How to Pack for Traveling the World

I like to consider myself a packing pro. When I went travelling around Europe in 2009 I did little research, got a massive backpack and complained constantly that it was too heavy. For my 4 month round-the-world trip in 2011, I did hours of excessive research into what bag to get and what/how to pack. I hope you find this post very useful and hopefully massively time saving.

Backpacks at Lake Bled, Slovenia, travel
Backpacks at Lake Bled, Slovenia

In India I talked to several travellers and it seemed the average size bag weighed at least 10kg. Surprise surprise, they were complaining about how heavy their bags were.  Oh how smug I felt when I told them that at the airport my bag came to a whopping…. wait for it…  5.2kg! This is what I took for 4 months.

  • 5x knickers
  • 2x bras
  • 2x bikinis
  • 1x microfleece
  • 1x zip-off travel trousers
  • 2 x t-shirts
  • 3x vest tops
  • 1x long sleeve t
  • 1x waterproof top
  • 2x trainer socks
  • 1x sandals
  • 1x running shoes
  • 1x leggings
  • 1x small across-body bag
  • Passport
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • List of prescriptions from doctor
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Photocopy of travel insurance (I went with InsureandGo)
  • Travel itinerary (This contained all our flight info that was required at check-in)
Electronics – Coming home to a mobile phone you haven’t used in 4 months is just plain weird.  It took me about 5 minutes just to figure out how to turn it on.
  • Mini hair straighteners (My ‘treat’ that I hardly used)
  • Camera
  • Camera charger
  • Adaptor
Medicine/toiletries –
  • Malaria tablets
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Mini hair brush
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Retainer and retainer case
  • Sachet of facemask (another treat)
  • A load of syringes and medicine for my Addison’s disease
  • Earplugs
  • Hand sanitiser
That’s right ladies. 5 pairs of knickers and no make-up or mobile phone for 4 months. 
It was winter in New Zealand so I did end up buying gloves, wellies, thermal socks, a hot water bottle and an electric heater for the campervan but these were all donated to charity before we left for Hong Kong (except the socks).

So those are the things I took with me BUT I accumulated DOUBLE the weight (thanks Hong Kong) so on my return flight my bag weighed just over 10kg. My plan all along was to leave with weight to spare for the sole purpose of gifts, so even though the weight doubled, that was fine with me.

Cape Foulwind, New Zealand, signposts
Cape Foulwind, New Zealand

In November I’ll be going away again for at least 12 months. I’m doing it as cheap as possible so I need to make sure that my backpack weighs LESS than 7kg so I can still class it as hand luggage. It’ll be winter in America and Canada so I plan on wearing cheap warm clothes then giving them to the homeless in San Francisco before heading over to the beginning of an Australian summer.

Are you a packing pro? What home comforts would you miss the most? Mine was definitely moisturiser, though a few sneaky Lush samples sorted that out.

Helen x

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8 thoughts on “How to Pack for Traveling the World

  • July 1, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Fab tips here, it's amazing how little we actually need when you look at it like this! I'd love to go properly travelling 🙂

    Jess xo

    • July 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

      It's very easy to wash and dry as you go along. Many hostels have laundry facilities or there will be a near by laundrette. If that fails, use a sink 🙂

  • July 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Fantastic post, thank you for sharing! I'd love to go travelling x

    • July 1, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I work for the purpose of travel. All my pennies saved.

  • July 1, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Great post – you are a packing ninja! haha 🙂

    Lauren x

    • July 9, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      I learnt from my mistake. I'd rather underpack and buy abroad than overpack and have to hoist it everywhere I go.


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