One of the questions we often get is: how do you pack for a year? Packing for long-term travel is actually not as daunting as it sounds. We basically packed for a week-long vacation that will happen to be repeated many times. After our first four months of travel we’ve learned a few things, so some items have been tossed (Michael’s sport coat), and a few have been picked up (lightweight hoodie).
Based on our experience so far here’s a current inventory of what we have with us:
Note: This list has been updated to represent what we travel with after 8 (!) years on the road as full-time global nomads.
- 2 Pairs of Pants
- 1 Pair of yoga/warm-up pants
- 1 Pair of Shorts
- 2 Mid/Long-sleeve woven shirts (no-iron cotton)
- 2 Short-sleeve woven shirts
- 3 Tank top/camis
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 Lightweight cotton hoodie
- 1 Merino wool long-sleeve t-shirt
- 1 Knit Sundress
- 1 Knit Cardigan
- Week’s worth of undergarments
- 5 pairs of socks
- 2 nightgowns/sleep shirts
- 1 Bathing suit
- 1 Lightweight raincoat
- 1 Straw hat (the squashable/packable kind)
- 5 pair of shoes— (I know, I know: Michael only has 2 pair—but my feet are smaller so I can pack more): 1 pr. Keen hiking sandals, 1 pr. flip flops, 1 pr ballet slipper/flats, 1 pr. city walking shoes, 1 pr. mid-heel sandals
- 1 Belt
- 1 Watch
- Costume jewelry: 2-3 ea. Bracelets, necklaces, pairs of earrings
- 1 Sarong
- Toiletry kit
- Makeup kit
- Hairbrush (but NO hairdryer)
- Notebook computer
- Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital camera. It offers the same features as the larger Rebel T5 in a smaller, lighter body.
- iPhone, unlocked with global T-Mobile plan to work in any country
- Earbuds with microphone
- 2 pairs of pants
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- 2 short sleeve shirts
- 2 pairs of Ecco & Keen shoes (one walking, one hiking sandal)
- 1 belt
- 7 t-shirts
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 7 pairs of socks
1 bathing suitIf I need one I buy one along the way. 1 lightweight hoodieOne lightweight zipper sweater.
- 1 hat (these vary along the way depending on the country and use)
- 1 notebook computer
- 1 iPod Touch/ear buds
- 1 portable JBL speaker
1 Kindle(Replaced by iPod Touch) 1 Sony DSC-WX350 point-and-shoot digital camera(Replaced by iPod Touch)
- NO cell phone
- 1 cheap Timex Expedition watch
- Writing tablet and pens
- Pocket calendar
- Toiletry kit with the usual items
- Fold-up world map
- Inflatable globe for trip planning
- Fold-up umbrella
Travel alarm clock(Use phone or iPod Touch)
- International electrical adaptor
cottonshopping bag, nylon made from recycled plastic bottles that has lasted years
- Collapsible daypack
1 Phillies rally towel (just in case) Rocky statue (serves dual purpose as backscratcher)We no longer travel with a Rocky statue, but we still have the memories.
Looking at the list on paper it sure seems like a lot but we fit it all into the following luggage:
- Michael: 1 TravelPro 22-inch wheelie suitcase
- Larissa: 1 Eagle Creek Hovercraft suitcase
- 2 Delsey rolled underseat tote bags shown above. Note: We added these in September, 2015 to replace shoulder bags and are loving them. So much easier to stroll along. Best of all, it has a strap to slide over the handles of our wheelie suitcases.
- One small LowePro Passport Sling 2 tote bag for camera. We like that it doesn’t look like a camera bag.
We’ll probably make further adjustments along the way but after four months on the road what we have now seems to be working.