How to Pack for an Around the World Trip

how to pack for an around the world trip, Kira Michelle, backpack

The hardest thing about preparing for a big trip isn’t getting emotionally ready, but physically ready. Well okay, maybe I was just already emotionally ready. Nevertheless, determining how to pack for an around the world trip is not an easy task.

There are SO many things to bring but such limited space. As I was doing my own research and trying to figure out how to pack for an around the world trip this fact became very clear. I didn’t realize how much all of the little stuff added up.

As I was typing out this around the world trip packing list it really surprised me how much I was able to fit into this quite small 40L backpack.

The key is to get some good packing cubes that can keep your stuff small and organized, as well as bringing VERY small clothes, sorry bulky sweaters but you didn’t make the cut. The art of layering will help save your back from carrying around too much weight.

Don’t have time to go over this list right now? No problem, just download the PDF version below and look at it again when you’re ready!

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how to pack for an around the world trip, Kira Michelle, backpack
  1. 40-55L Backpack
    • *Tip – 55+L bags come with a day pack, but you can’t carry that large of a bag on. The airplane Carry on size is 48L and below. I chose to do a 40L bag and bring a second separate daypack.
    • *Tip – get one from a brand with a good reputation and great warranty. Osprey’s Farpoint is what I decided to go with after lots of research and recommendations.
  2. Foldable Daypack – that you can use for carrying things for your daily adventures
  3. Packing cubes
  4. Waterproof backpack cover
  1. 3 t-shirts
  2. 3 tank tops
  3. 1 pair of comfortable pants (jeans, khakis or nice sweats)
  4. 1 pair of leggings
  5. 1 pair of jean shorts
  6. 1 pair of workout shorts
  7. 1 skirt
  8. 1 dress
  9. 1 long sleeve
  10. 1 sweater
  11. 2 bras
  12. 1 sports bra
  13. 3 pairs of lite wool travel socks
  14. 10 pairs of underwear
  15. 1 bathing suit
  16. 1 sarong or scarf
  17. Foldable rain jacket
  18. Hat
  1. 1 pair of hiking shoes or running shoes
  2. 1 pair of sandals – that you can wear with socks (trust me this option is so nice… even if it makes you uncool)
  3. 1 pair of foldable flats
  1. 1 Quart toiletries bag (All liquids 100mL or less!)
    • Shampoo Bar
    • Hair Oil (used in replace of conditioner for longer hair)
    • Skin cleanser – castile soap is great for both face and body, especially if you love natural products.
    • Face toner
    • Face moisturizer
    • Body lotion
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrush
    • Floss
    • Razor & refills
    • Deodorant
    • Sunscreen
    • Tweezers
  2. Diva cup
  3. Nail file
  4. Nail clippers
  5. MINIMAL makeup
  6. Microfiber towels – 1 face, 1 body
  1. Travel pillow case (stuff clothes in it to fill as a pillow)
  2. Sleeping bag liner
    • *Tip – especially if you’re going to places that might not have the nicest hostel beds.
  1. Phone + charger
  2. Headphones
  3. Travel plug adapter
  4. Power block for extra power
  5. Action camera (GoPro)
    • accessories/attachments you want to bring with it
  6. Laptop (if you want to blog or edit photos with it, etc. Not for everyone!)
    • + laptop charger & protective sleeve
  7. Small portable speaker + charger
  8. E-reader + charger
  9. Clip on reading light
  10. USB
    • *Tip– back up your important documents to it
  1. Portable washing bag. The Scrubba is great!
  2. Pegless clothes line
  3. Traveling wash soap (0.2mL Woolite packages)
  1. Padlock(s) – to lock backpack
    • *Tip– get TSA locks so the airport can open your bag if needed without breaking them.
    • *Tip– get locks both to lock your zippers closed and one with a wire attached so you can lock your bag to something (like a bed).
  2. RFID wallet
  3. RFID card & passport holders
  4. Money belt
  5. Swiss army knife
    • *Tip– only if you ARE checking a bag. Otherwise it will get thrown out at security). 
  1. Some domestic currency
  2. Debit card(s)
  3. Credit card(s)
    • *Tip– keep your cards and money in different places throughout your bag(s) in case one gets stolen you aren’t left with nothing.
  1. Sunglasses
  2. Regular glasses
  3. Prescriptions / medications doctor recommends
  4. 30% Deet bug spray
  5. Small first aid kit (only necessities)
  6. Pepto Bismol
  7. Advil
  8. Gravol (motion sickness)
  9. National flag sewn on backpack
  10. Physical Travel Journal & pen or pencil
  11. Travel documents
  12. Passport, driver’s license, student card, vaccination list
    • *Tip – take a photo of these and send to your email.
    • *Tip – take photocopies of these and bring with you too. If a hostel clerk or someone asks to hold on to your passport only ever give them a copy!
how to pack for an around the world trip
Scroll down to comment your thoughts on the above list! Did you find it useful? Is it missing anything?


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Curious as to where I’m heading on this year long trip? Check out my itinerary here!

2 thoughts on “How to Pack for an Around the World Trip”

  • …and travel insurance a must! (as well as hooking up family with correct snapchat and instagram accounts to keep in touch.)

    • Yes! Travel insurance is a must. World Nomads specifically is fantastic for longer trips.

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