool socks are the perfect hiking socks – I would never chose anything else again. I own 3 Bridgedale fusion wool socks and 1 pair of liners (for those very icy days where even the thickest of socks won’t cut it – such as when we did housesitting at an equestrian property in New Zealand and -4C and icy conditions meant my feet were always warm despite working). This Bridgedale Wool Fusion (Trekker) pair is my absolute favourite.
If you need more advice on the right pair of socks for you: contact the guys at Bridgedale – they are really helpful and fast in their response.
We initially purchased this for our trek in Nepal, but it came in handy for very unexpected reasons: walking down a dark alley way, trying to find stuff in the dark, reading in the sleeper busses or trains on overnight journeys, cooking in your car during a roadtrip in Australia – you name it. It’s an absolute must-have item. If I were you, I’d invest in a more expensive one. We made the mistake of buying a cheap version and it’s very flimsy and will probably not last very long.
I used to own this PETZL (but stupidly forgot it at home and ended up buying a cheap replacement…).
I love the fact that I have this useful litte device in my pocket wherever I go. It empowers me, especially when I’m travelling alone as a solo female traveller. These little things are really LOUD and I’d like to think that in emergency situations, it may just be what makes a difference. It is also great for when you travel alone on a train or bus to draw attention to you if someone can’t keep their hands to themselves.
We got this one at Decathlon – one each. It also has a thermometer (we surprisingly used this more often than anticipated) and magnifying glass (yet to find out when this could possibly come in handy though).
YES. They are useful and will make your life so much easier whilst travelling. As I love good quality and durability, I invested quite a bit in the lightweight Eagle Creek Spectre Packing Cubes. I own two regular sized ones and 1 half-cube. I love them, but I do think they are quite pricey.
Ben has bought a cheap pack of three on Amazon which are quite a bit bulkier and heavier but they do the trick as well. And when it comes to using Ziploc bags in an attempt to save even more money: forget it! They break too easily. They are, however, extremely useful for other things (see below).
Oh what a Godsend! We use them to carry our soaps (body & detergent soap block), to carry our tooth brushes & toothpaste, for those fiddly electronic cables and anything else that might get lost in our bags really quickly. Amazon has some really great offers.
I strongly recommend buying a pack of 3 of waterproof bags in different sizes, especially if you carry expensive camera equipment, laptop, Ipad and any other eletronics you would want to protect in case you are caught in the rain or you head out on a kayak to document your journey. I generally use the small one for my lenses, the middle one for all my electronic cables and the large one is folded and comes into use when I decide to take my camera on a boat. If you head out for a trek and you might come in contact with heavy snow or rain, you can wrap your expensive electronics in these bags inside your backpack – making it superbly protected from any unwanted moisture.
I bought this pack of 3 from Vango.
After spending more than one hour washing clothes, placing them on a guesthouse banister, drying them in the sun and noticing that the surface I had placed the clothes on was covered in dust, I only ever hang my clothes in the bathroom on the line. Why one would not check whether a surface is dirty, I don’t know.
You tell me. All of Lifeventure’s products are fantastic. And so is this washing line.
It is a tad heavy but I’m glad I have it. You can leave your backpack tied to a pipe in the room (usually in the bathroom) making it impossible to be stolen. It’s a bit of a pain in the bum to get it around your backpack but if you carry expensive gadgets with you, this is a valuable item to have en route.
The 55l version is perfect for my pack – they also do bigger or smaller ones though.
For that extra peace of mind, especially if you are travelling alone. Every place I stayed at so far, had reliable locking mechanisms. But you never know. This one is incredibly cheap and perfect in size.
Useful when your backpack unexpectedly rips, when you need to tie your plug adaptor to the wall if it keeps popping out (yes that happens) or simply if your boyfriend gets on your nerves to tape his mouth shut.
An indeed very versatile, small and lightweight item to carry.
Ben was in charge to buy this and he bought massive sturdy ones (2 each). I was annoyed with him. I loved the idea of getting a few small ones…but now I notice the practicality behind those bigger ones are: they last forever and you can carry anything strapped to them. I usually carry my shoes attached to my backpack and sometimes my rolled up sleeping bag liner if we have an early start and the bags are ready to go and fully packed. The proof that these are handy? Mine which were strapped to my backpack were stolen during airport transit.
I can’t tell you how much I love my Northface shoes! I was over the moon when I finally, after trying about 20 different pairs of shoes over weeks and weeks on end, found this perfect all – round shoe! I have a long but narrow foot and Merells or Solomons just don’t work for my skinny feet! I even had bought a pair of Salewas just to return them again as I was not fully convinced about their fit. These shoes are the best thing ever! They are so comfortable, keep your feet dry and they versatility is incredible. I use them to jog in, to trek (i’ve done the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal in these shoes)! I walked through mud, water, snow – my feet were DRY. If you don’t want to buy bulky hiking shoes and look to only take one pair in which you can do any activity, I highly recommend The North Face’s Hedgehog series both for men and women.
A very good trekking shoe is the Salewa Firetail Evo GoreTex (always go for a GoreTex shoe that is completely waterproof).
For the men out there with a broader foot, I recommend the Merrell Sedona Gore Tex.
It’s not an item I use often. However, I would still keep it in my pack just for those odd occasions where I would potentially face rain: especially for when I go camping, trekking & hiking, kayaking etc. Make sure to get one that folds up nicely and can be tucked away in some little corner in your backpack.
Both Ben & I have a rainjacket from Decathlon.
We used this a few times to carry fruit – but to be honest….they are quite pricey and if you are not 100% you are going to need these, don’t bother. What I would rather recommend taking with you, is a collapsible cup – way more useful than tupperware! Another very useful device is the SPORK (especially if you want to save money and live off cuppa noodles for a while).
We bought a set of 2 of the Leifheit Tupperware.
I never ever used it. But who knows, I might one day…It was very cheap and I would probably still have bought it. But having to flick through the book whilst a blank face stares at you is much more time-consuming than just trying to gesticulate with your hands and making disturbing sounds. Also way more entertaining. It probably helps that I speak a few languages. It’s still good to know that I carry something in my backpack that could potentially be a life-saver…
It is an ingenious little book though…
Foldable Daypack or Carry-on backpack?
If you really intend to travel light, then a foldable daypack might be great. But I was thoroughly disappointed with the one I bought, to be honest. They seem very flimsy and just not sturdy to carry laptop, camera and who knows what else. It broke after a day of use. It was surprisingly comfortable though. I thought it was an absolute rip-off too as it wasn’t exactly cheap! My fake Deuter day bag (unbeknown to me that it was fake, to my defence) which I had bought in Kathamndu, was a great buy! And since I’m no longer a carry-on-only-traveller, I don’t think I will invest in a foldable day bag again.
The equivalent to my little Deuter backpack can be purchased here. It will be of much better quality without a doubt. Mine is already falling apart. And I’m thinking of replacing it with an original Deuter daybag.
Foldable Travel Yoga Mat
I love my Manduka Travel Yoga Mat. It is lightweight and can be folded making it super easy to carry it with you wherever you go. The only thing I don’t like about it, is the colour as my new-found knowledge on Chakra imbalances, revealed that blue and green should be the colours I should surround myself with. So, if I could turn back time, I would have bought a different colour, for sure. The reason I bought it, is because I don’t like how dirty the Yoga mats are in some establishments (some even have mould on them), so being able to just place this one on top, makes your yoga practise just that little bit more clean. Another big bonus: you can do Yoga in your room (or anywhere for that matter), when you need to stick to a budget.
It is very thin and not the most comfortable mat, but you quickly get used to it. The word ‘grounded’ will have a whole new level – that is for sure. More on Chakra imbalances and how to chose the right colour for you, click here.
Mini portable speaker
This item is not a must-have – especially if you travel with a laptop. But the sound is really impressive and since it is so lightweight and small – why not? It’s not expensive either. A really good piece of tech. Our speakers in our car we bought in Australia to do our roadtrip were not working properly, so we ended up using this speaker all the time – you can really ramp it up and listen to music loudly with it distorting the sound.
Happy days! Buy it here.
I started compiling this packing list before I left for Nepal, our first destination on our RTW trip, and back then it did not even occur to me that I would buy a Wool shawl to be honest. During our trek in Nepal, I bought a Baby Yak Wool Shawl big enough to cover myself entirely with it; or use it as a regular shawl or wrap-around. It is the BEST and most useful travel item I own to this day. Why? It always keeps you warm. Especially if you are someone who is prone to feel cold, like me. And I’m not talking ‘warmish’. It is WARM. At one point, when I was travelling by bus in Cambodia overnight and the aircon was blowing all over me (without the possibility to switch it off) I lied under it (covering my face) and I was toasty. It’s fantastic. Make sure – please – to be ethical products only. If you happen to be in Nepal or anywhere else in the world that produces these, buy them and support the local economy.
If you want to purchase one online, I recommend this range.
ZUS Car Charger
If you are planning to do road trips throughout your long-term adventure, this is a must-have item! I absolutely love road trips and have done two big ones: with a ‘backpacker car’ in Australia and in New Zealand with a camper van. It actually turned out to be my favourite way of travelling and I’m planning to do many more of those epic freedom-feeling-inducing adventures on the road.
I highly recommend you buying a car charger because you may be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no electricity (this will happen in Australia on several occasions). What do you do if your power bank runs out of juice and your phone too and you find yourself in an emergency situation? Haven’t thought about that, have you? If you decide to free camp in Australia, in particular, chances are that you won’t be able to charge electronic devices for a long time. With the ZUS car charger you can charge two devices at the same time and at double the speed (Ipad, Iphone and Android devices…or your camera…or power bank…). But the best part about it? Once you have downloaded the app onto your phone, the device automatically saves your location if you park up somewhere – so if you are someone like me who gets lost in bigger cities (all the time), you’ll be guaranteed to find your car again! Honestly, it’s brilliant! Plus, it is such a small little gadget – you’ll find a space somewhere in your backpack, i’m sure…
If you want to read more about the brilliant little device, go check out the founder’s Indiegogo page – this is what I call a very successful fundraising campaign!
Click here to purchase your very own ZUS car charger.
For the List Lovers
- Filter Water Bottle
- Sleep liners
- Power Charger
- Microfibre Towel
- First Aid Kit
- Head torch
- Safety Whistle
- Packing Cubes
- Ziploc bags
- Washing line
- Duct Tape
- Multi-purpose shoes
- Merino Wool socks
- Wool scarf
- Rain jacket
Can live without
Note: These items turned out to be not so useful, despite having bought them after reading recommendations from other travellers. I, personally, thought these items to be a waste of space as I barely used them.
- Collapsible tupperware
- Picture dictionary
- Foldable daypack
Have or Have not
- IPad or Kindle
- Collapsible speaker
- Foldable flats
- Travel Yoga mat
- Fleece Jacket
- 1x Hoodie
- 1x Jeggins / Jeans
- 1x Yoga Trousers
- 1x Running Trousers
- 2x wired bras & 2x sport bras
- 7x underwear
- 1-4 bikinis (only brought 1 – ended up buying 3 more)
- 1x thin black socks / 4x merino wool socks (different thickness)
- 1x Wool scarf
- 1 shawl
- 1 long skirt
- 1 dress
- 5-6 tops (tank tops & t-shirts & 1x sports top)
- 1 – 2 merino wool top & long johns
- 1-2 cardigans (for those chilly summer nights)
- 1 x shorts, 1x skirt
- 1x gloves
- 1x wooly hat
- 1x foldable flats (I now also carry a pair of bootlets which fold up really small)
- Flip Flops
- outdoor all-round shoes
- Fleece Jacket
- 1x Hoodie
- 2x regular trousers & 1x zip-on / off trousers
- 2x shorts
- 5 t-shirts
- 5x boxer shorts
- 4x socks
- 1x loungers
- 1x swimming shorts
- 1x wooly hat
- flip flops
- ‘going out’ shoes
- outdoor all-round shoes
- Make-up (Bare Minerals Foundation, Bare Minerals Bronzer, 2x brushes, Mascara, glitter eye shadow, lipstick, eyeliner)
- bar of soap
- all-in-one shampoo & conditioner
- Sunscreen lotion
- Aloe Vera cream
- Waxing Strips
- Baby wipes (for make-up removal or to freshen up)
- Sewing Kit
- Detergent soap
- Business cards
- Writing Paper which folds into an envelope (for thank you messages)
- 4- colour ‘all-in-one’ biro
- invisible wallet pouch
- important document pouch
- folder with must-carry items (copies of passports, insurance claim forms etc. I also keep an electronic copy of all important documents stored on Google Drive & on password-secured external hard-drive)
What is your favourite travel item? Did I miss something? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.