We get asked all the time, “How do you pack for an RTW trip?” That is a great question!
We thought we knew, we read RTW packing lists from every blogger out there. We had a reason for everything we were packing, or so we thought…This is a good list for those looking to take a 2+ month trip around the world or just several countries.
UPDATE: These were items we originally left with for on our 2-year trip. We now travel with 2 checked bags and 2 carry-on bags. Our travel style has changed, we like having more clothing options and we have really upgraded our camera equipment since leaving home (click here to see our photography gear).
The Best Bags for an RTW trip
Hannah’s Backpack: North Face Router 40
Hannah sent her 65 Liter Osprey backpack home as we had too much stuff and now is carrying this on her back. The North Face Router has 3 lockable zippers. As opposed to our other backpacks that can’t lock. Much happier with this backpack than our old arrangement. Both of our computers, all external hard drives, chargers & cables, camera tripod, and an emergency set of clothes are carried in this pack. See below to see what is all in Hannah’s electronics backpack.
On Adam’s Back/Hands: Osprey Sojourn 80 Liter Wheeled Backpack
We got ourselves down to just one checked bag and just under the requirements for airlines, it’s on the heavy side but the bag has very good weight distribution and if needed it can convert to a backpack. We are yet to find ourselves using the backpack straps.
Carry on Camera bag: Ruggard Outrigger 45
We also carry on all of our camera equipment, check out what is all in Adam’s camera bag here. For our day trips, Adam carries a Lowepro Event Messenger 100 camera bag which he swears by, check out here what he carries in and why he loves it.
Women’s Packing List for an RTW trip
1 pair of prAna jeans, I wear these often! Sometimes cuff them, or leave them long. They wash well, keep their color, comfortable, and dry quickly.
1 pair of denim shorts
1 denim jean skirt
1 pair of “elephant pants” comfortable pants bought in Thailand for $4 wear them as pajamas, and all day in Africa during long drive days.
2 pairs of workout capris- They not only fun looking but super comfortable & soft and they breathe! My black NorthFace capris go with everything, dry quick, and also super comfortable.
1 pairs of workout shorts, rarely wear as my prAna capris are much more comfortable.
1 sports bra, black goes with everything!
1 workout top with built in bra
1 active dress, has built in bra, super comfortable, breaths on those hot travel days, and dry’s super fast 80% polyester.
4 Victoria Secret Pink brand t-shirts super light and dry fast (pink, orange, purple, and green) my FAVORITE top in my pack 60% cotton 40% polyester
Long sleeve t-shirt, keeps me warm with blasting AC
1 – 3/4 length shirt, 1 works when need to be a little dressy, and the pink one is lightweight GAP one that I just love
2 tank tops,100% polyester really light and dry quick, more dressy than cotton tanks
3 tank tops, cheap $3 ones from Thailand
1 white cami to go under shirts
1 zip up sweatshirt, wear this DAILY. Airplanes/airports/hotels blast the AC and I pop this on. Also 60% cotton 40% polyester
2 bras, love my Victoria Secret Nakeds one you don’t even know you are wearing anything, keeps me really cool & comfortable 72% nylon
1 sports bra
4 pairs of socks
8 pairs of underwear, favorites are Victoria Secret Lacie’s (100% nylon) and No Show they dry super fast and are cute too
Leopard silk robe, staying in hostels with shared baths this comes in handy- Sent back as we didn’t have shared bathrooms enough to justify it.
4 bikini’s, do I need to explain?!?!?
1 pair athletic shoes
2 pairs of sandals
Jawbone UP to track how much we walk
Hairdryer, travel edition so it works worldwide – not pictured
Mini hair straightener – not pictured
Small makeup kit ( foundation, concealer bronzer, 2 eye shadows, mascara, 1 nail polish colors) – not pictured
Men’s Packing List for an RTW trip
1 pair active shorts
1 pairs shorts gray, with pickpocket proof pockets added in Nicaragua
2 swim shorts
1 pair pick-pocket proof pants
1 dry-fit long sleeve, necessary for surfing & cold weather
1 dressy dry fit polo (for those fancy hotels & boarder crossings)
3 tank tops, rotate new ones in as they are $3 here in Thailand
5 pairs of ExOfficio boxers- quick drying, comfortable, and long lasting
5 pairs of socks
Electric razor – not pictured
1 pair sandals
1 pair tennis shoes, his feet are huge he only gets one pair
Adam’s Cabela’s brand rain jacket
Hannah’s Outdoor Research rain jacket
Hannah’s Colombia Fleece
We started the trip with a fleece for Adam as well but since we are chasing summer, for the most part, we sent it home. We plan to buy a replacement as we need one since it was used so infrequently and took up a lot of space. We may do the same for Hannah’s fleece too.
Toiletries for an RTW Trip
Medicine Pack (thermometer, Tylenol, Band-Aids, Neosporin, malaria pills, laxatives, TD pills, ibuprofen, cold medicine, allergy medicine, a few others too, oh and a pair of rubber gloves in case it gets messy)
Which one of the Osprey range is your 70 liter backpack, the Aether? I'm a big fan of the Osprey brand, in general. I've had a couple of their bags in the past and have found that they perform really well, they're built to do the job.
Monday 29th of September 2014
We had the Aether, but sent that back and currently have the 80L convertible with wheels LOVE it! We love all of our Osprey bags.
Sunday 6th of April 2014
Hello! If I remember right, you guys have ditched the backpacks? What are you using now?
Monday 7th of April 2014
Your right, BUT we still technically have backpacks but with wheels now. Just some cheapo bags from Bangkok, we are going to get the nice ones at REI once we are back in the USA.
Wednesday 18th of December 2013
I regret not buying those workout bands. Since I'm working from apartments and hotel rooms during the week, those would be really useful. I miss going to the gym.
Monday 7th of April 2014
We really miss the gym too, the bands are nice to have but we really have to start using them more often!
Wednesday 4th of December 2013
Hannah, I disagree with Trevor on the compression sacks. It's not about having too much stuff, it's about keeping your bag organized and being able to separate dirty clothes from clean. Plus you will probably acquire things along the way. That said, my pack is lightweight too, probably about 14lbs.
Tuesday 17th of December 2013
14lbs I can only dream....we have alot of stuff but I think it all has a purpose. Maybe some day!
Thursday 4th of July 2013
Not to brag but I carry a total of 16 liters weighing about 12lbs. Its been a year of world travel so far. You just don't need that much.
Friday 5th of July 2013
John - That's impressive, one week in and we are already wishing we had less!